My new tarantula pic!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jay H, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    This is a nice picture I just took of my new cage. It's much bigger than the little 2.5 gallon glass aquariums I had them in. It's a divided 10gal tank and this is my Brachypelma Smithi aka Mexican Redknee whose name is "itsy". My other tarantula, the one who just molted is hiding in his burrow so I didn't get a chance to photograph him. Itsy I think is female and the quarter over there is a bit of a reference in size. The divider is actually made for an aquarium but I reinforced the sides with some food-grade silicone and bought that rock that she's on from a petstore and the half log too. The soil is a 50/50 peat moss (no fertilizer)/Vermiculite mixture.
    Hope you enjoy the picture:
    Picture here
    When my Brachypelma boehmei decides to come out, who knows when, I'll try to get a picture of him, whose name is "bitsy" [​IMG]
    Jay
     
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Eeeeek!! Wow, that's a cute little devil. Can you pick Itsy & Bitsy up with your hands or will they try to bite you? I've always wanted a spider- just in case robbers ever broke in I could set it loose like in Home Alone.
     
  3. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Your a brave man if you try to retrieve the quarter

    Nice looking arachnid Jay!
     
  4. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

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    Looks very cute and cuddly, Jay. How often do you have to bathe them? [​IMG]
     
  5. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Jeez Jay Just looking at that pic had me lifting my feet of the floor!! [​IMG]
    My feet are now resting on top of my monitor thanks to your spider pic, and its mighty uncomfortable typing this down this way, I hope no ones looking, eeee!! something moved in the corner of my eye!! No it was just the friggin' cat [throws floppy disc at cat] shit missed again!! Getting very jittery here, I have arachnophobia you know, its over there on the shelf, good movie!![​IMG]
     
  6. Chuck_C

    Chuck_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice picture! Reminds me of the huge tarantula that walked up to me a few years ago in Zion National Park. He was just passing through, doing his thing.
     
  7. Nick Sievers

    Nick Sievers Producer

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    You could put that thing on a leash and walk it. God spiders freak me out. I get shivers just looking at them.
     
  8. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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  9. Scott W.

    Scott W. Second Unit

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    Hey Jay! You know... I was thinking of picking up a tarantula myself. I was wondering if your tarantula(s) make much of a mess, in regards to the silk they spin. Do yours make a mess? Because of this fact, I'm thinking of maybe getting a scorpion instead. Having a Tarantula or Scorpion would be cool, but the arachnid would be my first pick. Anyways, Later.

    Scott
     
  10. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Thanks all, I know it's cliche, but all you guys watch too many movies!!! (I guess that could be construed as a compliment over here!)

    Tarantulas make great pets, as they are really inexpensive to maintain and feed. I perhaps do soil changes maybe once a year? They don't need to be fed much, in fact, they can go months without feeding and crickets are typically a dime each. There's no filter to maintain and perhaps a 15W heat pad is all so negligible electricity costs. Fish/cats/dogs are much more expensive to feed and provide health care for. Tarantulas, there are still no real knowledge of care, I mean, try to take one to a vetinarian and say "it's sick" and prepare for some weird looks, there's not much one can do to cure a sick spider!!! But then, they rarely if ever get sick. The worst case scenario is that the spider is wild caught and has either a parasite, but there's plenty of captive bred ones (all mine are, of course the B. smithi is a SITES class II species due to overcollection of the species. SITES class II means no exportation from the native country which is mexico).

    They're very docile, I put that quarter there by hand, itsy didn't even care... Although I haven't handled her yet, I'm more afraid of hurting her than me, as some of you have witnissed, they can run pretty fast for short periods so I'm afraid of him jumping off my hand and falling which if she breaks her exoskeleton can be fatal. In anycase, the old world tarantulas (those from Asia typically) are more aggressive in terms of biting cause that's their only real defense, besides running. New World Ts have urticating hair on their abdomens (opithosoma) which they flick off when irritated. The hairs can be irritating if they get on your skin (do NOT get them in your eyes!!) and some people have more a problem than others...

    I don't think they are at all aggressive, most if not all will first try to run first, in any case, the venom is as powerful as a bee sting, the most venomous arachnids are not tarantulas, the funnel web, trapdoor, recluse, and widows are much more potent. Those are true spiders and tarantulas, due to being much bigger in size that those, don't rely on venom as their primary defense/offense. They also don't rely on silk as their hunting method. They just prefer to pounce on the prey much like a cat.

    Most Ts don't like to get wet too much, although some species are known to swim a bit, it's not truely known if they enjoy it or it's just a necessity. I think it's the later myself. I mist the cage every now and then, if I mist the spider, it tends to move away.

    Scott W, adult females will tend to silk up the place, but most new world juveniles/sub adults wont tend to silk it up too much. My guys will lay a little silk down in a few spots but it's hardly noticeable and its certainly not "a lot". I think they'll put some webbing down to slow down crickets and stuff. Now adult female tarantulas will use their silk to roll up their eggsac when fertile. Male adult Ts will make what's known as a sperm web. Tarantula sex is cool, if you ever see it, (I'll have to find some pictures on the net perhaps... ), it takes place face to face and the male T will make the sperm web to place some of his sperm on through the glands in the abdomen. Then he takes his pedipalps (the two short legs in front of the two main legs) and gathers up his sperm and during sex, takes them and uses that to knock up the female. A male T will use little hooks (called tibial spurs) to lift the female while both are facing each other.

    Anyway, Scott W, Ts are great, easy, and inexpensive to care for. Finding Ts can be harder but that's why there's Airborne Express!!! Over here in the NE, there are not many pet stores that have them, but I got mine through the internet and from Airborne Express overnight! Weeeee, travelling spiders!!! There's a bunch of good places to check out so if you're interested, send me an email or PM and I'll point you to some good places to look around...

    Jay
     
  11. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Jay,

    Do you think you could post those links here? I would be interested in getting a Tarantula myself, but I would want to do a little reading up on it first. I don't want to jump into something without knowing exactly what I'm doing.

    Thanks.
     
  12. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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    The idea of even touching a spider sends a chill down my spine - nothing induces a more crippling fear in me than my arachnophobia (except maybe the Candyman). Still, cool pic! [​IMG]
     
  13. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    OK, here's a bunch:
    http://pwp.value.net/tqe/
    Check out the articles on "info care" on beginners, notice the groupings between new world Ts and old world Ts and the differences... Arboreal Ts versus Terrestrial Ts, arboreals live in trees and need a verticle tank while terrestrials are on the ground... usually!!! my boehmei had a weird habit of climbing the walls and hanging from the top for a bit. They can and do climb glass BTW, so don't think the glass aquarium is a hindrance!! [​IMG]
    The guy who runs that site is a frequent poster of a Tarantula group at Yahoo, the group has kind of gone a little downhill as it merged with the Arachnid group and is now really not that great a place for beginners, they seem really cliquish now. Either way, he's really knowledgable and has a houseful of Ts, scorps, snakes, etc... Just be prepared to learn a lot of latin. Classification of Ts is hard since there are not many true experts and it's sometimes tough. Get a good idea of a good beginner T, something like a new world Ts are typically good ones, not to aggressive but sometimes can be considered the "pet rock" type. I mean in nature the only time Ts really do move alot is when looking for a mate. So walking in Mexico on an unlit street during mating season, you're probably coming upon a male looking for a female.
    http://www.arachnophiliac.com/burrow/spiders.htm
    This site has a bunch of links to anatomy and has some "care sheets" for some of the popular Ts.
    A great book about the keeping of Ts and a bit of history is Stanley & Marguerite Shultz's book:
    A Tarantula Keeper's Guide You can find it at Amazon and others for around $10, I have it and it's excellent.
    A link to a resource for stores:
    Stores link
    Arachnocentric
    Glades Herp (pricey but very good service)
    Pet Center USA (where I got mine from)
    Spider Patch
    Swift's Invertabrates
    These are the bigger invert breeders and sellers of Ts that I know of. Anyway, once you get a genus and species, you can probably find alot of info by searching for them. You'll find alot of websites in German, seems like the Germans like to keep Ts but you'll find a bunch of sites in English and stuff... There's alot of different kinds and alot of ways to keep them, don't get put off by alot of articles that make it sound as precise, Ts are hardy invertibrates, they've been around way longer than we have and are hardy. I basically keep mine a slightly warmer than room temp, about 73°F but unless you are trying to keep a rainforrest T, temps and humidity doesn't have to be so high. In fact, the B. smithi and boehmei live in the scrublands of Mexico and typically like it dryer than what most people believe.
    Jay
     

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