Brachypelma smithi (ex. annitha) • 1/2″, ~1″

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Brachypelma smithi (Mexican giant orange knee) from coastal slopes of the southernmost part of Mexico’s Sierra Madre del Sur, captive bred. A colorful, slow-growing, medium-large terrestrial, recently increased in popularity and availability.

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Description

What we knew as Brachypelma smithi has recently had a name change, to Brachypelma hamorii, and what we knew as Brachypelma annitha is now Brachypelma smithi. These two species are very similar in appearance; hence confusion over the years. To tell the difference, at a field guide level, comparing the pattern of black on the carapace can be helpful. Black on the carapace of B. hamorii covers it almost entirely in most specimens. That on B. smithi tends to concentrate front and center, i.e., darkest anteriorly, in mask fashion, and centrally around the fovea in a starburst patten (see the photo above). Variation exists, so other parameters are needed to be sure of identification.

Be careful of B. smithi (ex. annitha) web photos. Unupdated posts, and there are many of them, show B. hamorii (under its old name, B. smithi).

One of the more interesting consequences of the name change and clarification of differences is the increased hobby attention B. smithi (ex. annitha) has received. On the legs of adult female specimens, orange and black contrast more clearly in B. smithi than in B. hamorii. The overall effect is pleasing.

Keeping requirements for B. smithi and B. hamorii are the same. Spiderlings here were captive bred in Mexico and imported under CITES purview.

The photo above, courtesy Dr. Jorge Mendoza, shows an adult female.

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions 1 × 0.5 × 0.5 in
Size/Sex

1/2" spiderling, ~1" spiderling