Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Pet!

The Oklahoma Reptile Show was in town again today! Elmo has been itching to replace Sam, but we haven't found anything for sale in the area other than Rose Hairs (of which we have two already). We went to the Reptile Show a couple of months ago and missed the Cobalts, but today there were still three left!

Haplopelma lividum Haplopelma lividum (Cobalt Blue)

Haplopelma lividum Haplopelma lividum (Cobalt Blue)

These photos do not do the colors justice. This is a gorgeous spider! However, they are one of the more aggressive species. For such a newcomer to the hobby, Elmo sure goes all out!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Death by Natural Causes

Sam is the Oklahoma Brown that I caught at work (inside the building) and is responsible for setting my husband off, joining me in this hobby. He was an adult male, so we knew he wasn't long for this world. A female was seen in the vicinity, but I couldn't find her to catch her. We hope he got to breed before I caught him. Someone would likely have stomped him if he had been left in the building. In fact, multiple people from work called and texted me when he was found.

Anyway, he passed yesterday. We suspected it was coming, he has been acting... slow and shaky. We considered purchasing a spade and providing a "proper burial" but instead chose for the garbage can. My husband is anxious to purchase a new species or for me to catch another for him.

This makes the 3rd tarantula to die in my care, but it has been a few years. The 2nd was another WC Oklahoma Brown (Special K - also of natural causes). The very 1st was my 1st dear T, Mallory.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Arachnid Family Update

Remember those eggs? Well I probably should have sewn the egg sac back together before returning it to Ghost (Elmo's Grammostola rosea). It tipped some and then she rolled it some more and lost all but a few eggs. Elmo removed the sac, but the eggs still sit in her hide. They are lost, most definitely lost. You know, I recall noticing Ghost sticking her abdomen straight up behind her shortly before she laid eggs. I bet that had something to do with the process!

Then there is SFB (Brachypelma albopilosum). When last I posted about him (?), he had tunneled a very nice burrow against the edge of his cage so we've been able to watch him. He has stopped working on it and the side with the entrance appears to be slowly caving. He did push some dirt up under it and has supported the higher side with more webbing. So we're totally unsure whether it is closed by design or it just happened.

Then today Elmo texted me to let me know SFB was molting! Now I wonder if he just built the burrow for molting. He has shoved the exuvium toward the entrance of his burrow. I want to see how big he is, but haven't seen him stretch out yet.

S.B. (Avicularia versicolor) has continued her high webbing over to the small limb I added to her enclosure.

Anansi (Brachypelma smithi) is faster than ever since she molted!

Sam (Aphonopelma hentzi) is looking nearer and nearer to death every day. Sometimes we think he is dead and then he moves. He curls up a lot.

Our scorpion, Butch (Heterometrus longimanus), has not been nearly as interesting as we expected.

King (Theraphosa blondi) has been placed into a larger enclosure. He(?) now has a 10 gallon aquarium. He moved his nice hide. He has a water dish and a humidity gauge. His new cage also had room to include my old aquarium skull. It doesn't look human, more animal. Either way, it looks pretty cool in there and King hung out by it for a day or so. We figure he likes it, too.

That just leaves Chaos (Grammostola rosea). She hasn't had any interesting developments lately. There's been plenty of other excitement, so no worries. I find myself wondering if she'll molt sometime soon. She hasn't molted since I got her and now Anansi has molted again. I just think Chaos is due.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rose Hair Laid Eggs! What to do??

My husband and I now have 8 arachnids between us. We considered breeding and discussed it at length before deciding against it. We each have a Rose Hair that we purchased from a pet store. He has had his a couple of months. Then last month we got small clay pots for hides and renovated her habitat. Last week she webbed herself completely into the pot. She hid in there for a couple of days, then the web was GONE and she was hovering over a ball of web.

Grammostola roseaGrammostola rosea with web ball

We figured she had molted and rolled up the old skin in a ball like such garbage to be discarded. But she kept hovering over it! Today my husband spent 20 minutes trying to get the "garbage" out because she finally stepped away from it. She kept coming back when he reached into her cage. He put it in a little jar for me to check out when I got home, because I love to see the old skin!

I poked at the sac. Soft... soft... crunchy. Crazy! It felt kind of creepy. I didn't have an exact-o blade, so I just gripped the sac gently and pulled apart. I got a LOT of web, but it split in two. There was more web under that. I gripped deeper and pulled apart again. Imagine my surprise when I found EGGS!

Grammostola roseaGrammostola rosea egg sac

My husband feels HORRIBLE about fighting her to take her babies away! We've put the damaged sac back and some eggs fell out. I wonder if she'll put it all back together. I have found 1 page that says gestation is 6 weeks. We are totally unprepared for slings! I know there could be 80-1000, but we think it is on the low end.

We have her in a Kritter Keeper and are worried the slings will just get right out through the lid. Can we use cheese cloth between the cage and lid? Anyone have any experience here? Can we send the sac to a breeder? Suggestions, PLEASE??

Friday, November 5, 2010

Great Investment!

My recent investment into 1 Avicularia versicolor (Antilles Pinktoe) and 1 Brachypelma albopilosum (Curly Hair) has really paid off! My A. versicolor (S.B.) is my first arboreal species. She wasted no time in building a tunnel web up the corner and then a hammock type web over from the top. She has been interesting to watch, though not otherwise very active.

Then there is the B. albopilosum (SeƱor Fuzzy Britches)! He originally didn't seem to be changing his new habitat at all. Then he) was slowly moving dirt from one end of his Kritter Keeper to the other. Eventually he had a mound almost to the top of one end of the cage and one opposite corner was dug out all the way to the bottom. Now he has begun to dig a hole in the bottom of the mound and some of that dirt is being carried into the original empty corner. It is fascinating to watch! I love that while he is burrowing, he is doing it where we can still watch! Earlier he was making some sort of squeaking noise... I think it is the sound of his feet sliding against the plastic. It has been cool to watch dirt being carried in the chelicerae!

Note: These babies are all juveniles, so the he/she is really just a guess at this point. We think of S.B. as a girl and SFBritches as a boy.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oklahoma Reptile Expo - New Pets!

Today was finally the day for the Oklahoma Reptile Expo! Elmo and I both had trouble sleeping last night due to excitement! We got up too early this morning and eventually gathered up the girls to go to breakfast. Then it was a stop by Target before we headed to the hotel hosting the expo. We went in the front door... won't do that again! We were sent upstairs and then "just keep going" down a hall. We even walked through a part of the hallway with NO lights! Eventually we discovered that there was, indeed, a back door close to the expo itself. We chose that for our exit later.

I had been concerned that the Reptile expo might not offer any spiders. I emailed the guy that puts on the event, but never heard back from him. When I talked with him today, he felt certain he had replied. I check my spam folder, but I'll check again.

We walked into the expo and immediately spotted 3 tarantulas. I was SO excited already! We walked around the outer circle, then the inner circle. I found someone selling log hides and asked her about mold on them. I was appreciative of her expertise and advise. There were only 2 vendors with tarantulas, but the other one had a lot to choose from. Both vendors offered good deals.

Sasha got restless, so we all went into the hallway for a break. Sasha had a little milk and then ran around free for a bit with Tyler. It was a nice open space. Meanwhile, Elmo & I discussed what we wanted to actually purchase and how much we would have to spend to get habitats all set for them. We had some stuff at home, but not everything we needed.

Elmo got 1 Theraphosa blondi (Goliath Birdeater) and 1 Heterometrus longimanus (Asian Forest Scorpion). The Goliath is a juvenile, so we do not know the sex. It is maybe 2-3 inches now, but will eventually get to 12-15 inches! We didn't think to ask the sex of the scorpion, but we're pretty sure it is full grown. It looked so much bigger when we got it out of the little deli cup! I got 1 juvenile Avicularia versicolor (Antilles Pinktoe) which is the first really exotic (read: colorful) species with which I fell in love. I also got 1 juvenile Brachypelma albopilosum (Curly Hair) which intrigued me, especially when the vendor said that they are the most docile and friendly tarantulas he's ever seen. They will crawl right out onto your hand!

For those trying to keep count, you can see our collection listed on our About Us page. I will mention, though, that this Curly Hair is the 2nd Brachypelma species I've got now.

The vendor had some other species that we had wanted to find, but they sold yesterday. :-( We'd still like to attend the KC Reptile Show sometime, which is ONLY on Sundays so we should have better luck. The vendor that had so much for us today is from there, so he would have much more to offer at that show... or we could just go to his store!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Oklahoma Reptile Expo

We are really looking forward to the The Oklahoma Reptile Expo this weekend! We're hoping to find some new tarantulas. Plus we have Tyler this weekend, so she gets to go with us!

Looking for something creepy crawly to do this weekend? Well the Oklahoma Reptile Expo is happening! You can find out more at OkReptileExpo.com. It's only $5 for adults and $3 for kids aged 6-12. That is cheaper than the zoo!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Elmo has been Bitten - with Tarantula Fever!

I'm excited that Elmo has taken an interest in tarantulas and we're looking forward to attending The Oklahoma Reptile Expo!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Busy Day

We had a busy day today, running errands. While we were out, we stopped at Southern Agriculture to talk to the guy that orders the tarantulas and to get crickets. We need to come up with specific species to request from him. We would like a Haplopelma lividum (Cobalt Blue) and found out they had one for a long time, but finally sold it. It was a very aggressive spider and attacked one of the employees there. We kind of want the ability to shop, so we did get the contact info for the breeder that Southern Ag uses.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oklahoma Brown

My (new) husband decided that this new tarantula is his. This is surprising because he previously has a slight arachnophobia. I don't feed any wild-caught food to my purchased tarantulas (for fear of exposing them to pesticides), but it was agreed that if he caught any bugs he could feed them to Sam.

That is the new tarantula's name, Sam. Elmo (my husband) had a cat named Sam that we had to re-house elsewhere due to a move and the baby. So now he has a new Sam.

Aphonopelma hentzi is known as Oklahoma Brown, Texas Brown, as well as Missouri Tarantula. They are not terribly pretty spiders.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


So last night the temperature got down pretty low (compared to recently). So this morning, the guys at work found a huge Oklahoma Brown Tarantula (Aphonopelma hentzi) on the wall in the warehouse! Knowing I'm such a spider (esp. tarantula) freak, I couple of people sent me pictures of it. Someone was even trying to catch it for me!

I got my largest cage out of the closet, rinsed it, and put some fresh substrate in it. On my way to work it occurred to me that I probably should have taken something to catch the spider since I didn't know if they'd caught it or not. I got to work and Lia immediately took me out to the dock to find it with me. This is funny because she has arachnophobia. On our way out, we saw the cleaning guy and he asked if we were looking for it (I was, after all, carrying a cage). He pointed across the building to an Exit sign. The black spot on the top right corner? That is the spider! Holy cow, we could see it from across the warehouse! "Huge!" I thought. We got over to it and I backed a tugger cart up to the wall so I could stand on it. I put the cage up against the side of the Exit sign and slid the spider into it using the lid. I had caught it in about 2 seconds! No problem! And, it was NOT that big! Turned out to be an adult male, so he is small.

Courtney said Kelsey was the one who claimed it was as large as his fist (and he is not a small guy). When he got back from lunch and looked at my new pet, he said it wasn't the same one! He said this one is half the size! We referred back to pictures and sure enough... the one Kelsey had seen was a larger one, most likely a female! Lia and I (and then some other folks) went back out to hunt, but she was gone. I need to take all my gear to work, though. As fall blows into town, we'll likely see more of them!

I was SO giddy! And lots of people had questions about spiders and tarantulas. I love to talk about them! So it made for a great day!

I've had an Oklahoma Brown before and am keeping this little guy in the same cage. My friend let her sons catch Special K for me. I haven't named this new one yet... and I'm open to suggestions!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Day Camp

I'm working Eagle Valley Day Camp for the Girl Scouts this year instead of Shady Acres. I took the girls to the alternate site for Eagle Valley Day Camp today (the weather was not suitable for on-site camp).

Tomorrow I'll be presenting my pet tarantulas to the girls at camp... 40+ girls, though they will be separated into smaller groups. Here's hoping I don't have a nervous breakdown trying to protect my babies!