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Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

Hello! Due to recent interest in revivifying the invert thread and the approval from Zarathustra Follower to do so I have decided to revamp and reboot the PI Inverts thread. The subsequent posts will be dedicated to care of other inverts soon but the opening post will contain an outline of basic tarantula care. I hope that this new thread will become a collaborative effort to educate newbies to the invert hobby and to provide a place for the well initiated to show off their current inverts!

ABOUT TARANTULAS:

- Tarantulas are arthropods.

Arthropods are a broad category of creature that includes modern spiders, crustaceans, insects, and more! Tarantulas, therefore, lack a vertebral column and internal skeleton. Instead they possess a proteinaceous exoskeleton constructed of a material called 'chitin.' Movement is faciliated by jointed appendages and a segmented body. Rather than a closed circulatory system, they have an open circulatory system in which hemolymph flows freely.

- Tarantulas are arachnids.

Like other arachnids, the tarantula has two body segments, eight legs, two pedipalps, and a pair of venomous jaws called 'chelicerae.' Arachnids have multiple simple eyes called ocelli. They have internal book lungs that facilitate gas exchange. Arachnids are, as a general rule, obligate carnivores: this means that they all must feed on other animals to survive.

- Distinguishing Traits:

Tarantulas are separated from other arachnids by a number of characteristics. Their jaws are parallel, for one, whereas modern spiders have jaws that face each other. Tarantulas all have spinnerettes that produce silk, but do not spin geometrical snaring webs, preferring instead to use their webs as tripwires and in the construction of their lairs and burrows both above and below ground. Most "New World" tarantulas bear patches of urticating hairs that the tarantula can flick off, creating an irritating cloud that can be fatal to some of their predators, but merely an irritant to human beings. Tarantulas have two pairs of book lungs and eight eyes. They also have specialized hairs on their feet called scopulae that allow them to climb vertically on surfaces like glass.

- Habitat:

Tarantulas live on every continent except Antarctica, from deserts and scrublands to lush rainforest and swamp. They are found everywhere in these biomes from burrows extending deep underground to trees far above the forest floor. Tarantulas are subdivided into two major groups: New and Old World. Old World tarantulas hail from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Generally, they are quick, defensive, and more venomous than their New World counterparts. By contrast, the New World tarantulas of North and South America are generally less defensive and venomous, and instead rely on their urticating hairs as their first line of defense.

BASIC CARE

- Housing

A tarantula is going to need a space at least 2 by 3 full body lengths worth of open space to move around in. For terrestrials, floor space will take priority. For arboreals, climbing space will be more important. Before you get a tarantula, research the adult size and be prepared to upgrade its housing periodically. For terrestrials you do not want the animal to be able to crawl up the glass or plastic and fall more than a full body length. If your enclosure is too deep, simply add substrate. Plastic shoeboxes, aquariums, and premade enclosures are all good choices, simply ensure adequate ventilation and make sure the enclosure is escape-proof. Tarantulas are surprisingly resourceful and strong, and can certainly take advantage of any cage that does not clip or lock.

- Substrate

Substrate is still a matter of contention among hobbyists. Vermiculite, a mica derivative, was once heavily used in the hobby for its resistance to mold and ability to hold moisture until it was learned that a) humidity is largely irrelevant to proper care, and b) tarantulas prefer more solid footing. Nowadays, most hobbyists use either peat/organic soil (NO CHEMICAL PESTICIDES or FERTILIZER! I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH!) or coconut coir. Both are relatively inexpensive and suitable for the task of keeping a Tarantula happy. If you need substrate that will hold a burrow, however, a mix of coir and soil, wetted down, packed, then left to dry should do the trick.

- Furnishing

Bare essentials include a water dish small enough for the tarantula to climb out of and some kind of hide. If you want to avoid drowned crickets you may consider leaving a clean stone or pile of marbles in the water dish so they can climb out. Terrestrial hides can be made from halves of plastic cups, crockery, wood, or premade plastic. I should note here that glazed pots and smooth plastic hides do to some extent deter tarantulas from climbing on them, reducing usable floorspace. Arboreal hides will generally be made of cork rounds or flats that span the height of the cage. Anything more than a water bowl, hide, and sufficient substrate are purely window dressing and are completely at the keeper's discretion.

- Feeding

The general rule for size of food items is not to exceed the size of the Tarantula's abdomen (more technically referred to as the opisthosoma). Mealworms, crickets, and roaches are all acceptable food items for tarantulas, and feeding once a week or so is adequate, and you will get a feel for how much and how often to feed based on behavioral cues before long. A lean T is a happy T unless you're loading a mature female up for breeding. If your tarantula's opisthosoma is looking wrinkly, you're underfeeding or underhydrating your tarantula. Bear in mind also that some Ts will go off their feed for a while. Grammostola rosea is notorious for this. It's not worrisome however unless your T is obviously taken ill.

- Hygiene

Tarantulas are naturally very clean animals and require very little picking up after. Keeping that in mind you do want to remove dead food items and feeding boluses (a clump of undigested matter left over from a feeding) so that mold doesn't begin to grow. It is not unusual for a tarantula to lay down a lot of webbing in its enclosure. You do not need to remove this; it will facilitate sure footing and food detection for your T besides. Your tarantula is likely to kick substrate into its water dish. This will cause the water to evaporate more quickly. When this happens, just tip out the deteritus and refill the dish.

- Tools of the trade

There are many handy things to have accesible for the long-term care of tarantulas. A set of feeding tongs (they look like a large pair of tweezers) can make feeding easier and can be used to prod the T towards or away from something. Feeding tongs can also be used to safely remove dead food items and boluses. A deli cup big enough to contain your tarantula is invaluable for situations where the tarantula needs to be moved safely or for capturing an escaped T. A stiff bit of thin cardboard or paper can be slipped under teh deli cup to effectively contain a tarantula under an overturned deli cup. A soft paintbrush can also be used as a safe and effective prod if you're trying to move the tarantula away from something you are trying to fill or clean. A small flashlight can be used to peer into a burrow or to illuminate a tarantula's underside for ventral sexing.

- Tarantula ICU

If you find your tarantula immobile, sickly, or curled up on its belly, the tarantula ICU can be a lifesaving device! A ventilated deli cup with clean paper towel in a warm spot comprises the ICU. Often a tarantula will wind up in a bad way due to dehydration. When a tarantula is dehydrated it cannot move properly due to the lack of internal support provided to its limbs by its bodily fluids. If dehydration is suspected, place the front end of the tarantula into a clean and shallow water dish in the ICU, ensuring that the abdomen is clear of the dish. The weakened T will be able to drink and will still be able to use its book lungs to breathe. The deli cup should be opaque or put in a dark and quiet place. Part of the point of the ICU is to isolate the T. In the ICU the T should not be startled by outside movement or troubled by errant food items. Don't lose heart! Until a tarantula is actively rotting there is still hope for full recovery.

Choosing a Tarantula

- Arboreal or Terrestrial?

First you may wish to consider the differences between arboreal and terrestrial tarantulas. Though generally quicker and more flighty, arboreal tarantulas are also built lightly and can display some rather interesting behaviors like jumping and building elaborate webs. Terrestrials cannot handle a fall like an arboreal can. They are generally slower, and some will reward their caretaker by building a burrow. Both types have their merits! Some species are obligate burrowers. Haplopelma and Chilobrachys genera fit this bill. Ask your dealer about your prospective purchase. It is unfair to discourage natural burrowing behavior, and not at all unusual for a burrowing species to remain sequestered much of the time.

- Environment?

Not as important a consideration as you might presume if you came into the tarantula hobby like many of us do, which is to say, as previous or current reptile enthusiasts. Very few tarantulas require special humidity requirements unless they are a swamp-dwelling species or not yet old enough to have a completely waterproof exoskeleton. Few species fit this bill: notable examples include the Theraphosa, Ephebopus, and Pamphobeteus genera. No tarantula I have heard of will be uncomfortable in temperatures humans can tolerate, and supplemental heating should only be necessary if your home consistantly below 60-65 degrees.

- New or Old World?

There are beautiful tarantulas all over the world! Generally a beginner should stick to New World tarantulas. Old World Ts are beautiful and fascinating for their own reasons, but many species have much more potent venom and a greater propensity to deliver a bite. A good preparation for your first Old World is a few years' experience with New World species. Though the New Wolders have uritcating hairs, I will gladly take them over a bite any day of the week! In my experience your average NW species is also more likely to remain visible, and if your goal is to have a 'handleable' T, then New World is a must.

- So, You're Ready For Your First Tarantula:

Do your research! There are a lot of resources out there. Stan Schultz' "Tarantula Keeper's Guide," numerours enthusiast forums, and other resources exist that will make your first attempt a good one. Tarantulas can live more than 20 years in captivity, and getting one is not a task to be taken lightly.

- What is a Good First Tarantula?

For those of you interested in getting an arboreal, I encourage you to start within the Avicularia genus, particularly A avicularia and A versicolor. These tarantulas, the "Guyana Pinktoe" amd "Antilles Pinktoe" respectively, are among the easiest tarantulas to keep. They don't get huge, are generally docile (if a little skittish), and do not have a potent bite. Avicularia are also interesting in that they cannot flick their urticating hairs like most other NWs can, though they can push them into their webs, so be forewarned. The terrestrials give us many more choices. Brachypelma albopilosum, Grammostola rosea and pulchripes, and most Aphonopelma species are natural choices for tractable and more-or-less bulletproof firsts.

- Ok, I've had a few years with New World Ts. Now what?

There are always more New Worlds! I'd highly recommend Psalmopoeus cambrigei or irminia as a gateway. No U-hairs, fast, and more defensive, they are like OW without the potency! If you are truly ready, however, Old Worlders can be very rewarding captives if good sense and proper care techniques are observed. Eucratoscelus pachypus, non-murinus Pterinochilus species, Monocentropus, and Ceratogyrus can be good starters. Do your homework, however! Many Old World species have venom that packs a real wallop and can land you in the ER if you aren't careful. Some of the strongest venoms can be found among the Poecilotheria, Stromatopelma, and Heteroscodra genera.

Sex!

Pictured here is an Aphonopelma hentzi mature male displaying the visually distinguishable sexual characteristics. The labelled items will not be present in a mature female. Note the length of the legs as compared to the body. These long legs and tibial hooks are all the separates the male from the jaws of the female during mating. Picture on left is from the Mile High Bug Club, I will try to take my own soon. Picture on right is a mature female, for comparison, posted by TheVez2 at atshq.org. Note the thickness of the female's legs and the relative size of her abdomen.



Keep in mind that the only surefire way to tell a female from a male short of having a mature male is by molt sexing. There is a tutorial available for this in the sexing thread on http://www.arachnophiles.com/forum You'll also find a section there on ventral sexing, which is handy if you do not have a molt available.

References

- Books

"Tarantula Keeper's Guide" Schultz & Schultz - The Bible of Tarantula keeping. A personal favorite and a superlative reference from basic to expert husbandry of tarantulas.

"Tarantulas" Jerry G Walls - A cliff's notes version compared to the TKG, but still rather good as an introduction. Part of The Herpetocultural Library series.

Sir Azrael fucked around with this message at Mar 13, 2013 around 02:38

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Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

This is horribly deficient and maybe even flat wrong. Hoping that people with real-life experience will weigh in here.

ABOUT SCORPIONS:

Scorpions are arthropods. (see above)
Scorpions are arachnids. (see above)

- Distinguishing Traits:

Scorpions are separated from other arachnids by a number of characteristics. Notably, the presence of a tail with a venomous stinger, and the modification of the pedipalps into two grasping claws.

- Habitat:

Scorpions, like tarantulas, live on every continent except Antarctica, from deserts and scrublands to lush rainforest and swamp. Unlike tarantulas, no scorpions are known to be arboreal and most are inclined to burrow.

BASIC CARE

- Housing

Most of the more commonly kept scorpions can live singly in a 5-10 gallon aquarium, and those that can be kept communally can be kept in a 20 long. Scorpions will be more exacting species by species in their requirements for humidity and heat. The Emperor Scorpion, a forest dweller, prefers temperatures in the 70-80 degree range and humidity in the 70-90% range, whereas the Desert Hairy scorpion likes it hotter at around 75-85 degrees and needs an ambient humidity of about 55-60 percent. Attaining the right temperatures will require either a heat lamp or side-mounted heating tape or pad. Scorpions will burrow to avoid heat, so do not place your heating element on the bottom of the tank, or your scorp will roast itself.

- Substrate

Wet: The same humidity and anti-mold properties of most tarantula approved substrates are going to do just fine here, though scorpion keepers tend to mix in a bit more sand, which will lend more structure to scorpion burrows. Scorps don't have web to shore up the walls of a burrow as things dry, so keep this in mind when choosing substrate.

Dry: Sand. Some people use calcium sand for this, but untreated fine playground sand should work just as well.

- Furnishing

Know your scorp. Bark scorpions like bark or similar surfaces to climb on. Emps and Forest scorps like some leaf litter. If you want to observe more natural behavior from your scorpion, providing pieces from its habitat will help.

Bare minimums as follows:

Wet: an open, shallow water dish and a hide are minimum for humid species.

Dry: Forget the water dish. Mist occasionally to simulate rain.

- Feeding

Scorpions, like tarantulas, can eat just about anything they can overpower, and the same types of food items will be sufficient. Crickets and roaches again are going to be a staple of the juvenile and adult diet, while early instar scorpions will need pinheads or insect parts.

I know pretty much bupkis about feeding scorpions with regards to amount and frequency, sorry.

- Hygiene

Scorpions are naturally very clean animals and require very little picking up after. Keeping that in mind you still want to remove dead food items and uneaten parts so that mold doesn't begin to grow.

- Tools of the trade

Many of the same tools used in the keeping of tarantulas will be useful here. One notable exception being that forceps covered in foam can be used to pick up a scorpion by the tail. A boon to keepers on the basis that grabbing a scorp with your hands is a good way to get stung, even by the tail. Scorpions can by wily little buggers!

Choosing a Scorpion

- Aggression and Venom

Some scorpions, like Pandinus imperator, are generally known as being docile and having weak venom. They make up for this by having rather large claws. Others, like Hadrurus arizonensis, have smaller claws and slightly more potent venom and a tendency towards aggression. Yet others are highly venomous and and very aggressive in their own defense. Do your homework.

- So, You're Ready For Your First Scorpion:

Do your research! There are a lot of resources out there. Numerous enthusiast forums, and other resources exist that will make your first attempt a good one. Enthusiast forums that are useful to T keepers generally have subforums dedicated to care of scorps.

- What is a Good First Scorpion?

Emperor scorpions, flat-rock scorpions, Asian forest scorpions, and desert hairy scorpions have all been recommended to me as good firsts. None of these will put you in the hospital and their care requirements are fairly straightforward provided you know the heat and humidity requirements. If having more than one is a consideration, you may keep a few Emps together with few incidents, and the asian forest scorpions are more or less communal.

- Ok, what should I avoid?

Lots. There are 25 scorpion species that will flat out kill you if you don't get medical attention. Tityus, Androctonus, and Leiurus are notable, anything with "fat-tail" or "death" in the name is a bad idea. Do your research before deciding on something you see in a store or online. Scorpions are not like tarantulas, where the worst of them will merely make you wish you were dead for a day or two. You've been warned.

Sir Azrael fucked around with this message at Apr 1, 2013 around 02:40

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

Myriapods Go Here

Sir Azrael fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2013 around 01:24

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

Insects and Feeders Here

Sir Azrael fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2013 around 01:25

HogX
Aug 16, 2008



Can't say I've ever seen a banme here in PI. First time for everything!

edit: vvv That's what you get for being slow on the internet! Good op though!

HogX fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2013 around 01:41

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

^^^^ Thanks!

Bash Ironfist posted:

Can't say I've ever seen a banme here in PI. First time for everything!

drat I hoped no one would beat me to posting actual content. You win a thing.

edit: I suppose I can consider this my first critique. I want to point out that I welcome any criticism of this thread and any effort towards improving the Tarantula part or contributing to the building of the other sections that I've outlined in posts 2-4. I wanted at very least to get a skeleton up for starters.

Sir Azrael fucked around with this message at Mar 10, 2013 around 02:03

Improbable Lobster
Jan 6, 2012



Reposting from the last thread:

Improbable Lobster posted:

I've been considering getting an Emperor Scorpion after seeing (and holding) one at the Venom exhibit that's being hosted at the Niagara butterfly conservatory. I've read the basic care guide on Arachnoboards and did some googling and they seem like they're relatively easy to take care of (The one that I held was incredibly docile). Are they "safe" for a first time scorpion owner? I don't mind being stung but I don't want to accidentally kill one because they're finicky or something.

*Edit* I'm also wondering the same thing about Chilean Rose Tarantulas.

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

Lobster: Both species you have chosen are representative of some of the very easiest to keep inverts. Neither have venom that rates much above a bee sting from what I've read and both are generally docile enough that you shouldn't have to worry about being stung. Bear in mind however that individual temperaments can and will vary from the norms. It's best if you are able to get some experience handling or at least prodding at a potential purchase to determine defensiveness. As far as rosies go they'll try to wander off or make themselves small if they are one of the more docile ones. Avoid a tarantula that kicks urticating hairs with little or no provocation or throws its front legs in the air at you. From what I've heard of Pandinus spp you practically have to actively hurt them to get them to sting and their care information is readily available.

Improbable Lobster
Jan 6, 2012



That's good to hear. I'll definitely read more on caring for tarantulas and scorpions bwfore I get one.

Now I just have to find a dealer or a good shop. A few of the pet shops near me have inverts for sale but I have no idea if they're properly labelled and/or properly taken care of.

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

Improbable Lobster posted:

That's good to hear. I'll definitely read more on caring for tarantulas and scorpions bwfore I get one.

Now I just have to find a dealer or a good shop. A few of the pet shops near me have inverts for sale but I have no idea if they're properly labelled and/or properly taken care of.

With regards to finding the right shop and animal I tend to look for a person in the store that is comfortable around the critter you are looking to buy and is at very least familiar with the scientific name. Thankfully, you have chosen two animals that are very recognizable. The enclosures should be clean, their water dishes full, and the animals should not appear shriveled. I honestly don't have much of a frame of reference for picking a good scorpion, but a good Grammostola rosea should be docile, the rump should be plump, and if you want a long-term pet you're going to want to avoid mature males at very least. They will be identifiable by shortened pedipalps with round tips, and hook-like protuberances under the tibias on the front pair of legs. They will also be considerably "leggier."

ZarathustraFollower
Mar 14, 2009



A side by side pic of a mature male & mature female showing palps and legginess might be something to add later to the OP. As well as the hooks in some species.

Scorpions are much the same as tarantulas care wise, but they should be considered as even more hands off than tarantulas. Several genera are deadly and should only be kept by experienced keepers in locked cages. This includes Tityus, Androctonus, and Leiurus off the top of my head. I've noticed that imo too many people keep desert scorpions too dry, especially smaller instar ones.

OFFICER 13 INCH
Aug 23, 2006

Oh mama I'm in fear for my life from the long dick of the law.

Hung man is coming down from the gallows and I don't feel very long


My small GBB is going hog wild with the web, I heard they didnt burrow much but when its time to upsize the tank I'm going to add more substrate. It basically picked up the floor of its tank and wove it into an armored tunnel burrow that it now likes to hang out near. Pretty cool for having it for one week.

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

I named mine "Weber" for a reason It's cool as hell that (s)he's actually hanging out in the furniture you got for him/her. If you get a chance to get a good, clear picture of the belly I might be able to guess at the sex for you. Failing that hold onto the next molt. At that size molt-sexing should be a breeze.

Big Centipede
Mar 20, 2009

it tingles


I actually sold all my T's except 1 this past weekend. I still like Ts but I just kinda felt smothered by them. I had about 30 of them and now I only have one old G pulchripes. I still keep other inverts though... I have 4 African giant millipedes, a female Damon diadema, and a pair of C. gracilis. I'm planning on snagging some ox beetles and rhino beetles this summer too.

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

BC: Any good sources for care instructions you're aware of that might help me fill in the missing bits?

Big Centipede
Mar 20, 2009

it tingles


Sir Azrael posted:

BC: Any good sources for care instructions you're aware of that might help me fill in the missing bits?

a link to good books on arachnids would be cool.

http://www.amazon.com/Tarantula-Kee...words=tarantula

http://www.amazon.com/Arachnids-Jan...words=arachnids

ZarathustraFollower
Mar 14, 2009




The first one of these is amazing, and I'd seriously recommend it for any hobbyist. There are also all of Orin's books on various inverts that are fairly cheap and accessible. (Elytra & Antenna I think is his website for them)

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.


I already have the first but can't afford the second right now

Pardalis
Dec 26, 2008

The Amazing Dreadheaded Chameleon Keeper


My avic versicolor is around a year old now! So she got a waxworm and a portrait taken.


Such a pretty hairy little puppy.

Tahirovic
Feb 25, 2009


So while looking for ever more information about G. rosea I came across this http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/roses.html.
A lot of the info (captive breeding, care guide) there seems to counter most of my other sources. I assume it's just outdate, given the website looks like its from the 90s.

Also could anyone here post a picture of their current G. rosea tanks? It'd be really nice to see if I got the right picture from the text sources.

ZarathustraFollower
Mar 14, 2009



Tahirovic posted:

So while looking for ever more information about G. rosea I came across this http://people.ucalgary.ca/~schultz/roses.html.
A lot of the info (captive breeding, care guide) there seems to counter most of my other sources. I assume it's just outdate, given the website looks like its from the 90s.

Also could anyone here post a picture of their current G. rosea tanks? It'd be really nice to see if I got the right picture from the text sources.

Actually, I'd trust that site over everything else you've read. Shultz and his wife basically wrote the bible on tarantulas in captivity (first book linked by BC a few posts up.) I read the first few sections and skimmed the rest and didn't see anything odd. Looks like he updates fairly often too.

Look a sunflower
Jan 6, 2010

There may be a boogeyman or boogeymen in the house.


Wish I had this thread a year ago!

Last march my boyfriend and I bought two L3 Idolomantis diabolica, the Giant Devil's Flower Mantis.



We chose that species for its insanely cool threat display, which we were lucky (unlucky?) enough to see a few times (we never harassed them of course, but they hated us coming in the tank to remove old fly cups or put new ones in). The truly amazing colors only showed up in the adult form, but after they mated and the new L1s hatched, it was the most precious thing ever to watch the babies try to intimidate each other by lifting their arms up and swaying

Everything we read about them talked about how difficult they were to raise, and we honestly didn't have any problems although we did follow the recommendations very strictly. Far and away the worst part was having to adhere to a schedule of ordering fly pupae, since they would take so long to arrive and then hatch that we'd have to plan ahead well.

If anyone else here has praying mantises I'd love to talk about them too! They're totally cool bugs and absolutely fascinating to watch. I thought that was true especially when they were very small, because they were so incredibly articulated and could make the tiniest, most precise movements. They look like little robots! Long story short, get some praying mantises if you want a neat robot-dinosaur-alien thing living in your house and (probably) watching you sleep.

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

Look a sunflower posted:

If anyone else here has praying mantises I'd love to talk about them too! They're totally cool bugs and absolutely fascinating to watch. I thought that was true especially when they were very small, because they were so incredibly articulated and could make the tiniest, most precise movements. They look like little robots! Long story short, get some praying mantises if you want a neat robot-dinosaur-alien thing living in your house and (probably) watching you sleep.

I haven't had mantises, but I would be thrilled if you'd be willing to write a blurb on mantis care for the thread!

Improbable Lobster
Jan 6, 2012



Look a sunflower posted:

Wish I had this thread a year ago!

Last march my boyfriend and I bought two L3 Idolomantis diabolica, the Giant Devil's Flower Mantis.



We chose that species for its insanely cool threat display, which we were lucky (unlucky?) enough to see a few times (we never harassed them of course, but they hated us coming in the tank to remove old fly cups or put new ones in). The truly amazing colors only showed up in the adult form, but after they mated and the new L1s hatched, it was the most precious thing ever to watch the babies try to intimidate each other by lifting their arms up and swaying

That sounds absolutely adorable. Do you happen to have any photos?

A Sleepy Budgie
Jan 6, 2010

A friend in need
is a friend indeed


What other spiders do well kept as pets? I've been interested in getting one for a few years now. I like the smaller spiders, as in 1/4 of the size of a tarantula. I've seen some at various pet stores in my area, but I am very hesitant to buy one especially if it looks like the care and info they give is iffy.

I'm basically wanting a much smaller spider that won't get too big and is a good "starter" spider. Also, can spiders be fine if sent in the mail?

Big Centipede
Mar 20, 2009

it tingles


A Sleepy Budgie posted:

What other spiders do well kept as pets? I've been interested in getting one for a few years now. I like the smaller spiders, as in 1/4 of the size of a tarantula. I've seen some at various pet stores in my area, but I am very hesitant to buy one especially if it looks like the care and info they give is iffy.

I'm basically wanting a much smaller spider that won't get too big and is a good "starter" spider. Also, can spiders be fine if sent in the mail?

There are dwarf tarantulas too. Cyriocosmus elegans are cute as a button.

Yeah, you can ship spiders. Its illegal to do it through USPS but nearly everyone does it.

Look a sunflower
Jan 6, 2010

There may be a boogeyman or boogeymen in the house.


Sir Azrael posted:

I haven't had mantises, but I would be thrilled if you'd be willing to write a blurb on mantis care for the thread!

I'd love to! I can probably do that over the weekend


Improbable Lobster posted:

That sounds absolutely adorable. Do you happen to have any photos?

Unfortunately not I tried hard to get photos and video both, but either due to the quality of my camera or the density of foliage in the enclosure they all just came out looking like pages from those I Spy books.

ZarathustraFollower
Mar 14, 2009



Look a sunflower posted:

I'd love to! I can probably do that over the weekend


Unfortunately not I tried hard to get photos and video both, but either due to the quality of my camera or the density of foliage in the enclosure they all just came out looking like pages from those I Spy books.

Do you plan on selling any of the mantids anytime in the future? A devil's flower is one species my girlfriend really wants to raise.

Something I've been meaning to post for a little while is some of the insect artwork my gf has done. For the first part of her senior thesis at art school she focused on insect artwork (Illustration, screenprinting and bookmaking.) I don't have any idea on who might have influenced her going that route. Hopefully this stuff isn't too out of the spirit of the thread (tiny imaged due to number of photos):

Insect patches:
Ironclad beetle


White Witch moth


Grubs


BEES (This will be a running theme)


Shirts (I'm the one wearing them if anyone is curious):

BEES


Tarantula (She printed a small cricket on the other side that isn't visible in the pic)


Devil's flower mantis


Books:

All Hail the Queen (This took a ton of work to make, and is one of her favorites, she spent about 2 weeks on it atleast)




Devil's Darning Needle (Based off old folklore on dragonflies)



'Tony' This book has a story. On one of our earliest dates, I think our 2nd, I caught her a wild mantis that was missing a limb. She decided to keep and raise it. Pretty sure it was a non-native species so that + the injury made me ok with removing it from the wild. She managed to raise it into adulthood, and was really heartbroken when it died. She ended up preserving and mounting it, and make a book with a built in shadowbox to hold it. Each page has an illustration of a memory she had of raising Tony.



While I am...hesitate to post her name, I want to make sure she gets credit, so here is her full portfolio (plus someone could always just do a reverse image search.) http://www.behance.net/srobbins

Big Centipede
Mar 20, 2009

it tingles


ZarathustraFollower posted:

Do you plan on selling any of the mantids anytime in the future? A devil's flower is one species my girlfriend really wants to raise.

Something I've been meaning to post for a little while is some of the insect artwork my gf has done. For the first part of her senior thesis at art school she focused on insect artwork (Illustration, screenprinting and bookmaking.) I don't have any idea on who might have influenced her going that route. Hopefully this stuff isn't too out of the spirit of the thread (tiny imaged due to number of photos):

Insect patches:
Ironclad beetle


White Witch moth


Grubs


BEES (This will be a running theme)


Shirts (I'm the one wearing them if anyone is curious):

BEES


Tarantula (She printed a small cricket on the other side that isn't visible in the pic)


Devil's flower mantis


Books:

All Hail the Queen (This took a ton of work to make, and is one of her favorites, she spent about 2 weeks on it atleast)




Devil's Darning Needle (Based off old folklore on dragonflies)



'Tony' This book has a story. On one of our earliest dates, I think our 2nd, I caught her a wild mantis that was missing a limb. She decided to keep and raise it. Pretty sure it was a non-native species so that + the injury made me ok with removing it from the wild. She managed to raise it into adulthood, and was really heartbroken when it died. She ended up preserving and mounting it, and make a book with a built in shadowbox to hold it. Each page has an illustration of a memory she had of raising Tony.



While I am...hesitate to post her name, I want to make sure she gets credit, so here is her full portfolio (plus someone could always just do a reverse image search.) http://www.behance.net/srobbins

If those shirts come big enough for fattys I wouldn't mind getting the mantis one.

ZarathustraFollower
Mar 14, 2009



She screen prints the images herself, and I believe she still has the photo positives of everything. Basically, given a size and colors for the base shirt and image and she could make it. Although right now is a really busy time of the semester. If you are interested pm me, and I can harass her about costs and such when I see her tomorrow.

Improbable Lobster
Jan 6, 2012



That's some nice frigging art. Especially the tarantula shirt.

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

I like what I'm reading! The thread reads "One Stop Invert Spot" I don't see why that shouldn't include related artwork and stuff. I'm looking forward to more info on mantises :3

Tahirovic
Feb 25, 2009


After some research and preparation I've finally got a 2" G. rosea (she's such a pretty little thing). I got her last Thursday and put her in a 40x25x30cm tank with peat substrate, 2 pieces of bark, and a coconut shell.

I used a dried peat block (ReptiCraft seems to be the brand name), to use it you put the brick in 4l of luke warm water and wait till it expands so you can mix it. That done I squeezed hand for hand and put it into the tank, creating a lower and a higher area so I could create the start of a burrow for her. The substrate was still slightly damp when I was done and now 5 days later it still hasn't fully dried up. This morning I discovered what appears to be mould, it appeared at 4 spots in the same area on top of the substrate.

So what am I gonna do from here on? Should I remove the T asap, even if it means I have to house her in a tupperware with newspaper/towel bedding. Then redo the tank, this time baking the substrate to make sure it dries out?

Edit: Found the source of the mould, one of the bark pieces got to damp (because of the substrate being damp?) and developed a lot of mould below it. I took the everything except the waterdish out of there for now, she'll have to be in the open while I prepare new substrate. This time I am gonna put it in the oven to dry it out.

Tahirovic fucked around with this message at Mar 24, 2013 around 13:28

Big Centipede
Mar 20, 2009

it tingles


Tahirovic posted:

After some research and preparation I've finally got a 2" G. rosea (she's such a pretty little thing). I got her last Thursday and put her in a 40x25x30cm tank with peat substrate, 2 pieces of bark, and a coconut shell.

I used a dried peat block (ReptiCraft seems to be the brand name), to use it you put the brick in 4l of luke warm water and wait till it expands so you can mix it. That done I squeezed hand for hand and put it into the tank, creating a lower and a higher area so I could create the start of a burrow for her. The substrate was still slightly damp when I was done and now 5 days later it still hasn't fully dried up. This morning I discovered what appears to be mould, it appeared at 4 spots in the same area on top of the substrate.

So what am I gonna do from here on? Should I remove the T asap, even if it means I have to house her in a tupperware with newspaper/towel bedding. Then redo the tank, this time baking the substrate to make sure it dries out?

Is it normal for peat to develop mould?

Remove the T and spread the substrate out onto a flat surface and allow it to dry. Rosehairs hate moist substrate, and the mold won't be an issue once it's dry.

Tahirovic
Feb 25, 2009


Yeah I removed it, but I don't have a proper place for her. Right now she's sitting in a small tupperware while I am busy baking and drying the new peat. The only reason she was on slightly damp substrate in the first place was because I figured it would dry rather quick. Schultz' guide says to not obssess too much over it if it's not dry enough when you put it in

Even the new patch isn't fully dry after baking. I put a bit less of an inch of it into the tank with a heatmat below, no clue how long it will take to completly dry. (the rest of it is spread on newspapers)

Edit: How long could I leave her in that tupperware (it has small holes for air) till the new substrate is 100% dried out?

Tahirovic fucked around with this message at Mar 24, 2013 around 14:47

Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

Tahirovic posted:

Edit: How long could I leave her in that tupperware (it has small holes for air) till the new substrate is 100% dried out?

Pretty much indefinitely, provided she gets food and water on occasion. Tarantulas require very little.

Once, a friend of mine (a reptile enthusiast) found in a 10 gallon tank that had been thrown in the dumpster at an apartment complex. They saw that the tank was perfectly serviceable, had a lid and minimal decoration, and tossed in their trunk for about a month and a half while they figured out what to do with it. They ended up getting some gargoyle geckos and took the tank out to clean and prepare it. When they reached into the tank to remove a bark hide, out shot a rather upset but perfectly healthy G rosea. We took it off their hands and named it Oscar.

Tahirovic
Feb 25, 2009


That is good to know, I've added her a small hide (it's a mini cardboard box without paint or anything on it) and a jar lid with some water. I do feel terrible for having hosed up already tough, I think she's trying to make it worse by being nice to me as well. She seems so compliant when I need her to move (using a soft brush), she's not raised her legs in that aggro-pose once so far.

Hopefully I can put her back in her big tank tomorrow after work and get her some crickets on tues or weds. Buying her some crickets tomorrow and feeding her once she's back in the tank is too soon, right?


Fakeedit: 20 years after letting a ballpython die due to bad care by 10 year old me, I still got a trauma

Cowslips Warren
Oct 29, 2005

What use had they for tricks and cunning, living in the enemy's warren and paying his price?

Holy crap I want that bee shirt.

I'm debating about getting a mantis egg case from Home Depot, just to throw my hand at raising mantises that won't cost me a fortune. When I was a kid, the mantids were everywhere, and I kept a large female in a 10 gallon tank, which she promptly filled with six or seven egg cases. Ah, what a fun day to have them hatch almost at once, and have babies scurrying through the holes in the screen lid to the carpet! My mom was less amused.

I'd like to try my hand at emperor scorpions; had some as a kid when there was not much info on them. How hard is it to breed those pretties?

Big Centipede
Mar 20, 2009

it tingles


Cowslips Warren posted:


I'd like to try my hand at emperor scorpions; had some as a kid when there was not much info on them. How hard is it to breed those pretties?

Keep them in a larger tank (like 20gal long) in a 1.2 or 1.3 group, keep them in the low to mid 80s, 75% humidity, and lots of stuff to hide in and under. If everything is set up pretty well they'll breed.

I've bred several species of scorpions (but never emperors) and they're usually no more difficult than just throwing them in together.

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Sir Azrael
Jan 14, 2004

Locked, cocked, and polygonally rifled... This creature fears nothing.

Tahirovic: I understand perfectly :/ I assure you though that if you actually give a poo poo that T care is extremely simple. Especially in the case of your thankfully docile Rosie (on a case by case some can be rather bitchy). The vast majority of Ts can be kept arid courtesy of their well-developed exoskeletons. As you discovered, moisture and mold go hand in hand, and dry substrate is an easy fix. For Ts that require humidity and reptiles as well, fixtures and hides made of plastic, cork bark, mopani wood, and grape vine tend to be among the more mold resistant. Regardless of humidity it is considered good housekeeping to remove unfinished or dead food as these too can mold.

I'll take this opportunity to point out something you might be alluding to in your reticence to feed your T "too soon." Tarantula health does not seem to be impacted by "stress" in the way that reptiles and fish do. As many reptile keepers have grown or migrated into T keeping, concerns over things like stress, heat, and humidity get much more attention than they actually need. As it regards feeding, however, if you have the time I would recommend two additional practices: If the T doesn't eat the food pretty much on contact, remove it. To this end some keepers actually feed their Ts right off the tongs. The reason for this is that the one time your T is going to really be vulnerable against things like crickets munching on them is during a molt. In that vein, the second practice regards feeding post-molt. Over time you'll get good at telling when your T is all hardened up and ready to eat again, but I've heard some reports that some overzealous Ts can bust a fang if given food items before they are fully re-hardened.

Don't worry. You are doing a great job

Warren: Whereas I didn't raise them I did have some success hatching egg cases. Our cases came stuck t sticks. Our class punched little air holes in those cans that tennis balls come in, put some water in the bottom, and laid the sticks upright in them. The humidity prompts hatching. One issue we had was with newly hatched mantises drowning in the water. Probably could have averted that by using cotton balls. There are a surprising number of the little buggers. You could keep a few and set the rest free in a friend's garden and they'll thank you for it. With regards to raising them I am hoping Look a Flower will speak up

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