Nine new species of colorful and endangered tree dwelling tarantulas have been discovered in Brazil. Arboreal tarantulas tend to have a lighter build, thinner bodies and longer legs. They have increased surface area at the ends of their legs, which enables them to better climb different surfaces. Scientists say their light build also helps make them more agile.
The study was performed by tarantula specialist Dr Rogerio Bertani from the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His results were published in the open access journal ZooKeys
Dr. Bertani said in a release, "Instead of the seven species formerly known in the region, we now have sixteen. In a resurrected genus with a mysterious single species known from 1841, we have now five species. These are the smallest arboreal tarantulas in the world, and their analysis suggests the genus to be very old, so they can be considered relics of a formerly more widely distributed taxon."
Photos: Dr. Rogerio Bertani