A remarkable electric blue tarantula species has recently been uncovered in Thailand, as reported by new research. Thai scientists made this significant discovery while on an expedition in the Phang-Nga province of southern Thailand, with the goal of studying the variety and distribution of tarantulas in the region. Narin Chomphuphuang, a researcher at Khon Kaen University’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, described the newfound species as having a captivating blue-violet shade, reminiscent of sparks of electric blue.

The revelation was detailed in a study published on September 18 in the research journal ZooKeys. The team, which included Thai wildlife YouTuber JoCho Sippawat, who was also a co-author, located the species in a mangrove forest. This team previously identified another unknown type of tarantula, named Taksinus bambus, dwelling in the hollow stems of bamboo plants in Thailand last year. To draw attention to the discovery and raise awareness and funds for the indigenous Lahu people of northern Thailand, they auctioned the naming rights of the new species. The chosen name, Chilobrachys natanicharum, is a tribute to two executives from the winning company. The tarantula’s vivid blue color is due to special nanostructures, not pigments in its hair. These nanostructures manipulate light, creating the striking blue shade. Blue is rare in nature because it’s difficult for objects to absorb and reflect specific wavelengths of light. This species has distinctive metallic-blue and violet hairs on different body parts. Its habitat in tree hollows makes it tricky to capture, often requiring researchers to climb trees. Despite its adaptability, the electric blue tarantula is incredibly rare due to shrinking mangrove forests caused by deforestation.