How to Request Species or Sex Identification

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Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Mar 7, 2012
Requests to identify (or confirm) a tarantula's species, variation, or sex must be posted to the appropriate gallery. (Otherwise, our forum would be overwhelmed with these threads.)

Where to Submit Images

Below are the galleries to which these requests should be submitted:

How to Submit Images
  1. Click the link to the relevant gallery.
  2. Click "Add Media" (near the upper-right corner).
  3. Select "Upload an image from your files" (should be selected by default).
  4. Click "Upload Image."
  5. Select the image file on your computer or phone.
  6. Add a title and description.
  7. When submitting photos for sexing, please include the scientific name of the species and the size (diagonal leg span) of the molt or tarantula.
  8. When submitting photos for identification, please include any information you have, such as any scientific or common names the seller provided or the geographic location where you found it (if wild-caught).
  9. Click "Save Media."

Linking Multiple Images of the Same Tarantula

If you have multiple images of the same tarantula, the best way to handle that is post a comment on your first image with thumbnail links to the additional images.

How to embed images in comments (I recommend using the thumbnail option):
  1. Open the image (in Arachnoboards) that you want to embed.
  2. Copy the code in "Share BB (With Thumbnail) Code" or "Share BB GALLERY Code." (Both of these options allow the user to click the image for a link to the source.)
  3. Paste the code where you want the image to be in your comment.

"Copy URL BB code with thumbnail" results in a square preview with a link to the original:

"Copy GALLERY BB code" results in a larger preview with a link to the original:

How to Take Good Photos for Sexing

When attempting to sex a tarantula, you want to focus on the area between the first pair of book lungs (the pair closer to the head).

However, it is far more accurate to sex a tarantula by examining the exuviae. Tips for getting a good image for molt sexing:
  1. Cut the abdomen off of the rest of the molt
  2. Cut off the bottom of the abdomen below the second pair of book lungs. (This is especially helpful for small exuviae. Otherwise, it has a tendency to fold in on itself.)
  3. If the molt is too dry to unfold, prepare a dish of water with a drop of dish soap to reduce surface tension. (Otherwise, the light molt floats on top without absorbing much moisture.)
  4. Place the molt in the dish. Let it soak for up to five minutes (until it becomes pliable).
  5. After removing the molt from the water and positioning it for photographing, let it dry for a few minutes. (When the molt is wet, reflections on the water can obscure critical details.)
  6. Photograph the inside of the abdomen, focusing on the area between the first pair of book lungs. Sometimes it helps to backlight the molt.

On intact exuviae, the ventral side of the abdomen is usually still attached to the sternum (the underside of the first segment of the tarantula's body):

where to focus the camera:

zoomed in

Often, the spermathecae and uterus externus will dry flat against the rest of the molt, which can make photographing them difficult. If you moisten this area and use a piece of cardboard to gently lift the spermathecae and uterus externus so that they stand more perpendicular relative to the rest of the molt, it can make them stand out more in photographs.

Sometimes with small, delicate molts, instead of removing the molt from the water before taking photos, I spread out the molt in the water and taking the photo while it's in the water. It's a lot easier to spread the molt in water (it tends to fold on itself when you remove it), and the water acts as a diffuser of light.

Photos I took using the water method:

You may find this video by @z32upgrader helpful: that is where I got the tips on adding a drop of dish liquid and cutting away the parts you don't need. It also shows what area to focus on when taking photos.

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