Differentiating Hysterocrates species

arthurliuyz

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Over the years I've seen a lot of sellers listing species as H. hercules for sale. Originally, I did not believe it was actually the H hercules because I've heard that they were never in the hobby. However, I found that a very reputable importer/ breeder also has H hercules for sale and is specifically said :The REAL H hercules. So I'm now having doubts. My plan is to get one and see for myself since they're not overly expensive. Are there any ways to differentiate the H hercules from gigas, crassipes and other Hysterocrates species so when I get it I can check what species it actually is? Thanks in advance.
 
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Jonathan6303

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arthurliuyz

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Thanks. That's very helpful. :happy:
 

The Grym Reaper

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They're not in the hobby as far as I'm aware, there's some dude from the UK that claims the random tarantulas he found in a plant shipment of unknown origin are "the real hercules" (and was trying to sell them for £1000 each) but this has already been dismissed by several prominent figures in the UK hobby, and he refuses to send any specimens to Richard Gallon to confirm whether or not they actually are H. hercules.
 

arthurliuyz

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there's some dude from the UK that claims the random tarantulas he found in a plant shipment of unknown origin are "the real hercules" (and was trying to sell them for £1000 each) but this has already been dismissed by several prominent figures in the UK hobby, and he refuses to send any specimens to Richard Gallon to confirm whether or not they actually are H. hercules.
You mean this?
That's the owner of the thread @Jonathan6303 linked. I have yet to read the entire thread but his research does seems pretty decent. :pompous:

They're not in the hobby as far as I'm aware
My plan is to just get one from the seller and go from there. (Unlikely but) maybe they could be the real hercules. If not, I'm happy with getting any Hysterocrates.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Are there any ways to differentiate the H hercules from gigas, crassipes and other Hysterocrates species so when I get it I can check what species it actually is? Thanks in advance.
Not really. There are only two published descriptions of Hysterocrates hercules, which only a single female is described, and neither do a good job at providing a clear diagnosis of it. The two descriptions are the original description by Reginald Pocock in 1899 and another description by Andrew Smith published in 1990 from the original specimen Pocock looked at located in the British Museum. Pocock's description states that leg 4 is in no way thickened and a bit longer in length to leg 1. He also gives a description of the thickness of various leg segments compared to each other as well as measurements of leg 1, 4, and the carapace length and width which can be used to estimate a diagonal leg span of 8 inches.

However, between the two publications it becomes apparent that H. hercules is not the only species of the genus Hysterocrates with a leg 4 not thickened and a length slightly longer than leg 1 so that can't be used to identify H. hercules. Also, since only a single female was used for the description, there is no way to determine if H. hercules really is the largest species in the genus. Maybe the one female specimen was just unusually large while the typical size is smaller. H. crassipes and H. gigas can be distinguished from H. hercules because those two species have thickened leg 4 compared to leg 1, but the available descriptions of those two species can't be used to tell them apart from each other.

Considering the lack of clear diagnoses of Hysterocrates species, it is best to steer clear of anyone claiming to have "the real H. hercules." If you find them at a low cost it may be worth buying some up just to have, but with the understanding that there is no way to prove or disprove they are what the seller says they are.
 
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