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