Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The species is found in a single location, which is severely fragmented. The extent of occurrence is less than 100 km2. India: Andhra Pradesh: Reserve forest between Nandyal and Giddalur.

The type description stated the species as occurring in Gooty, which is wrong since although the animal was caught in the railway timber yard in Gooty, the specimen could have come from the Eastern Ghats, which is at least 100 km away. Molur et al. (in press) rediscovered the species after 102 years in 2001 in a highly disturbed forest between Nandyal and Giddalur. Other surveys have not indicated the presence of this easily-identifiable species in any other locality. However, traders have put up this spider on sale after collecting some adults from the said area or nearby. Since information on their collection area is not available, it is presumed that they could have collected only from the nearby location and not from the protected Gundlabrahmeshwaram Wildlife Sanctuary.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The species was found in a degraded dry deciduous forest. Nothing is known of its breeding biology. The lone male in captivity lived for 2 years having matured after 18 months. This seems to be the normal among males of this genus. Longevity of the female is unknown, but if it is similar to other species, then they could survive for 10-12 years reaching maturity at the age of 5-7 years.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Poecilotheria metallica

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 5
Specimens with Barcodes: 5
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Molur, S., Daniel, B.A. & Siliwal, M.

Reviewer/s
Spector, S. & Mason, T. (Terrestrial Invertebrates Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
The habitat where the species occurs is completely degraded due to lopping for firewood and cutting for timber. The habitat is under intense pressure from the surrounding villages as well as from insurgents who use forest resources for their existence and operations. It is assumed that the area of habitat has decreased over the years, but there is definitely a decline in quality of habitat for the spiders who seek cavities and deep crevices in old growth forests. This species is categorized as CR because of its range restricted to less than 100 km², single location and continuing decline in habitat quality.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

In 2012, the Gooty Sapphire was included among the world's 100 most threatened species, in a report by the IUCN Species Survival Commission and the Zoological Society of London.

(Baillie & Butcher 2012; Harvey 2012)

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Dana Campbell

Supplier: Dana Campbell

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
Population information is not available. Since it has been recorded to date from a single location (despite surveys conducted in adjacent areas by the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department ERM Laboratory in Srisailam), it is likely that the species has a very restricted extent of occurrence, is very rare and in a single location with declining habitat quality.

Population Trend
Decreasing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
Habitat loss and degradation are major threats. From our understanding, if the habitat is under similar pressure of degradation, the species might be extirpated from the known location in the near future. An additional threat to the species is collection by international pet traders, which could have an impact on the population. The two threats in tandem could result in the species’ extinction from the known location in the near future. An incident of smuggling was recorded in 2002 when two Europeans took a few specimens out of the country and advertised them for sale on the internet. There are also reports available of other such incidents since then.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is not known whether the species occurs in the Gundla Brahmeshwaram Wildlife Sanctuary, which is about 20 km from the known location. Surveys and the forest department’s cooperation are needed to establish this.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Poecilotheria metallica

Poecilotheria metallica is a species of tarantula. It reflects brilliant metallic blue color. Like others in its genus it exhibits an intricate fractal-like pattern on the abdomen. The species' natural habitat is deciduous forest in Andhra Pradesh, in central southern India. P. metallica was first discovered in the town of Gooty, a fact reflected in some of its common names: Gooty sapphire ornamental tree spider, Gooty sapphire, and Gooty tarantula. Other common names are metallic tarantula, peacock parachute spider, peacock tarantula, or salepurgu.

Distribution[edit]

P. metallica is found only in a small area of less than 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi), a reserve forest that is nonetheless highly disturbed. Surveys of adjacent forest have failed to observe this species. The type specimen was discovered in a railway timber yard in Gooty about 100 km southwest of its known range, but it is believed to have been transported there by train.[1]

Behavior[edit]

P. metallica's behaviour parallels that of many arboreal spiders. In the wild, P. metallica live in holes of tall trees where they make asymmetric funnel webs. Their primary prey consists of various flying insects, which they seize in flight and paralyze. It has been observed that the spiders of this genus may live communally when territory, i.e. number of holes per tree, is limited.

This species is desired by many tarantula enthusiasts, with adults sometimes pricing above $500 in the United States. Demand for 2-week-old unsexed spiderlings at US$200 is high, and there are examples of their being sold for much more.[when?] Prices can vary in other locations, particularly Europe. Like many spiders, the gender can influence price; females live for about 12 years, 3 to 4 times longer than males, making them more expensive. Also females are considered to be more useful for breeding, making demand higher. They are hardy, relatively fast-growing spiders that are generally fed crickets, but can take on anything from a common fruit fly[citation needed] when spiderlings, to a new-born (pinky) mouse or anole when adults. They measure between 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 in) in legspan when fully grown. In captivity, humid environments with temperatures between 18 to 24 °C (64 to 75 °F) and a humidity level of 75 to 85% are preferred.

Poecilotheria metallica

Conservation[edit]

P. metallica is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. The primary threats to the species' survival are habitat degradation and loss to logging and firewood harvesting. Amplifying the severity of this threat is the extremely limited range of P. metallica. Another threat identified by IUCN assessors is specimen collection for the pet trade.[1]

The species' numbers are not known, but the combination of its small natural range and the threats in that area indicates a declining population trend.


Venom[edit]

There has never been a recorded human death from its bite; however this species is considered to have a medically significant bite, with venom that may cause intense pain, judging from the experience of keepers bitten by other spiders from this genus.[2][3]A quick search of bites from this species shows the vast majority are so called "dry bites" where no venom is injected into the handler. The mechanical effects of the bite can still be worrisome, as an adults fangs can reach nearly 3/4 of an inch in length. They can move rapidly and may defend themselves when cornered, although they are more likely to attempt to scurry away than fight. Venom effects consist of a small heart rate increase followed by sweating, headache, stinging, cramping and swelling. Effects can last for up to a week.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Molur, S., Daniel, B.A. & Siliwal, M. (2008). "Poecilotheria metallica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Gabriel, R. (2002). "Notes and Observations Regarding the Bite of Poecilotheria pederseni". British Tarantula Society Journal 17 (2): 61–64. 
  3. ^ Schmidt, G. (1988). "Wie gefährlich sind Vogelspinnenbisse ?" [How dangerous are bird spider bites?]. Deutsches Ärzteblatt (in German) 85 (28/29): 1424–1425. (u. a. information relates to P. fasciata.)

Further reading[edit]

Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!