Haploclastus Nilgirinus

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Recently, researchers opinioned that the Haploclastus nilgirinus a species of tarantula could be under threat from habitat loss and climate change.

About Haploclastus Nilgirinus:

  • It is an elusive Nilgiri large burrowing spider and a venomous species of tarantula.
  • It is endemic to the Nilgiris hills of Western Ghats.
  • It shows sexual dimorphism, the males are much smaller than the females.
  • Threats: It is threatened by the illegal trade in wildlife as well as by climate change,


What is a Tarantula? 

  • Tarantulas are a type of large, hairy spider belonging to the family Theraphosidae.
  • There are over 900 species of tarantulas found all over the world, except for Antarctica.
  • They move slowly on their eight hairy legs, but they are accomplished nocturnal predators.
  • Adult tarantulas average five inches (13 centimeters) long. When spread out, their leg span is up to 11 inches (28 centimeters).


Key facts about Nilgiri Hills

  • These hills are part of the Western Ghat mountain range and run across the Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
  • The peaks of the Nilgiri rise abruptly from the surrounding plains to an elevation of about 6,000–8,000 feet one of them, Doda Betta (8,652 feet ) is the highest point in Tamil Nadu.
  • The hills are separated from the Karnataka Plateau (north) by the Noyar River and from the Annamalai and Palni hills (south) by the Palghat Gap.
  • They are considerably cooler and wetter than the surrounding plains, the upper hills forming undulating grassy downs. 


Q1) What is the significance of Palghat Gap?

The Palghat Gap, also known as the Palakkad Gap or Palghat Pass, is a low-lying natural mountain pass in the Western Ghats of India. It serves as a crucial geographic corridor that connects the southern part of the Indian state of Kerala with the Coimbatore district of the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu.

Source: Tarantula endemic to the Nilgiris could be under threat from habitat loss, climate change: Researchers