This morning I came into school to care for the animals and begin working through the piles of student exams that came in during my three days in Atlanta. The fourth Mexican red knee (Brachypelma smithi) has molted and is clearly too active and colorful to have molted today. The last time I checked the animals was Friday night.
The tarantula’s exoskeleton is pretty well tangled. Despite my best efforts, I’m unable to get a great image of the area adjoining the gonopore. The lack of clearly defined structures certainly makes gender determination more difficult. Fortunately the ever-dependable Jen Newman confirmed this individual to be female.
Four females out of four so far. One remains, though it was also looking likely female at the last molt. Should be able to confirm gender with reasonable immediately after the next molt. I guess I need to be thinking about procuring males at some point…
Written December 16, 2012