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.

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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)