We’re a little late out of the gate today with Week #1 of our new “Invertebrate of the Week” series, but I hope it was worth the wait. This week, we’re showcasing the cobalt blue tarantula, Haplopelma lividum.
This dashing critter is a member of the Thetheraphosid sub-family Ornithoctoninae (the “Earth Tigers”) and is found in Southeast Asia, namely Myanmar and Thailand.
It is a large terrestrial spider, reaching a leg span of around 5 inches, and is commonly found in deep burrows. In fact, you could even consider it a primarily fossorial animal since it usually only leaves the refuge of its burrow in order to find food.
The remarkable blue color is a structural color rather than a pigment, as further evidenced by its iridescence.
A spectacular invertebrate, this spider is apparently sometimes kept as a pet and is considered by arachnid enthusiasts to have “an erratic and wild disposition.”
References and Further Reading
- Foelix, Rainer F., Bruno Erb, and David E. Hill. “Structural colors in spiders.“Spider Ecophysiology. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013. 333-347.
- Schultz, Stanley A. The Tarantula Keeper’s Guide: Comprehensive Information on Care, Housing, and Feeding. Barrons, 2009. ISBN 0764138855
- Wolfgang Nentwig Universitat Bern, Spider Ecophysiology, Springer, 2013. ISBN 9783642339899