A photo of a rare, bright blue tarantula has been seen circulating online. Is this blue metallic creature real or fake?
Upon first glance of this brilliantly-colored spider, one may thing it might be another example of a Photoshop contest, such as the popular (and fake) golden snake photo. This blue spider, however, turns out to be absolutely real. Poecilotheria metallica is a species of tarantula native to a small area of India and Sri Lanka. Known commonly as the Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tree Spider, this name comes from the city Gooty, India in which a specimen was discovered.
This tarantula should not be confused with the more common Cobalt Blue Tarantula.
Poecilotheria metallica was first discovered in 1899, and “rediscovered” in 2001 in an area between Nandyal and Giddalur. It is now listed as Critically Endangered and only found in a single area of less than 100 square kilometers.
Below are some great photos of the Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tree Spider:
Due to their color and rarity, this creature is a highly coveted species by tarantula traders, selling for a premium of several hundred dollars or more.