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!

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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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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!

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)