The Theraphosa Situation - Visual ID

mcluskyisms

Arachnoangel
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I’ve been meaning to do this thread for some time although up until to now I just couldn’t be bothered. As many will already know there are now three described species of Theraphosa that are available within the hobby.

• Theraphosa apophysis - Goliath Pinkfoot (Tinter, 1991) Venezuela
• Theraphosa blondi - Goliath Bird eater (Latreille, 1804) French Guyana, Surinam
• Theraphosa stirmi - Burgundy Goliath (Rudloff & Weinmann, 2010) Guyana

All three species grow to very large sizes of up to and sometimes over eleven inches in leg span. All three also come from North Eastern South America, locations including Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam & French Guyana. Before the recent classification of Theraphosa stirmi many hobbyists believed that there were only two species of Theraphosa within the hobby. Although many other’s actually believed otherwise.

For quite some time the species now known as Theraphosa stirmi was often confused with the species Theraphosa blondi. The main reason for this confusion in a nutshell, the two species, unless you know what you’re looking for they look nearly identical (especially at adult size). To many people and hobbyists this doesn’t matter a great deal, both are nearly identical and also both make wonderful additions to a collection. Although if you’re looking to purchase a Theraphosa you may find that Theraphosa blondi hold a slightly higher price tag than that of the Theraphosa apophysis & Theraphosa stirmi due to availability.

Also its worth mentioning if you are considering breeding Theraphosa, you should always make sure that you pair the correct species with one another. Otherwise you may find that if an egg sac is produced, the eggs within it will not make it to spiderling stage. The main reason for this thread is to hopefully show a few of you ways of telling the different species apart from each other.

Identification at spiderling to juvenile stages is by far the easiest way to tell all three species of Theraphosa apart from one another, as each of the three have a different metatarsus and tarsus colour combinations.



• Theraphosa apophysis have a light pink to white hue on all eight metatarsi, tarsi & on the tips of the pedipalps.

• Theraphosa blondi don’t have any light pink to white hue on any metatarsi, tarsi or pedipalps.

• Theraphosa stirmi have the same light pink to white hue on the metatarsi & tarsi on leg pairs I & II.



The visual identifications of the three at sub-adult to adult stages can be a lot trickier, although certainly not impossible. Theraphosa stirmi as adults lack setae on their patella’s (knee’s) whereas the Theraphosa blondi can be identified via having the presence of setae on the patella’s. Just to make things a little more confusing Theraphosa apophysis look very much like Theraphosa blondi at adult stage, both have the setae present on the patella’s although Theraphosa apophysis have much longer metatarsi & tarsi compared to that of the Theraphosa blondi, also its worth mentioning that Theraphosa blondi have much thicker and stockier femur’s.




Theraphosa apophysis picture by Chris Barker​

Theraphosa blondi picture by Lisa Ashforth​

Theraphosa stirmi picture by erm, me...​

Hopefully this information has been a small insight into the differences of the three described Theraphosa species, and some of the visual differences among the three species. Obviously there are other differences between these species such as differences in spermathecae, emboli, stridulating organs and so on. Although this is just a short insight and other such details are covered within the official paper by Jan Peter Rudloff & Dirk Weinmann. I would also like to thank Chris Barker & Lisa Ashforth for letting me use their photographs within this thread.

Also please excuse my rubbish drawings as it has been a while!!!
 
Last edited:

Fran

Arachnoprince
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If I may add a couple of things to the great thread,

In fact Theraphosa apophysis and Theraphosa blondi are really easy to differenciate. Just look at the pictures, totally different coloration,appearance...

The "tricky " part is in juveniles Theraphosa blondi and "stirmi" .At those stages they both appear"fuzzy" and they lack light tarsi and metatarsi.

Another thing to consider, the coloration of the tarsi and metatarsi in Stirmi and Apophysis are quite different. Apophysis being pink, stirmi being mainly whitish.

Theraphosa apophysis , adult female.
 

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mcluskyisms

Arachnoangel
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Any additional information added is more than welcome.

:drool:

Cheers.
Chris
 

crawltech

Arachnoprince
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A great start, to a awsome thread!...really startin to love this genus!...i could only imagine keeping them!:D...i will make the leep one day;)
 

mcluskyisms

Arachnoangel
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A great start, to a awsome thread!...really startin to love this genus!...i could only imagine keeping them!:D...i will make the leep one day;)
Cheers, I have only kept a couple of T.stirmi myself although they are already a firm favourite, really interesting tarantulas to keep, I fully recommend them.

;P
 

LadySharon

Arachnoknight
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Feb 27, 2006
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This is a great thread... but is there any "offical paper" that does the comparison?

I've noticed two "blondis" in my local exotic pet store. I've mentioned a few tiems that most of the blondi's are raelly "burgondy" and that scientists were working on an offical spieces name. (Is it confirmed stirmi now?)

Anyway the last time I went in the store I noticed them on another shelf and it reminded me. Thier legs looked a little bare to me but I am no means an expert! I told the guy - "you know thouse may not be blondi" His responce "Well that was what they came in as!" And when I mention you guys - well no one reads these boardss (or don't like you) so sorry but your not credible.

BUT if I can present a published paper from a credible source with the new speices described AND pictures - and give it to the manager (who was the one to notice another mislabeled spider) then maybe they will take a closer look at the two for sale. (If I remember and they are still there next week I may take a cam with me and take pictures.)

Thanks

- Sharon
 

mcluskyisms

Arachnoangel
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Although the online PDF has been removed at the publishers wish the paper still stands and is valid see here I currently have the paper PDF stored on my hard drive and quite a lot of the information I posted within the thread is in the actual paper.
 

LadySharon

Arachnoknight
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Although the online PDF has been removed at the publishers wish the paper still stands and is valid see here I currently have the paper PDF stored on my hard drive and quite a lot of the information I posted within the thread is in the actual paper.

ok I clicked on the link... I saw that thread before... are you saying the only way I can get the paper is to PM goterps?

Isn't there anything OFFICALY published up for PUBLIC review? (IE a link to a site that is NOT a blog or another thread or another message board but something scientific?)

Basicly I don't want to just print out a thread or something.

Thanks.
 

mcluskyisms

Arachnoangel
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843
The PDF was removed for some reason, PM me your email addy and I shall fire you it over.

:cool:
 

LV-426

Arachnobaron
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Sep 26, 2010
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500
This is a great thread... but is there any "offical paper" that does the comparison?

I've noticed two "blondis" in my local exotic pet store. I've mentioned a few tiems that most of the blondi's are raelly "burgondy" and that scientists were working on an offical spieces name. (Is it confirmed stirmi now?)

Anyway the last time I went in the store I noticed them on another shelf and it reminded me. Thier legs looked a little bare to me but I am no means an expert! I told the guy - "you know thouse may not be blondi" His responce "Well that was what they came in as!" And when I mention you guys - well no one reads these boardss (or don't like you) so sorry but your not credible.

BUT if I can present a published paper from a credible source with the new speices described AND pictures - and give it to the manager (who was the one to notice another mislabeled spider) then maybe they will take a closer look at the two for sale. (If I remember and they are still there next week I may take a cam with me and take pictures.)

Thanks

- Sharon
most likely stirimi, the LPS that i got my 2 stirmi from said the were sold as blondi+ i saw the receipt from the importer. they have the skinny bare legs as well
 

Ciphor

Arachnoprince
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Sep 2, 2011
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Couple questions just to clarify.

This post mentions that juvenile T. stirmi have lighter coloration on the 4 anterior legs tarsus, and T. blondi, have uniform coloration on all 8 legs tarsus.

The post then mentions that adult T. stirmi have no long hairs on the patella of all 8 legs, while T. blondi have long hairs on all 8 legs petalla.

My question is does a juvenile T. stirmi and juvenile T. blondi have the same hair qualities on the patella as thee adults?
 

xhexdx

ArachnoGod
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As I understand it, yes. Juvie T. blondi have hair on the patella, juvie T. stirmi do not.
 
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