The mystery of Trentullas’ brilliant color schemes can finally be solved


Tarantulas do not come only in brown and black. These large, hairy spiders can display amazing colors of blue, green, purple and red.

Yet tarantules are most active in twilight, meaning they are ‘crepuscular’ animals – where vibrant colors are quite hard to see (at least for us). Until now, researchers did not know if they could see their brilliant color patterns even in the evening blur.

Now, however, a new study suggests that the tarantula can see the colors as well as the brothers searching for their day, and even suggest actions for the two hues in the tarantula color wheel Are – green and blue.

If you think about your own vision in the dark, the colors appear far less distinct, and our eyes may struggle to tell a hue from each other.

But some animals, such as brown, moths and bats, have strong color vision even in total darkness.

In the new study, the team analyzed photographs of 37 genera of tarantula from around the world, and measured the spectrum of colors, noted specific behavioral traits, as well as their evolutionary history.

Although we do not yet know how well these organisms observe these colors in the dark of night, the researchers found that tarantulas contain many types of opsin genes – which produce opsin proteins, which produce photoreceptor cells. Are found in, and which help to give color to animals.

The team explained in a new paper, “Despite their crepuscular tendency, tarantulas express considerable diversity of the opsin gene – a notion that contradicts the current consensus that tarantulas have poor color vision based on low opinin diversity . ”

They found that most tarantulas have a full complement of spiders that are found in spiders during the day, such as the colorful dancing peacocks.

Researchers also investigated whether some spideri behavior may be related to the specific blue and green colors that tarantula wear. In particular, they investigated ejaculation (rubbing their mouthpieces together to make a noise to drive away predators), isticating bristles (the hair that the tarantula itself could shoot as a weapon), and Occurring (living in trees).

While this may seem like a leap, stratification and urtication were investigated because if there are blue or green colors that tell predators to ‘stay away’, then it was hypothesized that spiders are also without them Will be able to defend themselves. colour’s.

They could not find a connection between ejaculation and urticating bristles and either the blue or green color, but they found that green helps spiders avoid being seen – called crappies.

“The development of green growth depends on the presence of interest, suggesting that it probably originates and functions in cryopsis through substrate matching between leaves,” the team writes.

But this idea does not work so well with the shiny metallic-blue tarantula.

Although researchers could not find any relationship between stridulation, bristles, or arborealism, they still have a hypothesis.

Carnegie Mellon University biologist Cyrus Foley explains, “While the exact function of opacity remains unclear,” our results suggest that tarantulas may be able to visualize these blue displays, so mate choice is a possible potential explanation. ”

Tarantulas can see the color that this idea is not only exciting for this team of researchers.

The team showed that the tarantula is evolutionarily lost more often than it has evolved in species, while the green color has evolved only a few times, but once it sticks around.

“I am thrilled,” said evolutionary biologist Nathan Morehouse of the University of Cincinnati, who was not involved in the research new York Times.

“This makes Tarantulas a very exciting group to think about.”

The research has been published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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