A new genus of tarantula has been found by entomologists in the mountains of Colombia. This tarantula has been named Kankuamo marquezi after the Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This new genus is not just another boring spider, as it possesses a few features never before seen in the tarantula world.
Perhaps the most astonishing feature of this recently discovered genus of tarantula would be its unique urticating hairs. Tarantulas use the hairs on their body to defend themselves during attack. Tarantulas will kick their barbed hairs at their enemies. The marquezi, however, does not kick its hairs at the enemy. Instead it uses its hairs for direct contact fighting.
No other tarantula has ever been found that uses its urticating hairs the way this new genus uses them. This recently undiscovered function for tarantula hairs indicates that scientists still have much to learn about spiders in South America, and there are likely many more waiting to be discovered since South America is the country with the most abundant spider population.
Are some tarantulas hairless? And if so, would hairless tarantulas be at a disadvantage during a fight with a tarantula that did possess urticating hairs?