Monday, December 18, 2006

And Anansi - my baby

Anansi is doing very well. She is SOOO fat right now! She also shows a black dot underneath on her rear end. So I'm hoping for another molt soon. I took several shots of her a couple of weeks ago, too. I had her posing with a quarter, too, but none of the shots with the quarter came out as well as this one.

See Anansi chowing in early December:

Brachypelma smithiBrachypelma smithi ~ eating

She has continued to try to attack the water when I add water to her habitat. I also swapped her cages with Babs and gave her some bed-a-beast. I think she likes it. I gave her a full tube, too (short, but not cut down the center). She seems to like the tube a lot and has dug out some dirt on one end of it. She still has the half-tube, too and likes to stand on top of it.

Her belly is so fat that I'm afraid to feed her any more. Unfortunately, Special K has died and so there are fat juicy crickets in his cage with nowhere to go. Good thing they're cheap. I tell people they are the cheapest pets to keep (outside of Pet Rocks, perhaps).

Anyway, ain't she a beauty?! Thanks for lookin'.


I finally HAD to clean out her habitat. She had since made several new nests in which to hide. However, when I cleaned out her home, I did find an eggsac of some sort in the first one (as I had suspected). It was orange and very stiff. I don't really know what that means. I also moved her into Anansi's old cage. (I switched them.) She is as gorgeous as ever, but still a crummy model. She likes to hide all the time. In her new home, I gave her some bed-a-beast. I had SO much to spare and I figured it would also help with the whole cricket carcass thing.

Here is a photo I took of her a couple of weeks ago - right after changing out her home / dirt / and giving her crickets:

Phidippus audaxPhidippus audax
Bold Jumping Spider

She is fun to watch, but very difficult to catch for good photo ops.

Special K

A friend of mine had her boys catch a tarantula in their driveway for me. They brought it over right away (she doesn't like spiders). I named him (a fully mature Oklahoma Brown {Aphonopelma hentzi}) after the container they used. His name was Special K. (They used to use it to hold Special K cereal.) That was a while back (early October or before), but he has now passed. I honestly think he simply died of old age.

Aphonopelma hentziAphonopelma hentzi
photo from a couple of weeks ago

I haven't gotten rid of the carcass yet, in case he is just molting. I learned my lesson with Bunny!

Male tarantulas do not live long after reaching maturity.

Saturday, September 9, 2006


I went to visit Anansi & Babs today and to give them some more water. My best friend is hosting them, but is not a keeper. Babs stayed in her little nest the entire time, but I could see her through one new little hole in it. Anansi, on the other hand, finally molted!! She's so beautiful! As if you could get bored with your pet tarantula, then they go and molt and you fall in love all over again. My friend that is keeping them was very disappointed that she missed the molting. heh

So they've been watered and before too long I'll feed them again, but not just yet.

That's my big news.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Appetite & Killing Bugs

I was wondering if Anansi might be hungry at all due to the way she wanted to attack the water I gave her... or if she was just being defensive. I bought small crickets today (less chance of overpowering her) and dropped a couple of them into her cage. So far, she has just kind of avoided them. She gets defensive or walks away from them if they get near her. I'm going to give her maybe a few hours with them and then take them out if she doesn't eat. She always eats within a few hours (if not within a few minutes). I don't think I need to wait 24 hours.

Babs, on the other hand, was apparently famished. I was also concerned about feeding her. The more I see how tiny she has gotten (after being So huge), the more I think she has little babies waiting to hatch in her nest. It is quite an impressive web. It is very thick and has a very small tube at the bottom through which she can enter / exit. My dozen small crickets turned into about 20 I think (they never do really count them, do they?), so she has a feast in there!

Oh, and I bought these crickets somewhere new... but I don't think I like them as much. I'll stick with petSmart in the future.

I've also called Ortho about their Home Defense Max and how long I should keep pet spiders out of the house. Apparently so long as I wait for it to dry and keep the spiders off of those surfaces, I can bring them back in immediately. I don't think I want to go quite that fast. Better to err on the side of caution, yes? I've read that I should take the spiders away for a few weeks.

So... now to figure out when I can have all of the pets out of the house for a few hours. I'm kind of sad to think that Bunny is in my walls somewhere... and I'm gonna spray for bugs... :-(

My Anansi & Babs will stay at my friend's house while it is too dangerous here... with Anansi about to molt (I'm sure of it), I'm going to want to go visit every day! Argh!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Let it Rain

When I went to drip some water into Anansi's cage this morning, the first drop fell on her backside. She backed up, turned around... when I dripped the next couple of drops, she attacked them. lol Now I wonder if she's hungry. It looks like her rear end has gotten all black (like she is about to moult... or working up to it at least). I think I might get her some little crickets soon. I don't want to put any big ones in there if she is about to molt.

Meanwhile, Babs has a big thick web with a tube at the bottom to enter / exit. I find myself wondering if it's hiding any egg sacs. And I think I'll let my crab spider loose back into the garden. I've gotten to watch it some and photograph it. I don't need to keep it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


I sprinkled some new soil over the hide and along one edge of the cage. I don't know yet what Anansi thinks of it... she seems to be slow to warm up to stuff anyway. So far, I've only seen her in the opposite corner of the cage. I hope she likes it... dirt is a little more difficult to remove than cardboard... and I don't have any other dirt right now.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hide Update

I was checking on Anansi yesterday and saw some different horizon along the bottom of the cage, so I picked it up (wondering if it could possibly be molt remains). She has been spending a LOT of time on the walls of her cage... I'm not sure why. She hasn't been up at the lid, though, so I don't guess she's trying to get out or anything. Anyway, the difference was that she has kicked up a little bit of dirt on the side of the hide... ok, this looks like progress, perhaps. Then I looked at the end of the tube (which is against the wall) and she has dug all the way down to the bottom of the cage in one spot against the wall! She's actually been IN there now. lol I haven't caught her in there, but I guess maybe she likes it. Yay! I'm still considering sprinkling some of the new dirt over the tube... wonder if that would make her mad or if she'd like it. Seems funny sometimes how we try to estimate what they like and what they don't like.

Tarantula Hunt, Part II

A friend came out and helped me hunt for tarantulas on Saturday morning, before dawn. Once again, we didn't see any out and about, but the one I pestered last week was still there. We also found a new big hole that wasn't there last time, and in a different area. gyrlcentric spotted a black leg, but I never saw it. I just couldn't come home completely empty handed, but the only thing I brought home was a garden spider. I'll probably set it free in my own yard.

It was a fun time, nonetheless... though I'm pretty darned determined to go get one of these beauties. I wish I knew someone local with some experience. Dad even gave me a trowel in case I wanted to dig one out (yes, I'm aware you can't dig directly down the hole)... but I didn't have any time left.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Last Cricket in Stock

I fed Anansi the last cricket. It was a large one and looking kind of tired. She didn't even pounce on it... didn't have to. She simply walked over to it and took hold. That was earlier today. Now she is back to standing with some of her legs on the hide. She is actually on the other side of it... so maybe she's hiding behind it. Maybe I should open it against the side so she can hide AND I can see her. lol

Tomorrow... Tarantula Hunting, Part II...

Friday, August 11, 2006


Anansi is finally giving some attention to her hide. She has been touching it all day, as far as I can tell. I haven't seen her IN it yet, but she has had a leg or four on it at one angle or another every time I've looked at her today. I swear she was looking at me like "where's my snack?" earlier! lol

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Newer photo of Anansi! Finally!

I took photos on the 2nd of this month. Here she is with a crumb of dirt on her back. It remained there until she lunged at a cricket. She is 2 inches long now (leg span measurement). I haven't yet held her since her last molt.

Brachypelma smithi spiderlingBrachypelma smithi spiderling

Spider Identification Help... Common Topic

I have a couple of new spiders in my collection. One of them survived. Here are two photos of it...

unidentified white spiderunidentified white spider

unidentified white spiderunidentified white spider
sorry this shot is SO yellow!

It is TINY... the leg-span width (not length) is about as wide as my thumbnail is long... if that helps at all.

So... any idea what it is? I gave it a small cricket... hoping it could manage. It did, the cricket was drained dry by morning! It's a pretty lil thing.

I caught it in our garden in front of the house. (Gosh, do you think it could be a GARDEN spider??) I couldn't find it in my Field Guide.

Here is the other spider...

spiderthe other spider

I can't be confident I've identified it from the field guide or online searches. This one was caught in a web at the top of the inside of a porta-john. My Husband caught it for me, ain't he sweet?! And so I named it Johnny. heh

This one liked to play dead a lot. I'd think it was dead, but when I'd pick up the container, it would start moving around again. It liked to get into this odd position where it would hang with all it's legs forward (or up). Very strange. Any ideas as to the species?

Thanks all!

Substrate & Hide Update

Thanks for all the great advice everyone! I went ahead and used the paper towel roll, but she has pretty much avoided it altogether. I'm considering scattering some new dirt over it before giving up and removing it, though. Today she did touch the TOP of it with one pedipalp while holding her lunch. That's as close to it as I've seen her get. In fact, she's been spending a lot of time on the walls of her new home since I added the hide.

I haven't yet added any of the organic soil I got. Now my paranoia involves the high moisture content in the baggie... and how to get rid of it without just leaving the dirt out in the open (for other bugs or ants).

Food & Water

I fed Anansi another large cricket today, while my best friend was here. Shortly after she snatched the cricket, I dropped some water (I often use a medicine dropper for this) onto her dirt, close to a corner. It puddled up a bit at first, as usual. After holding on to the cricket for a while, she usually lays a very thin web before eating. This time, she let go long enough to take a slow drink, I guess. She left the cricket under her abdomen. It was a little weird, but I guess she was thirsty.

Anyway, there you have it. Update posted.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

More with the Eating

I took Anansi (and a cricket) over to a friend's house with me this evening. So... she ate another large cricket. At this rate... I don't think it will be long before another molt. I had decided not to force feed her... not to make her grow too fast. I just have a lot of crickets right now. Or something.

Tarantula Hunting

My dad started talking about all the tarantulas in his yard. I remember being warned of staying away from a particular area when I was a kid - a pile with wood and other stuff. I just avoided it, so I never saw any of the tarantulas. He gets scorpions, too. So he was talking about stomping on one (ouch!) and that he poured antifreeze down the holes in that area. That seems to have killed them, but he has some in an entirely different area on his property. I get that gleam and say that I want to catch some! I've never done it, it sounds exciting... so he puts off pouring gasoline down the rest of the holes so that I can come catch some.

He exaggerated the size of the holes (he tends to exaggerate), so I suppose he probably exaggerated the size of the Ts, too. All the holes he showed me looked pretty small in comparison, not even measuring an inch across. So Saturday morning I get up and get over there half an hour before sunrise. I sat and watched and fought off mosquitos for a good long while and never saw anything. He had told me that he sees them wandering around in the early morning and late evening.

I walked the perimeter of his property, looking for any other spiders or holes and found two holes that were HUGE in comparison. They were easily two inches across... and one of them had a tent web over it! OMG, I was so excited! I decided, though, that I should really start with something smaller... being my first time and all. I had been studying the chapter in my book about catching your own tarantulas.

I put a stick / twig into the holes... they didn't really seem to be as deep as they ought to have been. Some holes had crickets in them, go figure. I finally started actively hunting for them. I had been there for almost two hours before I tackled the big holes. I finally, after so much time and suspicion of Candid Camera pranks, saw a tarantula! I even managed to get it to come all the way out of the hole... for a second. I had too much trouble trying to man the stick and the bowl and the lid... he got back into his hole too quickly. After 15 minutes, I decided I had pestered this poor baby long enough. I'm pretty certain that I can get dad to grant the spiders a temporary pardon, at least. I've recruited a t-catching buddy / side-kick, but I have to schedule my time with her. I am so excited and anxious to get out there and try again! But with my work schedule... I have to sleep in the late evening and I'm at work when the sun rises. I'm going to ask him to check his clock the next time he sees them out & about... so I can try to better time my approach.

What a long, boring, then exciting morning yesterday had!! Then I came back home and went back to sleep. heh

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Big Eaters

Most of my spiders pigged out the other day, so yesterday I bought 12 large and 12 small crickets. I've never bought so many at once. I went to drop one of the large ones in with Anansi and accidentally dropped two. She snagged the smaller one immediately... as soon as the larger one got close, she snagged it, too! It was the first time I've seen her struggle at all with a catch, but it was a minimal struggle (just enough to be exciting).

I have other big T news, but I don't have time to type it out right now. I just wanted to post that she ate again. Meanwhile, Babs looks like she is so fat she could burst!

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Substrate & Hide advice, please - Safe Choices?

I am shopping around for substrate and hides for my B. smithi. The guy at the pet store made a recommendation for the substrate, but I'm so paranoid about buying the wrong thing. Here's what he recommended: Bed-A-Beast Litter. I was trying to find some sort of small amount to buy, so this seemed a viable option. I hate that a lot of these things don't tell you the ingredients, though! Today I shopped around the store and also found T-Rex Jungle Bed which looks a lot like what I've got (from the breeder). I know the breeder mixes two things to make his substrate, but I can't recall at the moment what those two things are.

As for the hide... I couldn't find anything small enough for the cage, so I was considering cutting a toilet paper (unscented) roll down and give that to her. Is this safe? I've seen where people use film canisters, but I think she needs something slightly larger. She has never had a hide before, but she doesn't really burrow - she just gets a little dent in the dirt or smooshes as close to a wall as possible. I think she would like a hide.

Thanks for any advice you guys can offer!

Zombie Spiders? I think not.

So... on Sunday the 30th I discovered that Bunny was dead.
  • Sunday, July 30th - Discover Bunny dead... hanging from a web in her cage.
  • Monday, July 31st -
    • Find a huge Daring Jumping Spider
    • Quickly clean out Bunny's cage
    • Catch new spider
    • Pose Bunny's carcass for several photos
    • NOTE: I did consider that he might be molting (though I'd never heard of spiders hanging to do that... and considered putting his carcas back in the cage (with new spider) until I could decide to part with it.
  • Tuesday, August 1st - Find Bunny's EMPTY carcass... He finished molting in the night... and ran off (since he wasn't caged). <pout> I also happened upon a children's book about spiders in which they show a spider molting - in the hanging position! Whey couldn't I have found that a day or two sooner?!

I had Bunny for 9 months. He was my first pet spider. The new resident in his old cage is a much larger female named Babs. I miss Bunny, but perhaps I'll see him around. Babs is much more skittish than Bunny was, so she doesn't make nearly as good a model. Impressively, though, she catches her food then stays up in the corner of her cage to eat it.

Meanwhile, Johnny died before I could even name him. (Johnny is the spider that was caught in a porta-john.) I brought him into the kitchen today (with the rest of the spiders) so I could photograph him. Well he plays possum real well. When I picked up his cage, he moved. He's not dead! He gets into this odd position... I guess when he feels threatened. I can't tell if he ate any of the cricket I gave him. I've put a live one in there now and will check back on them periodically.

And finally - I have not yet named the white spider. I'd love a punny name or something silly... snowball, perhaps. hahaha

I've taken photographs of ALL of the spiders today, but I'm far too tired to edit them all. I was absolutely giddy in the kitchen today, though... surrounded by all my babies and a bag o' treats for them. lol

Oh, and I took Anansi with me on errands today. She doesn't like to travel and I've decided maybe she could use an actual hide. Nothing at the pet store was small enough... I'm considering using a toilet paper roll cut down to size. I think I'll post to one of my spider communities for advice on that.

Also, I fed Anansi... I dropped a couple crickets into her cage and was watching as she snagged first one, then the other... she is eating them both at the same time! She has quite the mouthful! One of them did get away after a few minutes, but it didn't get far at all!

I'm a big dork for my babies. Thanks for reading this hyooj entry!

Sunday, July 30, 2006


By the way... I did feed Anansi a couple of weeks ago. She ate.

Lee`s Aquarium Kritter Keeper Rectangle MiniLast night I removed her from her bowl, then sifted through the dirt (looking for cricket bits) and put the dirt into a slightly larger kritter keeper. I know I saw some old cricket carcasses resurface, but all I found was a single cricket leg. I sifted through the dirt with tweezers... I don't know... maybe they composted.

Anyway, she seems to like the new space just fine. I put a cricket in before I put her into the new cage. She ate. Yay! Bunny is doing fine, too. I need to clean his cage, but I need to wait until all the crickets are gone. I don't want to catch ALL of the critters to clean it. I got a new spider, too. My Husband caught it for me in the porta-john at the local skate park. It's pretty cool. I need to get photos so I can post them and ask for identification help. I looked in my reference book, but couldn't find anything like it. The new spider is in Anansi's old container. I love the new container for Anansi... I can actually SEE in there. It is maybe twice the size of the old one. I think I'll go see if there are any more crickets left and feed her another one... I also wonder if the new spider has eaten yet. I think it is used to gnats... and I gave it a small cricket.

Anyway, thanks for reading... I know I really need to post new photos. I haven't forgotten.

EDIT: I guess I was wrong. Bunny has died. I immediately caught some other kind of spider. It's white. I might catch another jumping spider, I really like them. Oh yeah, and since Bunny died, I caught the last two little crickets in with him and put them in with Anansi. She ate them each immediately as they were given to her.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Gosh, Anansi looks bright this morning

I picked up crickets yesterday. I had really stuffed her (two large crickets) almost three weeks ago. I needed to feed Bunny, too. So I put one large cricket and fresh water into Anansi's cage, then the other crickets in with Bunny (as usual). While I was watching for Anansi to snatch up breakfast, I noticed that her knees look brighter (Mexican Red Knee... as does her carapace. I thought I must be crazy... she can't be getting brighter without molting...

The next time I peeked in again, I noticed some weird chunk of dirt... what is that? it is legs!! She molted again without me even knowing it! Holy cow! Now I'm just hoping I'm not feeding her too soon. It would be a pain in the butt to get the cricket out... but I'm going to be gone all day and she hasn't snatched it yet.

I haven't been home much lately... and honestly I think that the lump that was once her has been there for a while...

Anyway, that's the news. I should take more photos soon!


She is laying a circle of web (perhaps on which to eat?)... also, I just spotted an old small cricket carcass. I guess she dug it up. I'll get that out of there today.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

More Meat!

It has been a while since I've fed my babies. Yesterday I bought a half dozen small crickets (and they did turn out to be quite tiny) and three large crickets. I have never given Anansi a large cricket, but I thought she might be ready. She caught the first (the smallest of the three, by chance) very quickly. By morning it was gone and I dropped in a slightly larger cricket. It promptly parked itself on the underside of the lid. I got it off and after a few minutes, Anansi was on it, too. Actually, I think she attacked it three times before she really held on and ate it.

The third large cricket is still in a bag, taunting a cat. lol

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Exciting Evening!

It was time to feed & water Anansi and water Bunny, too. I finally bit the bullet and decided to hold Anansi. I've been a little nervous ever since she molted because I can see that she is quicker now.

She sat still on my hand for a while... I'd forgotten that she always does that first. I guess once our temperatures match, she walks around just a little. The more I move, the more she walks. Britt came and sat down next to me and Anansi started walking more.... and then went right up my sleeve! So there I am... a ticklish person... with a 1½" tarantula in my armpit! It was pretty funny! We all came though unscathed. I wound up pulling my sleeve back and then got her to come out onto my shirt. I did eventually get her to go back into her bowl. It certainly made for an exciting evening (or 5 minutes, anyway).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Breakfast Time

I've been watering Anansi's container between feedings. I bought crickets yesterday, but didn't get them out of the bag until this morning. I dropped two small crickets into the bowl with her... I think one might have landed on her... or she was just startled. Anyway, she nabbed one within a minute. I also gave her more water. I just put it around the edges of the bowl... right into the dirt. I use a syringe to do this (with no needle).

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Diet Update


I just gave Anansi more water and another cricket.


Cricket & water delivered. Cricket is missing and Anansi is lookin' fat. Even though it's only been three days, Anansi was thirsty. It isn't like we're having dry weather now. It's been raining a lot lately... How do you water your small spiders?


Water delivered. There was one cricket left in with Bunny, so I went ahead and snagged it for Anansi. It immediately dove head first and tried to bury itself down into the dirt under the water. I dug it back out and dropped in on the dirt again where it promptly tried to hide again... under Anansi. It just sat there for half a minute before Anansi grabbed it.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Take two, they're small

I just dropped two small crickets into the bowl last night. She nabbed one within a very few minutes, even though she wasn't in the dark like she likes. I suspect there will be no sign of crickets in the morning.

I was right, she scarfed down the crickets by morning. She was also apparently quite thirsty. I'll be more vigilant regarding her water.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Food & Water

Nothing left from the last cricket. I gave her more water last night and dropped another cricket into her bowl. I wounded this cricket pretty bad catching it, though, so wondered if she would be disinterested.

As of morning, there were no identifiable cricket remains in Anansi's container.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Once I finally caught another cricket (let it out on the floor first, dang it), I fed Anansi again. I didn't try to wait it out this time, I put her right back down on my desk. I sat for a while talking and then thought I'd check. I leaned in close trying to see if she had the cricket in her grasp yet. I noticed the cricket a little way in front of her... then she suddenly pounced (as much as a T pounces). It was like she was jumping right at me. I couldn't have timed it better without a lot of patience. lol

I bet the remains are gone again. I swear I need to set up a video camera or something to see what she is doing with them!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dinner!!! First meal since molt

I gave Anansi a cricket last night. I covered her bowl with a white cloth napkin since I had her up in the dining room (I always feed up there). The light is more than she likes, so I covered her. I kept checking every few minutes, but she was staying on the wall of the container. I went about my business and forgot about it for a while. When I finally remembered and looked again... she was feasting!

By this morning... no cricket to be found! What does she do with them?!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


She's a bit jumpy lately. If I touch her container, she moves suddenly. She has also been digging today! She really stirred up the substrate in one spot, but now she is crouched down in a different spot. She looks like she has tried really hard to cram herself into a small space. Goofy girl.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Active Post-Molt

Anansi had, I guess, slowed down a bit to prepare for molting. She is a busy girl now. She has been literally climbing the walls. lol She hasn't done that in a while. She was all the way at the top yesterday! I can hardly wait to hold her again, though she's quick again! lol I'll wait until after she has eaten, later this week.

Saturday, April 8, 2006


Anansi seems to be enjoying spreading her legs way out. She looks comfy. I decided to wait on the crickets once I'd talked to Eric today. I originally thought I should wait, then I kept seeing where folks are feeding their Ts right after molts. All the books say not to do that. Eric said not to do that. I'm gonna hold off a week, per Eric's advice.

Anansi is moving quickly when she does move.

Tarantulas will stretch out as far as they can after molting so that they can grow as much as possible while their new exoskeleton hardens.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Molt Photos

This time the model really is Anansi.

Brachypelma smithi moltingHere she is on her side, starting her molting process.

Brachypelma smithi moltingHere is Anansi molting.

Brachypelma smithi fresh moltAnansi & her fresh exuvium

Brachypelma smithi fresh moltYay! Fresh, healthy Anansi!

Brachypelma smithi exuviumAnansi's old shell

She is already darker today. I can see a bit of the square shape on her cephalothorax. Cool! Now I need to take more pictures! lol

Time Lapse Molting Video

No, this is not Anansi's molt. It is, however, a really cool representation of a spider's molt. I wanted to have the link saved somewhere...

Lasiodora parahybana molting

Thursday, April 6, 2006

All done... and BIG!

I was beginning to worry because she hadn't done anything since laying down. I left to pick up kids from school and when I got back, she was well out of her old skin!! I forget the name for it, but the little spot at the center of her carapace or cephalothorax (head) is pumping like a vein. Her head is much lighter... for now at least.

I want to sit and watch her, but I have to leave! It's time for Brownie's and I'm the co-leader. I just hope I'll have plenty of time to come home and stare at her before the baseball game tonight!

Yay, my baby is molting!!

I didn't have time to stop at home after Brownies, I had to go straight to the baseball game (I keep score). So after half an hour of "are we going to play?" because of the rain, tornado sirens rang and the game was called. So I'm home now and my baby is all done molting and she is huge (comparatively)! I am so excited! It drove me nuts to leave her. I must take more photos... while there is still some natural light.

Exciting Update

Really, it's exciting when she does anything I haven't seen her do yet.

She hasn't eaten in weeks... she's displayed average movement. I think she's getting darker. I just got home and found her putting her front legs up in the air and then bouncing her butt around... she's using her spinnerets. I can't see any web yet, but I know it's hard to see until some is built up. Maybe she's making a web-bed for molting! (One can hope.) I'm excited about the prospect, but nervous too. I know spiders can die if they have a difficult moult.

Hrm... she stopped. Maybe she doesn't like the light. It was dark in here until I got home... so I've draped a cloth napkin over her container. It's either that or move her somewhere else. I need the light on to work.


One hour later she is trying to roll over! She's just kind of laying on her side... sorta... I gotta get the camera! I want pics and to watch, but I don't want to disturb her with a bunch of light! Darnit!

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

No Go

I gave Anansi two days to eat the cricket. I think it died on it's own, but she didn't eat it. She's still plenty active. When I opened her container to remove the cricket, she was moving pretty fast. She hasn't eaten since March 13th.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Food & Water

I just gave water to Bunny and Anansi. I also put another cricket in with Anansi. She's still movin' around, so I assume she's alright. I think Bunny only has one cricket left now. I'll update when Anansi eats the cricket (or doesn't).

Monday, March 27, 2006

Still no Appetite

Yesterday afternoon I got Anansi out (and held her) for a few minutes. I just wanted to look her over and make sure she was looking / acting normal for her. Maybe her recent inactivity has been my own imagination (read: paranoia), but she really has not been interested in food. I gave her another cricket. As of this morning, she still hasn't eaten it. If she still hasn't eaten it by this afternoon, I'll take it out, too... and continue to hope these are signs of an imminent molt.

Friday, March 24, 2006

No Dinner... Bald now

Since Anansi didn't show any interest in the perfectly healthy cricket for about 24 hours, I went ahead and took it out. I used my paintbrush to coax her out of her container and into my hand. She wasn't very active. I so want to pet spiders when I hold them, but I'm afraid that I might harm the really little ones. There was also dirt on top of her opisthosoma. I brushed it off and got a bit of dirt on the brush, so I wiped it off on the cloth napkin I had spread out under everything. I stroked down her back side again, more dirt. After a few strokes, I realized the black circle on her back end was gone... then I realized that it was shiny. I brushed off most of her urticating hairs! I was really weirded out. Has anyone else done this? I don't think I should be concerned... anyone think differently? I hope she molts soon.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Not hungry, baby?

I gave Anansi a small cricket last night. It seems like she has kind of tracked it, but she hasn't attacked or eaten it yet. It's a bit cold here this week, so I know that may have slowed her down a bit. I wanted to hold her, but I thought I'd better make sure she was fed first. Maybe I should hold her for body heat. Except my hands are usually the coldest part of me. :P

Monday, March 20, 2006

Tarantula Pics!

I took these three weeks ago (at e-spiderworld in OKC), but finally edited them last week. I'm only posting three tonight...

Brachypelma smithiBrachypelma smithi

Brachypelma smithiBrachypelma annitha
Look at that bald rump!

Brachypelma smithiCeratogyrus marshalli

Saturday, March 18, 2006

None for me, thanks.

I gave Anansi another cricket a day or so ago. I really hurt this one, though. It pretty much died and she pretty much wasn't interested. I just now removed it. I sure would like to see her molt soon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Midnight Snack

I dropped a very small wounded cricket in with Anansi last night (after spraying a bit more water into her container). It's gone this morning yet she doesn't look as though she has moved from where she was last night. It's a bit chilly in here this morning, though, so I'm not going to try to move her or anything. I'm sure she'll move around once it warms up in here.

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Snack & Supper / Supper or Dessert?

I picked up crickets yesterday. I dropped two into Anansi's container this time. One of them was really really small and the other was small enough. (I can't get pinhead crickets here, but I can get some pretty small ones.) She snatched the smaller one really quick. After a few hours I could find no cricket remains... yet again. What's the deal??

The larger of the two crickets was still in there a few hours later. They didn't seem to be bothering each other.

By morning the second cricket is now missing, too. Anansi is looking all faaat. lol

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

American House Spider

I haven't had much time to post lately, but wanted to say... after washing all the jars, I put a little bit of water in the jar with the American House Spider to make sure it had fluids. It seemed to have a hard time starting a web (maybe from getting it's spinner end wet?) and I kept finding it in the water. I tipped the jar so that it was out of the water, but it got back into it and apparently drowned. It was interesting to see that the back legs are so short and the "abdomen" is so big that it kind of drags the ground. It would fall over from time to time.

I was actually considering setting it loose outside, but wanted to find some way to get rid of it - guilt free. I didn't kill it on purpose and feel I was doing the right thing in cleaning out the stench that was cricket carcasses. So, there you have it. And then there were two.

I think I have more photos to post... I don't guess I've looked at the photos from cleaning day at all. I just offloaded them from the camera this morning.

OK, I need to get back to other busy things. I hope everyone is well. Some of you need to POST!

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Hands On

After tackling a big, difficult project I wanted to do something fun for myself. So... I got Anansi out again. She ran just a little bit when she first came out, but stopped on the side of my wrist. She just sat there. This time I know she was already warm. Her position made it difficult to coax her back into the container. In fact, as I brushed her rear end, she edged backwards. She finally made her way into a position that made it easier to transfer her back into the container. When she goes back in, she runs down the wall. Then she ran across the ground, I thought she was going to snag the cricket, but as I put the lid on, I saw that she really seemed to just want back out with me. :) Gosh.

Turned out to be a good way to reward myself & cheer me up from the frustration of the project.

I took lots of photos of the spiders this morning, but I haven't offloaded them yet. I'll get to it. I have a meeting in a little bit, though.

Later in the evening I checked and could not find any cricket remains (yet again). I guess she must have gotten around to eating that one, too. What the heck is she doing with the exoskeletons??

Cleaning Time

My small jar (with the American House Spider in it) was pretty stinky and had some decayed dinner in it. Bunny's cage was also looking rather dirty. So... I decided to have some spider time. First, I got Anansi out. I haven't had her out since right after I got her home. She sat real still for a long time, then ran once around my hand, to the back. Then she sat some more. I noticed she actually rested her body on my hand, so she really may have been warming up.

There was one (I thought) live cricket left in Bunny's keeper (that's where I keep them), so I caught it and put it into Anansi's container before putting her back into it. She hasn't eaten it yet.

Then I transferred the AHS into a smaller / extra jar. I washed it's jar out with warm water; MUCH better. I also put a little bit of water in the bottom. It seems rather lost without it's web, just pawing at the wall a lot like it did when I first caught it.

I found one more cricket in Bunny's cage, so I transferred it and bunny into separate jars. I washed his cage out in the same fashion, as well as the water dish and the plastic spider. I've tossed the sponge altogether. I can actually SEE whether there is water since I'm just using the lid. And even the smallest crickets I get can make it out of the water. The lid I use really makes for a cool water dish. Shortly after I put him back into the keeper, I actually saw him getting a drink. Cool!

plastic spiderThe plastic spider in Bunny's cage looks just like this one from iStockphoto!

Since the AHS still seemed to be freaking out a bit, I decided not to give the extra cricket to it. I was also tempted to trade it out with the one Anansi has, as it is slightly larger than her's. In the end, I just put the extra, larger cricket back into Bunny's keeper.

Now all the containers are all nice and clean. The spiders are all watered. Yay.

Saturday, March 4, 2006

Hungry Girl / Quick Hunter

I just tossed another cricket into the dish. It started running pretty fast as soon as it hit the dirt, so I set the lid back onto the container. By the time I fed & watered Bunny (1-2 minutes), she had already snatched the cricket! It was pretty tiny. She's so cute. lol

Still absolutely no sign of the crickets she has already eaten.

Thursday, March 2, 2006


I had planned to give Anansi another cricket this morning. Before I got to it, though, I was taking care of the dog. His water dish was empty, so I was giving him water (& food). I noticed a bug in the water, then realized it was kind of hopping on top of the water. Sure enough, it was one of the feeder crickets. They're so small that they tend to escape from time to time. Oops.

It was EASY to catch with our plastic tweezers and then I gave it to Anansi. I had more stuff to do, but I went and looked a little while ago (& to show Anansi to a friend) and she was eating. Yay!

Monday, February 27, 2006

For My Birthday

Anansi had breakfast today! I sat down to feed her... since the other two small crickets have gone missing. I hate the thought that they're in the dirt, decomposing. But if Anansi is anything like Mallory was, she'll bury them with web. Anyway, she snatched this one in less than 2 minutes, max. I swear the cricket burst when she got it. There was this big droplet on it. heh

Brachypelma smithi with cricketAnansi and her Breakfast

Brachypelma smithi with cricketAnansi and her Breakfast

Temp is fine, too. Thermometer read 72° this morning.

I can see no remains of Anansi's breakfast. So I wonder if she really did eat the other two crickets these last couple of days. Now I'm tempted to give her another.

I'm not quite so hard-set on Anansi being a girl now, though I think I'll continue to refer to her for convenience. If she is actually a boy, then I'll take her back to OKC for breeding and get a new spiderling. I can't imagine wanting half the spiderlings produced by him... Eric was mating a male B. smithi with two different females. Now consider they'll each (if the mating "took") lay hundreds of eggs. Yikes! No, I don't need THAT many spiders! However, I bet I could get one... perhaps a Brazilian Black. Or... something else. I chose Anansi because she's a good starter species... I may be ready to try something else after a few years (if she's a he) lol

Sunday, February 26, 2006


I've decided to name her Anansi. I need to update the bio page!

By the way... I've watched her temperature and it's been good so far. I got a new thermometer strip and stuck it to the inside of her bowl, per Eric's suggestion. I gave her a cricket, but then I lost it. I don't know if she ate it (and buried the remains) or if it dug in and hid. So I gave her another... and while I did keep track of it for longer, this one did the same thing. But if she doesn't feel like eating, I don't want to keep adding food. I'll try again in a couple of days.

I held her again today. She was really good, then she ran! lol I am (again) proud of myself for not freaking out. She ran all over my hand! Then I put her back into her bowl! lol Before that, though, she just sat there a lot. She seems perfectly happy & comfortable with me. I did learn that she'll come out of the bowl more easily if I use a paint brush. When I tried to coax her out by hand she buried her head in the dirt. Yes, just her head. It was very funny.

OK, that should be enough for now... Thanks for reading & sharing my excitement!

New Baby!!

Here is a photo of my new baby that I went to OKC for today...

Brachypelma smithi spiderlingBrachypelma smithi spiderling

That's a quarter this time. I even got to hold her before leaving there! I also held a full grown B. smithi. I had Eric show me as much of his collection as he wanted to show off and I took photos! I'll be getting those edited, sent, and posted... but for now, this was the most important shot.

Now I'm debating a name for her. Here is the poll (updated with results):

Tara (as in TARAntula)
3 (27.3%)

Taren Tula (I don't think so)
0 (0.0%)

LeeLou (5th Element)
2 (18.2%)

3 (27.3%)

Agent Smith (she's a B. smithi)
0 (0.0%)

Mallory (again)
0 (0.0%)

1 (9.1%)

2 (18.2%)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Next Trip!

My best friend is going to take me to OKC next weekend to get another spider! I owe her a birthday lunch so we're going to find somewhere to eat while we're there. I also heard back from the breeder this morning. His email was so kind that I was in tears of relief.

I am really sorry to hear she passed.
Some people just don't understand how losing a spider hurts, but it does.
My girlfriend lost her A. versicolor to a bad molt last weekend, and we are still mourning.
I truly am sorry.
I hope that you don't hold yourself responsible, it's an all to normal occurence with slings that small. They are just very fragile at that size.
I know it might not come as any consolation at this point, but let me know when you are ready, and we'll work something out with a larger specimen.

A part of me was afraid he wouldn't trust me with another spider. His email, as well as the support of my family and friends, has meant an awful lot to me. Thank you all.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Brachypelma smithi spiderling record

Ironically, I found the section in my book about caring for spiderlings. Now that I've lost mine. It didn't tell me anything I did not already know or wasn't already doing anyway. It seemed to be mostly directed at people caring for up to 300 spiderlings at a time. What a huge undertaking that would be!

I'm feeling all tarantula-ish this afternoon, so I looked in my folder of links. Someone made a record of their Brachypelma smithi spiderling from when they got it. I had read a little bit of it, but never finished it. I'm reading through it now. The spiderling turned white (not black) just before molting, shortly after they got it. Then it molted again almost exactly one month later! They don't say what instar the spiderling was when they got it. A little over a month later, it shed again. I love gaining the knowledge, but this site makes me a little sad, too.

Earlier today I was reading about nematodes on Giant It was disturbing and nearly set me off soil as substrate. The person with this record uses vermiculite. I'm just not sure I like vermiculite. It might be good to keep the spiderling in for a while, though, since it is what it was in when I got to the breeder.

I want to do something in the direction of getting another spider. Now. So... I think I might call around to pet shops to see who has pinhead crickets. I'd sure like to be able to feed a spiderling live food. If I get a spiderling, that is. I can't imagine getting one too large, I don't have a fortune to spend on a spider. The spiderling I got was .5" and the next size they have is 1.25" for $15 more.

Anyway, in case you want to read about the spiderling I mentioned, it is Spidermans Blog.

Oh, and Mallory is getting what I can only guess is white mold around her abdomen now. Do I just dump her in the garbage? Ugh? Do I bury her... under the snow?! <sigh>

Friday, February 17, 2006


My friend Kelly (who used to have a pet tarantula) made a good point this morning. The larger spiders are more expensive... this is certainly an indication that they are difficult to care for while they get larger.

e-spiderworld still has more Brachypelma smithi spiderlings, of various sizes:

Brachypelma smithi, Mexican Redknee, .5", $25

Brachypelma smithi, Mexican Redknee, 1.25", $40

Brachypelma smithi, Mexican Redknee, 2", $65

One half inch larger (and sexed as a female) and she'd cost $150, though a 3" male is only $100. I'd still like to get a young one. I'm just not sure I want one quite as young.

I'm giving it some thought. And I'm waiting to hear back from Eric. He is never quick to read/reply to email, so I'm not holding my breath.

Mallory's Last Photo Shoot

I had recently replaced Mallory's dirty dime with a shiny new one. Here she is, posing on it for me. This photo shoot is from February 12th...

Brachypelma smithi spiderlingBrachypelma smithi spiderling - on a dime

Brachypelma smithi spiderlingBrachypelma smithi spiderling - on a dime

Brachypelma smithi spiderlingBrachypelma smithi spiderling - on a dime

These are the best three from the shoot... and I only took six! She was such a wonderful little model. If you would like to see them full size, click away.


Mallory has been up against the edge of the jar for a couple of days. I was getting worried because her legs were drawn in more than usual. But... so far every freak-out I've had has been over really normal stuff (like when she burrowed and didn't come out).

She ate like her usual pigginess last Friday. I think I hurt her on Monday when she grabbed onto the paintbrush. Tonight is feeding night, I bought another dozen crickets today. Splitting them up for the three spiders proved to be an amusing test of my patience and planning. I save Mallory for last. It's been two days since I last saw her move, so I was worried. I touched her with the paintbrush. No reaction. Well that happened before, so I try some more. No reaction... other than falling away from the wall of the jar.

I haven't even had her one month. I feel sick. I've had Bunny since October. Perhaps it wasn't a good idea to get one so young after all. I don't even know what to do with the jar... and more specifically Mallory. :(

I need to email Eric now. I feel awful.

A ray of hope? I still want to have a tarantula. I've done all my homework. I was very careful choosing my species. I've read websites and read books and talked to spider people...

Anyway, that's all I wanted to say. I'll certainly post if/when I get a new tarantula. And perhaps I'll continue to post pics of Bunny and my American House Spider here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Climbing the Walls

If I keep Mallory on top of my monitor, her jar gathers condensation on the inside. So then I take the lid off and wipe it away. She also tends to climb up to the lid when it is up there, but not so much if it is on my desk. Anyway, I'm very careful not to pinch any of her legs in the lid when I close it. Tonight I put my finger right in front of her to get her to back down. I even barely touched a leg or two. She didn't budge! I figure she's not dead cuz she's ON the wall, not curled up in a ball. I grab my soft paintbrush that I keep in my pencil holder for just such an occasion and I touch her legs, she still doesn't move at first. So I try again and she grabs onto it! When I move the paintbrush she is literally hanging from it! I had to lower her to the "ground" and was prepared to scrape her off of it if I had to. She got off of it, but it was kind of exciting. lol

The other night I sat for half an hour or so, watching my American House Spider catch and hogtie a couple of crickets, nibbling along the way. By the next morning, both crickets were tossed away as refuse.

I removed the poopy dime from Mallory's jar and replaced it with a really shiny new one. I also got some pretty good photos, I think, but I don't have them ready to post and I have a headache so I'm not going to mess with that tonight. I need to check the friends list here, I haven't since last week, I don't think.

I later learned that this staying-off-the-ground behavior likely indicated that Mallory's ground was too warm for her. She felt the need to get off of it. That would have been the least of my concerns, as you will soon see...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Temperatures and Impending Molt

Hagen Aquarium Marina Lcd Digital Thermometer Aquarius02/07/06

The temp was about 70° when I got up, so I woke my monitor up and that got her up to 72°. Now she's at 74°.

09:25p - 74°

  • 09:00a - 72°
  • 11:30a - 74°
  • 02:00p - 76°
  • 04:30p - 79°
  • 06:30p - 76°
Eric mentioned that while I probably already knew this, when she turns black, she'll molt. I think she is getting darker, but she isn't black yet. And it bugs me a bit that she hasn't burrowed again since those 2 days she spent hidden.
  • 12:00a - 72°
  • 09:00a - 70°
  • 10:00a - 72°
  • 06:25p - 73°

  • 01:30a - 71°
  • 12:00p - 76°
  • 06:00 - 74° - and off my monitor. She's back on my desk now. Yay

  • 09:30a - 70°

Monday, February 6, 2006


So after her meal last Thursday, I had a hard time finding any remains of the cricket! I spotted it the next day, but she was ON it, eating again. So I left her be. Today I noticed that there is a little bit of cricket still in there and that she has spread web out over it! Wow! I'm such a dork, you'd think my kid had just said a new word or something. lol

Temperature Averaging

    Hagen Aquarium Marina Lcd Digital Thermometer Aquarius02/04/06
  • 12:30a - 74°
  • 09:15a - 72°
  • 01:00p - 72°
  • 06:00p - 74°
  • 11:00p - 72°
And now (6p) if I pick up her jar, she climbs up instead of sometimes going down. She has now climbed up as high as the lid of the jar.
  • 01:00a - 72°
  • 11:30a - 69°
  • 11:00p - 73°

  • 11:30a - 75°
  • 1130p - 74°

The temp seemed rather low this morning, so I set the jar on top of my monitor. Now it's a nice 75°.

EDIT: I kept Mallory on top of my monitor almost all day. I'll keep her there overnight, too, since it's supposed to dip down to 31° on the outside of that wall tonight.

Oh, and keeping it up there is causing a little bit of condensation again, so I've been wiping it out.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Temperature & Burrow

Temperatures yesterday:
  • 12:30a - 76°
  • 09:00a - 72°
  • 10:30a - 72°
  • 12:30p - 74°
  • 03:15p - 76°
  • 07:00p - 76°
  • 10:50p - 72°

Now she's been out of her burrow for so long that I kinda wish she'd dig a burrow so I'd know she felt at home. I figure she may be getting ready to molt. Her opisthosoma is really shiny. It's also really fat. Sometimes I think I can see the hairs underneath, but the spot on her butt looks gray or black depending on which way the light is shining.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Hiya Mallory & Dinner Time

I was telling a visiting friend that unfortunately they wouldn't get to see Mallory and I picked up the jar... and there she was!! She's out! She's just hangin' out on the side of the jar.

I want to keep some kind of record of her eating habits. She ate last Thursday and I fed her early this afternoon. Later in the evening she was still munching on that cricket! I remember last week she ate for a long time, but right now her abdomen looks all huge and round. I think I need to snap off some more shots...

(photo missing)


I bought an aquarium thermometer last night at Wal·Mart for about $2. At midnight, Mallory's jar was 72°. It's 70° now.

    Hagen Aquarium Marina Lcd Digital Thermometer Aquarius
  • 12:00a - 72°
  • 09:00a - 70°
  • 10:30a - 72°
  • 01:45p - 76°
  • 06:00p - 77°
  • 07:30p - 78°
  • 09:30p - 76°
  • 10:45p - 76°

Maybe I was worried for nothing, but today was a really warm day. I'm really glad to have a way to monitor her temp now, though.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Other Spider

house spiderAmerican House Spider with Dinner

This spider grew up in a little web next to our kitchen sink. I've watched it along the way. My family would rather it not be loose, so I caught it. Then I bought crickets for all the spiders. I wasn't sure about this spider's attacking capabilities, so I crushed the small cricket's head before dropping it into the jar. This photo was taken through the magnifying lid of the jar. That's why it has such a trippy look. :-)

house spiderAmerican House Spider with Dinner

Here is an even clearer shot, I think. This is through the side of the jar. The spider wasted no time in fetching the cricket after I dropped it into the jar. The blue in the background is the plastic tweezers that came with the kid bug collecting kit that included these jars (and that I used to crush the cricket heads for this spider and for Mallory).

Hiding is Good

I haven't messed with her burrow, though just moving the jar a little has left a little bit of debris at the entrance. I called Eric at E-Spiderworld (the breeder) today to ask if I should be worried. As it turns out (and I guess I just haven't read quite this far yet), the fact that she has burrowed is a good sign. The wandering around was while she was checking out the new place. Now she has settled into her new home. He said she might wander a little at night. I hope I get to see her. Oh, and she won't be burrowed forever, I just would like to see her because I haven't for two days.

She still didn't eat, so maybe she IS going to molt soon, or maybe she's just messing with me.

I got the humidity under control using my husband's suggestion of wiping out the condensation often. I think I've got it dry enough that I might need to add water. There is still a tiny bit of condensation, though, so perhaps not.

I got pics of the other spiders edited & ready to post last night, but it was late so then I went to bed. Maybe I'll post them today or tonight or next week. :P

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Hiding Out

Mallory hasn't been seen out of her burrow allll day. I'm trying to keep myself from freaking out and digging her out to make sure she's alright. I'm waiting it out and reading other T journals and communities.

Today I learned that "sling" is slang for spiderling. I also read in my big T book that too much humidity is very bad. Ugh. Wiping the lid out often seems to be cutting down on the humidity pretty well, I think.

I bought a dozen small crickets today. I squished the heads of two of them and put one in with Mallory (though it was still just barely kicking for a long while) and one in with the spider I caught the other night. I should be posting pics of that one soon. The rest of them went in with Bunny. Bunny & the other spider were feasting soon after.

Monday, January 30, 2006

4th Instar & New Burrow!

Through email with the breeder, I've learned that Mallory hatched on May 11, 2005. She is a 4th Instar, which means she has molted 4 times.

I also found out that her cage is too humid, but I haven't added any water since I got her. I've asked for advice on drying the cage out some. I also asked for better ways to heat her jar.

Mallory really likes the new warmness I've provided! I'll leave her cool in the night again, but I'm formulating some ideas on how to warm her with something less disposable. Do they make hand warmers that can be reused?

Anyway, I saw her working on her first burrow today! I probably should have photographed that, but I'm not feeling well. I did get a photo of the completed (I think) project...

tarantula spiderling burrow and dimeMallory's New Burrow

Yes, that is the same dime.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mallory Photo Shoot

I dug out the lamp, took the lid off, and had a photo shoot with my new little model. She is quite well-behaved and photogenic, if I do say so myself. I can set the dime right behind her, moving the dirt around her, and she just stands there for me. Now if I could just get her to come up out of the burrow to higher (and flatter) ground, perhaps I could get a nice shot of her right next to or on top of the dime. She didn't eat the cricket I gave her yesterday, but I had given her one on Thursday. I took it out, since it had been over 24 hours. You don't want to leave dead prey in the "cage" as it will attract mites and possibly start mold. These are not good for the baby.

Ah yes, the photo. I picked out what I think was probably the best photo of this evening's set and I think this may be the best photo of her yet.

Brachypelma smithi spiderlingMallory
Brachypelma smithi

I love my new baby. I'm a big dork.

Today I got worried because it had been sooo long since she had moved. I finally dug her out a bit and touched her with a paintbrush (don't want to squish her!!). She moved just enough for me to know she was alive. Whew! Now her burrow is more like a valley. :P

I also started a little hand warmer and put it up against one side of the jar. She likes it. :-D It's still plenty humid in there. In fact, the heat causes some condensation in the jar... which makes trying to see her a bit of an issue.

Dime & Cuddles

I soon got another photo of Mallory, posing near a dime. I'd like to get her to pose on the dime, but that will probably take some doing.

Brachypelma smithi spiderlingBrachypelma smithi spiderling

Isn't she just adorable?!

I was holding Mallory (in her container) in the living room this morning when my husband asked if I was cuddling her. Yes!

I worry that she isn't warm enough so I was trying to warm up her house. I probably ought to get a heating system and a thermometer setup.

Tarantula Fascination

On Friday, January 6, 2006, I noticed my husband looking at a Reptile auction site. There were snakes, turtles, lizards, and spiders! After pulling it up on my computer, I then searched out other sites. For the next 48 hours every spare moment spent at the computer was spent reading about tarantulas and looking at photos of them. That night my husband brought home a second kitten so I asked if I could have a tarantula. He said maybe.

I had already figured out which species I wanted, but I wanted to be sure that I was ready for a 30-year pet commitment before actually getting one. I started checking around for tarantula availability in our area. I called every pet store in every surrounding town. I found a few other species, but only one Brachypelma smithi (Mexican Red Knee), which is the species on which my heart was set. I had decided I wanted a spiderling, the younger the better. I took the kids to see it and it was larger than I really wanted... and much more expensive than I was prepared to spend.

Nearly three weeks had gone by when an opportunity to go to OKC arose. The closest tarantula breeder happens to be based in OKC. My dear friend Lisa took me, even though she has a spider phobia. I got the spiderling I wanted and she was even smaller than I had imagined.

Brachypelma smithi spiderlingBrachypelma smithi spiderling
4th instar

She'll be my new model. I won't actually know the sex of the tarantula for 2-3 years, but on the advice of the breeder I've given her a girl name in hopes of her actually being female. Females of this species live three times as long as males and are also worth three times as much.


I got into photography as a hobby last summer when a close friend gave me a really great camera. I was especially interested in macro photography. That lead to bugs which lead to spiders and I found myself fascinated with them. If I spotted a spider, I had to photograph it! On October 18, 2005, my best friend Becca spotted a jumping spider on my front porch. I, of course, went to take photos! Then I decided to catch it so I could take all the photos I wanted. I wound up purchasing a small Kritter Keeper and he is now my pet.

bold jumping spiderBecca helped me name him: Bunny