Glossary: Tarantula-keeping terminology

ShadowBlade

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Booklung - Unique lungs of spiders and some of their relatives. Hemolymph flows through folds in the cuticle, (they look like pages in a book), where
oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged with air. This is called diffusion.

Cephalothorax - Prosoma, or head. Location of brain, mouth, etc..

Chelicera (pl. chelicerae) - Tarantulas' jaws (and many other arachnids as well). Used to hold and help masticate prey for consumption. Basal segments of the fangs.

Coxa - Basal segment of spider's leg.

Cuticle - The tarantula's exoskeleton. Has 4 layers, (inside-to-out) epidermis, mesocuticle, exocuticle, and epicuticle.

Cymbium - An organ used in transferring sperm to the female. Located on the end of the male's palpal tarsus.

Dyskinetic Syndrome - A debilitating and eventually fatal disease that effects tarantulas in the hobby, though rarely. More info here.

Embolus - The end of the male's cymbium. Where the opening of the spermophore is located.

Epiandrous glands - Special spinnerets of males, used in construction of sperm webs. These can be found and used in ventrally sexing even immature males.

Epigrastic furrow - Opening of the genitals for both sexes. Located ventrally on the abdomen between the two forward booklungs.

Epigynal plate - The 'plate' from the epigrastic furrow forward to the pedicel.

Exuvium (pl. exuvia) - The shed skin or exoskeleton.

Femur - Spider's third of seven leg segments.

GBB - Acronym for 'Green Bottle Blue'. Common name of the species Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens.

Hemolymph - Tarantula's 'blood'.

Instar - US terminology for stages of growth.

Maxillae - Sharp, rough plates located on the pedipalps, used in helping crush prey.

Metatarsus - Spider's sixth of seven leg segments.

Molt - (v.) Shedding of exoskeleton. (n.) The process of shedding exoskeleton, or the shed skin itself.

NW - Acronym for 'New World'. Species originating from North America and South America are 'New World tarantulas'.

OBT - Acronym for 'Orange Baboon Tarantula', or jokingly 'Orange Bitey Thing'. Common names of the species Pterinochilus murinus.

Opisthosoma - The abdomen. Location of heart, booklungs, etc..

OW - Acronym for 'Old World'. Species originating from Africa, Asia, and Australia are 'Old World tarantulas'.

Palpal bulbs - The male's secondary reproductive organs. The entire cymbium structure.

Patella - Tarantula's fourth of seven leg segments.

Pedicel - The 'waist'. Connects the opisthoma (abdomen) to cephalothorax (head).

Pedipalps - The second pair of appendages attached to the head. Only have 6 segments, as opposed to the 7 of their other legs. In mature males, the tarsal segments are modified into secondary sexual organs.

Pokie - Short for 'Poecilotheria'.

Post-embryo - US term for the stage of development in eggs when the spider's head and legs grow out of the egg. 1st instar is after molt.

Prosoma - Cephalothorax or 'head'.

RCF - Acronym for 'Red Color Form'. A label for certain color variations of some species, such as G. rosea.

Scopula (pl. scopulae) - Dense patches of short setae located underneath the tarsus and part of the metatarsus.

Seta (pl. setae) - The tarantula's 'hairs'. Grown from the epidermis, all through the exoskeleton, covering most of the tarantula's body.

Sexual dimorphism - Characteristic differences in appearance, (color, size, etc..) specific to one gender or another of same species.

Sling - Short for 'spiderling'.

Spermathecae - The organ located internally in females for storing sperm after mating till the eggs are fertilized while being laid. One of the most helpful things to look for when sexing molts.

Spermophore - A short tube, located inside the palpal bulbs in mature males, used in transfering the sperm during mating.

Sperm web - Special web made by mature males to aid in filling the spermophores on their palps.

Spinneret - Specialized funnel-shaped organs located on the rear of the abdomen. Used in secreting silk.

Sternum - The plate located underneath the prosoma.

Stridulate - Rubbing of unique organs to create sounds. Some tarantulas posess stridulatory hairs used to make 'hissing' sounds to deter predators. Sounds like velcro.

Subadult - Unofficially the stage of growth before maturity, in otherwords the penultimate stage.

Tarsus (pl. tarsi) - Tarantula's seventh leg segment.

Tibia (pl. tibiae) - Tarantula's fifth of seven leg segments.

Tibial apophysis - The 'hooks' posessed by mature males of most species. Normally located on only the tibia (there are exceptions). Used in mating.

Theraphosid - A member of the family 'Theraphosidae'. A 'more scientific' term for tarantula.

Trochanter - Tarantula's second of seven leg segments.

Urticating setae - Small 'hairs' with curved barbs usually located on the abdomen (there are exceptions). Some species kick these off to deter predators, some line webbing with them.. Possessed by most new world tarantulas.

Ventral - Underside

Also, the 'serial numbers' X.X.X. are used to represent numbers of a species in someones collection, or a dealer's list. The first number represents the number of males, the second, females, and the third, unsexed. (Example - 2.2.1 Brachypelma smithi - means, 2 males 2 females, and one unsexed)

-Sean
 

RainyStorm

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Can you also include pronunciations of the words, sorry total noob here. I've studied up some for the past year and only bought my first T a few days ago, so I'd like to understand everything. Thanks. :)
 

lostbrane

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Well, it’s been ~11.5 years since this was posted so I don’t think you’ll be getting pronounciations from this user.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Can you also include pronunciations of the words, sorry total noob here. I've studied up some for the past year and only bought my first T a few days ago, so I'd like to understand everything. Thanks. :)
They are all pronounced as they look for the most part. One aspect of pronouncing anatomical terms is that 'ae' is pronounced 'ee' as in 'tree' and is plural. For example, "setae" would be pronounced "set-ee" and means "many seta." The 'ch' is pronounced with a hard 'k' sound as in 'cat.' So "trochanter" would be pronounced something like troe-cant-er or trah-can-ter. I intentionally didn't put in any designation for what syllable the emphasis belongs to because I don't really know. :)

The term "pokie" is funny though because the 'oe' in latin is pronounced with an 'ee' sound (as in "tree") like the 'ae' so the term doesn't make sense. Poecilotheria would actually be pronounced more like pee-see-loe-THERE-ee-ah or PEEK-uh-loe-there-ee-uh. In Latin the 'c' will have a hard 'k' sound as in "kite" making the latter pronunciation more correct. So a more correct abbreviated vernacular term should be "peeky". :rofl:

Also, some of these definitions are wrong or could be made clearer. Perhaps a version 2 is in order.
 
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Feral

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Have the anatomical terms/definitions in this been verified? Some of them seem... um, suspect.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Have the anatomical terms/definitions in this been verified? Some of them seem... um, suspect.
The majority of the definitions are either not accurate or could be defined more clearly. Feel free to take on the task of making a better list in this thread if you want. ;)
 

Arthroverts

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Yes, this list could stand with an update. A lot of new acronyms and terminology out there. I may start putting one together if I have time.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

DanJ

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Has a new list been made - if it has can somebody post a link please? I'm sure I seen it a couple of weeks ago but cant find it anywhere.
 

aprilmayjunebugs

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The majority of the definitions are either not accurate or could be defined more clearly. Feel free to take on the task of making a better list in this thread if you want. ;)
I could have sworn I had seen somewhere that @Feral was working on that. I haven't seen anything from Feral in many weeks it seems.
 

Feral

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I had life stuff, and I needed to take a break from here. Hopefully I'm back now maybe. I hope. Maybe.

I haven't forgotten, and I do have quite a sizable chunk of the glossary done already, about 60 definitions already completed. Tonight I'm alphabetizing. (Because I'm dumb and didn't alphabetize from the start.)
I promise I'm trying.

But yeahno, I haven't forgotten. I apologize for it taking so long, that is all my fault and I am sorry for it.
 

aprilmayjunebugs

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Do NOT apologize for having life stuff! We all have to take a step back once in a while. Totally didn't mean to make you feel at fault for anything, I just noticed I hadn't seen your valuable input for a little while that's all. Take care of what matters most, yourself, but good to see you back!
 

karaweb

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I have been seeing a lot of questions about wanting descriptions of common terms phrases, or acronyms and haven't seen very many options for beginners to find them all in one place. With being stuck in the house and all, I had the time to compile a list of terms and phrases I've seen the most questions about. I am by no means an expert, I just love Tarantulas and enjoy learning about them. To the best of my knowledge these are correct, however if something is incorrect, or you have a better definition for these things, please reply and correct me. If you have something you think should be added reply and share the knowledge. Lets learn together! :)

Arachnologist - A person who specializes in the study of spiders and other arachnids.

Arboreal – Species that are adapted for living in trees.

BCF – Blue color form

Bolus – Remaining tissue of prey items and silk after a feeding.

Booklung – The set of four lungs located on the underside of the tarantula’s abdomen that are the openings to the Tarantulas respiratory system.

CB – Captive Bred

Central Apodeme – The indentation located on the carapace.

Cephalothorax – Prosoma, or the anterior end of the tarantula location of legs, carapace, mouth parts, ect

Chelicera - Basal segments of the fangs, used to manipulate prey.

Coxa - Basal segment of the leg connecting it to the body.

Death Curl- The position a tarantula gets into when it is in the process of dying, curling its legs under itself towards its sternum, sometimes flipping over.

Dehydration /(Desiccation / Estivation) - Medical condition resulting in negative fluid balance where the body loses more fluid than it takes in.

DLS – ‘Diagonal Leg Span’ method of measuring tarantulas size by measuring from the tip of the first leg to the tip of the fourth leg on the opposite side.

Dorsal – Top side

Epigrastic Furrow - The opening between the set of book lungs closest to the cephalothorax.

Epigynum – An external genital structure of a female spider consisting of a variably-shaped, hardened plate on the underside of the abdomen with typically one or two openings through which sperm is transferred from a male palpus

EWL - Eggs With Legs

Exuvium - The shed skin or exoskeleton.

Femur – The third leg segment.

Fossorial - Species that are adapted for digging and living underground.

Hemolymph – The blood of the tarantula.

ICU – (Intensive care unit) This is a method of tarantula first aid to keep a close eye on your tarantula and provide a safe controlled environment for you to administer necessary treatment. This is when the tarantula is placed in a small container with a few ventilation holes, lined with dampened paper towels, and a shallow water source. This is used for emergency rehydration. This has the potential to be harmful, as it is a perfect environment for bacteria to flourish and may be uncomfortable for the tarantula.

Impaction – This is when a blockage forms on the tarantulas anus resulting in the it not being able to defecate.

Instar – The period of time after each molt.

Interstitial fluid - The fluid found between cells in the body.

LS - Leg Span

Maxillae –Or the tarantulas teeth, are sharp, rough plates located on the underside of the chelicerae.

Metatarsus - Sixth leg segment.

Molt – (Ecdysis) The exoskeleton of the tarantula. Also what the process of shedding the exoskeleton is called.

Molt Mat – A layer of silk placed down by the tarantula in preparation for a molt.

Nematode – These are parasitic non- segmented microscopic worms found in soil that enter the tarantula through the anus or book lungs, transmitting lethal bacteria and cause irreversible damage to internal structures and organs.

N.E.T - Never Enough Tarantulas

NW - 'New World'. Tarantulas originating from North America and South America are all considered 'New World tarantulas'.

Open Circulatory System - Describes a system where blood (hemolymph) and interstitial fluid are allowed to mix in an organism.

Ocular Tubercle – Part of the carapace where the eyes are located.

Opisthosoma - The abdomen, or posterior end of the tarantula, location of heart, booklungs, silk glands etc

OW - 'Old World'. Species originating from any continent other than the Americas are all considered ‘Old World tarantulas'.

Palpal bulbs - The male's secondary reproductive organs, located at the end of the pedipalps.

Patella – Fourth leg segment.

Pedicel - Connects the opisthosoma (abdomen) to cephalothorax (prosoma) and contains the tissues that connect the tarantulas respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems to both sides of its body.

Pedipalps - The second pair of appendages after the chelicerae used for manipulating prey items. They have 6 segments, as opposed to the 7 on the legs. In mature males, the tarsal segments are modified into secondary sexual organs (papal bulbs).

Post-embryo - (EWL) The stage of development in eggs when the spider's head and legs grow out of the egg.

Prosoma - Cephalothorax or anterior end of the spider consisting of everything before the Pedicel.

RCF - 'Red Color Form'.

Scopulae - (scopula pads or claw tufts) dense tufts of hair at the end of a tarantulas tarsus.

Setae - The tarantula's hairs.

Sexual dimorphism - Differences in appearance, specific to each sex of the same species.

Sling - Short for 'spiderling'.

Spermathecae - The female sex organ, (referred to as a “flap” when sexing tarantulas) located at the base of the sperm receptical holds the sperm in place for fertilizing the eggs released from the ovaries.

Sperm web – A web made by mature males to expel sperm prior to loading the papal bulbs with the sperm.

Spinneret - Specialized funnel-shaped organs located on the rear of the abdomen for secreting silk.

Sternum - The plate located on the dorsal side the prosoma.

Stress curl – the position a tarantula gets in when it is stressed or scared, curling its front legs over its head.

Stridulate – Rubbing together of the hairs on the hind legs to create sound.

Sub Adult - The stage of growth before maturity

Tag – When a tarantula bites something or someone

Tarsus - Seventh leg segment.

Terrestrial – Species that are adapted for living on the ground.

Threat posture – This is defensive posture where the tarantula lifts its front legs over its head to show its fangs. A few NW species will raise abdomen to appear larger. This is meant to warn predators that their next move is too bite or to kick hairs.

Tibia - Fifth leg segment.

Tibial hooks – Hooks located on the tibia of males, used to help hold female in place while mating. Not found on all species.

Trochanter - Second leg segment.

Urticating hairs – small barbed hairs on the tarantulas body that can be kicked off as a defense mechanism, these hairs embed themselves into the skin, eyes, nose and mouth of whatever the tarantula kicks them towards and can cause itching, burning, swelling, redness, and in more serious allergic reactions anaphylactic shock.

Van Der Waals Interaction – ( Van Der Waals Force) Is a distance-dependent interaction between atoms or molecules, occurs between a smooth surface and the setae found on the tarantulas paws. This is what allows tarantulas to walk on smooth surfaces.

Ventral – Underside

WC – Wild Caught

Wet Molt –What it is called when a layer of hemolymph is found between the exoskeleton being molted and the new exoskeleton underneath. The Tarantulas new skin will appear wet, thin and weak after the molt.
 
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Poonjab

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This is really informative. But you forgot the most important of all. N.E.T!
Never enough tarantulas.
 

karaweb

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Oh my, what an embarrassing oversight! I'll correct the situation immediately!
 

PidderPeets

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Very, VERY, helpful! Awesome work! Though there a few things that could use some corrections or elaboration.

ICU – (Intensive care unit) This is a method of tarantula first aid to keep a close eye on your tarantula and provide a safe controlled environment for you to administer necessary treatment. This is when the tarantula is placed in a small container with a few ventilation holes, lined with dampened paper towels, and a shallow water source. This is used for emergency rehydration, or to soften a bad molt. This can be used for a few hours or a few days depending on the severity of the situation. If hemolymph is leaking, paper towels should be changed daily.
An ICU is not generally recommended (especially for more than a couple hours at most), and can often do FAR more harm than good. It is widely recognized as an outdated "cure-all" that doesn't actually solve many, if any, issues at all. This would not be used for a bad molt or leaking hemolymph/injury. Severe dehydration would be the only real scenario to use one. And even then, it is far from the best solution.

The reason an ICU is not recommended is because it is actually a very suitable environment for bacteria to flourish and often very uncomfortable for the tarantula. People often report that the tarantula seems to improve and have a lot more energy after a few hours in an ICU, but in reality I highly suspect that's because the tarantula is expending what small reserves of energy it has left trying to escape an environment it instinctually knows is dangerous.

Post-embryo - The stage of development in eggs when the spider's head and legs grow out of the egg.
I would add that this stage is also referred to as EWLs (Eggs With Legs)

Setae - The tarantula's urticating hairs.
Tarantulas are covered in setae, but not all of it is urticating. The urticating setae is only found on the abdomen of certain NW species.

Sexual dimorphism - Differences in appearance, specific to each gender of the same species.
This is just me being nitpicky, but it should be "sex", not "gender". Sex is what an animal is biologically, gender is what it identifies as. Tarantulas do not have gender.

Threat posture – This is defensive posture where the tarantula lifts its front legs over its head to show its fangs. This is meant to warn predators that their next move is to bite.
Certain NW species will instead raise their abdomens as a threat posture, as a threat to kick hairs or just to appear bigger. Not many do, but it is worth noting that a few species will.

Tibial hooks – Hooks located on the tibia of males, used to help hold female in place while mating.
Worth noting that not every species has hooks.


Otherwise, you did a very good job and I commend you for using your time to help educate!
 

karaweb

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Very, VERY, helpful! Awesome work! Though there a few things that could use some corrections or elaboration.



An ICU is not generally recommended (especially for more than a couple hours at most), and can often do FAR more harm than good. It is widely recognized as an outdated "cure-all" that doesn't actually solve many, if any, issues at all. This would not be used for a bad molt or leaking hemolymph/injury. Severe dehydration would be the only real scenario to use one. And even then, it is far from the best solution.

The reason an ICU is not recommended is because it is actually a very suitable environment for bacteria to flourish and often very uncomfortable for the tarantula. People often report that the tarantula seems to improve and have a lot more energy after a few hours in an ICU, but in reality I highly suspect that's because the tarantula is expending what small reserves of energy it has left trying to escape an environment it instinctually knows is dangerous.



I would add that this stage is also referred to as EWLs (Eggs With Legs)



Tarantulas are covered in setae, but not all of it is urticating. The urticating setae is only found on the abdomen of certain NW species.



This is just me being nitpicky, but it should be "sex", not "gender". Sex is what an animal is biologically, gender is what it identifies as. Tarantulas do not have gender.



Certain NW species will instead raise their abdomens as a threat posture, as a threat to kick hairs or just to appear bigger. Not many do, but it is worth noting that a few species will.



Worth noting that not every species has hooks.


Otherwise, you did a very good job and I commend you for using your time to help educate!
Thank you! Working on updating the list now!! :)
 
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