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Rare spiders found in Yunnan nature reserve

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-05-20 10:02
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Tarantulas, an endangered spider species [Photo/Xinhua]

Tarantulas, an endangered spider species, were discovered by scientists at a national nature reserve in Southwest China's Yunnan province last week.

According to the Nangunhe national nature reserve, a group of scientists from Dali University found a male and a female tarantula during an expedition there. It's the first time that the species has been found in the reserve.

Sometimes referred to as "bird-eating spiders" due to their predatory nature, tarantulas are large spiders with a gland which secretes venom. The length of an adult tarantula can reach more than 10 centimeters.

In China, the species can only be found in a limited number of provinces such as Hainan, Hubei, Yunnan and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region as its habitat requirements are quite specific. The new discovery demonstrates the high level of biodiversity in the Nangunhe reserve, says Yang Zizhong, leader of the expedition team.

Due to illegal poaching, the number of tarantulas has decreased sharply in recent years and it has been listed as an endangered species in the world, says Yang.

The Nangunhe nature reserve is a key biodiversity area in China with many rare and endangered wild animals such as Asian elephants, white-palmed gibbons and western black-crowned gibbons.

Tarantulas, an endangered spider species [Photo/Xinhua]
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