Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rehousing Punjab

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

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

Can you guess what happened next? You know Punjab came right out from under that lid and onto my hand. The authors of this blog do not endorse nor advise handling tarantulas or other arachnids. Elmo immediately jumped back and I felt an immediate rush of adrenalin. I tried to coax Punjab, but quickly realized it was not going to happen. In a few seconds, he was on my outer elbow. No one else here handles spiders. I had Elmo get me a little bug jar we use to grab crickets. I quickly cupped it over Punjab on my arm. Thankfully, he climbed onto the jar on his own very soon. Elmo helped me get the lid onto the jar. I set it ALL aside and finished cooking. I should not have attempted any of this without eating and without refrigerating this species.

After breakfast had settled, I put Punjab in the fridge and set my timer for 8 minutes. I usually do 5 if I'm even going to open the cage of some of my faster specimens. I flipped through my book while I was waiting.

Poecilotheria regalisPoecilotheria regalis in new habitat
Indian Ornamental: Punjab

I reviewed handling to have my suspicions confirmed: I just shouldn't try to pick up a spider so small. When the timer finished I got Punjab out of the fridge. I opened the jar a little, but wondered if he was really slowed at all. I wouldn't know until he moved. I nudged him with my delicate paint brush. He moved, but not very fast. I positioned the little jar over the bottle and nudged him in the general direction. He went right into the jar! He kind of dropped to the bottom and stayed for a bit.

Poecilotheria regalisPoecilotheria regalis in new habitat
Indian Ornamental: Punjab

Within 15 minutes, he was at the top of the new bottle and has been exploring a little ever since. I love the look of my makeshift arboreal habitat!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by our web and leaving us a comment! We read & respond to all comments.