The Caribena versicolor is native to the island of Martinique, one of the Caribbean islands.
These spiders thrive in a tropical climate all year round, living in the lush forests and banana plantations, creating its heavily webbed home in the crooks and hollows of trees.
As you see in this photo, spiders start as a stunningly-blue sling and morph into a supa fuzzy, multi-colored adult.
The C. versicolor has been one of my favorite spiders to watch grow up, as it is absolutely beautiful and colorful in every stage of its life.
Blue is a very prominent color on earth. But when it comes to nature, it is very rare. Blue is actually one of the rarest of colors in nature.
Unlike the pigments that make plant leaves green and cute flamingos pink, even the few animals and plants that “appear” blue don’t actually contain the color. Part of the reason is that there isn’t really a true blue color or pigment in nature and both plants and animals have to perform tricks of the light to appear blue, so these incredible organisms developed features that use the physics of light!
These light-reflecting arrays are also responsible for the stunning and shimmery colors of beetles, butterfly wings, and bird feathers. The colors they reflect depend on the alignment and spacing between individual crystals.
To get even more fancy, the crystalline array acts like a mirror that reflects only a particular wavelength of incoming light….. then there’s BLUE!
In some tarantulas, that wavelength happens to be the same shade of blue.
Blue coloration known in tarantulas, has evolved independently at least eight times and these spiders just don’t all create the blue color in the same way… the color isn’t simply hitching a ride with a different trait that offers the spiders an advantage.
These tarantula’s perfectly and precisely arranged nanocrystals that give that blue look definitely have a major function, and it’s very specific why they need this color.
Researchers just just don’t know what that function is yet 🤷🏻‍♀️
Forever impressed and in love with all the animals on our planet.
Photographed: a past younger Caribena versicolor sling sitting on top of my thumb💙 only edit to the photo is light sharpening taken in natural window lighting.