Post by Chris Grinter on Sept 3, 2011 20:02:45 GMT -8
My impression of the Aphonolema is that they are incredibly difficult to identify to species since their taxonomy is very poorly studied. They all form difficult species complexes (similar to A. iodius + others?).
I can't imagine males are worth more than a few bucks since they won't live very long, and males you find walking across the road are fully mature and might only live for a few months to one year. Females though might be worth the effort of digging them up.
You can ship T's pretty safely - express mail is best, a smaller tupperware that is well ventilated with some tissue padding - double boxed in peanuts/tissue - and they should do OK.
Males will probably fight with each other (to death) if you haven't figured that out by now!
In the LA area there are two species groups typically found, the "eutylenum" group of species and the "reversum" group.
A. "eutylenum" will lighten as they age and typically have anywhere from black to brown carapace color with orange hairs on leg pairs 1 & 2 w/ dark femurs. The abdomen is covered in orange to red colored hair with a black(ish) surface underneath.
A. "reversum" are typically all black or two toned black/grey and may lighten but will not turn brown.
They might be worth (for females) a reasonable sum to the right person, but I already know of a few places in SoCal that commercial strip collecting + habitat loss have destroyed populations... Lets go easy on the slow growing Aphonopelmas please? The one female I currently keep (that was rescued from plowing for a trail, the crew let me extract it and a few others before going through the population, lucky timing) finally molted after 4 years in captivity... www.flickr.com/photos/i_am_subverted/6087593051/
If it is a male, you might do better to just release it so it can mate with some willing female.
Don't put female tarantulas together either. For that matter, a good rule to follow is don't put any live spiders together.
All of the information you requested is on the internet. If you are that new to tarantulas, I strongly advise that you don't collect any more until you've done considerable research on the web. These long-lived creatures are not just another bug to be vended for a few bucks. Their populations are fragile, at best, and can be easily wiped out (locally). Preparing one for shipment should not be a casual endeavor, but requires specific knowledge and great care.
Post by starlightcriminal on Oct 3, 2011 5:40:33 GMT -8
Clark- tarantulas cannot be housed together for any length of time. Unlike most spiders (which let's note that tarantulas are NOT really spiders, they are more primitive) they don't necessarily eat each other. But like most solitary predators, they will eat their own if they get bothered or hungry. In husbandry, it is quite normal to breed a single male to several females, you just have to watch them closely for signs of aggression. I have experience with this myself. The tricky part is rearing the resulting teeny tiny spiderlings.
Some tarantulas can live a very long time, females anyway. There is a very very old individual that has been kept for decades here as a teaching example, a red knee female. Males you can tell are not long for the earth by looking at their pedipalpa- they have sort of hooked clubs after the last molt, at which point they can mate and will die not long from then. They can mate several times, but the appearance of the clubbed pedipalpa is the indicator of a rapidly approaching death. I kept lots of tarantulas for years (favorites are the classic Poecilotheria regalis and the large, showy and docile Pamphobeteus nigricolor), they are fantastic pets, easy to ship and- just like other bugs- they reproduce en masse so collecting a few is not going to destroy a local population. So shipping a tarantula is just about the same as a beetle with one caveat. It is important to not let them experience any hard impacts so as to avoid cracking. They are easy to kill than a beetle in this respect. Usually they are shipped in deli cup type containers with loose paper towels to provide some cushioning and hides and then again packed with something shock-absorbent around the outside. It's not terribly complicated and different than any other live thing going that is being shipped, but does require a bit more care in softening the ride than would something harder or dead. Pretty exciting find, we don't have any native species here although there are apparently some established populations of pet store staples (B. vagans I think most notably)- sounds like Florida, no?