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Pretty little jumper

13 Sep

Is this not one of the prettiest jumping spiders (Salticidae) you’ve ever seen? 😍

Holding my Holconia immanis huntsman

22 Jul

Hello all!

Life’s been absolutely crazy lately, between work, school and kids, and unfortunately that leaves little time for much else.  But I really wanted to share my video with you of me FINALLY holding my beautiful Cuddles, the Holconia immanis (or Banded) huntsman.  I’ve had her for a couple of years now, and before she passes, I wanted a chance to hold her.  I know to you arachnaphobes out there, that sounds absolutely insane.

But I love spiders, especially large ones (not the deadly ones exactly), and I guess I built up my confidence holding my Nephila species Golden Orbs.  Neither species are known to be aggressive, though they are both venomous (although they don’t possess ‘medically significant’ venom), and have very large fangs that are not a problem to see.

I started slowly, with coaxing her onto the lid of a container where she nearly walked onto my hand.  Some of you long-time readers may remember I was bitten by a large huntsman (same species) back when I lived in Byfield Rainforest.  And yes, I remember the pain. So, although I really, really wanted to hold her, I prepared myself for the worst…just in case. A few tries later and I was able to get the following video.  Enjoy!

 

Meet my Huntsman spiders!

28 Sep

I’ve said a few times that maybe I should have called this blog “Wannabe Arachnologist”, since my love of spiders seems to overshadow my love for insects…at times.

I suppose my love for spiders is a bit bigger than your average person (and considered insane by a lot), but I honestly find it strange that not everybody thinks they’re amazing.

So, you wont be surprised to learn that I currently have four Huntsman spiders from three different species. Two I bought from registered breeders, and two were given to me by friends who kindly spared their lives.

First up is Cuddles, my female Holconia immanis. Also known as the Banded or Giant Grey Huntsman. And those two humans are my daughters posing next to the cage I made for Cuddles.
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Next, is Dash, my Fireback Huntsman (Beregama cordata). This one is fast, hence the name. Huntsman are known to be fast anyway, but this cutie is like the Usain Bolt of the spider world.

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This next beauty , Red, is a gorgeous Heteropoda species, or Brown Huntsman. The picture is very misleading. This beautiful creature actually looks a lot redder to the naked eye. I used a flash on this photo, so it’s hard to tell.

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And last, but certainly not least is my other Holconia immanis huntsman that was given to me by a friend who really wanted it relocated far away from her house. It’s grown quite a bit since I’ve gotten it, and is just stunning.

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In case you’re wondering, huntsman are venomous, but do not have “medically significant” venom. And they can be quite docile in captivity, choosing flight over fight most of the time. Respect is always key when handling any insect or spider.

If you want to read more about the huntsman, or about the time I was bitten by one, click HERE.

Can you see me?

29 Aug

Went for a family trip yesterday to a beautiful place called Rainbow Beach. We stopped a few times along the way, and I was able to get a lot of great pictures of many interesting things. I’ll post more of them tomorrow, but for now can you spot what’s in the picture? The camouflage is incredible!

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Calling the spider doctor!

27 Aug

So, last week I found a 4-legged TINY wolf spider in the hallway of my house. For the record, it was missing 3 legs on one side, and one of the other…so it was a tad lopsided. It was just sitting in the hallway not trying to run for cover at all. I knew it probably wasn’t going to make it. And then I decided to do something that is the exact reason some people think I’m nuts-I decided to adopt poor little Wolfie.

I had no idea if he’d make it, but I spent the next few days making sure he had enough water and fruit flies to give survival a good go.

And guess what? Today I found out he’d molted and had even regrown 3 of the missing limbs! (You can tell which ones they are by the lighter colour.)

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So, we’ll see how Wolfie does over the coming weeks. Hopefully leg #8 will make an appearance in the next molt.

Meet the new kids on the block

26 Jun

Just a quick post to introduce you all to my latest additions to the creepy crawly family.

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Top left: Fire-back Huntsman (Beregama cordata)
Top right: Cigar Stick insect nymph (Cigarrophasma tessellatum)
Bottom right: Giant Burrowing Cockroach nymph (Macropanesthia rhinoceros)
Bottom right: Wuelfing Stick insect nymph (Acrophylla wuelfingi)

I’ll be doing some follow-up posts with more in-depth information on all these guys, as well as on their progress and growth.

Teddy Bear Spider

4 Mar

Okay, so maybe the title is a bit misleading. And not that I need to mention a teddy bear to get you here. I mean, if you’re here there’s a good chance you were looking for something insect related. Or just randomly stumbled on this site and after seeing this photo may never come back.

See, I first posted this picture to my Wannabe Entomologist Instagram account where I am followed (virtually, not physically) by other like-minded bug nerds. They loved it.

So, I broke my “no more spider pictures on Facebook” rule and posted it there as well. And I realized something-if you hate spiders, no suggestion that it looks like anything else will work.

So, here is the first version I posted.

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See anything?

How about now?

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I can clearly see a sleeping, upside down teddy bear with blondish hair. And it looks adorable. Apparently not to arachnophobes.

(The spider in the picture is a Garden Orb Web Spider – Eriophora transmarina (Araneus transmarina))