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New Tarantula Species Discovered in South America

Update Date: May 07, 2014 11:44 PM EDT

South American scientists have discovered three new tarantula species, according to a new study.
Scientists discovered three new species of tarantulas in northern Argentina. Tarantulas, very large and very hairy spiders known as vicious and efficient killers, can live between 15 to 30 years.
Researchers found that the three new species belong subfamily Theraphosinae, which belong exclusively in the New World, whose greatest diversity is found in South America.
Researchers said the three new species are native to northern Argentina, the place that inspired their names.
For instance, Melloleitaoina mutquina, derived from the specific epithet mutquina, a noun, which means place or thing to smell in Quichua language. Researcher said that this name refer to the locality of Mutquín, where this species is distributed and represents the smell of flowers that emits the region that comes out after rain.
In another example, M. uru was inspired by an ancient legend Quichua from northern Argentina. The story was about the Inca princess Uru, who because of her whims and bad ruling skills was turned into a spider by the gods, and forced to endlessly work by weaving. The third new species M. yupanqui was named after the most important Argentine musician of folklore Atahualpa Yupanqui, a pseudonym of Héctor Roberto Chavero Aramburu.
The latest findings are published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

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