Friday, October 14, 2011

Sperm Web!

I had read about how male tarantulas use sperm webs, but I've never witnessed any of my specimens build or use one... until today!

Brachypelma albopilosum Sperm WebSeñor Fuzzy Britches using his Sperm Web
First Stage

You can see the white dot above his abdomen ~ that is the sperm. He also seemed to be preparing his pedipalps for it. I even have video for you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Burrows by Tears

Tears worked nonstop for several days to create a new, larger burrow.

Cobalt Blue BurrowDouble Burrows by Tears
The one on the right is new.

Monday, September 5, 2011

SFB Exuvium

For a couple of weeks I couldn't seem to get to Señor Fuzzy Britches's old skin to remove it from his enclosure.

Brachypelma albopilosum moltSeñor Fuzzy Britches
with his old skin

I finally got it out and and added water while the molt webbing was still there. I thought it was cool to see the water collect in the web for a while.

spider web with waterspider web with water

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Anansi Anew!

I noticed Anansi lying on her back in the back of her cage early this morning! I don't think she has molted in 4 years!

Brachypelma smithiBrachypelma smithi
Mexican Redknee
Anansi - February 2007

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hyde Followed Suit

As SFB was finishing his molt, I noticed Hyde's legs sticking up in the air as well! More photos to take (and share)! Jeckyll had already molted recently. These two are young enough that their molting is usually within a couple of weeks of each other. They each last molted in May.

Brazilian Fire Red Tarantula Molting2:21 PM

Thursday, August 18, 2011

SFB Molt - as Predicted!

Last month, in my General Update, I mentioned that Señor Fuzzy Britches had finally begun digging in his new space. I also noted that his coloration had changed a bit and predicted he might soon molt.

Elmo spotted SFB in the beginnings of molting yesterday morning! I was so pleased and (once things really got started) spent hours photographing and taking video of the process!

Click on any image to see a larger version. Enjoy!

Molting Brachypelma albopilosum Tarantula9:09 AM

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Page!

We've added a new page with book reviews! I'll be checking my local library for some of them that I haven't read yet. I hope you find a new resource you haven't seen!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

General Update

Sorry for the gap in updates, folks. We've had a few health issues and even deaths in our [human] family in the past few months. It really put our hobby on the back burner.

You missed our Indian Ornamental (Punjab) molting again already. We may have to move it into a bigger jar again soon! None of the photos came out very clear, too much glare off the glass jar.

Tears (Cobalt Blue) spent about 4 days straight (day and night!) working on a new hole. It is larger than her original burrow. Then she retreated back to her original hole and we haven't seen her since! We're used to her hiding, but we're getting a little worried. Hopefully she'll peek out soon.

We got Hyde (Brazilian Fire Red) moved into a larger container that holds moisture much better than the previous dish. We won't be using that one for pets anymore, though we may use it as a temporary spot for small crickets. Hyde has just started moving dirt around in the last couple of days.

My Curly Hair (S.F.B.) has finally been moving dirt and digging in his new cage. I noticed today that his abdomen coloring looks different. I think he(?) may molt again soon!

Pretty much all the "kids" are looking fat and sassy, especially the babies! We're currently trying the larger spiders on Super Worms. They are an option we can keep on hand for longer than crickets. Everyone seems to like them alright. We just have to be careful not to let them burrow into the dirt. This is slightly limiting, but they're pretty fat so we can give one at a time. Even Jekyll and Hyde have managed them!

Jekyll, Brazilian Fire Red Tarantula with Super WormJekyll after winning the fight against a Super Worm

Sunday, June 5, 2011

King Molted Again

Elmo suddenly noticed that King was molting this morning. He was already nearly finished by this time. Here are some photos we got soon after he noticed.

Goliath Birdeater Tarantula MoltingKing - Molting
June 5, 2011

Image short descriptionKing - Molting
June 5, 2011
Click to see LARGE version of photo!

King last molted 4 months ago. We were concerned he might get stuck again, but there were absolutely no problems this time.

Also, he does not appear to have come out black this time. The hairs all over him are crazy long! His legs are very thick, too. Elmo is convinced that King is really a Queen. I can't tell if there is an epigastric furrow in the photo or not. Perhaps it is still too soon to tell.

Friday, June 3, 2011

May Modeling: Tears

As I posted in late April, Tears had been coming out a bit. Here she is in early May, still peeking out on occasion.

Cobalt Blue TarantulaTears ~ May 2011

We actually saw her come to the top of her hole to catch a meal recently, during the DAY!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Modeling: King

First of the month and Elmo finds King, our Theraphosa blondi, in... a defensive stance / display? Great photo op!

Goliath Birdeater defensive displayKing ~ May 1, 2011

Goliath Birdeater defensive displayKing ~ May 1, 2011

Goliath Birdeater defensive displayKing ~ May 1, 2011

King did, eventually, completely bury this water dish. We put a larger one elsewhere in the aquarium. He then dug a bit of a large bowl next to the old water dish. He hides in it quite well!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Madness & Molting in May

May has been a mad month for our household full of some major life changes. I'll leave it at that. The point here is that I was very busy and left our babies without much attention for a couple of weeks. Thankfully Elmo fills in the gap there, but he also noticed that several of our babies molted!

Tiny (now double the size he was when we got him!) - Brazilian Whiteknee
Punjab - Indian Ornamental
Jeckyll & Hyde - Brazilian Fire Reds
Tweedle Dee (not Dum yet) - Chaco Golden Knee

Sorry I don't have any photos at this point. I've just been too busy to do much photography.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Punjab Molting this Morning!

I caught Punjab molting this morning! Not my best photography, but...

Molting Indian Ornamental TarantulaPunjab Molting
He was done soon after.

I'll try to get a clear shot of his more pronounced markings soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tigger ~ RIP

Costa Rican Tiger Rump Tarantula SpiderlingTigger ~ RIP
Costa Rican Tiger Rump
Cyclosternum fasciatum

Sometime late yesterday, Tigger curled up against the wall of his dish and died. He was the last of the Costa Rican Tiger Rumps in our collection. As you can see, he was hardly as big around as a toothpick. He was a good eater, though, and seemed healthy enough. It is impossible to know cause of death in cases like this. I'm sad to lose Tigger.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tears - Peek a Boo!

Our Cobalt Blue Tarantula, Tears, stays hidden most of the time. I have occasionally found her peeking out the top of her hole if I looked in the middle of the night with the lights off. However, lately, she has been coming all the way out! Even with the lights on! She even hangs out outside her hole a little. As usual, we're hoping that this behavior change = imminent molt. That is always the hope with change in behavior.

Cobalt Blue TarantulaTears ~ active!
Haplopelma lividum
April 22, 2011 ~ 7:00am

Cobalt Blue TarantulaTears ~ out again!
Haplopelma lividum
April 24, 2011 ~ 7:30am

Compared to her gallery pic, I do believe Tears has gotten fatter! Yay!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Butch... Hanzo

Our friend has chosen a new name for our old Butch. He is now Hanzo Hasashi (Scorpion's alter ego name in Mortal Kombat). We all call him Hanzo for short. So he had a friend with 5 pinky mice and no use. He took them over for Hanzo. One, then two were put in with Hanzo and while he did seem to notice, he wasn't showing a lot of interest. By this morning, however, he finally snagged one. As of this evening, he let it go and snagged the other.

Scorpion with pinky mouseButch Hanzo - considering a pinky
Heterometrus longimanus
Asian Forest Scorpion

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Punjab in New Home

Saturday night, I got our friend Brandon to wiggle a mini meal worm through the holes at the top! It was pretty funny. Shortly thereafter, we were trying to figure out where the worm went. Then Punjab came down from the top as if to show us that he had things well in hand. lol

Poecilotheria regalisPunjab
Indian Ornamental
Poecilotheria regalis

Sunday afternoon, I found this...

Poecilotheria regalisPunjab
Indian Ornamental
Poecilotheria regalis

This had us cracking up!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Goodbye Butch

We've had a friend staying with us (again) for several days. This time, though, we have given him a pet. Brandon took Butch home with him tonight. He has just not turned out to be as entertaining as Elmo had hoped and Brandon was very interested. I never was terribly interested in scorpions.

Heterometrus longimanusButch
Asian Forest Scorpion
Heterometrus longimanus

It was so cute, Brandon read the book I gave him and then was watching YouTube videos about scorpions. There is a bait shop close to his place, so he'll be able to get crickets easily. He was fascinated and I don't doubt he'll make a great pet owner for Butch.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rehousing Punjab

I recently readied 2 spice bottles as houses for tree-dwelling (arboreal) tarantulas. My plan was to move Punjab (Indian Ornamental / Poecilotheria regalis) as well as Tanzania (Ornamental Baboon / Heteroscodra maculata). I got a little substrate (dirt) in the bottom and then curled up some fake vine into the bottle. They look beautiful! We decided, though, that Tanzania isn't quite big enough yet. We don't want anyone escaping through the holes!

So I've been waiting (and waiting and waiting) for Punjab to be on the lid of his cage. My plan was to remove the lid and place it over the spice bottle. In the middle of cooking breakfast this morning, Elmo brought Punjab into the kitchen. I opened the spice bottle and carefully removed the lid from the current dish. I was having trouble getting the spider off the lid, though. I tried edging him with my spider paint brush. NOTE: I did not refrigerate the spider before this attempt. He is really fast. This species is known for its lightning speed. And too small to grab without fear of harming him.

Can you guess what happened next?

Bonnie catchin' Clyde

Remember that Clyde molted recently? Well as I was headed to bed last night, I grabbed the flashlight and checked on all our kids. (I usually do this right before bed, partially in hopes of seeing Tears since she hides all the time.) Well I found Bonnie in the middle of molting! I was thrilled and considered doing a photo shoot, but I already had the lights out and was headed to bed. She is looking great today!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Food Problems + Molt!

Monday evening I opened the meal worms to find... they were HUGE! I should have taken a picture. They were bigger than the babies! So Tuesday I had to take them back. That pet store doesn't carry MINI meal worms. So I returned them, picked up a couple of watering dishes, and then had to go up the street to another pet store to purchase mini meal worms. The clay dishes we've been using don't actually hold water, they just leech it through to the dirt.

Chaco Golden Knee MoltedChaco Golden Knee Molted

Elmo also noticed that the other Chaco molted. He thought it was dead at first because it was curled up. I thought both Chacos had molted, but I guess only one had. They are the same size again.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Bought Food, Lots of Food

We bought 36 large crickets, 12 small crickets, and a dish of 50 meal worms today from the pet store. After feeding all the big kids (6 tarantulas + 1 scorpion, close to 30 crickets total), we still have 36 large crickets left! After feeding 5 small crickets to the big babies, we still have 12 small crickets left. The larger the number you request, the more likely you are to get more than that. It seems to increase exponentially. Truthfully, it is really hard to count large numbers of crickets. They are wiggly buggers! Our dish of 100 meal worms didn't last as long as we'd expected. We had a lot of dead ones. We have 5 live ones left, so I just got the 50 pack today.

I also bought some fake vine stuff for lizards. I've got some new habitats set up for the arboreal babies. I do NOT know how I'm going to move them yet, but I do know I'll have to refrigerate them first. They are crazy fast! I went ahead and gave them both meal worms last night, but it can be hard to tell if they ate them since they burrow right into the dirt. I did give one of them a small cricket today, too.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Video!

I had been waiting for Tigger to molt and today I realized he already had. I'm not sure how recently, but I realized that the last several times I'd checked on him he looked the same as he does now. He just didn't get very much bigger.

I've taken a few short videos before, but this is the first time I got a good one! I'm pretty excited about getting it. This is 1½ minutes of a very, very tiny Costa Rican Tiger Rump (Cyclosternum fasciatum) ~ still the smallest of our collection. Tigger is fighting with a small meal worm.

videoTigger, fighting with dinner

Thursday, April 7, 2011

King & Clyde

Elmo found King (Goliath Birdeater) stuck by one foot to the top of his aquarium again. We keep waffling about a different cage, but I think we're just going to have to get one, perhaps this weekend. We were trying to figure out how to help him, but I couldn't even tell which way he was holding on to the screen. And then I realized... I could hear him hiss! OMG, it was so cool! I had Elmo lean in to hear it, too. I thought his entire fangs would move for that, but I guess just his mouth was moving? It sounded like one of those old wind up walking toys. Anyway, King let go on his own. He has moved all the dirt out of that corner, too. He seems alright, though. He walks around on the mesh every night.

Brachypelma albopilosum molt and burrowClyde's molt and burrow

Then I started checking on all the babies and found that Clyde (Curly Hair) had molted! However, the molt was stuck to his rump. I think I would have freaked if this hadn't happened with King already. I took the dish, backdrop, camera, and a Q-tip in to the kitchen and loosened the lid to the dish. Clyde managed to run off the old skin and into the hole, though! While I didn't get any cool shots of the mess, it is better that the separation happened without assistance. Now I'm watching Bonnie because surely that one will molt very soon. I'm sure they're from the same egg sac.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spider in the News (from 2008)

The Telegraph reported a Giant spider eating a bird caught on camera. I could see where the big spider would eat the bird if that is what was caught in the web. Decent article. There are 2 nice photos as well.

A few days later, the same situation was caught elsewhere and again reported by The Telegraph: Bird-eating spiders: new pictures. This bird was estimated to be 10cm and took the spider 3 days to eat.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Molting!

Sometime in the last 24 hours or so, we had 2 pets molt!

Especially if you look at the larger version of this photo, you can actually see little bits of white at the knees!

 Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula MoltTiny finally Molted!
Acanthoscurria geniculata
Brazilian Whiteknee

Image short descriptionTanzania molted, too!
Heteroscodra maculata
Ornamental Baboon
(aka Togo Starburst)

I got the old skin out of Tiny's cage, but Tanzania crouched down on top of the old skin there so I was unable to get it just yet. I have another spice cup, so I think Tanzania may be next to get moved.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thirds?

Thats right. About 4-5 crickets died in the cricket box, but that still left quite a few large crickets waiting to be eaten. We'll wait about 2 weeks before buying large crickets again.

I caught 1 at a time and gave 10-11 to King. It was funny, he was actually catching each one shortly after I dropped them into his cage.

After giving King 10-11 crickets, there were still 6 left. I compared the size of the Lasiodora difficilis vs. the crickets and decided the crickets were small enough. I started with #1, who doesn't hide. I didn't even have to refrigerate first. The spider started out running from the cricket, but still attacked it within a minute. He didn't seem to have any trouble, though I did find him in a defensive post, holding the cricket.

Brazilian Fire Red TarantulaLasiodora difficilis
Brazilian Fire Red

I dropped one in with #2 and left them alone for a bit. This spider was, of course, hiding in the burrow after having the bowl opened. When I checked back, the cricket was dead in the burrow, though the tarantula wasn't eating it. I don't know what was up with that. I've left them alone in this dark room now, so I hope the T will chow.

I then dropped 1 at a time in with Señor Fuzzy Britches. He snagged both crickets. I dropped the last 2 crickets into the cage with Tears. Her burrow is still covered with web at the top.

New Big Spider Pics, too!

Here is a shot of Anansi, devouring a cricket. I had never noticed the stripes on her chelicera. Gorgeous!
Mexican Red Knee TarantulaBrachypelma smithi
Mexican Red Knee
Anansi

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Feeding Day - Brazilian Fire Red ~ #1

I recently posted a molting photo update on Brazilian Fire Red #2. Brazilian Fire Red #1 is the one that I have to refrigerate for a few minutes before I even open the dish. This one is real fast and will go for the opening of the container!

Brazilian Fire RedLasiodora difficilis
Brazilian Fire Red
Dinner!

I gave each Brazilian Fire Red small crickets. They had no problem with this prey! This photo is also the new species pic on the Gallery Page.

Moving / Feeding Day - Indian Ornamental

This is was our Indian Ornamental's habitat:

Indian Ornamental TarantulaPoecilotheria regalis
Icky Habitat

It looks gross. You can see a couple of mold spots, plus it looks like there might be some mold in the lid, an old meal worm carcass, and there is an old skin. It definitely needed cleaning or something! I am loving the new dishes I got, so I prepped one for this lil guy, even though they aren't much larger.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Feeding Day - Amounts

We don't want the extra crickets to go to waste again. There are 1 or 2 large crickets that have died already. You can see the first course here. Here was "seconds" I fed tonight:

Anansi - ate everything - gave her 2 more crickets, which she immediately took

Chaos - ate everything - gave her 2 more crickets, I think she already has them both

Señor Fuzzy Britches - ate everything - gave 2 more crickets, which were immediately taken

King - he may have 1 cricket still loose and hiding, but he did attack immediately after feeding last night. He is on the lid already tonight (his favorite night time activity) so I couldn't feed him.

Tears - has 1 cricket (of 4) loose so I did not offer more food. I did not remove this cricket, though. I did see that she was higher in her hidey hole and she has also webbed over the top again.

Butch - apparently did eat his 1 cricket. He won't usually eat unless you throw food right into his face. In an attempt to do that through the top door (not the whole lid off) tonight, I dropped the cricket outside the cage! I did catch it and manage to throw it right in front of him. He grabbed it immediately, yay!

Ghost - is looking faaaat and got 4 crickets the other night, so I opted out of feeding her. I hope she'll molt for Elmo soon.

Sling Feeding Day - Amounts

Gotta feed the Slings!

Both Chaco Golden Knees (Grammostola pulchripes)molted! So I didn't feed them. Pictures coming soon. I still have photo posts to do from the other night! I've taken well over 100 photos through the weekend!

I fed each of the Curly Hair Slings (Brachypelma albopilosum) 1 meal worm each. One of them is shy and has a tunnel with 2 entrance/exits. I got photos of these, too.

The Brazilian Whiteknee (Acanthoscurria geniculata) is SO fast! I had to refrigerate for 4 minutes before feeding. I gave Tiny 1 meal worm. I couldn't entice him to attack, even after waiting a bit. I did get pics, though!

My Costa Rican Tiger Rump (Cyclosternum fasciatum) is also very fast and has to be refrigerated for 4 minutes. I gave her 1 meal worm. I tried to entice here, too, but No Go and now the worm is hiding in the dirt somewhere. I'm sure it will peak up and get eaten, though.

Our Ornamental Baboon a.k.a. Togo Starburst (Heteroscodra maculata) didn't seem itself, really. I mean, still a sling so not much personality anyway, but wasn't on the lid and wasn't acting crazy fast. I dropped in 1 meal worm and tried to entice, to no avail. The spider did move, though, and is not in a death curl. So I think we're still good here.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feeding Day - Amounts

I fed all the big kids and the larger of the slings last night. I got 6 small crickets (got 5½, it seemed). They cost 10¢ each. I fed:

Lasiodora difficilis (Brazilian Fire Red) - both got 2 small crickets. 1 of the crickets was mostly dead

Poecilotheria regalis (Indian Ornamental) - 1 small cricket for the first time, this little T did just fine with it

I think we might get a full dozen small crickets next time. I have one or two more babies that are just big enough to handle small crickets.

I also bought 24 large crickets. They cost 11¢ each. What I actually brought home was 69 live and 1 dead large cricket! I fed:

Moving Day - Chaco Golden Knee Tarantulas

I hate the tiny little cups that hold the Chaco Golden Knees. I'm thankful to have gotten the tarantulas, but don't like the cups or the substrate. That dirt doesn't hold moisture well at all! So today I rounded up a couple of these new containers I like and got them packed down with plenty of new dirt.

Chaco Golden Knee TarantulasNew & Old Habitats
Grammostola pulchripes
Chaco Golden Knee

Once I got them moved,

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Moving / Feeding Day - Curly Hair Tarantula

After that last molt, I noticed that Señor Fuzzy Britches really outgrew his cage. I mean he FIT of course, but he needed more "leg room" (hahaha, I crack myself up!). This weekend I finally picked up the next size cage. I specifically went for All Living Things® Critter Totes. The lids are much easier to remove and replace. The other brand we got are very stiff. The new one is a Medium.

I packed in plenty of dirt. Then I carefully spooned out some of his old dirt, moving the top layer off first. I topped the new habitat with it. All the while, I was keeping him from coming completely out of his cage. SFB is a very calm specimen. I was easily able to pick it up and move it to the new cage. I left him in it for about an hour before feeding him. He has much more room now! And he had no trouble with the crickets I gave him.

This photo doesn't show how much space he has, but at least it is a new photo, right?!

Curly Hair TarantulaSeñor Fuzzy Britches
in New Home
Brachypelma albopilosum
Curly Hair

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula

I don't even remember now what got me looking into this, but I was googling for info on Chaco Golden Knee Tarantulas. I started with a search for Grammastola aureostriatum, which is how I have the tarantulas listed on our About page. I noticed, though, that Google suggested Grammostola aureostriata instead. Minor typo? There are lots of sites with one or the other spelling. Then I noticed that the wiki article actually said this name was old. The species has had a change to taxonomic placement (in 2009!). You can see this mentioned on the British Tarantula Society Forum and also mentioned on the wiki page for Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula.

Sooo, I am changing the name on our pages. It will now be properly referenced as Grammostola pulchripes.

Tiny

Our Acanthoscurria geniculata (Brazilian Whiteknee) is one of the Ts we got from our friendly breeder that works with Elmo (and previously me as well). Elmo has named it Tiny. We've enjoyed watching the tiny lil sling wrestle with small meal worms for dinner. After a recent molt, I had decided the vial in which it arrived was a bit cramped. So I finally got it re-housed in a larger container last night.

Acanthoscurria geniculata brazilian whiteknee TarantulaAcanthoscurria geniculata
Brazilian Whiteknee
"Tiny" in a new home

This is a 2 ounce plastic dish in which seasonings are sold at a local Farmer's Market. It has all kinds of room now! I'm giving it a couple of days to get comfortable before feeding it.

Elmo thought I might have a hard time getting Tiny transferred, but thanks to my handy-dandy paint brush, it was no problem!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brazilian Fire Red ~ #2

We have 2 Brazilian Fire Red Tarantulas. I believe they are from the same egg sac. We got them at the same time. I had never even heard of the species. I felt they had outgrown their little deli cups, so they got larger habitats with plenty of dirt. Experience has taught us to provide plenty of substrate for burrowing, just in case. It can be difficult to add more once a tarantula has begun a burrow.

Brazilian Fire Red TarantulaLasiodora difficilis
Brazilian Fire Red
deep burrow goes almost all the way around the bottom of the bowl!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Avicularia versicolor Info

I learned a few new tidbits about the Avicularia versicolor (Antilles Pinktoe) today! Verrrry interesting stuff.

  • They can actually jump 30cm or even higher!
  • I knew they had urticating hairs like other tarantulas, but I didn't know that they are unable to kick those hairs off like the terrestrial tarantulas we have in the states.
  • I also now know that males tend to have brighter coloration than females.

This particular bundle of tidbits brought to you from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

SFB Molting Again?!

I got Señor Fuzzy Britches, a Brachypelma albopilosum (Curly Hair) at the Oklahoma Reptile Expo in October of last year. Then at the end of November, he had built an awesome burrow and molted in it. His burrow has since collapsed. He tends to web the lid to his enclosure. Yesterday he built / laid a sort of web hammock. And then today, a short 3½ months since his last molt,... (drum roll please) he molted again! He is so big!

Brachypelma albopilosum tarantulaSFB - Freshly Molted
cozied up to old skin

I fed everyone last weekend and failed to notice there was still 1 of 2 crickets loose in his cage until later in the day! I noticed he was pressing himself up against his old skin. Then I noticed the cricket and just about had a heart attack! Tarantulas are very vulnerable during and after their molt (for about a week). I immediately caught and removed the cricket! All appears to be well. This was wonderful news after losing a pet yesterday. I would have been a wreck if I'd lost SFB over something so simple as a cricket so soon after losing S.B.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

SB - Another Death of Old Age

When I first got interested in tarantulas, I had a wish list in mind of the species I wanted to own. On the top of my list was the Avicularia versicolor. In October, we attended the Oklahoma Reptile Expo and I brought home one gorgeous A. versicolor (Antilles Pinktoe). The breeder informed us that the spider had just molted a few days prior. It had previously been turquoise (A. versicolor slings are turquoise).

AviculariaAvicularia versicolor
(Antilles Pinktoe)
S.B.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tears - Hide & Seek

Tears, our Haplopelma lividum (Cobalt Blue) is quite the hermit. We rarely see her at all.

cobalt blue tarantula habitatCobalt Blue Tarantula Habitat

You see that we provided a hide for her, but she chose to burrow her own. We love for our pets to create their own burrows! However, if we'd known she would do it we might have left the clay pot out of her cage. Since she has built her burrow against it, we can't remove it. Oh well.

This is about the only glimpse we might catch of her:

cobalt blue tarantula burrowCobalt Blue Tarantula Burrow
Do you see her down there?

Friday, February 4, 2011

King made it, with some help

One suggestion said to use forceps to grasp the old skin. It wasn't working. Someone else replied to my plea for help suggesting I use a q-tip and water along the edges of the stuck skin.

Theraphosa blondi stuck molting1 swipe with a q-tip

Dabbing water at the edges wasn't working. This photo was taken after the first swipe down the backside. The old skin peeled away like wet paper! King didn't much like me messing with him so he kept dragging the skin along.

Theraphosa blondi fresh moltKing, fresh out of his molt

Now someone on the forums suggested King isn't a Theraphosa blondi after all, but rather a Theraphosa stirmi (a Burgandy Birdeater which is a new and popular Theraphosa species on the market). So we'll be researching that. He was sold to us as a T. blondi.

King is Having Trouble

King started his molt about 8 hours ago. He was doing well, taking his time.

Theraphosa blondi Molt PhotoGoliath Birdeater,
King - mid-molt

However, he seemed to get stuck with his abdomen. He flipped back over and even came back out of his hide, but he is dragging his exuvium behind him.

Theraphosa blondi Molt PhotoGoliath Birdeater,
King
stuck in his molt

I'm quite concerned that we might have to do surgery to get him separated from it. Though that wouldn't be as bad as losing him in the molt.

King & Other Updates

Well, it seems King was headed into his hide to molt! Elmo looked over to find this:

Theraphosa blondi (Goliath Birdeater) moltingTheraphosa blondi
(Goliath Birdeater)
Settling in to Molt

You may recall, King had broken his leg. We're hoping his leg will come out anew which usually happens when injured spiders molt.



In other news today, Fuzzy Britches (Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula) has been pushing dirt up very high in the corners of her habitat. I very much want to give him more dirt, but we do not have any more on hand after giving all of it to King and we're snowed in right now.

Most of the larger spiders have been active today.



The next local Reptile Expo is coming up on the weekend of February 19th. Now we have to decide whether we're going to do a fancy meal or just do the Expo for Valentine's Day this year. Tarantulas are wonderful gifts, right?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

King

We added almost an entire brick of substrate to King's aquarium, working around him. We built up the height on the corners and took out the fake skull for now. He hasn't been in his hide since he broke his leg, but over the past several days he has been slowly working his way toward it. He is finally (mostly) inside it and we're both pleased. It is somehow reassuring to see him back in his "home."

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menagerie Update

We lost another Costa Rican Tiger Rump so we're down to only 1 of those. We literally seem to have lost it. We can't find it in the dish. It is as if the meal worm ate it. Elmo has laid claim to the Brazilian Whiteknee, so I've decided the Tiger Rump is mine. The rest, so far, are still "ours."

We did get the tiny meal worms and that has been an adventure. You have to dig them out of the sawdust in the little bowl and you get about 100 of them. The tiny worms are larger than some of the spiderlings! Our Elmo's Brazilian White really put up a fight with one! It was moving him around instead of vice versa. He was still winning, though! That was the 2nd time we fed him. He molted after the first feeding.

After the first round of feedings, we decided that the Brazilian Fire Reds are big enough to 1) be moved into larger dishes and 2) be fed small crickets! So this weekend we picked up more substrate to put in King's cage (in an attempt to prevent further broken limbs once he molts), 3 dozen large crickets for our big kids, and 1 dozen small crickets for these particular babies.

Brazilian Fire Red SpiderlingBrazilian Fire Red

I moved these two into larger cages last night. By morning, one of them had dug a good tunnel along the edge of the bowl. We have been so lucky with burrows being dug against the sides of habitats so we can see into them! Only trouble is that Tears (Cobalt Blue) has now covered her windows with web.

My Curly Hair (not a sling) has had a great burrow dug from one side of the cage, to the end, around to the other side. He had been staying out a lot, though. Then this week we discovered that the "end" of his burrow fell in (or was dug through). Now his burrow has an entrance and an exit. I want to add more substrate, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to do so since his burrow is under so much of the surface.

The bigger babies did just fine with 3-4 small crickets each today. We also gave all the spiderlings one tiny meal worm each. This is feeding #2 for us with all the new babies. Once his Whiteknee molts again, I think we'll have to move it into a larger cup... but not much larger. I'm amazed at how FAST all of these kids are, too!

I need to put some dimes in with each of the babies so that I can (hopefully) catch photos of them for size-reference. You can see a shot of my first spiderling on a dime here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Found Breeder... New Pets!

Tuesday I found out that one of the drivers at work breeds tarantulas! Turns out, he has 2,000 of them!! Not only that, but then he offered to bring me some! So today he handed me a plastic container full of deli cups! Here are the contents:

0.0.1 Acanthoscurria geniculata (Brazilian Whiteknee)
0.0.4 Cyclosternum fasciatum (Costa Rican Tiger Rump)
0.0.3 Grammastola aureostriatum (Chaco Golden Knee)
0.0.2 Lasiodora difficilis (Brazilian Fire Red)
0.0.2 Brachypelma albopilosum (Curly Hair)
0.0.2 Poecilotheria regalis (Indian Ornamental)
0.0.1 Heteroscodra maculata (Ornamental Baboon)

0.0.1 Orthoporus ornatus (Desert Millipede)

This means we tripled our menagerie instantly! They all (except the Gold Knees) have price tags on them, but he gave them to me! They are all (except for the millipede) slings. Several of them are TIIIINY, but some are a little larger. One Golden Knee appears to have not survived the trip. It also looks like one of the Tiger Rumps died before I got it. I'll check on them more closely tomorrow. We'll be fetching meal worms tomorrow, I guess.

This guy also plans to bring me a couple adult male Rose Hairs to attempt mating with our Rose Hairs. No charge. I even asked, if my girls kill them, no charge? He just hopes we'll get some slings out of them. Like I said, he is a breeder and has 2,000 spiders! He also sells snakes. I asked how long it takes him to water his spiders. He said it takes about 4 days of 6-8 hours straight watering! He only does it once per month, though, so that helps.

I am SO excited to have found a LOCAL breeder! And talk about service, personal delivery... and FREE (so far)! We may purchase spiders from him in the future, but this was just such an amazing surprise! I was bouncing off the walls at work!



Upon further examination, 2 Tiger Rumps and 1 Gold Knee were DOA. I'm glad we still have some of each left.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pet Update

King (Goliath Bird Eater) has broken his hind / right leg. It is broken about half way down and still attached. My husband was pretty worried at first, but I'm sure he'll be fine. We're waiting and watching for a molt and he is keeping the humidity high.

Since we moved him into the aquarium, he had been climbing the corners. He would sometimes get his foot stuck in the mesh lid.

Theraphosa blondiKing
Theraphosa blondi
(Goliath Bird Eater)

Chaos (Rose Hair) finally molted! She did it pretty quickly and while we weren't watching. Her color is brighter and beautiful!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Exterminator

we got a notice on our door that exterminators will be entering our apartment TOMORROW - UNACCEPTABLE! We have arachnids as pets and crickets as food, we can not have an exterminator in here spraying poison all over the place! Talk about short notice! I didn't have ANY time to find a temporary home for the spiders! On our way to scouts, I called the office and left a message with the answering service. They were REALLY nice and understanding about the issue! Still, I expect to have to argue it in the morning. I'm glad we don't ever leave our apartment unattended because we need to be here to bar entry! It seems like awfully short notice anyway, considering they want us to empty our cabinets, too.



The apartment office was actually really great about our declining the pest control. They simply took our apartment off the list. Thankfully, I haven't seen any bugs before or since, so it should be a non-issue.