About tarantulalove

I love cute things, cute bunnies, cute cats, cute fuzzy hamsters, cute dogs, and cute tarantulas - wait what? Yep, you heard right tarantulas are cute! Maybe my perception of the word cute is a bit malformed, but everyone is unique! However, my hobby not so much~ thousands, maybe millions of people all over the world participate in it, from down right goth types, to your normal everyday mother of 5, and in my case, your normal 21 year old female who has been keeping tarantulas since she was 14. Still.... Its a little bit hard to find a boyfriend.

Pictures of the Gang!

Hey everyone, this is another short post. The next post I will be dwelving into spiderling care and growth stuff.

Today I wanted to post some pictures of the gang. Here are several species 🙂

Please click the pictures for a bigger view 🙂

Lets start with the newest to my collection.

Heres a Haplopelma species. This genus really enjoys to create elaborate burrows to hide in and wait for prey to walk by. Very beautiful secretive species, that is very defensive of its territory, so I only advise these to experienced keepers, or people who aren’t afraid easily. Because when being afraid you can make a mistake that could kill your spider 😦 that would be sad.

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Here is a H. maculata. This species gets to be about 5″ish+ With starking white and black contrast that make them somewhat looks like they are dalmatian spotted, which I think is totally cute. This species is VERY fast, but quite docile, however it is not advised to handle as they possess a strong venom that really hurts for a few days. It mostly attacks muscle sensation causing severe cramping and the bite area ends up feeling like a very bad burning sensation so it’s advised not to handle the spider. However, just to let you all know, tarantula venom is not known to be medically significant – just be responsible with your spiders and you will be pain free. (There has been NO death caused by tarantula envenomation to humans either.)

It’s a semi if not mostly arboreal species. Mine loves to hang out in her dirt tunnel it creates that connects to the ground. They are also very shy and light sensitive.

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This is Psalmopoeus cambridgei. Another fast but docile spider. It’s bite isn’t as bad as the previous spider, and they are right gorgeous. This is an Arboreal species that loves to make dirt curtains hehe. Really neat.
They get to be about 5-6″. The one I am holding is only 4.5″ so she will get stockier, with greener/gold hues as she gets older 😀

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Here is a relative of the above spider, who is in the same genus Psalmopoeus. This one is called Psalmopoeus irminia, really beautiful. Right now she is 1.5″ however, When she gets older, she will become jet black with hot wheels like orange flames on the tips of her legs. Very striking. This species is more defensive then cambridgei, but just as fast.

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I will share with you two more species, and something you might be surprised about knowing – not all tarantulas are huge! There are many dwarf species as well, such as the cuties I am about to show you ! 😀

This is Heterothele villosella, this is actually a communal species. A communal species is a species of tarantula, or animal in general that lives and works together in their little community. This species of tarantula does just that. At the moment I have 5 of these beauties living together 😀

The below is about 1.5″ and will get maybe .5″ bigger.

This species in question like a semi arboreal setup I believe, but they are pretty adaptable to anything.
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Here is another dwarf tarantula. Cyriocosmus perezmilesi. This one is pretty adult and tiny eh? hehe, I love the heart shape on its abdomen (butt area) it’s so cute. Perfect girlfriend gift!
It’s a dry loving terrestrial species.
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Anyways folks, I hope you enjoyed some of the kiddos above! Just to let you know I have more ;D

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I am going to be a Human Book!

I decided to apply for the volunteer program Human Library, being held in Vancouver, at the new Surrey Center Library. It’s happening December 3rd. I will be bringing my tarantulas to talk about my fascination with them.

I will also be answering questions to the best of my knowledge. I love getting tarantulas out there for people!

Many people think they are deadly, come in one color, and all sorts of crazy things. Teaching people that they aren’t and that they are so much more is always a fulfilling opportunity, plus who DOESN’T like to talk about what they love?

Heres some information!

These Books are Meant for Talking…

Meet & be amazed by some of the brave, intriguing & exciting people living in our communities.

Sat. December 3rd, 2011
at the City Centre Library,
10350 University Drive

10 am – 12:30 pm or 1:30 – 4 pm

http://surreylibraries.ca/programs-services/5434.aspx

Crysta – Tarantula Lover

Spiders, scorpions, and reptiles – Crysta has been collecting, studying, and loving them since she was 14. She also captures her love of the environment and the natural world through stunning photography posted online.

Meet some of Crysta’s creatures and then find out how she plans to tell the world about them.

http://surreylibraries.ca/files/HUMAN_BOOK_BLURBS_nov_10.pdf

Doing the Kinky

Hey everyone, its been awhile! Sorry for not updating sooner, but I have been busy with exams.

I’d like to remind you, my post here are related to my experiences and my knowledge on spiders, please don’t forgot that an expert arachnologist is always better than the information you learn here!

Anyhow, the spiders have been doing great! They are molting, eating and being all peachy!

Speaking of Peachy, Princess Peaches, or P. pulcher is getting a date in the near future! Hopefully the pairing will go great, and she produces a sac of spiderlings!

Today I will be posting more about tarantula breeding – basically an extension of the previous post, so please stick with me, and I hope you find it interesting!

click me for bigger

P. pulcher!

For those of you reading this, who are new to spiders, might be wondering how do spiders mate?

In the tarantula world, the males have 2 organs on their palps, called palpal bulbs which originate on the two small ‘legs’ in the front of their fangs. Most males have hooks on their legs(more specifically tibia) that they use to hold the females fangs while he goes for the insertion of the females spermatheca (like our vagina.). For more information, see the post before this, linked HERE

After the male has inserted his sperm into the female’s spermatheca, she holds the sperm inside her until her required conditions are met, and she feels safe to lay the sack. Eggs usually take 25-30 days or more to develop into first stage spiderlings depending on the species.

However, mating spiders doesn’t just happen. Preparation in temperature, feeding regime, and environment are all a big part in producing tarantula offspring. Some tarantulas need a cooling period in order to create a sac, or a hot period, and a rain/wet period depending on the location where they originate from. Most tarantulas need to be full, or they will see the male as food and not a way to procure offspring, so people, please be sure to feed your spiders!

Sometimes, if the spider is a rare species it may take a long time to procure a sac from a species in question, because we know nothing about it. It usually takes a while before hobbyist can learn what they like in captivity and what they don’t. Sometimes they take on behavior completely different of when they were living in the wild.

After careful testing, and experimenting with the spiders behavior, we slowly learn more about them. Most of us like to share our information, some others don’t which end up having other people to keep working at the –formula- (I guess ill call it that) in order to produce some of the rarer species. A lot of us do it out of the good nature of having fun, and the rewards of making the spider happy, however there is always someone out there who loves making a pretty penny off of selling them. Usually I will sell spiders, and then use that money to buy more spiders…haha got to love them

Spiders use vibrations to indicate to the other ‘partner’ their intentions. To produce these vibrations they use their front legs, taping very quickly. The male, sensing the females pheromones, will give out a tap to indicate his intentions. Depending on if the female is freshly molted, old enough, or the environment is right, her drumming response will either be, happy to greet you, happy to eat you, go away, or you can stay and try later.

First, to demonstrate this, I will give you a youtube video of a male trying to impress the female with his song. Most spiders use this technique, be it drumming web of an orb weaver, or the soil infront of the burrow.

This second video is of a giant Doc spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus, found in New-Brunswick Canada. This is a video I filmed when I was younger, demonstrating this species mating process. The mating process can vary greatly depending on the species of tarantula, garden spider, jumping, etc.

A more extreme making courtship in jumping spiders, the Peacock Spider (Maratus volans) you might recognize is this species resemblance to birds showing off. The female chooses the male with the best dance. Very beautiful footage and spiders in general!! Skip to 1:06 if you don’t find it interesting. 🙂

And here is the mating attempts of a tarantula, the most common in the pet trade – the rose hair tarantula (G. rosea) This video in question is abit boring, but it’s the best quality I could find.

I will leave you for now, but before I go, I will leave you with a picture of a baby spider to wish all hobbyist luck in mating their spiders!

Here is an Avicularia Avicularia, or also known as the Pink toe tarantula!

P. pulcher

Click me!

Passing of Friends

This is kind of a sad post. I lost a few tarantulas lately, one due to unknown cause and the other who was a Mature Male (MM) trying to molt again.

Firstly, males, once they reach maturity, or what you would call their ‘ultimate molt’ (final molt) he has drastically changed in behavior. They begin to roam around their enclosure or if this was a wild tarantula, he would start roaming at night(or in the day) in search for a mate. Sometimes, males won’t eat until they’ve encountered a female. However, some males do still eat, it just depends on the spider.

For people that live in an area occupied by tarantulas, this is what they usually encounter on the road at night. When they see a wandering tarantula, it is usually a male who has reached the end of his life, or a newly matured male on the search. I would recommend leaving these guys alone, since they aren’t out to hurt anyone. Just imagine…dying before you had sex. What a sucky life. lol

Here is a quote from the following website that talks about how you can identify a male tarantula if you ever find yourself viewing one:

During this ultimate molting process he obtained his sexual organs, which are bulbs (emboli, plural; embolus, singular) on the end of his pedipalps that are used to transfer sperm from his sperm web to the female. In many species males also have tibial spurs, which are “mating hooks” on the underside of the tibia (or long segment) of the first pair of walking legs and are used to engage the female’s fangs during mating. These two structures, the tibial apophysis (or spur) and the embolus (or palpal bulb) are the things to look for to determine if you have a mature male. In some species the transformation is even more obvious, as mature males have distinctly different colors and patterns, and are much smaller and more thinly built and “leggy” than females.

http://www.tarantulas.com/sexing.html

Now that you know about a males maturity, i’d like you to meet Holothele sp. “norte de santander”

Mr. Norte Santander

Mr. Norte Santander


He was a kind and gently tarantula, already at his final molt. I would see him producing sperm webs, flipping on his back, and loading his palpal bulbs with his sperm, so to ensure that when he encounters a female he is prepared to mate. However, as the days went on, Mr. Norte de Santander did not encounter a female. 1 year and 1/2 later, he decides he would like to try and molt to update his new suite (exoskeleton) to look sexy for his next date. However, because of the ‘hardware’ he acquired with his ultimate molt(palpal bulbs, and hooks) his legs got stuck 😦 and he could not get free of his exoskeleton, and thus died. He never had the chance to produce any offspring, and died without the sex 😦 how sad.

To add more sadness to this post, one of my big female spiders, I used to call ‘The Grinch’ because of her colors (green and red) died of unknown causes last week. She was about 3 years old. A very short life span she had. I found her over her waterdish, limp and barely responsive. Her abdomen (butt) felt like a waaay to ripe plum, very soft and quishy (it should be firm). I knew she was on her way out, so I prepared her a container with moist toilet paper, and put her in there to see if the change of area would help her out. However, to no avail, she died 1 day later.

I am not sure what happened here, but I am very disappointed. She looked gravid (pregnant), as she was paired up with a male who she was cohabiting with at the time of her death. (there was no sign of puncture wounds.) However, she pulled the rug out from under my feet and is now deceased ;(

Her species is called Thrixopelma ockerti, and they are from Peru. They are semi arboreal, living on the ground during the dry season, and then moving to the trees as the wet season reaches it peak. I think this is where they meet their mate, and once the water reseeds, they would take to the earth and go in search of a new home in order to create their egg sack and hatch their offspring. However, this is just my speculation based upon their habitat.

Here are some pictures of her, so you can see her beauty.

T. ockerti

Female Ockerti

Abit gross, because you can see dead cricket in her fangs, but this is a happy tarantula eating a meal 🙂

meal

Eating a Meal

Heres some pictures of her x-boyfriend

t. ockerti male

x-boyfriend

Thanks for reading everyone, and pass your blessings to the Mrs. Ockerti, and Mr. Norte Santander.

Faster than a Tiger!

Hey everyone! Just updating my status : )
remember, click the photos to see a larger version!

As you can see from my collection list, I have 3 species of tarantula in the genus Psalmopoeus.

The three I currently own are called Psalmopoeus irminia, Psalmopoeus cambridgei and Psalmopoeus pulcher.

I had one P. irminia die on my a few weeks ago, of unknown causes. Found it dead and limp unfortunately. So recently I got another P. irminia, and she is quite the cutie! They are from South America, and are a new world species. However, they do not flick hairs, but instead run really fast when they need to! Some people have said they are quite defensive rearing up and stuff, but so far, out of the three species I keep, they are quite shy, and always hungry!

I keep them relatively humid, during the morning and night I will see the glass get condensation on it due to the temperature changes. My room runs from 70 in the night to about 80-85 in the day.

As they are arboreal they like to climb things, but they are just as content burrowing and making giant tub web tunnels that traverses their cork bark.

Anyways, heres some pictures, if you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me. Also I am looking for a male for my P. pulcher female, so if you know anyone with a dude, let me know!

Here is the first species I got, the Suntiger (black chevron tarantula) P. irminia
.8″ She’s small right now, but once she gets 5″ in a year or two she will be quite the beast!

Here is the second species I acquired, P. cambridgei. she’s ALWAYS hungry! this was just after a molt so she’s skinny!! 4″

Last but not least is Princess Peaches. This is one species i’ve always wanted since I entered the hobby! it’s so vibrant, and beautiful!
She just finished a molt so she’s still skinny! (fat now but i dont have a camera at the moment!)
So here is P. pulcher!!

beauty!!

Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed! 🙂

Diving Tarantula

Yeah, one of my tarantulas uses the waterdish I provided her as her pool! quite cool huh!

Her species is called Hysterocrates gigas. These guys are from West Africa, and can get up to 6.5″( Varies apparently, mine is like 7″…) Usually this species is quite defensive, rearing up and stuff, but mine seems like a docile scaredycat, rather run away then defend her turf.

Last time my girl molted was September 2010, so she should be good for another molt pretty soon! I am excited to see what she will look like! some badass beast she will be!

Anyways heres some pictures of her exploring her waterdish while getting a cricket.
Please click the picture for a bigger view.

yuuum!

yum

yum

Capture complete

Hope you enjoyed!

Sweet blue thang~

I’ve been wondering what tarantula to start you guys off with, so I guess I will start with Avicularia versicolor; she’s sweet, blue and full of poo. Poo? yeah they can shoot poo from their abdomen when they are scared. Usually aimed for the eye. Kinda funny when it happens. They remind me of those little poo toys you squish where a little brown plastic poo comes out. Kinda gross, yep.

I had this girl for awhile, I don’t have an adult version, ill see if I can get a picture of one later and show you : )

Right now she’s about 3″, she was born November 2010. What size was she? about the size of a dime, really cute and blue~ in her adult state she will get to be about 5″

Tarantulas Molt. Molting is when the tarantulas squeeze themselves out of their exoskeleton by (usually) flipping on their back, looking like dead spiders – but I assure you new/would be keepers, this is usually not the case, it’s just your tarantula growing.

When keeping this species of spiders, they prefer higher ventilation and humidity. Some people claim, that when they keep this species they tend to randomly die. Yeah tarantulas die, it happens, selective living in the world of life. In the wild not much of the tarantulas sack actually make it to adult hood, having a natural fallout of little spiders who die with a selective few who live. But in captivity, the survival rate is greatly increased, however weaker members still exist and sometimes just capout outta here when they can’t continue to live. The owner gets sad. It’s always sad to see a little life die.

Even with all these naturally weak spiders, there is always room for error on the owners part that can partake into the spider becoming deceased. Such as strong perfumes, too high or low temperatures, fe-breeze, pesticides in the soil of the container, or wood ornaments that you acquire outside (or at the gardening center). Great care must be taking in choosing soils, if you can’t find the stuff you usually use. Cedar oils, and pine oils, along with other oily trees can also serve as a pesticide, which kills your spider. Also, I would like to add, based on the forum post I read on-line, that the flea formula for dogs and cats can kill your spiders. Example: you pet the cat, who just got treatment within 3 months or so, you feed the spider by picking up the cricket, you contaminate cricket and spider. Spider death bed has arrived.

Anyways enough of this sad reminders of death. I will introduce you to Happy (yeah I don’t name my spiders, just naming them for the sake of the blog)

Taking a drink
Taking a drink

Happy in her home
Happy in her home
She molted!

She molted!

Now she has a new suite
New suit

Anyways, ill post more on miss Avicularia versicolor later!