Tag Archives: huntsman

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.

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.

Quiz answers and bug nerd shout outs

14 Aug

So what were your answers?

A.

1.

B.

2.

C.

3.

D.

4.

E.

5.

F.

6.

G.

7.

H.

8,

The answers are as follows:

1. F, 2. H, 3. B, 4. G, 5. A, 6. E, 7. C, 8. D

1. Bird-dropping (Death’s head) spider

2. Ladybug (beetle) larvae

3. Rhinoceros beetle larvae

4. Mountain katydid

5. Pollen and nectar feeding katydid

6. Whip spider

7. Early instar of an owfly

8. Giant huntsman on my face

Okay, so maybe you were only able to get #8…I did put it in there for a freebie.  (And in case you think I’m completely crazy, you should know that the huntsman was dead…so I’m only half crazy.)

And don’t feel bad, I did not know 1-7 myself before researching them.  But that’s the fun, isn’t it?

We had a couple of people guess all of them correctly, so a special WE shout out to Marc at entomacrographic and to Drhoz.

**Be sure to click on the above links (1-8) to find out more about the featured creatures.**

(All photos property of Lisa Vankula-Donovan unless otherwise stated.)

One man’s trash…

9 Sep

There are countless times in my life that I’ve saved something from a sure death by water. My husband used to make fun of me when I would save the Japanese beetles from the horse’s water troughs. But for me to just look the other way when a creature is struggling is darn near impossible. (Unless it’s a telemarketer trying to sell me something, then I have no problem bringing the axe down.)

The other day, when I went to check the dog’s water and food supplies, I noticed a small huntsman in the water bucket who had almost given up. Instead of sitting mostly on top of the water, his legs had started to sink and he was tilting a bit. I wasn’t sure if he was even alive but I got a stick from the nearest bush and scooped him out for another shot at the title.

And when most people would have just looked down and seem dirty water with a dead spider in it, I saw this…

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Grey Hunstman

10 Jan

huntsman no legs