Tarantula, Psalmopoeus maya, on a light switch
Psalmopoeus maya is our rarest, or at least our least well known Tarantula. But last night when I was preparing to go to sleep, I wanted to switch of the light and there he was.... in our living room, right on the light switch! I like Tarantula's but this still gave me a jolt!
I love how not only Jan finds the coolest stuff, but he knew it was male, and i expect he simply moved it outside with care and respect. When he says "least well known" i can agree - the original description of P.maya as a distinct species was only recent (1994?) but done as a very poor job by amateurs. When describing a new species its conventional practice to put a preserved reference specimen in a museum for others to later access and reexamine - but the original authors failed to do that. So, there's a big question mark for spider researchers about what was described as this species - all those i've seen possible photos of them really look like the rather well known Psalmopoeus reduncus from Costa Rica - which is also reported from Belize. Without more in-depth study, there's a big question mark about whether there is one or two species of this beautiful arboreal tarantula genus (Psalmopoeus) in Belize .. so much to still clarify and learn about biodiversity in Belize!
I love all creation. But I have a pretty good case of arachnaphobia. Took advice once to learn about spiders so I could understand my fear is irrational and now I know it is and that the vast majority of spiders can't hurt me. But this, heck no! You need to move immediately and call in an air strike on your house, it is no longer safe for human habitation!
Photograph by Jan Meerman
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