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.
What we knew as Brachypelma smithi is now called Brachypelma hamorii, and what we knew as Brachypelma annitha is now Brachypelma smithi. These two species are similar in appearance and were confused over the years. A simple approach to telling the difference is to compare the pattern of black on the carapace. The carapace of most specimens of B. hamorii is almost entirely black. That on B. smithi tends to concentrate frontocentrally, i.e., black anteriorly, sometimes in mask fashion, and centrally around the fove, sometimes in a starburst patten (see the photo above). Variation exists, so other parameters are needed to be sure of identification.
One interesting consequence of better understanding B. hamorii and B. smithi differences is increased hobby attention now focused on the latter. Orange and black contrast more clearly on the legs of B. smithi than B. hamorii, giving rise to a pleasing visual effect.
Caution regarding B. smithi web photos. Outdated posts, and there are many, show B. hamorii (under its old name, B. smithi).
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.
|Dimensions||1.0 × 0.5 × 0.5 in|
1/2" spiderling, ~1" spiderling