Poecilotheria rufilata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Arachnida Araneae Theraphosidae

Scientific Name: Poecilotheria rufilata Pocock, 1899
Common Name(s):
English Reddish Parachute Spider, Red Slate Ornamental, Rufus Parachute Spider, Travancore Slate-red
Taxonomic Notes:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Siliwal, M., Molur, S. & Daniel, B.A.
Reviewer(s): Spector, S. & Mason, T. (Terrestrial Invertebrates Red List Authority)
The species is restricted to fewer than five fragmented locations in the southern Western Ghats. The species suffers from the threats of habitat degradation and loss due to continuous cutting of old trees for timber and collection of minor forest produce. In Kerala, the locals kill the wandering males that venture into homes and/or found on trees out of fear. The population is also threatened since there is pressure from pet traders in smuggling this species out of the country into Europe and America. This spider can be found on various pet websites. It is categorized as EN because of its restricted range (less than 5,000 km²), and because it is found in less than five fragmented locations and is threatened with continuing decline in area and habitat quality.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to the southern Western Ghats, this species is found in the Trivandrum area in the south at an altitude of less than 500 m. The extent of occurrence encompassing known and inferred distribution is less than 5,000 km², while the area of occupancy is less than 2,000 km². In Kerala: Trivandrum (Pocock 1899, 1900), Ponmudi, Kallar, Peppara Dam (Smith and Kirk 2001); in Tamil Nadu: Agastyavanam Reserve (Smith and Kirk 2001).
Countries occurrence:
India (Kerala, Tamil Nadu)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:0-2000
Upper elevation limit (metres):500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population information is not available. The species shows more of the same trends in patch distribution like other species of the genera. Only six subpopulations have been reported from six locations.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species was found in a degraded moist deciduous and evergreen forest. It has been reported from teak plantations and sometimes enters human settlements. Nothing is known of its breeding biology.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Major threats are habitat loss, degradation and pet trade. As the species is highly restricted to the Western Ghats, if the habitat loss continues then it is likely that this species could go extinct. Pet traders collect this spider from forested areas near Trivandrum.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is reported from in and around Agastyavanam Reserve. It is assumed that it occurs in reserve forest and private plantation near Trivandrum. Captive breeding is not very successful without continuous influx of wild individuals and thus pet trade will continue (Capannini 2003, Ezendam 2003). Therefore, the species requires protection at the national level by being included in the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act. It is also important that this species and all other Poecilotheria species from India and Sri Lanka are included under the CITES Appendix II to safeguard them from trade.

Citation: Siliwal, M., Molur, S. & Daniel, B.A. 2008. Poecilotheria rufilata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T63567A12683035. . Downloaded on 25 September 2018.
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