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Blue Malaysian bird spider

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Blue Malaysian bird spider
Weibchen von Omothymus violaceopes

Female of Omothymus violaceopes

System
Order: Web spiders (Araneae)
Submission: Tarantulas (Mygalomorphae)
Family: Tarantulas (Theraphosidae)
Subfamily: Ornithoctoninae
Genre: Omothymus
Art: Blue Malaysian bird spider
Scientific name
Omothymus violaceopes
(Abraham, 1924)

The Malaysian blue tarantula(Omothymus violaceopes, synonym: Lampropelma violaceopes), also called the Singapore blue tarantula, is one of the largest tree-dwelling tarantulas in the world.

In the English-speaking world it is called Singapore blue (tarantula).

Distribution

The habitat of the Blue Malaysia bird spider extends over the southern part of Malaysia, Singapore and the Riau Islands (Indonesia).

Habitat and way of life

This spider is found in dry forests and lives at a height of about 3-4 m, preferably in hollow trees. In the wild, it feeds mainly on insects and small birds.

The cocoon of the female usually contains 100-150 eggs. After about 10 weeks the young spiderlings hatch. In contrast to the adults, these initially still live as ground dwellers.

The Blue Malaysia bird spider is a fast growing spider and reaches sexual maturity at the age of 1 to 1.5 years. The life expectancy after the mature moult is 3 to 7 years. For animals in captivity, no exact life expectancy can be given.

Already as a nymph you can distinguish males from females. With each moult, the colours of the male fade more and more, while those of the female become darker. As with most spiders, the male is smaller than the female. After the male’s mature molt, the color appears greenish-beige.

The Blue Malaysia bird spider is a very fast spider and thanks to its long legs, it can also perform short jumps. It is considered a jumpy and nervous spider. When disturbed, it retreats into its den. If there is no possibility to retreat, she threatens by striking with her front legs. In the last instance, it defends itself with a bite.[1]

Protection

The Malaysia blue bird spider is not currently subject to any protection status.

Classification and taxonomy

The spider was first described in 1924 by H. C. Abraham under the name Lampropelma violaceopedes, but later corrected to the name Lampropelma violaceopes because specific names are not to be given in the plural under the International Rules of Zoological Nomenclature. The relationship to other Southeast Asian spiders is unclear. A. M. Smith and M. A. Jacobi suggested in a 2015 study that the females should be included in the genus Omothymus. The males, they said, should be misdescribed specimens of the species Cyriopagopus schioedtei. The World Spider Catalog subsequently also listed the spider under the name Omothymus violaceopes,[2] but originally noting that insufficient evidence existed to actually add the spider to the genus Omothymus. It was moved to the genus Omothymus in 2019 after a new review of its characteristics.[3]

Individual references

  1. Lampropelma violaceopes on vogelspinnen-info.de, retrieved 9 May 2017
  2. Andrew M. Smith & Michael A. Jacobi: Revision of the genus Phormingochilus with the description of three new species from Sulawesi and Sarawak and notes on the placement of the genera Cyriopagopus, Lampropelma and Omothymus. British Tarantula Society Journal 30, 3, pp. 25-48, 2015.
  3. R. Gabriel & D. Sherwood: The revised taxonomic placement of some arboreal Ornithoctoninae Pocock, 1895 with description of a new species of Omothymus Thorell, 1891 (Araneae: Theraphosidae). Arachnology 18, 2, pp. 137-147, 2019, doi:10.13156/arac.2018.18.2.137.

Literature

  • H. C. Abraham: Some mygalomorph spiders from the Malay Peninsula. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1924, pp. 1091-1124, 1924 (first description).
  • R. Gabriel & D. Sherwood: The revised taxonomic placement of some arboreal Ornithoctoninae Pocock, 1895 with description of a new species of Omothymus Thorell, 1891 (Araneae: Theraphosidae). Arachnology 18, 2, pp. 137-147, 2019, doi:10.13156/arac.2018.18.2.137.

Web links

Commons: Blue Malaysia bird spider(Omothymus violaceopes)– Collection of images, videos and audio files

Blue Malaysia bird spider in the World Spider Catalog