BOOK REVIEW: “Butterflies Across Cape Cod” by Mark Mello and Tor Hansen

Field guides are one of my favorite types of books, especially when it comes to insects. If you are a regular reader of my site you will know that I have actually reviewed quite a few here. The problem is there is a lot of rehash from guide to guide, oftentimes not offering any new info. If there’s nothing new to offer then why buy it?

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BUGS! Larger than Life and Invading the Zoo!

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There’s no question that the subject of insects & arachnids is a divisive one. Just mention the word “spider” in front of your average group of people and count how many of them start twitching. In rarer instances, you might even encounter someone like my mom who adopts the more regal approach of hopping on a chair and screaming bloody murder. Personally, I’ve always found them fascinating and probably have vintage “monster movies” to thank for it. Back in the ‘50s, Hollywood seized the Atomic age by the proverbial antennae by serving up a bevy of super-sized bugs with a penchant for leveling cities. I couldn’t get enough of these gems when they re-played during my youth in the ‘70s and was delighted to relive some of that glee via the Milwaukee County Zoo. Many zoos around the country offer seasonal attractions such as these mega-sized, animatronic bugs. With the summer drawing to a close, my friend and I headed north from our native Chicago to catch their 2016 “Bugs! Larger than Life” exhibit! Although the weather wasn’t very co-operative, we’d be far from disappointed!
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Zoo Med’s Excavator Clay! It’s Not Just For Reptiles Anymore!

I would like to welcome fellow blogger and tarantula enthusiast and best friend Dave Fuentes to my site. Together we own and operate the blog site TERROR FROM BEYOND THE DAVES, which can be seen HERE!

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Let me start by saying I’m no tarantula expert and just started the hobby a little over a year ago. I currently have three spiders, all of them purchased as slings; Brachypelma albopilosum, Grammostola pulchripes, and Brachypelma vagans. They may not be the flashiest species but I was told by good authority (like the guy who runs this site) that they’re the perfect choice for a novice like me. Ideally, I wanted to purchase adult spiders but economics and availability dictated otherwise. Looking back I’m glad I did it this way as it’s been pretty amazing watching them molt and transform.

Of course different species grow at different rates and, after a year, it became obvious that “Austin” (my B. albopilosum) was ready to graduate from his critter carrier to something a bit more permanent. For the purpose of story-telling, I’ll be referring to Austin as “him” though it’s still too young to be sexed and may very well be an “Austintina” for all I know.

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KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS: William Shatner Treks Through Tarantulas!

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The 70’s were a special time for me. It was a great time to be a kid for so many reasons. I still vividly remember the cool toys like Micronauts and the 8″ Mego super-hero action figures (they are not dolls). Actually, pretty much any toy made by Mego at the time was cool! During this time there was also a constant availability of horror and monster movies to be seen on television.

This was also the time period that began my interest in entomology (the study of insects). Thanks to a Christmas gift of a kit for collecting butterflies and moths, I have had this interest ever since. Instead of actually collecting them now though, I am more into photography and conservation with them.

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BOOK REVIEW: “Tarantulas: Breeding Experience & Wildlife”

This is such a great time to be a tarantula enthusiast. New exciting species are popping up all of the time and thanks to the internet, it is so easy to meet and talk to people with similar interests and experiences. Though there are many tarantula books out there, only a handful can really be described as exceptional. The subject of today’s review is one such book.

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Grammostola pulchra: Once You Go Brazilian Black You’ll Never Go Back!

Welcome to part four of my series where each time I focus on one tarantula species in my collection. The photos used are of my actual tarantulas and the information I include is based on my own experiences. Please keep in mind that my experiences may differ from yours so just because I say it here does not mean that it is set in stone. I am just sharing what works for me.

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You Just Can’t Go Wrong With A Classic Like Brachypelma smithi, the Mexican Red-Knee

Welcome to part three of my series where each time I focus on one tarantula in my collection. The photos used are of my actual tarantulas and the information I include is based on my own experiences. Please keep in mind that my experiences may differ from yours so just because I say it here does not mean that it is set in stone. I am just sharing what works for me.

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