Thursday, March 06, 2008

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."
And here are the old fangs.....ouch!
Now re-assembled and looking fierce in my cactus 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 "", 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!


gintoino said...

Well lisa, I do love spiders, but I don't know I would like a tarantula exoskeleton in one of my pots. ewwwww is the right word for that ;-)
That would be too close for me, I rather see them trough my camera.

lisa said...

I know what you mean...I won't EVER handle a live one. And while this one is quite's still kinda icky.

vonne said...

OMG! That is too cool! Nice info on spiders too. I can't believe how much that sucker looks like a real spider!
Talked to the nephew and since he's about to go on tour with the band, he gave his spiders to a Prof. at UT. Now I may never get a shed. wah.

Btw, hope you've been keeping an eye on Gizmo.... :)

lisa said...

Sorry to hear that your "source" fizzled out! If I thought it would travel well, I'd be happy to send you one from my son's spiders. (Heck, I say we try anyway! :) As for Gizmo...I keep him out of the cactus room unless I'm in there on the computer. He's dangerous to the plants, and might damage the spider shed. (Although my son swears that Giz was always after the crickets he feeds them and not the spiders.)

vonne said...

Heh, I could just see Gizmo stalking, then batting around your shed... :)

Ooooh, I'll trade you some baby cacti for a shed. :)
I hope Cleo doesn't like spider sheds, since she lives in my sunroom where the cacti collection is....the very place I'd want to put the shed.
I'll have to place it with the most prickly cactus I have. :)

lisa said... just never know with cats sometimes, I think it can depend on how bored they get. Cacti for a shed? Sounds like a terrific deal to me! I'll let you know when the next "carcass" is available! ;-)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

This is probably way too much info/pics on the tarantula for the average person but I like it. I held one on my hand a few years ago, yep a live one and it's little feet tickled, very amusing. :-)

lisa said...

Yolanda-Heh, you are braver than I!

Ki said...

Yikes! Cool but yikes. Look at those fangs on the sucka. I have arachnophobia so no spiders for me. Just heard that all spiders are venomous to varying extents. I was surprised to find that daddy long legs has quite a strong venom. Gee and they look so innocuous as far as spiders go.

lisa said...

Daddy long legs have venom?! Wow, I never woulda thought that! Any kind of venom can sure kill you if you're allergic, and of course you won't find out until it's potentially too late...guess my "Epi-pen" makes me braver about having tarantulas in the house. (Just not brave enough to handle them!)

Gotta Garden said...

Oh my. Now this is very wild indeed! I had no idea...but, I'm still very scared of them!

Okay, Lisa, I am waiting waiting waiting for that grand bulb show you're going to have! Just checking in to make sure I don't miss anything! (Of course, now I won't be able to get to sleep... big furry spiders!)

Rurality said...

That IS pretty ewww! I had no idea they did that.

lisa said...

Gotta Garden-Heh...sorry! I'm looking forward to the potential bulb show, too! Still covered in snow, but melting has begun-yay!

Karen-RIGHT?! I knew they shed, but never heard the gory details until my son filled me in. I'm still not sure if I'm more fascinated or nauseated ! ;-)