- Jul 31, 2007
It seems that this comes up about once a month or so doesn't it? Bit of a broken record thing going on.I tried to stay out of this one but.....
It isn't quite so simple. The differences between them are quite noticeable and it is more than a simple color variant. I was very skeptical about the "new species" claims (I even have threads where I question the validity and bring up the possibly marketing scheme that may be involved). I was wrong. There are three spiders sold under the name of Theraphosa. It took a bit of time, the careful eye of my wife pointing out that I have more than 2 species, some conversations with taxonomists, Tom's photos, and finally access to Tinter's information before I finally was convinced.It seems funny that people are so concerned about this. Officially as of now, there are only two species in the Theraphosa genus. T. blondi and T. apophysis . . .and even the distinction between these two can be very difficult to make! A few variations among individuals of the same species hardly merits classifying them as separate species and/or re-labeling them!
Now to keep from being too redundant, I have once again attached a photo with all three species side by side. I have also included a link to a post I left on another thread. All of this echos what Tom has said above.
To save time typing:
There are a bunch of threads covering this already, so I'll be brief and mention some characters as well as some notable color differences:
Much more "hair" covering the legs especially the underside
Generally a pinkish/reddish hue.
Mature males with tibial apophyses
Dark spot on the opisthosoma
tibia uniform width
tibia of variable lengths
carapace more elongate
slings with pink tarsi
Less "hair" than T. apophysis
Lacks the Reddish hairs seen on the other two Theraphosa sp.
Distal portion of the tibial wider
males lack tibial apophyses
slings with brown tarsi
setae on patella
T. sp. "blondi" (The more common goliath in the pet trade also sold as T. blondi, T. apophysis, and T. sp. "burgundy")
Thickened femurs like T. blondi
black spot like T. apophysis
ultimate males lack tibial spurs
reddish hairs on fresh molts
carapace is round
slings with pink tarsi
no setae on patella
Here's a picture showing all three:
The leftmost spider is T. sp. "blondi", the middle T. blondi (the real T. blondi), and the right is T. aphphysis. All three are adult or subadults.
Sadly, most the T. apophysis I've seen for sale lately have been the Guyana T. sp. "blondi" so unless you're very confident in your source, you may have a species other than T. apophysis.
The localities are different as well.
This subject has been covered quite a bit over the last year. Until the revision paper is published, there are two recognized species in the genus Theraphosa. Just because only two are recognized doesn't automatically discount the existence of a third species that is closely related to the known two. In this case it seems the third species has been identified, but it was erroneously put in a different genus. Hopefully this long talked about revision paper will correct the name and settle this issue.