In search of Brachypelma red leg tarantulas

Brachypelma, Information, Lectures No Comments »

The following lecture is based on a talk Andrew Smith delivered at the BTS (British Tarantula Society)about Brachypelma.

It revolved around his field trip to the Pacific coast of Mexico and the Sierra Madre Mountains in search of the wonderful red leg tarantulas of the genus Brachypelma. This is a very interesting video that is must watch

You can view as well as read a lot more of Andrew’s amazing works on his website lovetarantulas.com

Andrew Smith on a brachypelma tarantula

Pictured is Andrew Smith on a mature female tarantula

 

From wikipedia:

Brachypelma is a genus of the family Theraphosidae containing several species of tarantulas.

The species are native to Mexico and neighboring countries of Central America. Habitat destruction and pet-trade collection have led these spiders to be among the few arthropods protected under the international Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species rules. They are docile tarantulas which are easy to keep in a terrarium. The most famous species in this genus are the Mexican redknee tarantula B. hamorii (formerly B. smithi), curlyhair B. albopilosum, and the Mexican redrump B. vagans. They feed on smaller invertebrates and occasionally vertebrates, but while insects are the norm, they may also eat lizards or frogs. These species, like most tarantulas, are cannibalistic, so in captivity, individuals must be kept singly, though brief captive introductions of a mate for breeding purposes can prove unproblematic, so long as they are separated once mating has occurred.

Brachypelma baumgarteni vs boehmei

Anatomy, Brachypelma, Information, New World No Comments »

Hello fellow Brachypelma hobbyists! 

To start, I’ve been wanting to post photos of these two species and give a brief description between them. So I’m writing this for the many people who have a hard time IDing the two species. Obviously DNA would be the best way to tell them apart. However most of us are just miserable hobbyists that sometimes count on trusting and relying vendors and people like myself posting photos and selling the true species between baumgarteni and boehmei. If you wish to know who the current vendors are selling true Brachypelma baumgarteni private message me and I’ll be more than happy to tell you.

 

If you have purchased a tarantula that was sold as B.boehmei but has the appearance of a B.baumgarteni it’s most likely 99% a hybrid. You should be asking yourself the following: Why was it sold as boehmei? Why does it have the appearance of a baumgarteni? What are the years known that Brachypelma baumgarteni were successfully bred? Who were the breeders that successfully bred first and second inbred generations of Brachypelma baumgarteni? What were the known years and who imported Brachypelma baumgarteni? Who recently successfully bred first generation Brachypelma baumgarteni and where were they imported from? Was Brachypelma baumgarteni ever successfully bred in the USA and who bred them? Once you have these answers you’ll know the history of this beautiful species.

 

Pictured below is a Brachypelma baumgarteni immature male specimen of mine that is 4.25″ inches. My only wish is that the baumgarteni male was a bit bigger and had more of an adult appearance but these current photos will do for now. The baumgarteni male was imported out of Europe, it is the second inbreeding generation of this species, mated by Eddy Hijmensen “Metallica”. Also pictured below is a Brachypelma boehmei specimen of mine who was also imported out of Europe.

 

A brief description:

As  B.baumgarteni starts growing the species will have lots of dark/black hair coloration around the lighting bolt pattern on the metatarsal. On all eight legs the lighting bolt pattern on the metatarsal will be equally visually seen vs the boehmei with a black line on the metatarsal on all eight legs. Brachypelma baumgarteni is light beige, peach coloration vs boehmei a fire red color.

On the carapace between B.baumgarteni and B.boehmei and detail appearance between the two species is a huge difference as well. With the hybrids among us I understand that it would be difficult for most of you to determine and whether a specimen you’ve acquired or seen photo of is a hybrid or a true species. Since I have previously owned both hybrids and true species of each, I like to think I’ve done a good job of helping others properly ID some specimens. Plus knowing the history of a successful breeding is a major tool to use as well. Please keep in mind I’m no taxonomists but a miserable hobbyists that can only give you my best expert opinion by my experience of owning these true species as well with the hybrids I’ve also owned in the past.

 

Anyways enjoy these photos of both the Brachypelma baumgarteni vs Brachypelma boehmei.

(click to expand images)
Brachyeplma baumgarteni 1

Brachyeplma baumgarteni

Brachypelma boehmei 1

Brachypelma boehmei

Brachypelma baumgarteni

B.baumgarteni

Bracypelma boehmei

B.boehmei

Brachypelma baumgarteni

B.baumgarteni

Brachypelma boehmei

B.boehmei

Brachypelma baumgarteni

B.baumgarteni

Brachypelma boehmei

B.boehmei

Brachypelma baumgarteni

B.baumgarteni

Brachypelma boehmei

B.boehmei

Brachypelma baumgarteni

B.baumgarteni

Brachypelma boehmei

B.boehmei

Brachypelma baumgarteni

B.baumgarteni

Brachypelma boehmei

B.boehmei

Article by Jose Berrios

Photos by: Jose Berrios/Exoskeleton Invertebrates

Tarantula First Aid – Creating an ICU

Care Sheet, First Aid, Information No Comments »

Your Tarantula First Aid! Tarantulas suffer from very few illnesses and seldom get sick unfortunately there are not many exotic vets that would even take in a sick tarantula let alone help you with them. With this post we would like to share some common things you can do yourself to help your tarantula should something ever happen to it.

 

Creating an ICU:

The first thing you need to know how to do is creating an ICU (Intensive Care Unit). This is a must know how for any intermediate to expert tarantula hobbyist.

Step 1: Make sure you get a deli cup or plastic dish with matching lid. Make sure this is big enough to easily fit your biggest tarantula. Make sure to also puncture small holes for some air ventilation on the side of the cup/dish and a few on the lid.

Step2: Grab a few pieces of paper towels and lightly mist them with water. You are going to pack them nice and tight  at the bottom of your plastic cup/dish. This will allow your tarantula to feel nice, soft and secure.

Step3: What we also recommend is to add a small water dish filled with fresh clean water to the ICU should your tarantula need it.

Step4 (optional): In the event that you need to keep humidity levels up we do recommend you setting your ICU near a humidifier. This of course being optional is still a great recommended tip.

 

When to use an ICU:

There are certain scenarios where using an ICU will be your best option for your tarantula.

Dehydration: This can quite often be the easiest thing to overlook. Even desert species tarantulas can get dehydrated. A key sign of a dehydrated tarantula is a mildly shrunken abdomen. In worst cases a severely dehydrated tarantula will also have its legs curled up under him/her and even appear sluggish. Simply place the tarantula in the ICU cup and make sure the water dish is close to its mouth or even place its mouth in the water dish. You should not be alarmed as tarantulas breath from their book lungs situated on the underside of their abdomens and not mouth. Keep their abdomen away from the water source. We recommend you keep the tarantula in your ICU for about 12 hours at most while checking up on it every few hours. Your tarantula should be back to normal and make a full recovery within 24 hours.

 

Bad/Wet molt or trauma resulting in fluid leak: Arachnids use non muscular moving functions and rely on blood pressure and fluid (“blood”) to move limbs. Bad or wet molts happen to even the healthiest of tarantulas with no scientific explanation as to why. Should your tarantula experience a wet or bad molt immediate induction into an ICU would be your best bet. These same rules apply should your tarantula hurt itself by either a puncture wound or even a fall and starts to lose fluid. Make sure your tarantula drinks plenty of water to replace the fluid lost due to the wet/bad molt.

 

This will be the start of our Tarantula First Aid series as we give you other helpful tips and tricks for your tarantula in the event of an accident. Do you have questions about your tarantula? Simply ask away. We will be more than happy to help you.