An Introduction to the Tarantula Spiders of Trinidad, W.I.

Rick West


The tarantula spiders are the largest of all spiders. In May of 1981, I came to study and collect tarantulas on Trinidad and Tobago for one month. My first two weeks were spent at the Simla Biological Research Station, four miles north of Arima on the Blanchisseuse Road, high in the northern mountain rainforest. Collecting by daylight produced four species of tarantulas, Cyriocosmus elegans (Simon), Hapalopus incei (F.O. Cambridge), Psalmopoeus cambridgei (Pocock), and Tapinauchenius plumipes (C.L. Koch). One important point should be made at this time and that is that the family Theraphosidae is in a chaotic taxonomic mess. Species names I have given in this article are taken from old taxonomic keys and to the best of my knowledge are the true species so named.

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