possible H. hercules needs to be ID'd

conipto

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Hmm.. it looks exactly like what was sold to me as H. gigas. When mine molted it turned solid black, with red setae. This is what others describe H. gigas to me as. I was told by another on this board that the original holotypes for the two species are un-typeable anymore, so I don't know if anyone out there really knows for sure.. maybe Volker can shed some light on this, I've been wondering for a while now myself.

Bill
 

RugbyDave

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i MAY have to second the H.gigas ---


i guess just keep a watch and make sure to let us know!

peace,
dave
 

LaRiz

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My first response would be Hysterocrates gigas.
What is the real Hysterocrates hercules? There's been alot of "hercules" on dealer's list that I'm very skeptical of being true "hercules". I learned that the only described and perserved specimen of this species is very old (WWII era) and has been handled so many times by experts, that it is extemely worn and tattered.
Being kinda new to the hobby, I obtained a large Hysterocrates gigas, and what was sold to me as a very large "hercules". They both looked different. The gigas had very large and barrel-like leg IV tibia. The other, did not. Yet, when I sent the molt of the "hercules" to Rick West to ID, he came up with H. gigas. A geographical variety.
I purchased some more H. hercules, from a very reputable dealer, that grew up into those gigas like, barreled tibia.
If anybody really knows the taxonomic characteristics of the real "hercules", please PM me, 'cause this interests me.
I think I owe it to Russ Gurley's pic in A Color Guide to Tarantulas...of what was thought to be H. hercules, that actually opened my eyes to the plethora of tarantulas and sparked my interest. That thing is a tank, whatever it is.
john
 

conipto

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Originally posted by LaRiz

If anybody really knows the taxonomic characteristics of the real "hercules", please PM me, 'cause this interests me.
Yeah, or just post it here, I'd like to know as well.. You're right, now that I remember it, it was the herc that was too rough to be typed anymore, not both.

Bill
 

conipto

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Originally posted by Martin H.
He will tell you, that you can't make a 100% positive ID from a photo only, because colours are NO taxonomic stable characters! And the important taxonomic charaters are to small to be seen on a photo.

all the best,
Martin
But of course :) I meant on what characters the two can be differentiated on, supposedly..

Bill
 

Steve Nunn

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Originally posted by conipto
But of course :) I meant on what characters the two can be differentiated on, supposedly..

Bill
I understand that true H.hurcules is noticeably darker (olive brownish) then other Hysterocrates spp. Although as Martin has said color is nothing to go by, there isn't much at all that discerns hurcules from gigas, or other Hysto species for that matter. Location collection data would definately help to discern these two species. I remember something mentioned about sigilla differences between species of Hysterocrates, although whether or not this applies to H.hurcules I can't say. There's quite a story regarding the collection of the type specimen:

"In 1895, King Kolo of Niger sent a letter to Queen Victoria after a revolt, 'We are now very sorry indeed about the killing and eating parts of your employees. We now throw ouselves entirely at the mercy of the good old queen'. A British gun boat was despatched immediately to rescue the British traders. A Lieutenant Abahoe was part of the mission who returned with a new secies of huge spider. The massive body is still preserved in the Natural History Museum in London, but no 'valid' specimens of this enormous species have been located in the field since the discovery over 100 years ago."

As you can see there really isn't one single confirmed H.hurcules in captivity, although there are possibly a few about the place. This is also the reason not too many can actually say with any certainty what are the morphological differences between H.hurcules and other Hystos. As others have said the type specimen is bashed about something shocking and is a real mess, making it even harder to do current taxonomic work on this species.

I talked to Rick about the photo he has of H.hurcules and he explained that the spider in the photo was "probably" the real deal, being that he found it in the exact location hurcules was found and that the specimen itself was massive, 11cm body length.

That's about all I can contribute,
Steve
 
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