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You are currently reading a thread in /an/ - Animals & Nature

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Hello /an/
I am scared of spiders.
I want to beat this fear I'm thinking of getting a tarantula like pic related, obviously only after doing proper research and getting a proper set up going.
I did the same with snakes since i was afraid as well and got a corn snake now i have 3 snakes i absolutely love and aren't afraid of at all.
Do you think this is a good idea?
How good of a pet will a spider make?
Take into account I really don't like dogs or cats or affection seeking pets.

Spider and other animals of same type thread i guess
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I'm the guy who advises the clueless dude in this thread >>2052476

I have been keeping tarantulas for a year, there's been a lot of trial and error involved. Google is **not** your friend. But I think they make great pets if you like spiders. They are basically pet rocks except for feeding time, you can catch them webbing, grooming, or drinking, but only if you're pretty much constantly watching. The hardest thing about owning them is you need to make sure the place you're living has no active pesticides. No spraying raid with tarantulas in the house either, it carries through the air. If you have a female terrestrial, she can easily live 20+ years. So this is a commitment. They are easy enough to sell to someone else if your life changes in that time, just make sure the buyer knows what they're doing.

You basically want the opposite of what the person I linked in the thread has. He has a fast-moving, defensive, highly venomous tarantula with higher humidity requirements than what I would call "bone dry" tarantulas which do just fine with a water dish and no extra humidity. There are like 100 species that fit my criteria for beginner tarantulas. However, since you're scared of spiders, I'd also suggest you get something generally slow moving (some people label them as "docile" but these people have no idea what they're talking about, it's usually justification for handling them, which is bad). Some bone dry, terrestrial, slower moving tarantula genuses include Brachypelma, Grammostola, Aphonopelma. Pretty much just pick whatever you think looks prettiest, because any individual you pick could be more skittish than you expect, or just not give any fucks. Pic is my Aphonopelma chalcodes demonstrating a good height for a terrestrial tarantula enclosure. They are very vulnerable to sheer falls.

If you have questions do ask. Substrate can be something simple like coco peat/fiber since you dont need to care about it holding humidity. No sand.
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Here's my juvenile female Brachypelma emilia
I'm really liking the overall looks of these Grammostola Rosea I'm seeing at the store I usually buy stuff at.
Thing is I'm not sure if i'd be able to handle them as they creep me out a fair bit, but maybe a welding glove would solve that to an extent no?
Do you have any care tips toward the species i mentioned?
And honestly I'm completle ok with pet rock, its better like that so i can get used to it. Took me 2 months to be able to handle my snake.

Also white spider is way creepier than the spiders i've been looking at
I could go on a long rant about all the reasons you shouldnt handle. Basically you're forcing them out of their homes to play with them. They have many predators in the wild including wasps that lay eggs in their paralyzed body and/or opportunistic mammals that chase them down. They lose any endurance race because their book lungs limit their oxygen intake while running. So when one seems "calm" or "docile" on a persons hand, it's out of breath and very scared. Tarantulas cant be handtrained either, dont believe bullshit anecdotes. Most importantly, poor handling often makes the tarantula make a leap of faith and die from a ruptured abdomen. Terrestrials cannot take falls longer than their legspan. I think you should wait a couple months and then see if you really want to.

G. rosea is a simple beginner tarantula. You might be buying a G. porteri but they're cared for the same way. The only tricky thing about them is their habit of fasting for months for no reason. But they dont lose weight and stay healthy. Just pre-kill prey at first because a refused, active cricket can be a bitch to catch. No leaving prey with your spider longer than 6 hours or so.
Alright I see.
There are Roseas and Porteri at the shop, green and pink ones, I'm leaning towards the pink ones.

I'd like to know about they enclosures though if you dont mind, like heating/humidity/feeding schedules/hides/size etc
Its constantly above 50% humidity here, I have never needed to help any of my snakes shed and i have 2 pythons
Spiders are pretty cool op. Very safe and fun to have as p-
This is a good starting point for general research.

Green?? Maybe one or both of them are mislabeled. This is my G. porteri. Rosea looks very similar except the legs have much more red to the hairs.
http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/roses.html More info on rose hairs and pictures of the different "color forms" (most people have accepted that porteri is a separate species but not everyone agrees 100%). Since it's from a pet store it's probably wild caught btw, which has its own problems, but it's probably fine.

If you look up caresheets they'll give you specific humidity %'s and temperatures. As I told the other anon, this is totally not necessary. Especially for a beginner tarantula.

Enclosure: You basically want something short and well ventilated with a good amount of packed substrate. Like I said, refer to >>2052745 for a good idea of how much height your terrestrial should have. A little more than this is okay but more than two legspans of height means danger. My G. porteri is in a large "faunarium" but you could easily make a DIY enclosure out of something like a plastic storage container. Just make sure there's cross ventilation. Avoid aquariums. Substrate can be simple as packed coco fiber or organic potting soil (no added fertilizer/pesticide obviously). If you want to get fancy with it you could make a mixture of coco fiber, soil, vermiculite, and peat moss.

Heating: Room temperature is fine unless you live in a fucking icebox. Even small, sensitive slings can tolerate a huge range of temperatures around 60-80. This is even more pronounced in older tarantulas from desert climates (like yours). And unless your house drops to the 30s overnight, cold is also a non-issue. My tarantulas (including spiderlings) have been doing just fine with it dropping around 60 or below at night. But the golden rule with temperature is that if you're comfortable, they are too. So around the 70s.
Try arachnoboards

I go there to read about scorpions because allscorpionarchives is dead as fuck, but its mainly a tarantula board
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Oops, forgot to attach my porteri, but the pictures on the site say enough.

Humidity: Keep a water dish like I instructed the other anon. Nothing else needed for humidity. Use milk bottle or gatorade cap if you want. Be prepared for her to fill it with substrate though. DO NOT MIST

Feeding: Depends on the size of the tarantula and how close it is to molting (a very important thing for you to research). Also whether it not it just "feels like it". As I mentioned Grammostola fast for no reason sometimes and stay healthy. For an adult or sub-adult don't feed more than 1 large prey (around the size of the carapace, mine eats adult crickets) every 2-3 weeks. The general recommendation on feeding adults is to try once a month but you can wait a little longer than that. As you learn you'll be able to gauge how well fed the spider is by looking at the abdomen's size relative to the carapace. If it's much bigger than the carapace, it should be on a diet.

Hides: Nothing that can mold like cardboard. Not transparent. No sharp edges. A cheap, effective one is to get one of those plastic plant pots and cut it in half. Cork tubes are good too, but terrestrials like to dig under their hide a lot. Pic shows how I have a half-log set up.

Size: Medium sized, adults are around 4-5" DLS but I could be wrong. If you're buying it from a pet store it's almost definitely fully grown (unless it's obviously small, but 98% of pet store tarantulas are wild caught adults).
Arachnoboards is trash because everyone there aggressively believes that the 9 year old anecdotes they read in the forum archive is correct. It's basically only good for pictures and VERY basic information
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The fundamental "problem" with the tarantula hobby is that it's so hard to kill them. I had someone tell me that sand is good for a specific species because they come from a sandy desert and sand worked just fine for them. Except sand is garbage as tarantula substrate. Then you have people that go insane with misting and humidity because they read about it on caresheets and pass long the misinfo.

This is the terrestrial enclosure of a juvenile Brachypelma, basically set up the same as I described to you, but with less height and a small hide. She decided to stop using it and made a small burrow in the back corner.
>How good of a pet will a spider make?

Really shitty one. No one should get one, unless they're interested in spiders as a hobby.

>most people have accepted that porteri is a separate species but not everyone agrees 100%

No, they were originally over 100 years ago described as different species and no official scientific paper on the matter has been released since. So that's what people always accepted by default. People have been moving towards thinking they're just different color forms of the same species. The only actual arachnologist who visited this board didn't see any reason for them to be different species.


That's a good read to start with.

>Again, until and unless such a paper is published by someone with some official standing or believable reputation, what you see in Platnick's list stands: They're all G. rosea.
Not to hijack your thread or anything, OP, but there seems to be a lot of people knowledgeable about tarantulas so I need to ask something.

So I've had this rosehair for about 6 months now. I bought her and she shed about a week after. Then she wouldn't eat for a few weeks, but once her body hardened back to normal she would eat cricket every time I'd drop one in on her. We were good for a while but then one day she just stopped. She hasn't eaten, to my knowledge, in like 3 months. I mean, I put one or two in there incase she wants to eat, but I haven't seen her eat and usually the crickets just die in there. It's possible I missed a few and that some have been eaten, but I haven't seen it and from what I remember, they're always still alive or dead when I find them. She still moves around during the night and spins webs, and I know that rosehairs are known to be finicky eaters, but I'm starting to worry. What should I do? From what I can tell she's not getting ready to shed or anything.

Also I just call the spider a she, I have no idea on the gender.
If she's adult size or near, that's literally normal G rosea behavior.
>So when one seems "calm" or "docile" on a persons hand, it's out of breath and very scared.

Utter bullshit. Tarantulas may not win endurance tests but they aren't something that exhausts itself in a few seconds. If you honestly think that a Brachypelma needs to be exhausted to sit still in someone's hand you have no concept of realistic tarantula behavior. I don't even believe people should handle tarantulas but they sure as fuck are not terrified when people hold them or they would be kicking hairs like crazy.

If you want an actual explanation of the controversy over handling read this and not some emotional pseudoscience.

>I have seen evidence in my own collection that some can be conditioned to respond a certain way to stimuli

That is some emotional pseudoscience though.
Grammostola rosea are "notorious" for fasting for no apparent reason and one reason people suggest other species as beginners. G. rosea's relatively unpredictable behavior has made a lot of beginners worry for no good reason. They are a slow moving very usually sedentary species and don't need a lot of food to sustain themselves. Premolt is another possibility. It will eat when it is ready.

Just a not on crickets, do NOT leave them in with your T if if is not interested. There have been horror stories of crickets killing and eating freshly molted Ts. Its usually not a problem but its better safe than sorry. You may want to consider switching to Dubia roaches, I haven't heard any horror stories about them and I find them far less annoying and smelly than crickets.
No, target training, associating a certain single with an event, is something that works on a wide variety of animals including things like paper wasps. Learning, a vital trait of most animals, has been observed in many invertebrates and has nothing to do with them having emotions.
Roaches eat literally anything. Each other, egg carton, molding feces. I'd be as worried about roaches. I crush the heads of roaches I feed to slings/juveniles and remove bigger ones if not eaten.
Okay thanks guys. I knew about the fasting issue but I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
Emotional part being from the handler, not from the animal.

>Learning has been observed in many invertebrates

An octopus is an invertebrate. I'll look forward to reading your official paper on teaching arachnids.
True they are probably just as capable, but I don't suggest leaving uneaten live food with your T regardless. I honestly believe roaches are cleaner if you maintain them properly. Crickets smell no matter what you do, but roaches poop out dry pellets and really the only smell should be from their food.
Or I could just direct you to an existing one
That is good stuff and I guess it's just about semantics at this point. Learning as a cognitive behavior and conditioning and habituating. I don't think it's correct to say they learn. I'd love to read the whole article.
I figure you guys'd appreciate me posting in this thread more than making my own so

I'm deathly afraid of spiders, especially the more "meatier" looking ones.
I live on the west coast of central Florida. I just went to take the garbage out when I saw a life-long adversary of mine whose name has evaded me since I began my search.

These spiders look plain, they don't really have intricate markings. They're about the size of a quarter, but are of the "meaty" variety, thicker features, not spindly. It's the kind that holds its legs out straight rather than bent at the joints. They're brown and they look smooth, aerodynamic almost.

The most distinct thing I can think of is they're relatively flat, and their chelicerae look weird. They look kinda like the fiddle of a fern, kinda stalky with little "balls" at the end. I've never gotten close enough to get a good look.

I can't take a picture of it either, I'm too scared.
Well the biological definition of learning needs to be simple and testable. Acquired behavior has even been observed in single celled slime molds. I don't think a tarantula associating a keeper opening it's enclosure with the presence of food a huge stretch if a slime mold can keep track of time based patterns.

Skip to 3:30 for the slime mold learning.
Does it make a web? If so, what kind of web does it make, like a flat circle, a 3D patch work, etc?

You may also want to take a quick look of this (incomplete) list of spiders frequently seen in Florida.

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>TED talks
One problem with that specific example is that tarantulas mainly react to vibrations and opening their enclosure causes a lot of it. I can do this dry finger rubbing near any tarantula cage and they will rush to the wall. I assume the vibrations in the air resemble an insect like an butterfly, but it looks like I've trained my tarantulas to come to my fingers.
Whatever. I get they aren't all great/scientifically accurate but that's variable by speaker and subject matter. There are gems like the devil facial tumor disease talk.


Here's the study the speaker referenced in the slime mold video.

You might expect a tarantula to react to vibrations indicative of a large mammal to act skittish and retreat into it's burrow. I've seen this exact behavior in introduced B. vagans populations in Florida. My captive B. vagans is no where near as skittish.

Basically the argument is that the vibrations of a human walking up and opening an enclosure is a lot more like a potential predator than prey and the tarantulas normal instinctual fear response is dulled by the positive result of food. This isn't tested and entirely anecdotal of course, but it's not some massive failure of logic either.

I find the idea the people assume an animal is an unchanging robot of pure unadulterated instinct unless proven otherwise just a bit less annoying as people anthropomorphizing them.
Tarantulas are easy as fuck to care for. I've had 10, all but two of them were raised from slings to adulthood (one, a juvenile c darlingi mysteriously had began to show dyskenetic symptoms and died after a few weeks, while the other, a juvenile bluefang, was adopted from a friend and died shortly afterwards during a molt). The first tarantula I owned was a cobalt blue.

Get yourself a nice grammostola pulchra or pulchripes, give it a few crickets a week, change the water every couple days, maybe lightly mist a small area of the enclosure, it's not very hard. Make sure the enclosure is escape-proof, no wire covers, and make sure it is not very tall or else fill it with more substrates. Tarantulas can and will die if they fall from even fairly small heights

Also, tarantulas aren't meant to be held. If you need to do some cleaning/maintenance in the enclosure use a plastic straw to maneuver it into a container. There is no benefit whatsoever to hold a tarantula.

And make sure not to expose it to any sort of cleaning agents, cologne etc.

Finally make sure you're buying from a good source. Avoid petcos and the like and get it from a reputed reptile/exotic store. They'll have plenty to choose from, but I maintain grammostola is the best beginner species.
> get it from a reputed reptile/exotic store

Avoid all stores period. Buy only directly from reputable breeders.
Well, I'll have to disagree on that. There's plenty of good exotic pet stores around that aren't shit. People don't necessarily need to go directly to the source.

I've bought every one of mine from the same reptile store and it's worked out great, save for the two casualties but I can't really blame the store for that.

I'm also not very comfortable with shipping animals. Had too many stories from friends getting dead animals in the mail. If you can find a store nearby why take the risk of buying from a breeder online? At a store you can see exactly what you're getting and you're getting it alive. Probably at a cheaper price as well.
There is no way a pet store is cheaper than a breeder, unless someone is fucking with you hard. Breeders should be much cheaper, they're captive bred, you get their exact age, generally much more honest info on sex/species/etc. and casualties are extremely rare with good shippers. That's where your pet store gets them from even.
> give it a few crickets a week, change the water every couple days, maybe lightly mist a small area of the enclosure

This is personally all overkill. Misting dissipates in an hour unless you live in a rain forest, so it's completely pointless. I feed my smaller slings once a month and bigger spiders every 1-3 months. I fill their water cups/wet their substrate a couple of times a month after they have dried. Tarantulas wouldn't drink directly from a water source, if they got their humidity, so many hobbyist don't use water cups at all. The only spider I lost was a 2nd instar A. avic during a molt. It is probably good to go overboard as a beginner and learn from the interaction, but it's largely pointless.
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it looks a lot like the Grass Spider.

They may scare the living piss out of me but I can't help but imagine the chelicerae as little fists
Ok, just FYI, the chelicerae are fangs, those fist shaped things are pedipalps. They are kind of like miniature legs that spiders use to hold on to food. In males the ends are used to hold sperm and deliver it to a female. If you see a spider with those little fists its a male.
Top one looks more like an ant
that feel when I just came to /an/ because the horsefuckers are trying to find a spider general.

pic related is what started the recent obsession with spider = cute
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