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

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The Tarantula Algorithm

So i’ve been deciding, what would be a good introduction for new tarantula people who still kinda think tarantulas are creepy, but still want to know more about them? Well, to start off, you’re pretty awesome if you decided to learn more about them, however, I am not an expert, I am pretty meager in knowledge compared to other people out there. This website is just stating my experiences with my collection, of the stuff I acquired from back in the day, till now. I guess it’s a preview of what you will be getting yourself into if you ever decide to acquire a tarantula. I can assure you, it’s kinda like keeping fish, but you can pick them up if you want, and hold them outside of the aquarium/container, but I do not recommend it. Tarantula can be pretty feisty, and the utmost respect must be given to the tarantula if you should hold one, now or in the future. I’ll write more about handling measures on tarantulas later!

At this point, people usually question, “what! aren’t tarantulas poisonous?!” and here I would answer “venomous” because they inject their poison into you if they ever get ahold of a finger or something if you prod them too much.. (giggle) ops, probably shouldn’t giggle, that isn’t funny. Anyways, yeah tarantulas have venom to digest their prey before they actually begin chowing down on the cricket, however, theres a good side to all this creepy gooeyness! There hasn’t been record of tarantula bite actually killing a person! Most New World(North/South America) tarantula bites are relatively painless aside from the initial discomfort of something relative to a wasp/bee sting (depending on species maybe a wee more or less). However, there are some dangerous and really painful species in the Old World(africa and all them places), this is where the utmost caution is taken with the tarantula, because hey! I ain’t no pain person (no qualms if you are…..)

Lets compare tarantulas and fish…. Would you stick your hand in the aquarium of lets say a lion fish and poke one of their pretty spines?

Lets compare tarantulas and guard dogs…. Would you stick your hand inside a guard dog who is barking at you to get off of someones properties mouth?

Lets compare tarantulas and birds…. Would you stick your hand inside a very mean macaw/cockateils mouth and expect a painless love bite?

Lets compare tarantulas and cats…..I like cats, but they can be bitches, and I am sure anyone knows what a pissed off cat can do.

So peeps, do you get what I mean?

Having proper caution with the situations you deal with is key to successfully staying unharmed.

So why do I keep tarantulas?

Well first of all, they come in all different colors. Like blue, pink, purple, red, green, and who doesn’t want to collect all the colors of the rainbow? (hehe)

Since I was a kid, I was really inerested in the outside world, and spiders, bugs and all those creepy crawlies kept me busy since a young age. Then slowly it evolved to tarantulas. I guess I really like tarantulas because even though they all have 8 legs, and fangs, their behavior, color, ability to be terrestrial, or arboreal, and living requirements are all different depending on the species! Even down to a tarantulas INDIVIDUAL personality..kinda like a not properly defined algorithm!

But anyways, yeah that’s a little bit of intro a to tarantulas. Oh, i’ve been keeping tarantulas since I was 14, and I havn’t been bit before. (Not looking forward to a bite either thanks)