Subject: Bisected Hair Growth on Rosehaired Tarantula
Location: Philadelphia, PA
March 19, 2013 7:21 pm
I wasn’t going to submit this question on What’s That Bug, because the species isn’t in question. My What’s That Bug dilemma is about this specific individual. This rose haired tarantula is part of an education program collection at a small arthropod museum in Philadelphia, PA. Her hair is significantly longer on one side of her body than on the other. She seems to be split right down the center. Also, her carapace seems to have less rosy iridescence on the side with the shorter hair. I’m wondering why she’s like this and hope someone here can provide an answer. I already showed these two photos to Eric Eaton. He suggested I post them to some spider forums, which I’ve done. I can take additional photos if needed.
It is much too late in the morning for us to research this more thoroughly since we have a train to catch, but we will post the first thought that came to our minds. This lateral split is sometimes seen in insects where one side is male and the other female, and this lateral hermaphrodite is known as a gynandromorph. Here is an example of a Tiger Swallowtail gynandromorph from our archives. We aren’t certain if there is sexual dimorphism in the Rosehaired Tarantula, but some quick research might reveal if our suspicion is correct.