Over-estimating size of largest species.

Nhanduchromatus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
23
Hi all,

I'm bound to rain on a few people's parades here with this post. This is not another "who has the biggest T. blondi" or "I have a buddy who saw a 14" T. apophysis". I would like to set the record straight with the most over-exaggerated measurements of New World monster spiders.

Now anyone who disagrees with these measurement ranges, please, post a picture with a ruler along side the spider clearly showing it's huge legspan.

First the Genus Theraphosa. At present, these are believed to be the bulkiest, lengthiest Theraphosids on the planet. Everyone knows of stories of 12, 13, and 14" specimens but no one has a picture.

A better indication of size is within the range of 7-10" for females and 7-11" for males. I have seen many, many T. blondi in my 25 years in the hobby and kept several. I have a mounted adult female that is 8" and an adult male that is 8.5". Yes! only 8-8.5" for adults. I have seen smaller and I have seen larger but never 11 or 12". I would say the extreme size limit on genus Theraphosa is 11". PROVE ME WRONG WITH PICTURES!

Genus Lasiodora. Also some giants. L. parahybana, and L. klugi: Females 7-10", males 7-10.5". I've also seen many of these and currently keep both species. No 11" Lasiodora.

Pamphobeteus 6-9" with oversized individuals approaching but not surpassing 10".

Acanthoscurria 6-9" again with oversized individuals up to 9.5". I've seen a 8.5" female A. geniculata, absolutely huge and gorgeous.

Phormictopus 6-8.5" again with some huge specimens to 9.5".

Largest Grammostola are about 8.5"

Largest Nhandu are 8-8.5" but most are in the 6-7" range.

Lots of reports of 7 and 8" Brachypelma. I personally owned a 6.5" B. albopilosum that was the biggest I ever saw, most are 5-6" and my current specimen is 5.75". There are no 8" Brachypelma of any species.


These numbers are not carved in stone IMO but I would like to see well lit pictures showing spiders accurately measured if you have an individual that tops the size ranges I have shown here.


Cheers!
 

Musicwolf

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jul 2, 2010
Messages
283
:clap: I applaud the post and look forward to seeing the responses and pictures.
 

Nhanduchromatus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
23
I forgot Xenesthis

I totally forgot Genus Xenesthis. These are also very large mostly in the 7-8" range with some large individuals topping out at 9"......no 10" though.
 

Waxen

Arachnosquire
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I believe this is what is known as throwing the gauntlet.
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
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i agree OP. fran has posted the biggest spider/T i've ever seen, and it topped out at 11". yet to see a bigger one and i've been surfin for years now.
 

PrimalTaunt

Arachnobaron
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Jul 28, 2009
Messages
469
It's one of the problems associated with DLS being the common form of measurement as it's hard (if not downright impossible) to get an accurate measurement - especially when you throw in the relaxed Vs stretched out debate. It's really just an estimate. Not to mention that people have a tendency to exaggerate more than a little bit.

Others have suggested other forms of measurement to be used such as body length or (I believe that I've seen this next one) the length of one of the leg segments) but DLS is so ingrained into arachno culture that I doubt any of us will ever see it changed.
 

Jmugleston

Arachnoprince
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Jul 31, 2007
Messages
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It's one of the problems associated with DLS being the common form of measurement as it's hard (if not downright impossible) to get an accurate measurement - especially when you throw in the relaxed Vs stretched out debate. It's really just an estimate. Not to mention that people have a tendency to exaggerate more than a little bit.

Others have suggested other forms of measurement to be used such as body length or (I believe that I've seen this next one) the length of one of the leg segments) but DLS is so ingrained into arachno culture that I doubt any of us will ever see it changed.
That is more a US arachnoculture thing. I've seen the chelicerae to spinnerets measurement in European and African websites.
 

barabootom

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
636
Hi all,

I'm bound to rain on a few people's parades here with this post. This is not another "who has the biggest T. blondi" or "I have a buddy who saw a 14" T. apophysis". I would like to set the record straight with the most over-exaggerated measurements of New World monster spiders.

Now anyone who disagrees with these measurement ranges, please, post a picture with a ruler along side the spider clearly showing it's huge legspan.

First the Genus Theraphosa. At present, these are believed to be the bulkiest, lengthiest Theraphosids on the planet. Everyone knows of stories of 12, 13, and 14" specimens but no one has a picture.

A better indication of size is within the range of 7-10" for females and 7-11" for males. I have seen many, many T. blondi in my 25 years in the hobby and kept several. I have a mounted adult female that is 8" and an adult male that is 8.5". Yes! only 8-8.5" for adults. I have seen smaller and I have seen larger but never 11 or 12". I would say the extreme size limit on genus Theraphosa is 11". PROVE ME WRONG WITH PICTURES!

Genus Lasiodora. Also some giants. L. parahybana, and L. klugi: Females 7-10", males 7-10.5". I've also seen many of these and currently keep both species. No 11" Lasiodora.

Pamphobeteus 6-9" with oversized individuals approaching but not surpassing 10".

Acanthoscurria 6-9" again with oversized individuals up to 9.5". I've seen a 8.5" female A. geniculata, absolutely huge and gorgeous.

Phormictopus 6-8.5" again with some huge specimens to 9.5".

Largest Grammostola are about 8.5"

Largest Nhandu are 8-8.5" but most are in the 6-7" range.

Lots of reports of 7 and 8" Brachypelma. I personally owned a 6.5" B. albopilosum that was the biggest I ever saw, most are 5-6" and my current specimen is 5.75". There are no 8" Brachypelma of any species.


These numbers are not carved in stone IMO but I would like to see well lit pictures showing spiders accurately measured if you have an individual that tops the size ranges I have shown here.


Cheers!
I agree with your calculations and think they are all quite accurate. Those really large sizes you mention are not as common as some believe either. My opinion is that the percentage of large speciemens is on the low end compared to the overall population. I will disagree with your Theraphosa sizing though. I personally believe they do reach 12 inches. I can't prove it, but I did spend more than a month in the interior of French Guiana 30 years ago and found a male that approached 12 inches on the French Guiana side of the Maroni River near the Suriname border.
 

Stan Schultz

Arachnoprince
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Jul 16, 2004
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1,678
Hi all,

I'm bound to rain on a few people's parades here with this post. This is not another "who has the biggest T. blondi" or "I have a buddy who saw a 14" T. apophysis". I would like to set the record straight with the most over-exaggerated measurements of New World monster spiders. ...
Women always lie about their age,

and men their height and the size of their...

Well you get the idea!

And tarantula enthusiasts about the size of their ...


...


...


...


...


... tarantulas!

Ha! Ha! I bet I had you going there for a split second!

(Shame on me! It's too late. I need to go to bed.) {D
 

Scorpionking20

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
158
Good call...I've seen many people on youtube say "This is a 12 incher!" as they hold it on one hand. ;) That's an exaggeration as well, but I do think there's something to your' post. Humans can grow to 9 feet. However, most won't. I think the same for spiders is likely to be true. While still huge, a lot of 9 inch theraphosas get labled as 10 or 11 inches.
 

Nhanduchromatus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
23
12" Theraphosa

I agree with your calculations and think they are all quite accurate. Those really large sizes you mention are not as common as some believe either. My opinion is that the percentage of large speciemens is on the low end compared to the overall population. I will disagree with your Theraphosa sizing though. I personally believe they do reach 12 inches. I can't prove it, but I did spend more than a month in the interior of French Guiana 30 years ago and found a male that approached 12 inches on the French Guiana side of the Maroni River near the Suriname border.
That must have been quite a trip to French Guiana. I know it is certainly possible that there are 12" spiders in the wild. Robert Wadlow, the world's tallest man was 8'11.1" tall! Are there other humans 8'11.1" tall walking the earth.....likely not. There will be some extreme outliers in size as there are 7" mature T. blondi on the other end of the scale.
I'm attempting to really draw out pictures of 10-12" spiders. Others have tried on here with "who has the biggest" and there are alot of 8-10" spiders being shown. Maybe we will finally get pictures of some of these outlier monsters.
It's amazing how the eye can play tricks on someone. I always believed my female T. blondi to be 9-9.5", I was shocked when I put a ruler on her after she died to see 8".
I saw a video on Youtube of an individual mating T. blondi. This individual claimed his female to be 10" and his male to be over 11". They both look massive but then I see his hand next to the male......probably 9", same for the female.
 

Nhanduchromatus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
23
You were reading my mind as I typed my last post!

Good call...I've seen many people on youtube say "This is a 12 incher!" as they hold it on one hand. ;) That's an exaggeration as well, but I do think there's something to your' post. Humans can grow to 9 feet. However, most won't. I think the same for spiders is likely to be true. While still huge, a lot of 9 inch theraphosas get labled as 10 or 11 inches.
You got that right on Scorpionking!
 

jbm150

Arachnoprince
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Mar 18, 2009
Messages
1,651
The same goes for arboreals. So many measurements get thrown around with huge ornatas, rufilatas, Lampros, etc but I haven't seen too many accurate pics. 10 - 11" LSs I mean....
 

Scorpionking20

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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May 31, 2010
Messages
158
You got that right on Scorpionking!
Why thank you! I was just rephrasing your' original post. I think it's very true though. While the spiders really are huge, we shouldn't take away from them by exaggerating their size. 9" is a HUGE spider! There is nothing wrong with that.
 

rustym3talh3ad

Arachnoangel
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Sep 22, 2008
Messages
884
Why thank you! I was just rephrasing your' original post. I think it's very true though. While the spiders really are huge, we shouldn't take away from them by exaggerating their size. 9" is a HUGE spider! There is nothing wrong with that.
9" is indeed a huge spider. most people absolutely draw back in fear when they see Shelob (the stores True T. blondi) and shes just under 9" currently. im hoping with my care and knowledge she will live for another 10 or so years and get to be that enormous 11+ inch range.
 

barabootom

Arachnolord
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Mar 1, 2008
Messages
636
9" is indeed a huge spider. most people absolutely draw back in fear when they see Shelob (the stores True T. blondi) and shes just under 9" currently. im hoping with my care and knowledge she will live for another 10 or so years and get to be that enormous 11+ inch range.
And this brings up another point. I have a Lasiodora parahybana female approaching 9 inches. I've had her for about 3 years and she was just slightly over 8 inches when I purchased her. She usually molts about every six months. So far that's 5 molts in three years to gain less than an inch. Those big T's grow slowly.
 

Nhanduchromatus

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And this brings up another point. I have a Lasiodora parahybana female approaching 9 inches. I've had her for about 3 years and she was just slightly over 8 inches when I purchased her. She usually molts about every six months. So far that's 5 molts in three years to gain less than an inch. Those big T's grow slowly.
Wow, 9" female L.p. she must be very impressive! I think the females may continue to add size after maturity. I had a female B. albopilosum that I purchased fully grown at 6". I had her for 15 years she measured 6.5" when she died. I kept some of her molts and her carapace in a couple was 29mm anterior-posterior, her last successful molt was 30mm. I have heard other reports of old females of other species that continued to add very small amounts to their dimensions with each molt.
I currently have one subadult L. klugi and seven juvenile L. parahybana. One of the L. parahybana (at the same molt stage as the others) is significantly larger. Maybe I have a monster spider here. Both parents were close to 9", so they come from good stock.
 

Nhanduchromatus

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 10, 2009
Messages
23
9" is indeed a huge spider. most people absolutely draw back in fear when they see Shelob (the stores True T. blondi) and shes just under 9" currently. im hoping with my care and knowledge she will live for another 10 or so years and get to be that enormous 11+ inch range.
I have personally seen a 9.5" T. blondi and it was friggin huge and scared me. I've been doing this for 25 years and 9.5 is the biggest I have ever seen. If you can get 10" you'll have a monster you can saddle and ride {D
 

KvMccur

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Dec 4, 2010
Messages
9
I am glad you are addressing the topic of size, to bring some reality into the tarantula world. However, please associate your knowledge and resulting competencies with those measurements. People purchase a sturgeon based upon statistical size and maintain it, but it will never grow to it's potential in a fish tank. Whatever efforts you pursue, your T.Blondi may or may not grow to 12 inches, whatever husbandry method's you attempt, because it grows to it's natural size in it's own environment and it's own geography. It lives, feeds and grows in it's own natural state, and will not reach it's potential length in captivity, because whatever a tarantular keeper does, it contains the species away from of it's normal environment an often inhibits it's growth.

I recall in the 70's, when almost no one kept tarantula's in this country ( other than the Mexican Red Knee), that one could stumble into a pet store, find only one tarantula, usually misnamed as "Gigantus Horridus", which turned out to be an unknown species, or worse, a rose hair. Even more problematic, I recall a spider with the common name of "Brazillian Bananna Spider", which was readily sold. I think we all know what that one is now. As old as this hobby is, it is also brand new, and at least science is more prevalent in it now than wonder and ignorance.

There were no computers back then and little information in the public library and that was that. I agree though, if you are looking for a monster tarantula, and spend money on a T. Blondi, expecting it to be the size of a dinner plate, do not purchase it in a store, go to Guyana take a picture of it and let it go about it's business. However, the L. Parahybana and P. Antinuous I used to have, both reached 8 inches, conservately measured, and I sold those 10 years ago. That size and the care involved, should be enough or more than one could hope for, given the availability, but few who purchase tarantulas are prepared for the size dissapointment that may occur.
 
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