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Påfågeltarantella
Påfågeltarantella

Gooty Sapphire Tarantula

Poecilotheria metallica

The Gooty sapphire tarantula or the peacock tarantula as it is also known, is the only blue spider in the genus Poecilotheria. As a young spider it is less chromatic, the colouring turns to blue as it matures. 

The length is 15 20 cm, males have more slender bodies then the females and their legs are longer. Females live for 11 to 12 years while males live for 3 to 4 years. 

The Gooty sapphire tarantula only lives in a  small, 100 km2,  forest reserve in Andhra Pradesh in central India. It lives in holes of tall trees where it makes asymmetric funnel webs. They primary feed on  flying insects. 

The species is skittish and will try to flee first but can, if provoked, attack and bite. The bite is painful but not deadly to humans. 

The Gooty sapphire tarantula is part of the European Species Breeding Programme and Nordens Ark is participating to save the species.