The discovery of a new tarantula with “golden locks”, and the researchers keep the site confidential | Science and the planet

Researchers have discovered a new species of tarantula. They found the animal in northwest Iran, but are keeping the exact location a secret so as not to give clues to poachers. Because of the unusual “golden” hairs on its body, they knew immediately that they were dealing with a new species.

The discovery happened by chance, as hiker and wildlife enthusiast Mehdi Javahian was out and about when he came across a male tarantula he hadn’t seen before. Take a picture of it and send it to archaeologist and expert on local fauna and flora, Dr. Alireza Zamani. He asked Javahian to come back to pick up a specimen of the tarantula and bring it to him so he could say with certainty that it was a new species.

The creature is officially called the “Golden Persian Tarantula.” © Kari Conisto

In the end, during their search, they only found one female, about 9 cm long. This is actually too little to immediately conclude that it is a new species. But the creature’s characteristics—particularly the golden hairs on its body—are so different from the current local catch that it had to be discovered.

burrow species of tarantula.
burrow species of tarantula. © Amir Hossein Aghi

After a call, it turns out that the walkers and other residents have some photos of other specimens of the species. They were two men who found him near where Gavahiyan had taken his photographs. enough to publish their conclusions.

The illegal trade in tarantulas means that many species are poached, so the researchers didn’t include the exact location in their paper. They reported that it relates to the Zagros Mountains, the largest mountain range in Iran.

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The publication detailing the new species They can be found here.

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Megan Vasquez

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