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Glossary: Tarantula-keeping terminology

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by ShadowBlade, May 14, 2007.

  1. ShadowBlade

    ShadowBlade Planeswalker Old Timer

    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)

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  2. RainyStorm

    RainyStorm Arachnopeon

    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. :)
  3. lostbrane

    lostbrane Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

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

    RainyStorm Arachnopeon

    Hehe, sorry...just thought anyone could. :p
  5. AphonopelmaTX

    AphonopelmaTX Moderator Staff Member

    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". :hilarious:

    Also, some of these definitions are wrong or could be made clearer. Perhaps a version 2 is in order.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  6. RainyStorm

    RainyStorm Arachnopeon

    Oh thanks, that helps a lot. :)

    MARC NORMAN Arachnopeon Active Member

    Usa NC
    Thanks, this is great!