MONOCENTROPUS BALFOURI…AN EXPERIMENT IN COMMUNAL TARANTULAS

I am always on the lookout for new and exciting tarantula species that I can add to my ever-growing collection. In 2014, one species in particular stood out for me…Monocentropus balfouri, the Socotra Island Blue Leg Baboon Spider. For the most part I have never had an interest in baboon spiders but this one certainly struck my fancy. First off, it is stunningly beautiful with its tan and blue coloration. Next, from what I have read, they are generally pretty docile, a trait not often found in baboon spiders. Then, since they live in a dry climate, their humidity requirements are minimal. Finally, word has it that they can be kept successfully in groups, something that is rare in tarantulas.

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BRACHYPELMA KLAASI…A Pink Tarantula? YEP!!!

When it comes to tarantulas, the genus Brachypelma is by far my favorite. The first tarantula I got, in 1976, was Brachypelma harmori and its gentle disposition and long life instantly made it a favorite. As I added more tarantulas to my collection, I found that the Brachypelmas were the ones I enjoyed keeping the most.

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The Highly Underrated Grammostola pulchripes, the Chaco Golden Knee

With over 900 species of tarantula worldwide, most keepers are always on the look out for the new and exciting must-have species that just recently became available, after years of being absent from the hobby (or never available at all). Tarantulas that feature larger-than-usual sizes or stunningly beautiful colors are always in high demand and while this is fine and good, some staples of the hobby take a back seat. Other species, that should be popular, just never achieve that must-have status. The subject of this blog, in my opinion, is one such species.

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Old World Versus New World Tarantulas

As of this writing there are 954 known species of tarantulas in the world, with dozens upon dozens of described genus names. As research continues on these fascinating animals, new genus and species names are created and animals are being shifted into new nomenclature. You just never know when what you had yesterday as a Brachypelma smithi could now be Brachypelma hamorii tomorrow. What one day was Avicularia versicolor is now Caribena versicolor. As new species are discovered and more research is done, I am sure these shifts will continue.

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Setting Up A New Tarantula Enclosure

When you have as many tarantulas as I do, you tend to go with what is easy in terms of enclosures. Uniformity works best, not only because it makes feeding easier but also because in many cases, you can maximize space used (and most tarantula enthusiasts will concur that you just cannot have enough space). There are downsides to this though, especially if you really want to showcase a prize specimen.

For the most part, I use Exo-Terra Breeding Boxes (see review HERE). Their rigid construction allows for stacking which maximizes much needed shelf space. The problem is that they don’t really allow for your collection to be displayed properly. For housing a large variety of tarantulas, they are perfect; but if you want visitors to check out your collection, viewing them is difficult.

 

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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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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 hamorii, 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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BOOK REVIEW: “Tarantulas of the World” by Francois Teyssie

Tarantulas of the World” is another book put out by NAP Editions in France, like “Scorpions of the World” by Roland Stockmann and Eric Ythier, reviewed HERE. It is, in my opinion, the most comprehensive and up-to-date book on the subject and is a must have in every tarantula enthusiast’s library. In many ways it even puts “The Tarantula Keeper’s Guide” to shame.

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Is The Dwarf Chilean Flame (Homoeomma chilensis, formerly Euathlus sp. red) Too Hot To Handle?

Welcome to part two of my series that I am working on 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. If you haven’t seen part one of this series, dealing with Lasiodorides striatus, then click HERE!

I have always been under the mindset that bigger is better and this was always true of tarantulas as well, until 2015. It was then that I was made aware of a genus of dwarf tarantulas known as Euathlus (pronounced you-aath-luss). This genus makes up 6 species, according to “The Tarantula Bibliography” by Michael Jacobi. There does seem to be some confusion though and major work needs to be done with this genus. There are four species regularly available from tarantula dealers and yet none of them can be found on Jacobi’s list. These species are truculentus, two species of pulcherrimaklaasi  (also known as sp. blue or Blue Femur Beauty and sp. green or Green Femur Beauty) and the subject of this entry, sp. red. Up until recently Euathlus parvulus was sold by dealers as Paraphysa parvula, a genus that is not even recognized on “The Tarantula Bibliography.”

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