Overview of Species Information for All Named Theraphosidae Divided by Subfamily

This list is for better understanding the similarities, differences, and distribution of a broad range of tarantulas.  It is by no means complete in terms of information provided.
     The main aim is to foster ecological awareness via exploring systematic relationships with an arthropod that happens to be popular as a pet. The primary arrangement is a focus on subfamilial and generic arrangements. Bear in mind, the taxonomy of Theraphosidae is a fluid (and opinionated) thing; new species are discovered regularly, different relationships among tarantulas are studied, and the simple fact that there are so many variables known and waiting to be known about these silent arthropods renders any attempt at a static compendium futile.  Only one thing is an absolute as of this date concerning theraphosids: the words always, all, and never seldom apply.  In consideration of such, my approach will be casual; likewise, some taxonomic perspectives may not be present here (e.g., works published in non-peer-reviewed journals, etc. will be taken with the proverbial grain of salt and feature an asterisk, if listed at all).

I certainly did not just wake up one morning and have all this info- it came from helpful sharing from the tarantula and ecological communities (thanks Mikhail Bagaturov, Robert Breene, G.B. Edwards, Richard Gallon, Martin Huber, Stan Schultz, Rick C. West, and Volker von Wirth!)  and I must absolutely cite The World Spider Catalog by Norman I. Platnick as a primary source.

The Subfamilies (click n' go):

A Simplified Listing of Just Subfamilies and their Genera is Located Here.


Note: For the genus Psalmopoeus, see here
Note: For the genus Tapinauchnius, see here

Avicularia means "bird eater" in Latin due to an early misconception about a tarantula's preferred diet, but it may as well mean "flat-footed-spider-with-something-odd-about-its-urticating-hair" due to the characteristics of some members of this subfamily.
For example, take the members of the Avicularia genus:  They are tropical arboreal spiders common from the Caribbean to South America and many are commonly sold as "pinktoes," whether or not the tips of their tarsi are pink .  Some, such as Avicularia avicularia, can  tolerate each other in a group setting if given enough space, but will kill each other on occasion if there's not enough room or food.  They're fairly docile, but can move quickly if need be.  What's really special about most of them and the genera Iridopelma and Pachistopelma is that not only are they the only arboreals with urticating hair, they can't "flick" the hair to make it float off into the air.  The type of urticating bristles they possess (Type II) must be pressed into its intended target (A. versicolor may differ).
Also included is the bizzarre genus Ephebopus.  They have flattened "feet" like arboreal spiders, yet prefer to dig burrows.  Those "platypus" tarantulas are the only known genus with urticating hair on their pedipalps.
Some taxonomists include members of the genera Psalmopoeus and Tapinauchenius, which have no urticating hair, in this subfamily; along with some members of  Holothele, they are some of the few New World tarantulas that lack that trait.

What's really confusing is that many of the described species of the Avicularia genus are invalid.  There are descriptions based on cast exoskeletons acquired from a "friend of a friend," descriptions of only one gender, descriptions without locality data (except to say they came from a friend's pet collection- in some cases, that's where the species name is derived), descriptions with no examinations of other types in the genus, etc. Unfortunately, systematics for theraphosids isn't a scrutinized, regulated thing.  Snippets from a fanzine-style journal published without peer review is enough to get a "species" listed in the World Spider Catalog.   This is fun, exciting, and often profitable for pet traders, but quite unfortunate for those wishing to understand faunal relationships and environmental impacts within ecosystems.  Questionable species are marked with an asterisk.




Common Name

Odds n' ends


affinis*, alticeps*, ancylochira*, anthracina*, arabica*


A. affinis is from Chile. However, Nicolet's description and drawing reveal nothing like other members of Avicularia.  It would be more correctly placed in a different genus (Nicolet describes it as quite similar to P. scrofa).  Its placement in Avicularia is  perhaps simply an oversight that originated with mass-movement of species in the genera "Mygale". Likewise, A. alticeps could be any theraphosine. The specimen described by Keyserling  is either a juvenile or tiny, unsexed adult. It's a ruddy spider, with sparse setae and pale spinnerets.  It seems it had rubbed off urticating bristles typical of Type III or IV (Keyserling, 1877).

According to Philip Charpentier, the brownish A. ancylochira may be found along the Tapajoz River, living in in the bark of trees high above flooded swampland (Charpentier 1992).   However, Mello-Letao's description is vague, so it is difficult to determine this spider's correct placement. In any case, this spider's locale is deep, deep in some hard-to-access country in northern Brazil. Unfortunately, a series of dams is planned that will put not only these swamps far underwater, but also the homes of indigenous peoples and who knows what undiscovered fauna. 

There is nothing about A. anthracina that would place it in this genus.  Koch's drawing displays a terrestrially-oriented spider that is overall dark brown with pale spinnerets.  It was simply moved to this genus with Raven's mass-movement of Eurypelma to Avicularia. In 2011, Fukushima, et. al. Discovered it is the same spider as Grammostola mollicoma, of Montevideo, Uruguay.   As it was called anthracina first, that spider is now G. anthracina.  Likewise the holotype for A. alticeps is lost.  The brief original description mentions spines on in the legs, so whatever it is, it's not Avicularia.

The type of A. arabica was found in a jar labelled El-Tor, Egypt, along with some Chaetopelma olivaceum. A century later, Richard Gallon examined the spider and placed it in this genus (Gallon 2008). It's obviously an Avicularia, and obviously from the Western Hemisphere, but from where? 





Orange banded pinktoe, Yellow banded pinktoe, 
Brazillian pinktoe, etc.


These Peruvians are not one of the more colorful avics.  The common name comes from A. juruensis that were imported in the early 2000s and mis-identified by resellers. A. aurantiaca does not have the pronounced "rings" on legs.


avicularia variegata

Guyana Pinktoe

Arboreal tarantulas that need humidity and good ventilation; formerly  "banned" in Florida due to the similarity of their natural habitat to the southern part of that state's environment, but that law has been repealed.

These were among the first tarantulas recorded by Western science (in the early 1600's by Clusius, well before Carl von Linne's birth).  I say "among", because to Clusius and Pison and Merian, any large, hairy spider of the tropics was "Nhamdu glacau" (great spider), and then Aranea avicularia to Linneaus.  

Though most are collected in Guyana, it is a wide ranging species that lives in a broad portion of northern South America and on Trinidad.
A. avicularia variegata, in its most extreme form, has gray/whitish tips on the longer hairs, and entirely lacks the reddish setae on the rear legs, though it retains some orangish tint on the abdomen. F.O.P. Cambridge hypothesized that perhaps the variant may evolve into another species. Likely, A. avicularia variegata were sold as Avicularia metallica in the US pet trade in the early 200s, so striking is the difference in the most extreme specimens (see also A. metallica). 
Further information is located here.



aymara*, azuraklaasi*


There is nothing about Chamberlin's description of A. aymara that would place it in this genus.  It was likely a part of the big "Eurypelma" move of 1985.  

A. azuraklaasi may not be a valid species. Marc Tesmoingt wrote a description of A. azuraklaasi based on two molted exoskeletons supplied to him via Andre Braunshausen from specimens that supposedly originated from Peter Klaas; Tesmoignt claimed they came from Peru.  Who collected them and exactly where they did so is a mystery. 
Both were female.  Even by European "arthropod fanzine" standards, the description is exceptionally lacking in quality. It is not uncommon to find "dealers" in the US pet trade selling a spider identical to A. avicularia from Guyana as "A. azuraklaasi" at a substantially higher price. 



Brick Red Birdeater


A gorgeous pinktoe from Brazil (sometimes found on dealer websites as being from Martinique) with a red rump and greenish carapace.





Hails from Paraguay, near Colonia Risso, a popular tourist resort.  Simon's description is very brief; nothing is mentioned that would place it in this genus.  




Goliath Pinktoe


These S. Americans are very similar to A. avicularia in coloration, physical attributes, and habitat, but supposedly attain a larger size. 
Sometimes specimens in the pet trade seem to have longer and denser red setae on legs IV. Most, however, are identical to A. avicularia except for the price, of course.  Some doubt (with well-founded reason) that it is actually a different species from A. avicularia. It was described by Tesmoingt in 1999 as an aggressive species with a wide range along northern Brazil. He does mention the denser, longer red setae, but no comparisons to A. avicularia are made (a logical comparison would be made to Koch's A. hirsutissima (synonomized with A. avicularia), but of course the species was described by those who wish to sell spiders and magazines, not by those who wish to be accurate. The spermathecae and emboli of specimens I've seen in the US pet trade are identical to those of A. avicularia. The sternum of molted individuals is the same as FOP Cambridge's drawings of A. avicularia.  HJ Peters redescribed it in 2000 along with the dubious species of A. geroldi and A. ulrichea in his pet trade fanzine, which is not peer-reviewed.





A. caesia is likely the same animal as A. laeta, as the type is a juvenile.  There are specimens collected from St. John on Bordeaux Mountain, perhaps suggesting some variability between populations on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as well.

A. cuminami was also described from a juvenile by Mello-Leitao and there is not enough data to differentiate it from any other Avicularia species. 

Avicularia detrita None
A. detrita,
of Bahia, like several others in this genus, does not have pink "toes". 



Amazon Sapphire

A. diversipes is a stunning spider with greenish tones as a juvenile, and royal blue undertones highlighted with yellow-ish orange as an adult. The males have no tibial spurs. 

It was redescribed by Bertani and Fukushima in 2009, along with two new species. Their description, with wonderful photos, illustrations, and locality data, is available here

Of primary importance is the fact that Bertani and Fukushima found two more species unknown to science while studying A. diversipes in the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve. Sadly, it is likely just a glimpse, as only about 10% of that unique ecosystem still remains, and most of it is fragmented into hilltop "islands." More detailed information on the AFBR is located here:

The Mata Atlantica Biosphere Reserve  





A. doleschalli probably isn't an Avicularia. Ausserer's description alludes to no similarities whatsoever between doleschalli and A. vestaria, velutina, etc. To put it mildly, the author knew an "Avic" when he saw one, and he didn't describe A. doleschalli as such. Furthermore, Keyserling makes comparative reference to A. doleschalli in his description of Cyclosternum janierum (both were at the time Ishnocolus). A. doleschalli simply got lumped here in the "mass movement" like A. affinis.
In addition, Strand's description of A. exilis is greatly lacking in detail, including locality data, and therefore shouldn't be considered valid. (Charpentier 1992).



fasciculata clara*


There is a species currently in the pet trade being sold as A. fasciculata. It's actually Avicularia diversipes. How one came to the conclusion that it's A. fasciculata is is not clear. Strand's description has no illustrations, there's no blue mentioned (both descriptions describe faded specimens, one of which was a badly damaged A. fasciculata clara), locality for A. fasciculata is listed as "S. Amerika" and for A. f. clara as "Suriname". In short, the descriptions are so vague that they could be any number of Aviculariinae that don't have pink "toes".  Furthermore, the A. diversipes being sold as A. fasciculata are small spiders. Strand's description of A. fasciculata is descriptive on ONE thing: he liked to measure a lot. The female holotype is 54mm in bodylength, which is a decent size for an Avicularia (the type for Avicularia metallica from Suriname is 50mm in bodylength).  In short, A. fasciculata isn't known to be in the pet trade, and it may or may not be synonymous with any number of spiders. There simply isn't any detailed description or type available.  The only explanation for marketing A. diversipes as A. fasciculata is importers (in this case, smuggler) often attach any random species name to spiders with little knowledge about what it is they're selling in order to make a buck  For those interested, A. f. clara is smaller and more brightly colored than A. fasciculata, according to Strand. 





Recently described by Bertani and Fukushima here.

The name comes from GAMBA- Grupo Ambientalista da Bahia, in recognition of their efforts to preserve what little is left of the Atlantic rainforest (Bertani 32).




Brazilian Blue and Red Pinktoe


Pretty and pricey (for probably exploitive reasons) South American arboreals.  Very similar to A. avicularia and many suspect that they're the same species.  This one was also loosely "described" by Tesmoingt in a 1999 edition of a non-reviewed "fanzine". It was named after Andre Braunshausen's grandfather.  The obvious comparison to traits of A. avicularia-complex species are ignored in the paper, and a distinction is made on the basis of a minute "dog's head" shape of one of the spermathecae- a highly variable feature (Schmidt 1994). Supposedly found in Santana (Fazendinha), a popular tourist port in northern Brazil, on an inland peninsula subject to tides.  The description less than credible. Furthermore, at least two different variations appear in the pet trade. Some lack reddish pubescence (sometimes found in the European and Canadian pet trade); others, which are most commonly found in the US pet trade, appear identical to Avicularia avicularia routinely imported from Guyana at a substantially lower price.


glauca*, gracilis* 


Central and South American; 
A. glauca was described from a juvenile by Simon. Cambridge's entire entry is as follows:"The type specimen, kindly submitted to me for examination by M. Simon, is evidently an immature example, and it will always be difficult to decide exactly as to which particular species of Avicularia it belongs,"  (Cambridge 42).  

That sentiment could likely go for a good many species in the genus, including A. gracilis. Keyserling's specimen was very small (possibly a juvenile, but he asserts that it is female), and very worn.  The colors had faded to yellowish-brown, and the abdomen was completely bald. There is nothing in the description that would lead one to believe that it belongs in Avicularia.  It's likely a lump from the big "Eurypelma move"; same with Avicularia guyana
Update: Ray Gabriel tenaciously tracked down the holotype in Paris and found it is a member of the genus Eupalaestrus.  Become a member of the British Tarantula Society and read all about it.

Avicularia hirschii None


Avicularia hirschii was described in the pet trade "fanzine" Tarantulas of the World, with is not peer-reviewed.  However, it does have very unique spermathecae, thus separating it from other described species. Furthermore, male A. hirschii have a shield of spines instead of tibial apophyses, like A. versicolor.   The spider is found near the Napo river in Ecuador.  Unfortunately, the area is of great interest to oil companies due to the possibility of vast reserves nearby.  Read about this biologically diverse system here.


Avicularia hirsuta* None
A. hirsuta
does not belong in this genus. Simon accidentally synonomized Iridopelma hirsutum (from Pernambuco, Brazil) into this genus. That mistake was cleared up, but the actual spider described by Ausserer is a terrestrial from Cuba and the Bahamas.  It is clearly not an Avicularia, nor an Iridopelma.

Avicularia holmbergi*

Doesn't belong here.  The spider Thorell described was collected by van Hasselt, a biologist who explored Java.  Thorell didn't have exact locality data, but he assumed his specimens may be juveniles of Selenocosia javanensis (Thorell 1890).



Ecuadorian Wooly, Ecuadorian Pinktoe


Large (in fact, by far the largest Avicularia species in girth  I've ever seen. Supposed "A. metallica" and "A. branshauseni" specimens are not excepted), bushy arboreals. In terms of its bulk (even discounting its hirsuteness), think of an arboreal like P. regalis with a little less legspan. They're both chunky bugs for things that live in a trees. 



Brazilian Yellowbanded 


These have a yellow ring before the pink toe, and get their name from the Jurua river in western Brazil/eastern Peru.  The location of the type, Jurui-Purus moist forests, are largely roadless swaths of primary rainforest that are currently (and unfortunately) being prospected by the oil company Petrobras. Furthermore, the area is in the path of the proposed extension of the Transamazon highway. 


laeta, leporina


A. laeta has a light golden color overall as an adult.  As youngsters, they are bluish, like A. versicolor.  They are a wide ranging species in Puerto Rico, from Isla Culebra to the west coast, and are commonly found at the El Verde Field Station.

It is not uncommon in the Virgin Islands as well. 
A. caesia is likely the same thing as A. laeta
A. leporina is similar in appearance to A. avicularia, but does not possess pink "toes".




Metallic Pinktoe, Whitetoe 

Grizzled arboreal tarantulas. In the mid 1990's through the early 2000's, spiders were imported  from the same range as A. avicularia, sorted by size and hair color out of the same crates, and sold as A. metallica for a few more bucks; in fact, they were very similar to A. avicularia overall and some suspect they may not only hybridize in the wild, but be variations of the same species (see especially Cambridge's notes on Avicularia avicularia variegata). Charpentier (1992) reports regular "hybridization" between supposed A. metallica and A. avicularia with fertile offspring in captivity. Ausserer's original description certainly provides no foundation for the "dealer" lore about reddish setae being completely absent or about white tipped "toes". The full description, translated into English, is here.

There was no difference whatsoever in the apophyses or emboli of the males, nor the spermathecae of the females of spiders sold as A. metallica from spiders sold as A. avicularia.

The only non-coloration differences Ausserer mentions to distinguish it from A. avicularia (he actually references A. vestaria) is that the tibia of legs IV are slightly longer and the tubercle is a bit more curved and slightly less wide. 

The spider with white-tipped setae is readily available from Guyana exporters who collect them from the back of reptile bins and around exporters' sheds, right along with specimens sold as A. avicularia. Larger ones, along with the larger specimens that lack the white tipped setae, often command a higher price.  

As of late (2009-2014), I've seen Avicularia cf urticans from Peru being sold as A. metallica, though they come from nowhere near Surinam.
In fact, they have been more common at reptile shows in the southeast than specimens sold as A. avicularia



Venezuelan Redslate

These brownish avics retain the black and red patterning on their abdomens as adults. 
They are from a drier region than most pinktoes (northern Venezuela, near hilly, semiarid Duaca) and don't attain a very large size. 


nigrotaeniata*,obscura*, ochracea, panamensis*
parva*, plantaris*, pulchra*


Wide range. A.nigrotaeniata are likely to be the same thing as A. avicularia.

Ausserer's type for A. obscura was a juvenile of indeterminate genus. Pocock hypothesized that the Columbian spider may be a Hapalopus.

A. ochracea is from Rio Negro, Brazil.  It is quite "hairy". 

Koch's description and drawing of A. plantaris does little to distinguish between it and A. avicularia

A. panamensis is probably a terrestrial member of Theraphosinae  - there is nothing in Simon's description that alludes to traits of Avicularia.
Note: Recently, Ray Gabriel tenaciously tracked down the holotype in Paris and found it is a member of the genus Sericopelma.  Become a member of the British Tarantula Society and read all about it.


Unfortunately, the specimens Mello-Leitao used to describe A. pulchra were juveniles.  Same with Keyserling's  A. parva.  Both are likely invalid species (Petrunkevitch described the type of A. parva as too small to make a determination of genus, but is probably terrestrial).  Note:  In 2011, Fukushima et al. examined the type of A. parva and placed it in the genus Catamuri.  In 2012, Bertani found that the type of A. pulchra is actually Pachistopelma rufonigrum.



Ecuadorian Pinktoe, Ecuadorian Purple

These have a purplish hue under the right light. 
They are from Ecuador and are as adaptable to mankind's presence as its eastern cousin, A. avicularia.


rapax*, rickwesti, rufa


Ausserer's illustration and description of the male of A. rapax does little to distinguish between it  and other members of this genus.

A. rickwesti was found in the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve in the Dominican Republic.  It does not have pink "toes".

A. rufa, from near Rio Madeira ,has a small brush of yellow setae at the joints of the tarsi and metatarsi.  

Ausserer describes A. rutilans as similar to A. diversipes.  In fact, he does not say what's different about it, and no females were described.




Goregeous. Males lack tibial apophyses. They obviously share a distinct evolutionary lineage with A. diversipes and A. gamba (Bertani 38).

More information can be found in Bertani and Fukushima's excellent description here.



soratae*, subvulpina*
surinamensis*, taunayi
tigrina*, ulrichea*



A. soratae, A. subvulpina and A. surinamensis were described by Strand in 1906 and 1907, respectively.  However,  he didn't include much data in his descriptions- nothing that would distinguish between them and other members of this genus.  

Read Bertani and Motta's great description of A. taunayi and its unique cerrado biome here.

A. tigrina, of Montevideo, is erroneously placed in this genus.  It's obviously terrestrial- Pocock's closest reference when describing the species was Cyrtopholis.  Note: In 2011, Fukushima, et. al, identified it as Pterinopelma tigrinum.

Some think A. ulrichea is a variant of A. urticans.  It was loosely described in the flurry of poorly written papers by Tesmoingt in 1996.




Peruvian Pinktoe

Described by Schmidt in 1994.  Large, leggy, grizzled spiders.  As of 2009 and later, they are often sold as A. metallica in the US pet trade, even though they come from nowhere near A. metallica's type locality.  The mature male is amazing with a pronounced purple hue to its carapace.




Described from specimens collected in originally Parque San Esteban, Venezuela; this tarantula with pink toes is quite common near Caracas; however, some were also collected on the island of Trinidad.  While the type is of average size for the genus, Schiapelli and Gerschman reported larger (65mm body length) females being quite common near Caracas. It would be interesting to look for variations between this spider and similar specimens collected on the mainland. 


In addition to measuring things, Schiapelli and Gershman enjoyed studying various mammalian reactions to its venom, sometimes injecting it into rats, and once having a large female bite a guinea pig on the nose, which became quite agitated, partially paralyzed and oozing saliva.  It recovered in about half an hour.

It is unknown what separates this species from A. avicularia. drawings and photos of the type suggest slightly more "separation", almost banding, at the leg joints, but . . . .

Strangely enough, there are specimens labelled as being from Yuya Piches and Puerto Inca (both Peru) in Staatliches Museum fur Naturkun (likely mislabeled).




Antilles Pinktoe

Another colorful beauty. They have greenish carapaces and pinkish/purple colored hairs on their fuzzy legs and abdomens.
The tibial apohpyses are simply rows of spikes rather than  pronounced spurs.
This "Matoutou Falaise" (as locals call them) are common in the forested hills above Anse Couleuvre on Martinique. They are also supposedly present on Guadelupe (unconfirmed), but curiously absent from Dominica (Damon Corrie of Earthfoot and president of the Carribean Herpetological Society has scoured the island and noted all Theraphosidae, including A. antillensis, and  scorpions are conspicuously absent from Dominica as well).   

Some (both in the European scientific community and locals of the Martinique) have asserted that they enjoy a diet consisting of a fair portion of small treefrogs in the wild.  The assumption is that this diet causes them to be more skittish and possibly more defensive with the fangs than some other Avicularia species. I have observed the prediliction for tree frogs, but not any marked defensiveness.
Furthermore, some have seen them making a kicking motion to discharge urticating bristles (Bertani 1996).  I have observed this from one mature male of the species.  




According to drawings, A. walckenaeri is an incredibly hirsute spider with pink "toes", similar to a darker A. huriana.  Locality data is vague, being listed as "about 2000 miles from the mouth of the Amazon."



French Guiana Blue Fang

 They have purplish legs and opisthosomas, blue chelicera that are stunning, and yellow to orangish bands at the leg joints.  They were described by Rick West in 2000. 
They are becoming fairly regularly bred in captivity. 


foliatus, fossor*


E. foliatus, recently described in 2008 from specimens collected in Guyana, is an interesting member of this genus. While little is known about their natural history, they appear to be arboreal, even as adults.  In other observed members of this genus, the spiderlings are find of staying off the ground, while the adults choose to dig into it. Furthermore, they differ from other Ephebopus species by having a slight pattern on the abdomen (West, et al., 2008). 

The type specimens for E. fossor (collected near Rio Sapayo, Ecuador) were lost many years ago and it's possible that Pocock was describing an entirely different species. R. West declared this species as nomen dubium as a result. Those selling so-called "E. fossor" are actually selling Ephebopus "whoknowswhatus" (and they usually come from nowhere near Ecuador). Pocock's original description describes a spider that is similar to E. murinus, but has less emphasized longitudinal stripes on the legs, and more obvious transverse markings near the joints.



murinus, rufescans

Skeleton Tarantula 
(just Ephebopus murinus)
Burgundy Skeleton 
(E. rufescans)

Terrestrial tarantula found near Manaus, common in Reserva Ducke, as well as up into Guyana and Suriname. These "bulldoggish" spiders are rarely arboreal as adults (though sometimes found in trees, in root structure near the ground); they prefer to burrow and, like all Ephebopus, have their urticating hairs on their pedipalps (a type of urticating bristles that can be airborne.  The other members of this subfamily that possess urticating bristles only have Type II, which must be pressed into an assailant on contact). More information on urticating bristles by Rogerio Bertani and Otavio Marques can be found here.  

Most E. murinus are somewhat defensive, at least compared to Avicularia.

Further information and photos of E. murinus are located here.



Emerald Skeleton

  E. uatuman has yellow bands at the "knee" joints", lacks the striping of E. murinus and E. rufescans,  and their carapaces and abdomens have a greenish tint; overall, they're a tawny orange color when approaching a molt and a drab olive after molting.  There is a shiny blue-violet tint on the ventral surface of legs I. Males are reddish-orange overall at maturity. They can be found in the unique evergreen tropical "moist" forest along the Rio Branco/Rio Negro river basin. More information on their highly diverse habitat is located here.


More information and photos regarding the spider are located here.




Yellow Lined Treespider

Fuzzy, tawny colored arboreals that are very similar to members of the Avicularia genus.  They have Type II urticating bristles, and the males have spurs on legs I and II. Contrary to some websites, it has nothing to do with the "Ischnocolus hirsutus" described by Ausserer in 1875. The spider that is now known (erroneously) as Avicularia hirsuta is a terrestrial from the Caribbean. 


katiae, marcoi, 
oliveiri, vanini


These four spiders from northeast Brazil are described in detail by Rogerio Bertani here. 




Brazilian Purple

Kept like most members of Avicularia.  What was in the pet trade in the late 1990's as I. zorodes resembled I. hirsutum more than anything "purple". 


rufonigrum, bromelicola


Beautiful redrumped bromeliad dwellers. P. rufonigrum lives in the unique habitat of tropical xerophylus plants.   P. bromelicola, while also preferring bromeliads, lives in both rainforest and xeric habitat. Both have Type II urticating bristles. More data on their habits and habitat compiled by Sidclay Dias, et al., are located here, here, and here. Bertani's redription of P. rufonigrum and the description of P. bromelicola, along with excellent photos, are located here.

Typhochlaena amma, costae, curumim, paschoali, seladonia None Amazingly beautiful spiders from northeast Brazil.  Incredibly detailed information about them is found in Rogerio Bertani's excellent descriptions, located here.

Also peruse the very well-done rediscovery of T. seladonia by Almeida-Silva
here. The redescription reveals a spider that is more hirsute than Koch's illustration, and with femora that are more pinkish than orange. It was also discovered that the males have no tibial apophysis, unlike I. hirsutum and I. zorodes, which have spurs on legs I and II . What is most important about the redescription is the authors' points about the spider's habitat. They were found in fragmented patches of lowland Atlantic rainforest, 95% of which no longer exists (L.M. Almeida-Silva, et al.) What else lives in there that hasn't been seen for 150 years, if at all? If there's a case for preservation of a spider, this beautiful jewel is it.

Genera: Psalmopoeus and Tapinauchenius

These genera are unique in terms of their relationship to other Theraphosidae.  Psalmopoeus stridulate via structures somewhat similar to that of the Selenocosmiinae, yet they are native to the Americas. Tapinauchenius has no stridulatory organs. Unlike other genera of Aviculariinae, neither genus has urticating bristles. Some taxonomists assert that they are an evolutionary relative of the Selenocosmiinae, like Poecilotheria (Pocock 1899). In captivity, I've observed the mating behavior of P. irminia to be more reminiscent of P. regalis than A. avicularia, and have seen both males and females of P. regalis make drumming overtures to P. irminia, which responded in kind!
However, the mature males do have spurs (much like those of Ephebopus spp.); Poecilotheria and the Selenocosmiinae do not.  Like other members of Aviculariinae, the male's emboli are simple in both Psalmopoeus and Tapinauchenius. Those of Poecilotheria are more complex.  
Truly, these genera are a testament to scientific hypotheses about biological evolution- there doesn't see to be an agreeable home for them right now, but figuring out where they fit in an evolutionary fashion could be revealing about more than just the spiders themselves. Their placement is an important consideration, as it could provide clues as to how other animals are evolving, and how our planet is changing.




Common Name

Odds n' ends




A Caribbean spider that may or may not exist. Strand's description gives little detail that would separate it from other species.



Trinidad Chevron

Native to Trinidad.  Like the others in this subfamily, this arboreal can be zippy.  Most are somewhat defensive.  

They are very similar in appearance to P. irminia, but both the females and males are grayish-green as adults, and the mature males, on average, are quite a bit larger than those of P. irminia

For a time, the type was misconstrued as being from Pinang (Malaysia), as it floated in a jar in the British Museum with a Cyriopagopus and was labeled "EAST Indies."

They are quite common in Asa Wright Nature Centre, particulary in the former coffee and citrus plantations of Arima and Aripo Valley. 



ecclesiasticus, emeraldus
intermedius, langenbucheri*


P. ecclesiasticus may be found in Ecuador, near Rio Sapayo and Carondelet.

The type of P. langenbucheri was found near Caripe. Unfortunately the description is in the non-peer reviewed "Tarantulas of the Worlld", and little is written to convincingly delineate from other pseices of this genus.

Psalmopoeus maya*
P. maya
was described in 1996.   There are reports of a similar spider ranging even farther north, perhaps into Mexico. The type specimens of P. maya were not deposited at the museum mentioned in Witt's description, and it is possible that the species is a darker version of P. reduncas (Reichling 2003).

P. plantaris may be found near Cauca, Columbia.



Suntiger; Venezuelan Suntiger

Gorgeous South Americans!  They have bright orangish markings on their legs.

Somewhat defensive. More information and photos can be found here.



Panama Blonde

Climbing Panamanians that are blonde overall, with a dark patch on the posterior as juveniles/ young adults.



Costa Rican Orangemouth

Brownish spiders with orange hairs around their "mouths".  They range all over Costa Rica, from the east to the west, at varying altitudes.  They have also been found in Panama and as far south as Venezuela, and as far north as Belize (and maybe into Mexico).





Found in Central America


Very similar to P. reduncas.

Found near San Andreas Tuxtla and is the only confirmed species of Psalmopoeus in Mexico.  

Read the excellent description by Jorge Mendoza-Marroquin here.


brunneus*, cupreus, elenae



T. brunneus was described from a single male found in Mato Grosso.

T. cupreus, of Ecuador, is absolutely stunning with its metallic tones (its name is derived from its coppery appearance).  It is reputed to be the smallest growing of this genus.

T. elenae, like T. gigas and T. subcaeruleus, is rather hirsute.   The other members of this genus are sleek.  It was also found in Ecuador.




Orange Chevron

Fast, light colored arboreals from Venezuela and French Guyana.  Somewhat defensive.
Unlike most other members of this genus, T. gigas lacks the metallic overtones in coloration. The adult looks almost identical to those of T. elenae.




Discovered near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela.  May also range into Peru. Quite similar to T. cupreus, but larger.



Trinidad Mahogany

Brownish, fast, somewhat defensive.  This species ranges much farther than the island of Trinidad.  They are not uncommon in Surinam and they have a broader range in northern Guyana and northeastern Venezuela as well.  (Some have supposed that T. plumipes may range as far west as Peru!)




Data on T. sanctivicinti is scant.   There is little in descriptions to differentiate it from other species.

 T. subcaeruleus, a dark spider of Ecuador, is somewhat hirsute, but not so much as T. gigas or T. elenae.




Formerly known as T. purpurea until West, et al. found them to be the same species as A. violaceus. They are from French Guyana. 


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Subfamily: Eumenophorinae
This subfamily includes the big African "baboon" spiders.  They are normally very defensive and most like to dig deep burrows.  The majority of the members of this subfamily require a good amount of humidity.




Common Name

Odds n' ends


celeripes, lesserti


Central African. Neither are in the US pet trade, but A. celeripes, which is from near Lake Tanganyika in deep central Africa, makes a rare appearance in Europe. While the spider itself is unremarkable (average sized, burrowing, brownish), its habitat is quite deserving of attention. There are huge swathes of forest around the massive lake that are largely unexplored. How untouched, you may ask? Che Guevarra used the huge rift valley as a training base for revolutionaries due to its remoteness. The area plays host a myriad of unique flora and fauna, much of which is likely unknown. Fortunately, two large reserves border the lake in an effort to keep this jewel intact. More on the biology and geology of the locale can be found here.

A. lesserti may be synonymous with A. celeripes (Smith 1990). Types were found in Rwanda, and in Zaire, near the Tanzanian border. 





The genus is named after GL Bates, an explorer responsible for the collection of a great many species of African fauna (not to be confused withHenry W. Bates)

This small, burrowing spider was found near Evouma (aka Efulen), western Cameroon. Whether or not it still exists in the wild is a reasonable question. Several types of fauna from its type locale are threatened by habitat loss, including the endangered Efluen Water Frog.




I'll bet it's a loud one!  Seriously, it hasn't been redescribed or reviewed since 1907, and may or may not be a distinct species. 




This medium-sized tarantula is widely distributed throughout Madagascar


clementsi, murphyorum

Sierra Leone Mouse Brown and Greater Sierra Leone Mouse Brown, respectively

Both medium-sized brown spiders were found in Sierra Leone


affinis*, affinis angusticeps*,

(Something called "cricket-legged baboon" has been sold as H. apostolicus in the pet trade)

Unfortunately, many of the original descriptions of this genus aren't detailed, and west-central Africa's political climate doesn't afford much opportunity for obtaining further data currently. Therefore, this genus is a mess. The types for H. affinis and H. affinis angusticeps are missing; furthermore, Strand's description is vague. What can be reasonably assumed is that all Hysterocrates species are deep burrowers that enjoy high humidity.

Something resembling both Pocock and Smith's descriptions of H. apostolicus has been imported from Sao Tome and sold in the US pet trade as both H. ederi in the mid-1990's and as H. scepticus in 2003-04. 

That spider can be seen here.




Cameroon Brown

From Cameroon. 
The species names attached to Hysterocrates spp. in the pet trade are somewhat subjective. 
What circulated in the pet trade as H. crassipes in the mid 1990s has "football" shaped swelling of the tibia, even as an adult. It could very well be H. greshoffi.
They were often sold as H. gigas in the late 1990's and as recent as 2010 (in fact, my female H. crassipes/greshoffi was obtained when I accepted a supposed penultimate male H. gigas on breed loan from a US dealer). It grows smaller than H. gigas and doesn't get the pronounced rusty red coloration before a molt. 
The actual H. crassipes inhabits a similar range as H. gigas along the northwest border of Cameroon. It can be found in Korup National Park, a striking preservation endeavor. Not only do big, brown, beautiful spiders live there, but also a plant that may provide keys to helping slow the spread of AIDS. More info on that is located here.



didymus, ederi

H. didymus is called an Olive Brown Baboon and H. ederi is sometimes called 
the Guinea Goliath

From Sao Tome and Equatorial Guinea (Bioko Island), respectively. 

H. didymus, which is not large for this genus, is possibly threatened. Its habitat is completely unique. Unlike Bioko, the volcanic islands of Sao Tome and Principe have never been connected to each other, much less the African mainland. Species evolved here independent to this niche. The island was often cleared for Portugeuse cocoa plantations in the past. Since Portugal granted independence, the islanders have been "adrift" fiscally, and will let whomever develop whatever wherever for a buck. It is important that Sao Tome is developed with forthought regarding its unique enviroment. 

H. ederi shares its habitat on Bioko with the most endangered primate in all of Africa, the drill. The development of offshore oil fields around Bioko has caused commercialism (and a population boom in Homo sapiens, a deadly and very hard to remove species once it infests) to develop on an otherwise undeveloped island. "Bush meat" (i.e., monkey meat, pythons, etc.) is a luxury food sold to wealthy locals as well as tourists who lack a consience. Fortunately, scientist Gail Hearn has been instrumental in forming the Bioko Biodiversity Program, which has been successful in preserving a small slice of Bioko and slowing the poaching of "bush meat". 



Cameroon Red, Cameroon Tawny Red, Cameroon Rusted

Hysterocrates gigas was particularly common in the US pet trade in the mid to late 1990's.  They breed easily, and members of Hysterocrates species actually care for their young for a bit, rather than leaving them to disperse immediately. This isn't unheard of with other Theraphosinae, but it's not common. 

I haven't seen similar individuals offered for sale in the United States very often after 2003. Most of what circulates lately is cf crassipes/greshoffi .

More information and photos of 1990's H. gigas are located here.

The species is found throughout western Cameroon.


greeffi, greshoffi, haasi


Central Africans. The type for H. greefi is lost, so it is impossible to determine if it is synonymous with another species. Karsch's description is unclear on locality data as well, and, according to Pocock, it may belong in a different genus (possibly Phoneyusa). In any case, it has short legs.

H. greshoffi can be found along the borders of Gabon and Congo. 



Hercules Baboon, African Goliath

H. hercules is indigenious to Nigeria, near the Niger river by seasonally swampy Jebba.  Supposedly, it is larger than H. gigas, and has thinner legs IV.  The type's huge, nearly 3" in body length.
It's unlikely spiders are collected for the pet trade in the range of H. hercules, (the type was found well over 500 miles from the type of H. gigas- mountains, rivers, and brutal human feuds away from common pet trade collection locales), but it was popular (and probably profitable) to sell captive-hatched spiderlings of H. gigas as H. hercules in the late 1990's.   



laticeps, maximus* , ochraceus*,
robustus, robustus sulcifer*, scepticus, sjostedti, spellenbergi* vosseleri*, weileri*

None, but H. laticeps is sometimes sold as Cameroon Rustred
(not to be confused with H. gigas) and H. scepticus is sometimes marketed as "Sao Tome Giant" or "Sao Tome Giant Olive Brown Baboon". 

Hysterocrates scepticus may or may not be in the pet trade.  What some importers called H. ederi in 1998-9 has been called H. scepticus in 2003-2004. That spider has very thick and long rear legs, which most definitely rules out both H. scepticus and ederi. Pocock's description remarks greatly on how H. scepticus has short, thin legs. Likewise, Charpentier's photos of H. ederi show a spider with normally proportioned legs. In any case, H. scepticus is another island species, like H. ederi.


The descriptions of maximus, robustus sulcifer, spellenbergi, vosseleri, and weileri are undetailed and the types are missing. They may or may not be valid species (Smith 1990). 







Zanzibar Island (Unguja). Simon's description shows a small, brownish spider and not much else. It's very undetailed, and it is unclear if this is a valid genus.

What is clear is that Zanzibar's recent efforts to clean up its environmental messes are to be applauded. The island now has policies in place regarding the treament of sewage, which, prior to the ninties, was disposed of in whatever fashion was cheap and convenient for developers, hoteliers and the like. 


coturnatus, ectypus, erlangeri


Ethiopian. Descriptions lack more specific locality.   




Found on the Mascarene Islands, Mauritius.  It has no stridulating organ, unlike all the other members of this subfamily.

More information composed by Richard Gallon can be found here.


balfouri,  lambertoni, 


Socotra, Madagascar, and 
Yemen, respectively.
M. lambertoni is named after Col. Lamberton, an explorer of Madagascar.




From Gabon.

Pelinobius muticus King baboon

Large burrowing spiders with beautiful rust-colored, velvety "fur" that are easily distinguished from
Hysterocrates spp. by their very thick rear legs and absence of long setae in adults.  These are native to Kenya (Near Tsavo, oft collected from the scrubland off Mombassa Rd., despite the fact that it's a park).  They range south into Tanzania, near Arusha.  
A happy thing is that the Kenyan government is getting a little tighter on not only poachers in its safari parks, but also on regulating development and ensuring that it remains low impact.

The females may get over 7" in legspan.  This species prefers a drier climate than most members of this subfamily. Supposedly, they are extremely difficult to breed (though they do have lots of young). The breeding issue and their frequent collection, coupled with a slow growth rate, is concerning.


antilope,  belandana,
bidentata ituriensis,  bouvieri, buettneri
celerierae, chevalieri
cultridens, efuliensis
elephantiasis, gabonica
giltayi, gracilipes


Central to Southern Africa.  

P. antilope was found near the border of Congo and Gabon, in habitat that remains rustic to this day.


P. belandana is from right in the heart of Africa, where savannah meets rainforest: the home of the Zande people.

P. bidentata was discovered on the border of Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo. 

P. bouvieri actually lives in Madagascar, in "Tana",  the hilly region around Antananarivo.  It's a central highland area with humid earth and mild temperatures.

P. buettneri
was discovered in the very humid lands of the former Sibange Farm, not far from where Akanda National Park is now.

P. elephantiasis was found in the swampy regions of Bahr el Ghazal (southwest of Sudan), home to endangered cats and people. It has heavily swollen tibia.

P. gracilipes is found just north of where the mighty Congo River meets the Atlantic. 



Olive-black Baboon

Defensive, burrowing, and from Principe.  It is not as available in the pet trade as it was in the 1990's. I don't know if anyone bred them in captivity. See H. didymus for more information about its unique habitat. 


principium, rutilata,

(an unknown Phoneyusa sp. was sold in the pet trade as "Wannabehercules")

"Wannabehercules" is similar to H. gigas , but grows smaller and doesn't have stocky rear legs. 




Common Name

Odds n' ends


bhori, blatteri, collinus
fabrei, guangxiensis, linteatus
madraspatanus, mahabaleshwari, meghalayaensis.
millardi, milleti, raja
satarensis, senffti
sericeus, tenuipes

Most are from India, Sri Lanka, and Micronesia
P. bhori is a small, uniformly brown spider from Parambikulam, India. 

P. guangxiensis is a plain brown spider from China and was described in 2000 by Yin and Tan. 

P. raja was found in the rubber plantations near the Cohin State Forest Tramway. They are small, steel-blue tarantulas. 

P. satarensis are tiny taratulas with a mostly yellow- brown coloration. The males have pale setae on the metatarsi. They are named after their locality in the Satara District, India.


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this page and all other pages in Eight- A Site about Tarantulas, are copyright Garrick O'Dell

Subfamily: Harpactirinae

These are also African "baboon" spiders.  Though smaller, they have unique habits and are still very defensive on the whole.  Some members of this subfamily will often stridulate.  Most are burrowers of dry scrubland habitat, but members of Pterinochilus sometimes show semi-arboreal tendencies.
In 2002, Richard Gallon made major revisions to this subfamily. More detailed information can be found at Timo Raab and Ingo Wendt's fabulous baboonspiders.de




Common Name

Odds n' ends


breyeri, ezendami, junodi


Southern Africa.  Augacephalus is a new genus created in 2002 by Richard Gallon.  They're quite similar to Pterinochilus, but females lack long setae on the chelicerae and have thicker forelegs.  A. breyeri is a former Pterinochilus species. 

A. ezendami, of Mozambique, was a "hornless" Ceratogyrus until Richard Gallon  revised its placement. 

What is now A. junodi was Coelogenium  nigrifemur and Pterinochilus junodi (a description for C. nigrifemur was made using a shed skin that lacked key details. C. nigrifemur turned out to actually be P. junodi) (Gallon 19). It's found in northeaster South Africa.

Bacillochilus xenostridulans
Small tarantulas from the central coast of Angola, between Rio Cavaco and the Rio Calumbela, according to the specimen jars that Richard Gallon found them in.  The area is part of a massive water management/saniition project, which will hopefully help preserve some of its unique environment. It's a natural port with a railway that has been recently restored to transport mineral from Congo, and a natural gas hotspot. As commerce grows, the natural environment shrinks.  Hopefully efforts like the Lobito Benguela Urban Environmental Rehabilitation Project will help with preservation/restoration of the region's natural state.

Brachionopus annulatus, leptopelmiformis, pretoriae, robustus, tristis Lesser Baboon Spiders
Small, stout South Africans.  The males lack tibial apophyses.

B. annulatus
lives in Transkei, which is wryly ironic, as the region was set up for Homo sapiens of different ethnicity  to separate them from others, somewhat like back-and-forth with the placement of this genus.  It also ranges northeast to Mkhobeni.
B. pretoriae, as its moniker suggests, was discovered in Pretoria.

B. robustus ranges at least from Bellair to East London.

B. tristis may be found in the the Songimvelo Nature Reserve   



Greaterhorned Baboon


A lot of people like to call this tarantula "Rhino Horned Baboon".  It's a hearty eater with a forward facing "horn".
They have a quite pronounced protuberance.  I haven't seen them in the US pet trade since 2002.  Often, a smaller spider without a pronounced "horn" is called C. brachycephalus in the pet trade; it is likely C. sanderi.
More information and photos of the US pet trade C. "brachycephalus" (cf sanderi) are located here.



Horned Tarantula


Tarantulas with a rearward facing horn.  They may be found south of Harare and west into Bostswana. This is home to one of Africa's most endangered animals:  the African Wild or Painted Dog.

Furthermore, its locality includes the dry Kgatleng district of Botswana, where water is scare, and climate change is making it moreso.





From near Masvingo and other locations in east-central Zimbabwe.
No "horn", just an extension of the caput.  It's not in the pet trade.  The savannah from which it hails is home to something with quite the horn, though:  the endangered white rhino.





A former member of the Coelogenium genus.  It was found near Zomba, in Malawi, a region that's not only working to preserve its endangered savannah animals, but also the humans who live there as well.



Straighthorned Baboon, Unicorn Baboon


As its name suggests, this tarantula's horn grows vertically and it's probably the most spectacular "horned" species, as some of their spires may reach nearly an inch in height.  It was formerly known as C. cornuatus until 2001. 
More information and photos are located here.




A former member of the Pterincohilus genus. It has no horn 
It's found near Dowa, in Malawi, one of the poorest countries on Earth.  Its human inhabitants use the few precious trees remaining for fuel.  Fortunately, there are some efforts to restore what's left.





This spider has no "horn", and nor does it have the ventral band common in Ceratogyrus.  The male has not yet been described; when it is, it may be concluded that this is actually an Augacephalus species (Gallon, public communication).  It's from South Africa, in Kruger National Park.




A former member of the 

Coelogenium genus.
No "horn".  





These have more of a "plug" than a horn.  More information on this spider is located here.





According to Richard Gallon's 2002 revision of the Eucratosceles and Pterincohilus genera, E. longiceps and Pterinochilus spinifer are now known as E. constrictus. 
Oddly enough, I have seen both a spider resembling E. pachypus and spiders that appeared to be tiny Pterincochilus species being sold as "P. spinifer from Tanzania" in the Florida pet trade.
Sometimes E. pachypus is sold as E. longiceps under the name "Voi Red Rumped Baboon." 
In any case, E. constrictus is a plain brown tarantula of smallish to average size that prefers a dry habitat; the spider is not nearly as stout in legs IV as E. pachypus (i.e., almost all the photos I've seen from dealers claiming to sell E. longiceps are actually E. pachypus).  It's found southeast of Kilimanjaro, at the border of Kenya and Tanzania.




E. pachypus is usually called Tanzanian Stoutleg Baboon.  Often times, E. pachypus is mistakenly sold as E. longiceps as "Voi Red Rumped Baboon" by some dealers. 



Tanzania. Their specific habitat is not clearly known (supposedly collected somewhere near Dodoma). These have greatly thickened rear legs.  E. pachypus is a small tarantula, with adult females maxing out at about 4" in legspan.  They prefer a drier climate. 
Richard Gallon published the first description of male E. pachypus in 2002.
More information and photos of this species are located here.





Generally, a location name followed by "baboon spider", such as: 
Cape Pigmy Baboon Spider 

H. atra is a beautiful charcoal black spider with sparse reddish setae on the abdomen.  It's predominantly found in western South Africa, generally north of Capetown. 

On the whole, the Harpactira genus is made up of southern Africans that resemble small, "bushy" Pterinochilus species. Most are predominantly found in South Africa, but H. namaquensisis is also found in Namibia.  Dr. Ansie Dippenaar-Schoeman, who is doing biodiversity surveys of South Africa, also reports a Harpactira species in Zimbabwe. 
Despite some unsubstantiated rumors, there has never been a death as a direct result of a Harpactira or Harpactirella bite (nor the bite of any other Theraphosidae). However, their bite is apparently painful, and may induce nausea in some individuals (Dippenaar-Schoeman 2002).

More information by Dippenaar-Schoeman is located here.  

Harpactira baviana
See above
This chocolate beauty with a gold carapace is found in the central savannah of South Africa.
See above H. cafreriana, of the southwestern Cape, is remarkable in its pronounced straitions on the carapace and deep, rich orange hue overall, whereas
H. chrysogaster
, of sympatric locality, has a plain brown/gold carapace without striations as an adult.  It has rich, dark legs and subdued to vibrant orangish setae on the abdomen.  According to Purcell, it may be a markedly different variation of H. cafreriana (Purcell 1902).

H. curator is a tawny beauty found east of Lesotho, in Marwaqa Nature Reserve.  It's possibly synonomous with H. tigrina.

H. curvipes is a uniformly colored, small (for a tarantula) and found in the Eastern Cape.
See above Tawny Western Cape inhabitants.
See above H. gigas may be found in northeastern South Africa, near Swaziland and the border with Mozambique (Kruger National Park) and perhaps west to Pretoria.  It is distinctive with its elongated carapace.

H. guttata is an Eastern Cape inhabitant with marked striations on the carapace.  It's found near Kwandwe Game Reserve.
See above Northern South African, found near Johannesburg.

See above H. lineata's description doesn't make a convincing case for its difference from H. atra, H. dictator, or  H. tigrina other than slight variation of setae on the mandible from a damaged specimen with vague locality data (Pocock 1897).  The male is unknown.

Simon's description of H. lyrata doesn't strongly convey separation from the rest of the genus.  There are some spiders in the European pet trade sold as H. lyrata, but they vary greatly, from specimens resembling H. chrysogaster to H. tigrina.  It is unclear what made the original smugglers deduce that they're H. lyrata.

See above
  Part of the "plain" group of Harpactira, with subdued, golden coloration and a mottled abdomen (somewhat like some Ceratogyrus).  Found on the Western Cape.

See above
Named after its locality in beautiful Namaqualand, northwestern South Africa's "Big Sky Country".
See above
A beautiful spider, generally a vibrant orange overall with a blinding turquoise blue on the dorsal surface of the legs past the femur.  They're found in the central/eastern cape, home to something even more rare: the southern white rhino. More information about H. pulchripes' locality is here.
See above
Lovely Eastern Cape inhabitants that vary somewhat in coloration, like smallish P. murinus.  Their carapace striations are pronounced. Found near Port Elizabeth.


helenae, insidiosa,
karrooica, lapidaria
lightfooti, longipes, magna,
overdijki, schwarzi
spinosa, treleaveni

Lesser Baboon Spider

Small Africans that range across the continent, with most being southern.
H. insidiosa, however, is endemic to southern Morocco, and H. latithorax lives in tropical west Africa.  

H. lightfooti is the spider erroneously blamed for causing a "death by tarantula" bite. Even in 1939, such unfounded anecdotes were quickly dismissed.

H. overdijki was described from specimens collected in Blyde River Canyon nature reserve.





This wide-ranging southern African species used to be called Pterinochilus crassispinus until this genus was reintroduced by Gallon in 2002.  It is common in eastern Zimbabwe, near Mutare and has a rich, dark carapace without marked striations.

Idiothele mira Bluefoot Baboon
This small spider with bluish forelegs was found in the Ndumo Game Reserve. It was recently described by Richard Gallon.

Pterinochilus alluaudi None

 P. alluadi
was found between Mombassa and Tsavo Park.

On the whole, the Pterinochilus genus is generally from east-central  Africa (primarily Tanzania and Kenya), are generally smaller than your average South American tarantulas, and many individuals can be quite defensive.  They range in color from charcoal gray to golden tawny brown.  They're fast 
and sometimes they like to burrow.  

Pterinochilus andrewsmithi None
Known from a single female found in the arid Turkana basin of northwest Kenya.  Its spermathecae are very unique for this genus, as they look like two wide recepticles, not narrow tubes.

This is a very wide ranging species, with specimens being found from central Sudan to the coast of Tanzania.  It is primarily found along the border of Kenya and Tanzania.




This spider, along with P. simoni, are the westernmost members of this genus, with the male type being found in the tiny Atlantic fishing village of Lucira, Angola.  The female is unknown (Gallon 2008).
Pterinochilus lapalala None  
Richard Gallon named this South African after the Lapalala Wilderness School in recognition of its work preserving habitat in the Waterburg.  According to Gallon, this spider, unlike other Pterinochilus, is specialized in its niche (Gallon 2011).
Pterinochilus lugardi Dodoma baboon, Ft. Hall baboon 

This pale spider has an extensive range of diverse habitats, from central Tanzania, south to northeast South Africa, and west into Namibia.



Golden starburst, Mombassa golden starburst, Usambara,
Usambara orange starburst baboon, Usambara Red, True starburst, Orange Bitey Thing (OBT), etc. so forth, and so on.


My favorite spider .  The specimens commonly sold as "sp" or P. mammillatus that are a shade of orange is just a color variation of P. murinus.  Likewise, P. hindei is the same thing as P. murinus.
They range in color from dark gray to tan, and some are quite yellowish, and most in the US pet trade are a beautiful reddish-orange. It has been reputed that the orange ones are more arboreal than the yellow ones.  However, it is probably just pet trade "lore" that distinguishes betwixt the color variations as being separate and distinct in habits.  I've seen both the yellow and orange varities be equally opportunistic throughout different stages of their lives. They live wherever and however in captivity, and breed like rodents. In fact, they are so established in captivity that I believe there is absolutely no reason whatsoever for their collection in the wild.  

Further information, mating and spiderling data, photos, etc., may be found here.

Pterinochilus raygabrieli None
Found east of Nairobi.  The female of this species is unknown.  The male is unique, as it has a short, blunt embolus, not the long, narrow one common to this genus.





These spiders are inhabitants of the Congo (common in both Kasai and Tshopo porvinces), and not likely collected.  It is interesting to note that their range extends all the way to the west coast of central Africa. 





Wide ranging (from Angola to Tanzania, including known poulations in Rwanda and Lualaba province in Congo), but not likely collected.  Sometimes varying color forms of P. lugardiP. murinus or P. chordatus are sold as P. vorax






These South Africans were formerly known as Pterinochilus shoenlandi until Richard Gallon's 2002 revision established the Trichognathella
genus. Gallon also published the first description of the female of this species. The type is South African, but Gallon also examined a specimen labelled as from Tanzania.  It could be possible that a container was mislabelled, as the collector, P. L. G. Benoit, was active throughout the Congo and northeast Africa throughout the 1950s-1970s  (see Avicularia arabica)

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Subfamily: Ischnocolinae

The junk drawer of Mygalomorphae.   In an oversimplified sense, this subfamily is sort of a bridge between the smaller, often less hirsute Mygalomorphae and the large, "hairy" spiders for which the Theraphosidae are predominantly known.  In a still simplified but more accurate sense, Ischnocolinae is to Theraphosidae what protists are to phylogeny as a whole. They don't fit neatly into our designed categories.

As of late, J.P. Guadanucci has been working with creating delimitations in order to better group and understand the evolutionary relationships of this subfamily.  Thus far, he has determined Ischocolinae to be defined by a slightly swollen area between the chelicerae,  a heel on the maxilla,  and microscopic bands of pseudosegmentation on the tarsi, and places genera that fit the aforementioned in "sensu strictu". All Ischnocolinae sensu strictu are are "New World" except Ischnocolus, demonstrating, like Psalmopoeus is to Selenocosminae and Stromatopelminae to Aviculariinae, that the mygalomorphs are far far older than the mountains themselves.
Those with clumped bumps on a raised area of the labium are placed new subfamily entrely: Schismatothelinae, all of which are of the Americas.
Left over is a third group, whose only common bond is they don't fit anywhere else.

Ischnocolinae sensu strictu



Common Name

Odds n' ends

Acanthopelma beccarii *

Not common in the pet trade.   This used to be the home of A. annae, which was the smallest known theraphosid (full-grown adults that are about the size of a fingernail), but subsequent study by arachnologists placed it in its own genus under the Barychelidae family, then here under Reichlingia


A. beccarii is a small burrower from Guyana, and may belong in another genus (Rudloff 15), or possibly another family altogether.   

A. rufescens, native to Guatemala and Costa Rica and likewise a digger, is a small, brownish/purple tarantula with light orange patterning on the abdomen.  Neither have urticating bristles.


  These differ from the other Holothele in that __________, thus placing them here They will likely be placed in spearate genera, a stheir spermathecae are totally different (except for neither being fused).  They are not similar at all in terms of locality, either  (H. culubrae is of course Puerto Rican, while H. rodoni is from deep in Amazonas),.

Ischnocolus  hancocki, ignoratus,
rubropilosus*, tomentosus, 

  North Africa and southern Spain.

I. hancocki was found near Larache, Morocco.

I. ignoratus was found in Jeruselum.

I. jickeli is northeast African (Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia).

It is doubtful I. rubropilosus, of Brazil, belongs here.

I. valentinus lives in southern Spain, near Barrio de la Luz, Alhama de Murcia, and Cazuma, as well as collected near the marabout Sidi Bou Gabrine in Tunisia, Tlemcen, northwestern Algeria, and the Rif mountains of Morocco.



  Found in a sunny clearing, Orange Walk district, Belize.


affine, astutum.

coenobita, corozali, cubanum
illetabile, insulanum,
scopulatum, spinosum

  Generally very small, sleek, spindly with little scopulae, and not ornately patterned, but there is a species out of Columbia that is possibly Trichopelma with distinctive coloration.

T. cubanum is insanely tiny. T. maddeni is a small, unpatterned, non-hirsute, and eyeless.  It was found in a cave in Parque Nacional del Este, Dominican Republic.




Common Name

Odds n' ends


E. amandae may be found in the high hills of central Colombia.

E. colonicus is fround in north-central Venezuela, while E. norae is found in the western extreme of the country, near the border with Colombia.

  G. atlantica was found in the Atlantic forest of Alagoas.  Its abdomen is plain.

G. cerrado, as its names suggesta, is found under rocks inthe cerrado of Goias.It has a beautiful "Christmas tree" pattern on the opisthosoma.

G. waikoshiema is unique for this subfamily, as it had quite stout forelegs, sort of like a "reversed" Hysterocrates species. It was found near Rio Macava, near the Venezuelan border with Brazil, home to the Yanomami tribe, whose existence is threatened by those who seek gold.  Over 500 years, and it seems not a lot has changed with the ambitions of European culture in the "new" world. . . .
Neoholothele fasciaaurinigra,
  These golden tarantulas are reputed to have short periods between mating and actual egg laying.  They have been found as far inland as Calabozo, Venezuela, but are more common near Milford Bay on Trinidad.

  S. inflata was dicovered near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela. S. modesta was found in the Valley of Naricual, Columbia. 
Sickius longibulbi  
This spider's genus was revitalized by Rogerio Bertani in 2002.  It used to be called Hapalotremus longibulbi.

This black and reddish Brazilian is one of only two known theraphosids that have no spermathecae. The male's sperm, transferred via the normal method of palpal bulbs, is stored in the uterus externus, like spiders even more primitive than tarantulas.

Ischnocolinae junkdrawus



Common Name

Odds n' ends


argentinense, chicaoi, parvum petropolium, uruguayense*


C. argentinense used to be a member of Oligoxystre genus. 

C. chicaoi is from Bahia, Brazil.

C. parvum is of Lavalleja, Uruguay. 

  C. petropolium is named after Petropolis, Rio de Janeiro.


concolor,  karlamani, olivaceum, webborum


Ranges from the Middle East to Eastern Africa, Cyprus, Seychelles.
Not common in the pet trade (though C. gracile is sold in Europe). C. olivaceum has a wide range, with specimens found near Haifa in Israel, the ruins of Curium on Cyrpus, at Amman in Jordan, Anatolien in Turkey, etc.

Dolichothele auratum, bolivianum, diamantinensis, dominguese, exilis, mineirum, rufoniger, tucuruiense

None From Uruguay and Brazil. These are the only New World Theraphosidae known to spin a fixed eggsac.


affinis, atropha, caudicula* darcheni, decemnotata, gabonensis, honesta
hullwilliamsi, ogbunikia,
spinipes, villosella

Sometimes H. villosella is marketed as Tanzanian chestnut

Central African genus, yet H. caudicula was described from a specimen found in Santa Cruz, Argentina.  Simon also described the type of  Acontius australis (Aporotychus) from the same locale, yet all Acontius are only known only from West Africa as well. Likely, Simon had mislabeled specimens.

On the whole, they are small spiders with long spinnerets and three claws instead of two.  They don't really fit in the Theraphosidae, they are not truly Dipluridae (where they are often placed), nor a perfect fit for any other mygalomorph family. Truly, they're a testament to how human attempts to put nature and her evolutionary process in neat, organized boxes based on our perception (much like this site) simply won't be flawless.

H. affinis was found in the dense jungle on the banks of the mighty Lualaba River.

H. spinipes has been found in the amazingly diverse coastal forest of the Kazimzumbwi Forest Reserve in Tanzania, just south of H. villosella's locality in the Usambara mountains.



 colonica, denticulata


I am surprised that these are not common in the pet trade.  They range from Brazil to Cuba.  H. culebrae is found in El Yunque and Luquillo mountains in Puerto Rico, as well as on St. John, including the near the ruins of the Annaberg sugar plantation.  


longipes, ludwigi
recta,  sanguiniceps, sericea
shoemakeri, steini


South American and Caribbean.  Specimens of H. recta in museums show localities as diverse as Trinidad to the Napo River in Ecuador (possibly mislabelled).  Most specimens were found in Venezuela.


H. rodoni is from Manaus and Juruti.

H. sericea is found near Puerto Plata, Haiti. H. sanguiniceps has been collected from Calabozo.  H. shoemakeri can be found in the Virgin Islands, and are a common sight on the Lind Point Trail on St. John.





From near volcanic sulfer mines on Guadeloupe.  It seeks opportunistic shelter, and was recently described in 2005. 




The name of this Venezuelan is an homage to Dr. Vellard.


gardineri, halophilus, insulanus


Indigenous to the Seychelles Islands. 

 N. gardeneri has been collected from Mahe and  Bird Island, a tiny, tiny island (about the size of two college football stadiums) with one little resort and one very fragile ecosystem. 

 N. insulanus is sympatric with  N. halophilus on Fregate.


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Subfamily: Ornithoctoninae

These are tarantulas revered for their colorations and defensiveness.  Most are native to southeastern Asia, enjoy high humidity, and have a striped pattern on the opisthosoma.
Most are of quite similar external appearance and some species may be removed sooner than later (and plenty more new discoveries added) by Volker von Wirth once he completes his research on this subfamily.

Note:  We at Eight are aware of the paper published regarding this subfamily in the December 2015 BTS journal.  While we very much respect the BTS as a whole (and are thankful for the primary author's previous contributions regarding Theraphosidae), that particular paper is not of the caliber that warrants attention here, with the exception of the note for C. paganus.




Common Name

Odds n' ends


hosei, tongmianensis


Unlike most other Ornithoctinae, legs IV are longer ands thicker than legs I in Citharognathus

C. hosei was found in Sarawak, Malaysia (island of Borneo). Sadly, the deforestation rate of the region is faster than anywhere else in the world. On top of that, China and Malaysia just agreed to turn C. hosei's habitat into a mining corridor. More information on that is located here

C. tongmianensis is named after Tongmian village, in Guangxi, China. It may also be found in Malaysia. It is larger than C. hosei and has no stripes on the opisthosoma.




Locality is unknown. Chamberlin listed it as "East Indies? Philippines?" .   There really is no telling where the type came from, as J.M. Barnard was entrusted with an enormous collection of specimens of plants and animals from the great North Pacific Expedition, which was incredibly extensive.  The ships did pass through the Philippines and subsequently made thorough exploration of the flora and fauna of the west coasts of the numerous islands, but they also collected around the Malay peninsula, and pretty much everywhere else.  Logic dictates that this particular spider was found in the vicinity of Borneo/Malaysia/Sumatra, as the description certainly parallels habitus of other Cyriopagopus habitus that evolved in the region of the Sunda megathrust. Fortunately, the MCZ at Harvard has lent the type to a researcher in Copenhagen, no doubt to compare it to Thorell's type of Omothymus.





Asian Chevron

Spiders sold in the pet trade under this moniker are probably not C. paganus.  They're generally brownish/ash gray with a somewhat mottled tiger stripe pattern on the abdomen. 
More information and photos are located here

The type of the real C. paganus was found near Dawaei (aka Tavoy), in what is now Tanintharyi state, Myanmar.

What's often imported as C. paganus comes from central Vietnam, nearly 500 miles away.

Odds are, the majority of the latter  are a Haplopelma sp. (more than likely H. vonwirthi).


To further add to the confusion, Simon's generic description is reflective of two different spiders, for the first line is: "Cephalothorax. . .multo humilior subplanus" very reminiscent of what we call Cyriopagopus today, and his species description echoes this distinction in the same manner as his description of the Sparassid Tibelloma chazaliae.  i.e., Simon could recognize a "low and flat" carapace, and only remarked upon such when it was, well, remarkable.  In fact, that is Simon's distinction between the type of what is now known as  Haplopelma albostriatum and the Cyriopagopus genus  by Pocock when he synonomized Omothymus with Cyriopagopus in 1900.

In contrast, Andrew Smith's examination of what's labeled as C. paganus reveals what is a clearly elevated caput (not to mention fused spermathecae, as per Schmidt's incongruent description of Cyriopagopus thorelli.   F.H. Gravely noticed this 100 years before Smith, and thus referred to H. minax as Cyriopagopus minax.  However, it didn't "catch on" (a couple world wars followed by constant SE Asian conflict caused Asian Theraphosid description to kind of go on the back burner), thus, like Rhechostica vs Aphonopelma, we have the definitions of genera as they stand today, which is where they've been since 1900.

When Pocock synomized Cyriopagopus and Omothymus in 1900 (in Arachnida I, not referenced in the entry in the WSC, nor by Smith in his 2015 work), he went with the emphasis on the carapace and Thorell's description of the male O. schioedeti.  Then he loosely translated Simon's Latin to redescribe C. paganus with the later half of Simon's description.

What really doesn't help is that the type for Psalmopoeus was floating in the same jar as what were then Omothymus at the British Museum and thought to be from Pinang by Pocock.

Basically, what went in which jar and how the jars were labeled in a time of expansive western biological exploration has resulted in so many incongruities that total reliance on such to define and study the evolutionary relationships of this subfamily is fruitless. It is much more practical to rely on modern delimitation and common sense, or at least to go with Pocock's delimitation as the first subsequent author, hence no changes here at this time without peer-reviewed thorough examination of existing types and extant descriptions.



Malaysian Giant Earth Tiger

Beautiful tropical arboreals, and, along with Lampropelma violaceopes, the only well-described and scientifically represented members of this form (listed as "Omothymus schioedteri" in the amazing National History Museum of Denmark).

Undoubtedly there are more species of this group of arboreal spiders, unique with their long forelegs and flat carapaces, yet to be discovered and well described high in the trees of the Sunda region.

  They have a greenish-yellow carapace and the abdomen striping common to this subfamily on a pale background. 
To my knowledge, most captive breeding attempts have resulted in failure.
However, captive breeding efforts have recently been seeing more success and 4 eggsacs have hatched in the U.S. as of 2002.
These spiders are sometimes mistakenly sold as C. thorelli.




Oddly, Schmidt described this spider as having fused spermathecae in 2003, which is clearly not consistent with what we know about Cyriopagopus.  There is no telling what he was examining (perhaps see notes under C. paganus), as the type is long gone, and if it were still around, Schmidt would have noticed it is a mature male.

See further notes under
C. schioedtei



Thai zebra (not to be confused with A.seemani), Thai tiger, 
Tigerrump (not to be confused with D. fasciatum or pentaloris), Thai Black (not to be confused with H. minax)

Burrowing spiders that have a brown carapace, slight striping on the legs.  They were found in eastern Thailand, and range further eastward into Cambodia.




Come from Borneo.



Chinese Black Earth Tiger

Large and black. 

H. hainanum is from Hainan, in southeast China, near Tongza. The region is home to several very diverse cultural groups, and the province has taken care to preserve their individual heritages. However, the island is home to over 8 million people, and the primary industry is agricultural. It is difficult to protect the unique habitat in the area. More information is located here.

H. hainanum serves a valuable role in venom research.



Variations of the "earth tiger" motif


See Haplopelma schmidti.



Cobalt Blue

Gorgeous as subadults and females.  They have metallic blue legs.  The mature males are similar to  H. albostriatum.
They're quite tense and quirky.   These absolutely need the ability to burrow in captivity, as they are a very secretive species that thrives on privacy.   
More information and photos are located here.
It's found in eastern Myanmar, east of Mawlamyine and into northwestern Thailand. 



A wild variety, to include: Thai tiger, Asian Black Birdeater, etc.

This spider was known as Haplopelma sp. "longipedum" until Volker von Wirth formally described it in 2005.  It is very similar to H. lividum, only with dark legs.  Also like H. lividum, it has long legs IV.

It has a broad range, from west of Bangkok to east of Phnom Penh. 
It is more common in the European pet trade than the US.  In the United States, many keepers inadvertently confuse a similar looking spider (H. vonwirthi) with H. longipes, though it has smaller legs IV.  More information on that spider can be found here



Thailand Black 

There are at least two color variants of this species. 
The one sold in the pet trade (from the Dawna Hills in Myanmar) in the 1990's looked like other Haplopelma, but with velvety black legs and a dark carapace.  It is black. Pretty much all over.  Plain black. Coal black. Darth Vader black. There are rings at the joints, and a vague tiger pattern on the opisthosoma is noted under light in some individuals, but these slight features do not overshadow its darkness, even approaching a molt. 

H. minax can be found in southeastern Myanmar and northwestern Thailand.


robustum, salangense

None, or variations of "Earth Tiger"

Southeast Asia, to include Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam.  The type specimens for H. robustum are missing. There is a shaggy, bluish spider sometimes sold as H. robustum in the pet trade. 



Golden Earth Tiger

These spiders from northern Vietnam are large growing, golden beasts that need ample soil for digging.
They're often sold as "Chinese Golden Earth Tiger", and their range does indeed extend north into China (they can be found from Pingxiang to Youyiguan).  A female specimen was first described by Volker von Wirth in 1991.  They're captive-bred by the thousands  for venom research.  The peptides contained in Huwentoxin-I and Huwentoxin-II (the name comes H. huwenum, a junior synonym of this species) provide clues to reactions in the human neurological system and therefore these spiders may well prove to be an aid to modern medicine. Furthermore, their silk is being studied for its uses in the microfiber industry.


Haplopelma vonwirthi Thai tiger, Vietnamese tigerump, etc. This spider became incredibly common in the US pet trade in 2004.  The description of the spider itself is difficult to follow. It is unclear how the spider differs from H. minax, other than coloration and minute difference in scopulation on leg IV.  More information on this spider is located here.



Sangihe Black


This spider was thought to be extinct, but Jean-Michel Verdez found it on the tiny island of Sangihe, home to the highest concentration of threatened bird species in Asia.  What else lives there? 

More information is located on Soren Rafn's excellent site:  Asian Arboreals

There was a spider from Borneo introduced to the US pet trade in 1999 under the monker of L. nigerrimum; they are large, dark burrowers that aren't Lampropelma. All other Lampropelma are arboreal spiders similar to Cyriopagopus



Singapore Violet;
Malaysian Blue Femur, Singapore Blue 

A large, blue/purple arboreal species. It can be found in southern Malaysia.  To my knowledge, it may be extinct on Singapore (see here, at the bottom of the page), though unconfirmed reports exist of the rare sighting in the catchment area on north-central part of the island.


It is now being imported in very large numbers

It's often sold as Cyriopagopus sp. "blue", and perhaps rightly so, at least the Cyriopagopus part. Pickiness aside, it's a gorgeous, leggy thing.  The important thing about it is realizing how quickly a spider can disappear from its type locality.  Singapore, now home to over 5 million people, has very little of its original habitat left. It is highly fragmented, and only recently has pollution control been a high priority.   



Asian Mustard

Long legged, tawny tarantulas from Myanmar
that like to web a lot.  They have deeply divided spermathecae, almost like an intergrade between the Haplopelma and Cyriopagopus/Lampropelma/Phormingochilus.




Sometimes sold in the pet trade as Haplopelma sp."aureopilosum" or Haplopelma minax. It is a gorgeous, "fluffy" spider with black legs that have a slight orange tinge along the edges.




O. costalis has black legs and yellowish rigs at the "knee joints".  They are small for this genus and were known as Haplopelma costale until Volker von Wirth revised this subfamily in 2005. 

They are from the beautiful (and somewhat protected) Erawan National Park


everetti, fuchsi


Very similar to the beautiful Cyriopagopus species, with striped abdomens. Like Cyriopagopus, they are arboreal.  Both  P. everetti and P. tigrinus were found near Padas Damit Forest Reserve, a protected wetland area in east Malaysia.

According to Pocock, P. tigrinus is much smaller than P. everetti (legspan a little longer than 4" for the former, over 6" for tha latter), and has uncharacteristic slightly longer legs IV than legs I, even when mature.  However, it is not clear in his description how he ascertained his type of P. tigrinus was fully grown.

P. fuschi is from Sumatra.

On Borneo, particularly in Sabah, there are undoubtedly more representatives of this genus and Cyriopagopus, some with gorgeous purple-blue appendages, reminsicent of L. violaceopes.

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Subfamily: Selenocosmiinae

Eastern hemisphere tarantulas, including some Australian ones. Some are profuse web dwellers and many enjoy burrowing.  Some are arboreal.   For detailed information on Australian varities, I recommend checking out Steve Nunn's Australian Tarantulas.  Furthermore, Nunn and West's revision of Lyrognathus is excellent reading.

Note: For the genus Poecilotheria, see here.




Common Name

Odds n' ends


andersoni, annandalei, assamensis, bicolor, brevipes*,

What's called C. andersoni in the pet trade is marketed as Asian Giant Fawn, Malaysian Red-Brown, many other assorted variations of a region and a color
(it is unsure which specific species these pet trade names belong to, and even more unlikely that the correct species name has been attributed to the spiders sold)

This genus has a range west to India, east to Vietnam, north to China, and south to Sri Lanka.   
All stridulate, and all tend to have long spinnerets, which they definitely use!

If all localities listed in the literature are accurate, C. andersoni has a huge range, as it can be found near Tenasserim, and probably up through the central valley of upper Myanmar, into India and south into Perak, Malaysia.   

 C. annandalei was found on the floor of a cave near Tampin, Malaysia.

C. assamensis can be found in Sibsagar in Assam. Fortunately, management of the unique region has helped preserve this spider's habitat (and saved rhinos on the brink of extinction).

C. bicolor is a dark-femured spider from south of Mandalay in central Myanmar.

C. brevipes is from central Myanmar (Tharrawaddy) and differs from its "roommate" C. flavipilosus by being much smaller and having a fairly uniform coloration.

C. dyscolus, discovered in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, also ranges into Thailand.

C. femoralis is found northeast of Goa, India, near Nasik. 


Indian Violet

C. fimbriatus is found around Khandala and Satara (north of Goa), India. However, it has a wide range. It is sometimes stolen by smugglers from Sanjay Gandhi National Park. and often (over) collected from Castle Rock in Karnataka. Though it is wide-ranging and adaptable, the pressure on this species makes it advisable to avoid wild-caught specimens.


Chilobrachys flavopilosus,fumosus None

C. flavopilosus is found east of the Irrawaddy River, near Tharrawaddy, a rice and teak farming lowland in central Myanmar, and northwest across the river, as far north as Magwe.  

C. fumosus can be found in the pleasantly mild climate of Kurseong and as far east as the Ri�Bhoi District in northeast India.





This medium-sized brown spider is from Hainan in southeast China, not Guangxi. 


hardwicki,himalayensis, huahini*, hubei* C. huahini is often marketed as "Asian Fawn."

C. hardwicki's
habitat in east India (near Ranchi) is extremely fragmented, as the area is dotted with coal mines. 

C. himalayensis
was discovered in the cool, high altitudes of Darjeeling, in Birch Hill.  The area is now a unique zoo that raises awareness and attempts to preserve via captive breeding unique high-altitude wildlife.  Also, the West Bengal forest department works hard to prevent poaching the unique wildlife.  Unfortunately, India's burgeoning population results in  mass deforestation.  Likewise, no local protection efforts can stave off the well-documented threats these rare flora and fauna face from global warming.


Some Chilobrachys species called C. huahini is often exported from Thailand. It is found east of Tanintharyi, Myanmar to Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand. A lot of the area is a national park, but, unfortunately a lot of the marshes (which produce the bottom of the food chain for the fauna of the park) have been converted to shrimp farms.  

C. hubei is China's northernmost tarantula, from Badong County, in Hubei Province, China. It's very similar to C. andersoni; unfortunately, the type specimens were lost, so it is difficult to know if it is a valid species because the only differences noted are some variable size factors. It would be interesting to know if any more have been seen that far north since, or if the collection data was erroneous. 
What's more interesting is guessing the future of any other wildlife in the area. It's from along a flood-prone section of the dammed up Yangtze River, and its primary industry is coal mining and water polluting. . .er, cement manufacturing.



liboensis, nitelinus, oculatus*, paviei


C. liboensis is one of China's more northern tarantulas (if the collection data for C. hubei is incorrect), from Libo County. It is also very much like C. andersoni in appearance. 

C. nitelinus was found in the tea plantations near the village of Dikoya on Sri Lanka. 

C. oculatus was based on a mutilated specimen, one in such bad shape that it was unclear if it was an adult, much less a different Chilobrachys species (it may be C. soricinus).  It was found it Sittwe, Myanmar.

C. paviei's description does little to separate it from C. dyscolus.  It was named after Auguste Pavie, a 19th century French explorer and missionary of Indochina.


pococki, sericeus, soricinus, stridulans thorelli, tschankoensis None

C. pococki
is found at higher elevations (about 1300m) in the hills east of Toungoo in Kayin State, Myanmar and along the Thai border.

C. sericeus is found in northeastern Myanmar, by the upper Ayeyarwady River.  Thorell also recorded the species from the lowland deltas around Palon.  It probably has a pretty wide range all along the rivers through the middle of Myanmar.  What's sad is this river system has been reduced to silted creeks due to the removal of mangroves and runoff from rice and other farms.

C. soricinus was discovered in Myanmar, but Thorell lists it as from Vietnam as well (Cochinchina).

C. stridulans was discovered near flood-prone Sivasagar in northeast India.

C. thorelli was found in the plains near Sadiya, where rivers join to form the mighty Brahmaputra.





Found on Penang Hill in Malaysia.  The locale is a popular "ecotourism" destination, but it's supposed by some that the development may be more about profit than ecology.
Coremiocnemis gnathospina, hoggi None   
Both are found at Fraser's Hill resort in Malaysia.  There's a pretty smart proposal afoot for using a cable car to reduce vehicle traffic to the resort.
Coremiocnemis jeremyhuffi None
 From the Titiwangsa Mountains
to Fraser's Hill in Malaysia

Coremiocnemis kotacana None
Discovered in the Gunung Leuser National Park in Sumatra

Coremiocnemis obscura None
Found in Perak in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia.




This Australian was recently described Dr. Robert Raven.
Further details can be found 
in the journal  Zootaxa




Singapore Brown 


C. valida has black femurs with a brown carapace, a purplish opisthosoma, and brownish to purplish ends on their legs.  

Found near the Entoyat River, Sarawak, East Malaysia.

Haplocosmia himalayana None
Found up to 7,000 feet in elevation, perhaps more, in the Kumaon Hills of Dehra Dun, Almora, and the "Aspen of India" Naini Tal (Uttarakhand, India), and Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh, India).The environment is unique, with its chilly winters, rapid shifts in elevation, and incredible rainfall.




Newly described from Nepal.  Some suggest that the description on this species may be in error and it's actually the same animal as Selenocosmia himalayana.


achilles, crotalus,fuscus, giannisposatoi, lessunda, liewi*, pugnax,robustus


L. achilles and L. fuscus were found in Kotawaringin Barat, on Borneo, with the endangered Borneo orangutan 

L. liewi  was discovered in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. L. lessunda is named after its locality:  Lombok Island, Lesser Sunda Islands.

L. crotalus and L. saltator are from the Khasi Hills, in Meghalaya, India. 

The very similar L. pugnax is from the nearby Garo Hills.

L. robustus, of the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia, is similar in build to members of the Eucratosceles genus with its thickened rear legs, but is very similar to members of Coremiocnemis otherwise.

Orphnaecus dichromatus New Guinea Rust-Orange From New Guinea. O. dichromata has a salmon colored carapace and velvety black legs and opisthosoma. It used to be part of the Chilocosmia genus.   Like members of the Haplopelma genus, these burrowers are very secretive and need privacy to thrive. 
More information and photos are located here.




Found on Luzon in the Philippines.  A spider bearing this moniker has recently been imported, supposedly from the Philipines. It bears a similar red/black constrasting coloration to O. dichromatus


Orphnaecus philippinus None A newly described species (Schmidt, 1999) that lives in the Philippines (on Negros Island). 



brevipes, bundokalbo, inermis,insularis,
mutus, nebulosus, ornatus
subarmatus, subinermis, xinping, watesi


This genus has a very wide range, from southeast Asia to Indian and Pacific ocean islands and  Australia. 
P. atriceps was found in Bogor, on Java.

P. baeri was discovered on Luzon, in the Philippines.

Phlogiellus brevipes (not to be confused with Chilobrachys brevipes) lives in the steep Dawna Mountains of Myanmar at about 1300 m. in elevation.

  P. inermis was discovered on Kent Ridge on Singapore.

P. mutus is a small, uniformly colored tarantula from the Philippines.

P. subarmatus was found in Nanchoury in the Nicobar Islands, where some pretty amazing things have independently evolved.

P. xingping is a smaller tarantula from Hong Kong.

P. watasei is from Yami district, Orchid (Lanyu) Island, Taiwan. Of note is the fact that P. watesi's habitat is very sparsely populated by simple people who fish for sustenance. On the downside, that sparse, simple population has made Orchid Island a dumping ground for Taiwan's low to mid level nuclear waste. Read how the Yami people (and thus the spiders too) were tricked here 



Psedocnemis brachyramosa, davidgohi, gnathospina, imbellis, jeremyhuffi None  



New Guinea Black Femur

Formerly a member of the Chilocosmia, but placed in this genus by Raven in 2000.  A defensive/reclusive tarantula with rusty colored legs and opisthosoma, a mustard colored carapace, and black femurs. 


aruana, compta, crassipes, deliana

S. crassipes is often dubbed "Whistling spider" or "barking spider"

 S. aruana is named after its locality on Aru Island in Indonesia.

S. compta is of New Guinea.

S. crassipes is found in Queensland, Australia.

S. deliana was found on Sumatra, as was the critically endangered Sumatra orangutan.


effera, fuliginea, hasselti    



S. effera is from Moluccas in Indonesia. 

S. fuliginea
is a dark spider from Tharrawaddy.

*Note: For S. hainana see the Ornithoctoninae subfamily.



hirtipes, honesta, insignis,



Selenocosmia hirtipes was found on Moluccas in Indonesia.


(to include ssp. brachyplectra
javanensis, dolichoplectra,
javanensis, fulva,
javanensis, and sumatrana)


S. javanesis varieties are sometimes sold as Javan Yellowknee. 


Brown diggers from one of the most populated areas on Earth, but the type, according to Thorell,  was found northeast of there on Little Nicobar. Just to the southeast of the type locality is the amazing Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve.




Dull colored tarantulas from Menghai County, a prime tea growing region in south-central China. 



lanipes, lyra, mittmannae*, obscura
orophila*, papuana
peerboomi, pritami,
raciborskii, samarae,similis, stirlingi
strenua, strubelli
sutherlandi, tahanensis
valida, xinhuaensis

  S. lanipes are called New Guinea Browns.
S. obscura is marketed as Borneo Walnut-brown.

S. kovariki was described from a specimen found in Tam Dao, Vietnam. 

S. kulluensis is from the Kullu Valley of India, and similar to S. himalayana with its gray/brown coloration. 

S. lyra was described from a juvenile male found on Sumatra.

The description of S. mittmannae was published in a non-peer reviewed magazine; its validity is questionable.  The type was found in Irian Jaya. 

S. obscura was found in Sabah, on Borneo, where tourism, direct effluent runoff, and industrial development are giving native flora and fauna a rough time. Fortunately, there is SEPA.

Selenocosmia orophila was described from the Karen Mountains in Myanmar.

Selenocosmia peerboomi was found on  Negros Island, Philippines

Selenocosmia strubelli is from Java.

Selenocosmia tahanensis was discovered in Gunung Tahan, Malaysia

S. xinhuaensis are small, ruddy-brown spiders from Xinhua village in Yunnan, China. 






From Palmerston,
Northern Territory, Australia, 




From Majors Creek, Queensland, Australia

 Tribe: Poecilotheriini

These are the Indian "tree spiders" native to India and Sri Lanka.
Their habitat in southern India and Sri Lanka is rapidly dwindling due to deforestation.   They were under consideration for inclusion to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) in a proposal sponsored by the United States and Sri Lanka, but that proposal was rejected in April, 2000.  If they are included in CITES, they can't be exported, yet a lot of where they live will likely be destroyed (at least in the case of India).  Some scientists estimated that some Poecilotheria spp. would be extinct by 2005 if human expansion into their habitat continued at its present rate (Charpentier 1996).  It hasn't happened yet, but, in the seconds it took you to read that, another tree in India just went down.  Without a doubt, captive breeding of this genus needs to be a top priority of tarantula enthusiasts.




Common Name

Odds n' ends



Sri Lankan Ornamental

Found near Kandy, Sri Lanka, these fast moving gray and black spiders require a well-ventilated home and do well with a moderate amount of humidity.  Similar in dorsal coloration to P. formosa and P. regalis
Their habitat is moderate year-round (with temperatures seldomly exceeding 80F), yet gets quite dry in the summer and exceedingly rainy in the winter months from November to January. 
Sir James Tennent, in one of the first Western descriptions of a tarantula bite, describes how a man disturbed a P. fasciata in a wine cellar.  The result was a fair amount of local pain and inflammation. 



Salem Ornamental

India.  These "tree spiders" are reminiscent of a less spectacular P. regalis without the ventral band. 



None (Tiger Spider)

Found on the island of Rameshwaram and a small area of the mianland.  Recently described by Andrew Smith and named after a wildlife sanctuary.  Very similar to P. fasciata. Hopefully, if the environment continues to be protected, Charpentier's prediction won't come true. . .at least with this species.  In 2015, it was noted that this species lives on Sri Lanka as well.




Gooty Oramental

An extremely beautiful "pokie" from India. Those in the pet trade have metallic blue appendages, blue chelicerae, a blue fringe around the carapace, and a blue stripe down the dorsal center of the opisthosoma.  Pocock's original description of an adult female from Gooty, however, portrays coloration similar to a less-defined P. subfusca, and the name is attributed to the bluish sheen on the otherwise brown surfaces on ventral side of the anterior legs. 
They have recently been introduced to the US pet trade; hopefully, proper attention will be given to captive breeding in the U.S. instead of just selling as many as possible to whomever for a quick buck (note: Kelly Swift produced the first captive-bred P. metallica in the US in early 2005).
The original exporters in Europe are indeed wise enough to have withheld breeding groups from sale.



(Sometimes sold as "Four Spotted Ornamental")

India.  These beautiful brownish arboreals have four prominent brown spots along the dorsal abdominal stripe.  They've only recently been introduced to the US pet trade at exploitive prices without attention to establishing a captive bred population in the country. Hopefully, those who have been buying them will make an effort to breed them upon maturity.  Europeans have ensured a captive-bred population on "the other side of the pond". 



Fringed Ornamental

From Sri Lanka.  These, along with P. rufilata, are the largest growing of the genus and one of the most beautiful.  They have the  typical yellow markings  on the undersides of the forelegs as well as some yellow patterning on the top side.  While more prolific with reproduction than some other members of this genus, they are not as socially tolerant. 
A medically documented bite of P. ornata describes immediate, local swelling at the finger, and pain extending to the armpit.  After-effects included a mild allergic reaction as well as joint soreness, but nothing to suggest any effects of severe consequence (Dougherty 2004). 




Much like Poecilotheria regalis, except it lives in Sri Lanka and has no "belly band".



Indian Ornamental

From India.  These can be distinguished from the other "pokies" by a whiteish/cream colored band on the underside of the opisthoma. 
P. regalis was accidentally classified in the Ornithoctoninae subfamily by Tikader, and was called "Ornithoctonus gadgili" for a brief time.
This species is reputed to be socially tolerant in captivity.
However, I have heard about and personally observed cases in which a male matured before his female siblings and was attacked under captive conditions.
In the wild, several generations may inhabit the same tree.
More information and photos are located here.



Redslate Ornamental

India. These, along with P. ornata, are the largest arboreal tarantulas.  They have reddish hairs sprouting from the legs and beautiful yellowish markings.  They, like P. subfusca, enjoy milder temperatures. 




Sri Lanka. 
These were mistaken for P. subfusca before the actual P. subfusca was introduced to the European pet trade 1989. Later, they were thought to be P. bara, but careful cross referencing and persistence by Philip Charpentier in 1996 showed them to be different, so he declared the new species P. pococki.  Later, P. pocoki was synomized with P. smithi, which Peter Kirk described earlier the same year. 
They are not exceptionally colored, with dorsal patterns similar to P. regalis, but no yellow forelegs or transverse band on the ventral surface of the opisthosoma.
They have proven exceedingly difficult to breed, and their habitat is dwindling rapidly. 



Mysore Ornamental

Southern India.   
P. striata has similar coloration to P. regalis without the ventral band, and the "caution bands" on the ventral sides of the forelegs may be more orange than yellow. 



Ivory Ornamental

Highlands of Sri Lanka.  These are absolutely grand examples of a beautiful spider.  Their color patterns are more bold than some other members of this genus, and the contrast of cream/black/gray on their dorsal sides (along with Sri Lanka's closure to exports) make them command a high price. 
They live in the mild climates of the coffee and tea plantations near Pundaloya, where elevations are above 5,000 feet and temperatures seldom exceed 75 degrees F. Unlike many other Poecilotheria species, these aren't accustomed to heat and an extremely dry season followed by monsoons- their habitat remains about a comfortable 70% humidity year-round, with very nice, cool temps. They were found to be the same as P. bara by Peter Kirk's extensive work with this genus in the late 1980's/early 1990's.
They are reportedly a socially tolerant theraphosid  (Striffler 2003).  This is a good thing, as their broods are small in number. 



Wessel's Tiger Spider

This Indian species was described by Andrew Smith in 2006. 
It somewhat resembles P. formosa, and is fortunately being captive bred in Europe.



Ghost Ornamental

High-white spider from Sri Lanka.


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Subfamily: Selenogyrinae
Small Indian and African tarantulas.



Common Name 

Odds n' Ends


pectinifera, travancorica


India.  Somewhat unspectacular tarantulas with short, slender legs.  The males do not have tibial spurs.

A. ernakulamensis was found in the Bhoothathankettu forest, near one of India's largest hydroelectric projects.

A. travancoria is, as its names suggests, described from specimens found in Travancore. It's also found in Kulathupuzha and Thenmala, the latter being the first eco-tourism destination in India. It's a small, uniformly brown spider.


spinosus, squamosus


Cameroon. The mature males of this genus have no tibial apophyses.   E. spinosus was found near the Dja River, one of the last pristine areas of the Congo basin and a major conduit for ivory poachers.


africanus, aureus, austini brunneus, caeruleus



West Africa.

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Subfamily: Spelopelminae
See the genus Hemirrhagus under subfamily Theraphosinae

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this page and all other pages in Eight- A Site about Tarantulas, are copyright Garrick O'Dell


Subfamily: Stromatopelminae

West African Arboreals.  Philip Charpentier's travels to Africa and persistent work have greatly clarified mysteries about the life cycles and habitats of these species. Of great interest is their evolutionary relationship with both the Eumenphorinae and Aviculariinae.



Common Name

Odds n' Ends




A species newly described by Richard Gallon in 2003 as Xenodendrophila gabrieli.  The males have no tibial spurs.  The females lack spermathecae. 
Gallon recently found out this Tanzanian matched Strand's 1907 description of Encyocratella.
A fascinating fact about this highland African arboreal is that it can still lay fertile eggs after a post-coitial molt ( as can Sickius).


crassipes latithorax



The members of this genus are quick moving arboreals.  H. crassipes (found nea the Kienke River, Cameroon) and H. crassipes latithorax, (of the Congo) have even thicker legs than H. maculata.



Togo Starburst,
Oranmental Baboon

  Fuzzy grayish-golden arboreals that prefer low-lying palms and scrub for homes.  They may spend a good amount of time on, in, or near the ground as youngsters. 
More information and photos are located here.




Collected in Cameroon, near Evouma (Efluen) by GL Bates. Very similar in appearance to S. calceatum.

One benefit of the otherwise abhorrent societal corruption in Cameroon is a lack of tourism and outside development, which allows for a lot of habitat preservation.  However, as the country depletes its oil reserves, its massive and largely untapped stores of natural gas will certainly draw industrial attention in the near future.




Featherleg Baboon

(not to be confused with Eucratoscelus pachypus).

Medium sized arboreals. 
They inhabit a wide range in west-central Africa.  These inhabit the crown of tall palms, but have also migrated to fruit trees when palms are not available. 
They are easily distinguished from Heteroscodra maculata due to the thinner legs IV.They supposedly have a nasty bite. In fact, Philip Charpentier has written about the effects of Stromatopelma spp. bites, and says they include traveling pain of an electric magnitude (he compares it to being shocked and feeling a current rush through one's body) that can persist for hours, and he describes swelling at the site of the bite. In his personal experience, he has endured mild cramping in a punctured finger for some weeks afterward.   


calceatum griseipes


Same thing as S. calceatum, but localized near Pepel, Sierra Leone, and slightly different in coloration. Unfotunately, Sierra Leone isn't exactly noted for environmental preservation efforts.  An eleven-year civil war had most of the populace concerned about preserving themselves instead of worried about the massive deforestation issue plaguing the country's wildlife.  The indigenous people are dependent on wood for fuel, contributing to mass habitat loss.  Fortunately, there is some help via education.




S. fumigatum was found near Rio Muni in Equatorial Guinea.  It may likely be found in northern Gabon, and perhaps extends into Cameroon.  The region is home to the Western Lowland Gorilla, one of the most threatened primates on Earth.





Arboreal West African recently resored to this genus by Richard Gallon.





S. satanas is a black spider. A single male holotype was found near Libreville and described by Berland in 1917. Andrew Smith remarked that the habitat of S. satanas has been extensively and unfortunately heavily cleared. Does this mysterious and dark arboreal still exist? 




See Encyocratella

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There are so many genera in this subfamily that it got its own page, which is sorted by genus.
Click below:
 The Theraphosinae Page



Subfamily: Thrigmopoeinae
Indian Tarantulas.



Common Name

Odds n' ends


kayi, nilgirinus, satyanus, tenebrosus



From India.  This genus may be synonimized with Thrigmopoeus soon.  The only big difference between the two genera is that the stridulating bristles on Haploclastus are random in spacing.  In Thrigmopoeus, they're in a definite pattern.  


H. cervinus, from the Palni Hills,  in southern India, has legs of fairly equal lengths. For H. nilgirinus, the legs are more like Thrigmopoeus, with short legs IV.

H. kayi is a small tarantula with a rusty coloration. The ends of the legs are pale golden-gray. They live in the wildlife sanctuary of Parambikulam.


H. validus was found at breathtaking Matheran Hill Station, which is now a popular tourist resort that has found a unique balance between profit and preservation.  No private vehicles are allowed at the hill station.   It also ranges southest into northern Satara district.


insignis, truculentus

None (sometimes T. truculentus is marketed as "Indian Black Femur")

Also from India. Both may be found in southwestern India, in Uttara Kannada (formerly Kanara).  The forests of the region are endangered according to the Anshi National Park and Dandeli wildlife sanctuary, both of which were granted the honorable status of Project Tiger members. 

Both spiders are somewhat similar in build, with thin hind legs and flattened forelegs. 

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