Ecuador – Tarantula Diversity at its finest! Acanthoscurria sp. in the Amazon
Wandering through lush jungle, hiking up mountains 4000 meters above sea level – all this within two weeks of time during a dedicated fieldtrip to the north western south american country, Ecuador. The beauty of its landscape and the friendliness of its people is so far one of highlights of all time. At this point, we do not want to tell how many tarantula species we have encountered during the trip, but I can tell you – it was a awful lot.
Acanthoscurria is in need of a revision
The first blogpost of the series we want to start with a ground-dwelling theraphosid species which we found quite frequently in the lowland forests of Ecuador, the Amazon basin. At first sight, it remembered known Cyclosternum species due to its shape. But once we examined the pictures back home and showed them to fellow arachno enthusiasts, it was clear that this species must belong to the genus Acanthoscurria (thanks Steffen Esche). Which species it could be is still a mystery, since the latest publication regarding the genus Acanthoscurria does not give any hints (Paula et. al, 2014)
Due its location we will further refer to this species as Acanthoscurria sp. “Lowland, Ecuador”. The burrows of this species are very characteristic and, with a little bit of effort, relatively easy to spot on the rainforest floor. There is no silk visible at all, which can make it difficult to identify in some cases. With a slight tickling, the spider normally will attack the stick and is, at night, easily extractable this way. During the day it was not possible to tickle any specimens of this species out of their burrows.
- Paula, F. dos S., Gabriel, R., Indicatti, R. P., Brescovit, A. D. & Lucas, S. M. (2014). On the Brazilian Amazonian species of Acanthoscurria (Araneae: Theraphosidae). Zoologia (Curitiba)31(1): 63-80. doi:10.1590/S1984-46702014000100008
Guessing game on social media
Prior to releasing this newly designed Website to the public, we played a Little round of “guess the species” on Facebook. Check out who nailed this challenge by clicking on the embedded picture.
nature lover and arachno enthusiasts who is traveling the world in search for ecological insights and new species of Theraphosidae and other arachnids