Scientists have discovered a new, shimmering, turquoise-blue tarantula in a rainforest in southwestern Sri Lanka.
The discovery of the iridescent spider, named Chilobrachys jonitriantisvansicklei, was first reported in the British Tarantula Society Journal.
The arachnid was spotted because of its brilliant blue coloring, according to National Geographic, which described it as “fast and aggressive,” about 5 inches long and “big enough to comfortably hug a donut.”
Females of the species boast blue-hued legs, as well as an iridescent sheen on their outer shell and abdomen. https://t.co/DClp3HrEkP— Smithsonian Magazine (@SmithsonianMag) August 27, 2019
“When we first spotted them, I was in awe, lost for words,” lead researcher Ranil Nanayakkara, of the University of Kelaniya, told the magazine.
The females are the showier, brightly colored spiders of the new species, while their male counterparts mirror other species of tarantula with black, brown or gray coloring.
“The males are smaller and are mossy brown in color,” Nanayakkara said.
Tarantulas are the largest spiders in the world, with more than 850 species of the hairy arachnids worldwide, according to the National Wildlife Federation. Females can live up to 30 years, while the males have a much shorter life span at around seven years.
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