Millennium Post

Experts trying to identify new species of Tarantula that spread panic in West Midnapore, Bankura

Scientists in the Immunobiology and Regenerative Medicine Research Laboratory of the department of Zoology of Calcutta University are now busy trying to identify the new species of Tarantula spiders which were recently found in West Midnapore and Bankura.

Scientists said it would be an international news, if the variety was found to be a new one. Panic spread in Belda and Debra in West Midnapore and Missiondanga near Bishnupur in Bankura when some people received injuries along with swelling around their neck |and arm in May.

They were taken to hospitals where they were treated. For over a week, the people in the villages could not sleep at night fearing spider attacks. The spider is believed to be Tarantula. Professor Ena Roy Banerjee, head of the research team said there was nothing to panic. These spiders survive on birds, insects and small mammals. These spiders belong to the family of Theraphosidae. They are primitive group of hairy spiders. They can cause Urticaria, a kind of allergic reaction.

These spiders are found in the areas surrounding Eastern ghats and Western mountain ghats mountains and not in West Bengal. The scientists are trying to find out why they have come to the areas situated 
in areas close to Bengal- Odisha border.

They are also trying to find out whether any change in the eco system has taken place in the area that has driven the spiders to explore new habitat. The species that have been found are either reddish brown or blue black.

Once identified, the species will be included in the International bar Code of Life Project. The bar code of life data system is a database of every living organism that ever walked on the earth. Altogether 220 countries in the world take part in it.

The scientists said the spider looked similar to Pocilotheria Vittata which were found in areas close to Western ghats mountain. The venom of the spider would be extracted and sequenced. The scientists are hopeful of a major breakthrough in the world of the species.

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