Say hello to Peocilotheria rajaei, Sri Lanka’s most recently discovered giant spider. It’s not the world’s biggest but a spider roughly the size of your face may not be the ideal thing to find in your house.
Scientists first encountered the new tarantula in 2009, when villagers in northern Sri Lanka gave them a dead one. Then, the scientists went on a quest to find more.
“Covered in beautiful, ornate markings, the spiders belong to the genus Poecilotheria, known as “Pokies” for short. These are the tiger spiders, an arboreal group indigenous to India and Sri Lanka that are known for being colourful, fast, and venomous.” -British Tarantula Society Journal
According to the scientists, the new spider, whose legs span up to 20 centimeters (8 inches), usually lives in
“bark peels, naturally occurring tree hollows and, at times, found under rocks, decaying trees and in cracks in brick walls; however during the monsoonal period they display a tendency to enter human dwellings that border forested areas.”
Right now, the decision of the spider’s species is based on the colorful markings. They are waiting for the future genetic work to confirm this decision.