Tarantula shed for my cactus dish...and although I actually like these creatures, this is really...well, eeeww! I didn't expect there to be pieces, but my son informs me there are usually more of them than this. (Did I say eeew, or what?!) Anyhow, this comes from his Greenbottle Blue tarantula, and he was very excited to see "proof" in the shed that this is a female, since they live longer. (He showed me exactly how he could tell, but I couldn't get past the eeew).... ....okay, now it looks better....I still can't get over how this looks like the real spider! My son tells me the shedding is quite a grueling process, "...Along with the complete exoskeleton, spiders shed their fangs and chelicarae, their throats and stomach lining, female genital organs, and the linings of the book lungs."....wow.
And here are the old fangs.....ouch!
Now re-assembled and looking fierce in my cactus dish.......no ladybug (I mean asian lady beetle, winter house invader) would dare land here I'll bet!
I'd like to answer some spider questions for Chuck: "Are spiders legal?" Generally speaking, yes...although sometimes there are local ordinances, and my home insurance guy had a fit about a snake my son wanted to keep. Currently, it's illegal to import tarantulas from Columbia, but there are many captive-bred specimens available. "Where do you buy them?" Local pet stores often have them, but if you want a guaranteed female that will live longer, your best bet is a breeder. My son has ordered spiders online from Southern Spider Works with excellent results. He also ordered from "E-Spiderworld.com", but the link wasn't working when I tried it. "How much do they cost?" Anywhere from $12-$500, with sexed females being more expensive. As for keeping them, some have fairly stringent humidity and temperature requirements, mostly the arboreal spiders that live in rainforest treetops, as they need circulating air and higher humidity/temps. Also, the arboreal spiders are especially fast, and it is recommended that you refrigerate them briefly to slow them down before trying to work in their cage! More info:
There are over 800 species of tarantula, belonging to the family Theraphosidae. They are native to many areas and climates - arid, subtropical and tropical. They are roughly divided into two groups: "old world" (from the eastern hemisphere) and "new world" (from the western hemisphere). My son says that the "New World" spiders are the most colorful, as well as very fast and aggressive. (Not beginner spiders, but I want one of these since I don't plan to handle it anyway...ever.) So I hope that helped answer some questions, and I will absolutely post about mine when I get one!