Theraphosidae Thorell, 1870 is a highly diverse family of Mygalomorphae spiders, boasting nearly 60 species across thirteen genera reported in India. Among the six subfamilies of tarantulas documented in India, Thrigmopoeinae stands out as the sole subfamily endemic to the Western Ghats, comprising three genera and seven species. Despite being part of a renowned biodiversity hotspot, the tarantulas in this subfamily have received limited attention, with only a generic revision by Raven and the redescriptions of two species. The distribution of these three genera is currently known as follows: Phlogiodes Pocock, 1899 in the Northern Western Ghats of Maharashtra, Thrigmopoeus Pocock, 1899 in the Central Western Ghats, and Haploclastus Simon, 1892 in the Southern Western Ghats and Nilgiri hills.
The Western Ghats, recognized for its rich biodiversity, supports a diverse population of theraphosid spiders. However, the documentation of these spiders remains inadequate, as highlighted by the recent discovery of two new genera and eight new species. During an arachnological expedition in the Western Ghats, specimens exhibiting vibrant colors and an iridescent sheen on the carapace and abdomen were collected. These tarantulas constructed burrows along the road with a distinctive tubular extension made of soil and leaves, resembling those found in the genus Thrigmopoeus. Nevertheless, the collected specimens differ significantly, displaying vivid colors not observed in known Thrigmopoeus species. The distinct characteristics of these specimens indicate the potential discovery of a new species, prompting the need for their formal description.(1)
(1) Rajesh V. Sanap, Zeeshan A. Mirza,
A new iridescent tarantula of the genus Thrigmopoeus Pocock, 1899 from Western Ghats, India,
Comptes Rendus Biologies,
Volume 337, Issues 7–8,