Argentina – special days in the Yungas

Argentina – special days in the Yungas

Subtropical, mountainous primary rainforest – that’s what the Argentinians and Bolivians call the Yungas. It’s a special climate zone with a huge biodiversity, nothing I have seen before. It’s get as cold as 8 degree celsius at night but the vegetation looks like tropical rainforest, just slightly different and of course the air is much cooler. There is always the picture in peoples mind about tarantulas only occur in tropical regions, like brazilian rainforest or some deep forest in Thailand, the Yungas showed me that our beloved theraphosid spiders are very adaptable and made it to colder regions on earth aswell.

During our trip to Argentina, Pato, Martin G. and I spent a couple of nights in the Nationalpark Calilegua – prepared with tents, hammocks and other camping gear to cook our food. The nights were as I told before very cold, but as soon we found the first theraphosid spider, the nights were not that bad again. On our walks trough the parks we managed to get to different altitude levels, this is always an important factor in searching for tarantulas. A few hundred meters difference in altitude and the vegetation and also the fauna can change drastically.

On lower parts in the nationalpark we were able to find specimens of a Acanthoscurria species – spiderlings, juveniles and a big adult female. Pato was very happy as this is his favorite argentinian genus of tarantulas. Later the day we found a small theraphosinae species, probably a Plesiopelma sp. They lived sympatric with the big growing Acanthoscurria species we found before. Under smaller rocks we found Catumiri argentinensis, a very small theraphosid from the subfamily Ischnocolinae. Like all of the spiders placed in this subfamily it lacks urticating hairs on the opisthosoma. We found adult males and females, so the mating season probably just started. For comparison of size, there is photo of an adult female sitting on one of my fingers.

nature lover and arachno enthusiasts who is traveling the world in search for ecological insights and new species of Theraphosidae and other arachnids