Living With Tiger Spiders

Scientists from Sri Lanka’s Biodiversity Education and Research Organisation have collected a new Tiger Spider, Poecilotheria rajaei, noted for its large size (8 inches). The predatory spider feeds on insects, snakes, small rodents and small birds. The new Tiger Spider differs in its markings from other species in the Genus Poecilotheria. However, it is not clear whether this spider is a true species or a variety.

The spider came to the attention of scientists when locals presented a 9 inch spider that they had killed. Sri Lanka has been a war zone recently, so travel to the spider habitat was challenging. The new species has been named after the guide, Michael Rajakumar Purajah, who led the scientists to the site.

Tiger Spiders are indigenous to India and Sri Lanka. Several species are rare or endangered due to habitat destruction.

Tiger Spider, Poecilotheria rajaei
Photo: Ranil Nanayakkara

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Environment, Taxonomy. Bookmark the permalink.

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