Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A rare spider spotted at our lake!

We are delighted to tell you that a rare spider called Chrysilla volupe was recently spotted at the lake. The lucky (most observant?) photographer, Mr. Satishchandra Karanth, from the neighbourhood, is a regular visitor to the lake and literally spends hours peering through his lens. Read about how he came across this unique little spider, a serendipitous experience in itself which gave him a classic photograph as well! : 

While I was trying portrait shots of a garden lizard in our Puttenahalli lake bed last week this colourful rare spider popped up on its head!

Chrysilla volupe male on a garden lizard's head
(Pic: Satishchandra Karanth)

Chrysilla volupe female 
(Pic: Satishchandra Karanth)

Chrysilla volupe male
(Pic: Satishchandra Karanth)

This spider species was considered extinct for 150 years until it was found in Wayanad, Kerala in 2018!

Male spiders measure 5.44 millimeter long including stretched legs and 1.76 millimeter wide!

Females measure 2.61 millimeter long and 0.88 millimeter wide!

Males have a carapace in reddish orange color with two iridescent blue stripes. Legs have iridescent scales that make them appear golden and purple shades. Females have greyish carapace with grey eyebrows with all legs yellow in color. The female was described 139 years after the species was first described by Karsch in 1879. Until 2018, only males had been identified and described, based on the male type specimen described by Karsch.

More strength to Mr. Karanth and all the naturalists who are helping us map the biodiversity at our little Puttenahalli lake!

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