Submitted by Editor on Wed, 2016-05-25 20:14 Bengaluru: A rare and endangered spider has surfaced within the heart of Bengaluru, probably due to the pre-monsoon showers that lashed the city during the past week. The giant spider, which was discovered in 2004, is about seven inches long and was rescued from a street in Vinayakanagar, Adugodi, near Lalbagh by a student Mohammed Arafath of Al-Ameen PU College. This is the second time since 2008 that the insect has been found in this region. In May 2008, this species of spider was found in Burly Street. Earlier, some wildlife enthusiast found a dead spider belonging to the same species in Lalbagh. Arafath said he found the spider near a cemetery in Vinayakanagar. After rescuing it, Arafath brought the spider to his teacher Rahmath Ataaz. “When he brought it, the spider was in a bad shape as one of its legs was broken. It is recovering at the moment. We will release it back in Lalbagh,” said Dr Rahmath Ataaz, Professor, Al-Ameen College, who has set up a rescue centre to help wildlife found in urban areas. The spider, whose scientific name is poecilotheria hanumavilasumica, was discovered in 2004 by Andrew Smith in a sacred grove at the Hanumavilasum Temple in Rameshwaram. Also known as the Rameshwaram ornamental or Rameshwaram parachute spider, it consumes insects, small birds and rodents and is listed as a critically endangered species of tarantula by the International Union of Conservation Network (IUCN). “Initially it was considered to be endemic to Rameshwaram. However, the same species was found in other parts of India as well as in Northern Srilanka. The hairy structure and the size confirms it as one of the tarantula species and is generally believed to be venomous,” said Professor Ataaz adding that there. Ataaz said there were over “900 species of tarantula” with some of them being venomous. “Those that are not venomous end up as pets,” he added. He also said that the species found in Bengaluru might not be venomous. Interestingly, the insect found earlier in 2008 also had an Al-Ameen College connection as it was rescued by Professor Ataaz. And the spider was found from the same locality, around Lalbagh, on earlier occasions.