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Alternatives to Cork Bark in Amblypygids Enclosures

Discussion in 'True Spiders & Other Arachnids' started by MrCrackerpants, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Nick H

    Nick H Arachnoknight Active Member

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    I've also seen him take prey that wasn't moving at all on two occasions. The second time he actually grabbed it with one pedipalp. It was hiding in a hard to reach little ditch next to the styrofoam. He was feeling around the cricket with his whips for a good ten minutes, and finally just reached down there with one palp and snatched it up. The cricket didn't move the whole time until it was grabbed. I was blown away.
     
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  2. wizentrop

    wizentrop to the rescue! Old Timer

    @Nick H this behavior is more typical to Heterophrynus species, using the whips to coerce the prey to a better location within reach of the pedipalps. Damon species do this occasionally but not often, usually when the prey is "stuck" hiding in a hard to reach spot.

    As you observe more and more genera of Amblypygi, the more you learn about different ways they use their whips to locate and catch prey.
    In Acanthophrynus coronatus for example, the two whips are used as "spacers"; holding the prey in place, somewhat blocking it from moving back or forth, away from the reach of the pedipalps.
     
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  3. WeightedAbyss75

    WeightedAbyss75 Arachnoangel Active Member

    Love this thread! Amblipygids are so interesting, and I never realised just how easy a setup is :D My have to get myself some, would there be any care differences between spp.? I'd love to get something that has a lot of color, but not familiar with the different spp. or care of them and there isn't much I could find.
     
  4. Nick H

    Nick H Arachnoknight Active Member

    Obviously @wizentrop can answer that much better than I can, but from what I understand, basic care is pretty much the same among all species that are available in the hobby, with the larger Heterophrynus species needing more space.
     
  5. WeightedAbyss75

    WeightedAbyss75 Arachnoangel Active Member

    Just wondering, since I keep T's and there are definitly husbandry issues between them ;) I'd love to look for big whips like the heterophrynus spp. you are talking about, just wondering if they are more fragile, humidity dependent, or need massive amounts of space. Also, if I wanted to make a communal setup with styrofoam, then would I need diagonal pieces to give them more room, or just the background?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  6. Nick H

    Nick H Arachnoknight Active Member

    Humidity requirements should be about the same across available species (keep it high. if they hang out near the substrate all the time then it's too low). As for the other concerns, I've never kept anything besides D. diadema, and I've never kept any ambly communally, so I'm not the person to answer those questions. I will say though, that the reason I added the diagonal Styrofoam piece that I talked about earlier in this thread, was because my ambly was still so small, and I didn't want it to feel exposed. For this type of enclosure, that diagonal piece would just get in the way of a larger whipspider's mobility and wouldn't really add space for it (or them) to roam.
     
  7. symbol

    symbol Arachnopeon Active Member

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    If you're looking for something colourful, you might want to check out Phrynus decoratus. They're a smaller species, but keep really nice colouration into adulthood AFAIK. If you're looking for something that gets big, then Heterophrynus is probably where it's at. Although I'm pretty sure a lot of the Damon spp. can get to a pretty decent size as well. D. diadema tops out at a whipspan of ~12", I believe. And D. medius gets a bit larger still. If you don't care so much about whipspan/legspan and want something that's a bit heavier bodied, then something like a Phrynus barbadensis or an Acanthophrynus coronatus might be more up your alley. :)
     
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  8. WeightedAbyss75

    WeightedAbyss75 Arachnoangel Active Member

    How big do P. decoratus get? Love their look, and I would have some enclosures that are small and could put styrofoam in :D Love the blue and red on them.
     
  9. symbol

    symbol Arachnopeon Active Member

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    They usually reach a legspan of ~2.5", I believe. I've been told that a single adult can be kept in a container with approximate dimensions of 4"x4"x7".
     
  10. WeightedAbyss75

    WeightedAbyss75 Arachnoangel Active Member

    Awesome, need to start looking :watching: Seem pretty rare since I have never seen them for sale anywhere.
     
  11. symbol

    symbol Arachnopeon Active Member

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    Tarantula Canada had them in stock up until a few days ago. Looks like they're sold out now though. Not sure where else to look for them. You could always try e-mailing Tarantula Canada to see if they know of any breeders suppliers in your area.
     
  12. WeightedAbyss75

    WeightedAbyss75 Arachnoangel Active Member

    Got it, thanks. I'll try looking in classifieds. Can't wait to try and test the simple setup in this thread ;)
     
  13. wizentrop

    wizentrop to the rescue! Old Timer

    Sorry, I didn't have a chance to reply to this post.
    You can pretty much keep all Amblypygi in the same manner. However, that doesn't mean this is what they need. Each species comes from a different habitat, so ideal conditions are not the same for different species. Once you start keeping smaller species (like Charinus, Sarax) you notice these nuances, because the animals suffer under the "general" amblypygi setup. Some Charinus species I keep prefer it on the dry and warm side for example. @Banshee05 might want to chime in and add his comments, since he has experience with much more species than I do.

    @WeightedAbyss75 Phrynus decoratus is a gorgeous species, and super easy to care for. Definitely one of my favorites, if not my all-time favorite Phrynus. You will need tiny food if you plan to keep the juveniles! But if you want a really rewarding species to keep, then the answer is hands down Acanthophrynus coronatus. They have everything - size, color, temper, speedy growth, you name it. I like them even better than Heterophrynus species, but the comparison is really out of place. H. batesii is an impressive but shy species, slow grower, and very needy in care conditions. A. coronatus is truly a king for its group, super active, built like a tank, and very hardy. I cannot stress enough how fast they grow, the big ones I have molt almost every month.
     
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  14. WeightedAbyss75

    WeightedAbyss75 Arachnoangel Active Member

    Wow, guess that's the species I need to look for ;)
     
  15. Ghoul

    Ghoul Arachnosquire

    I guess with my Damon d. I have already found my favourite species, the long thorny "arms", colours and the leg stripes that make them look like they are wearing striped socks, it was love at first sight. Though Euphrynichus amanica looks amazing as well, those endless pedipalps are like super long arms with tiny hands on their ends, they look almost cartoony when they move them. :joyful:
    Anyway, a note to the original topic - I'd feel weird using simple Styrofoam, white and bland looks rather unfitting for a critter that lives in dark caves or inside ol trees. On another hand, that's just me caring more about aesthetics than the critters probably do :rolleyes: I got an adult enclosure for my juvenile and about 4 pieces of wood bark with some smaller bits, isopods that took care of mold and are now a nice snack for my damon, it's like getting a luxus apartment for a child I imagine :d haha
     
  16. wizentrop

    wizentrop to the rescue! Old Timer

    I'm happy you touched on this topic @Ghoul
    I would not recommend keeping E. amanica to anyone. Not even to experienced keepers. This species is hard as hell to keep alive and well, especially during molting. I have kept some in past, it was a nightmare. They need a ton of space. In addition, most specimens you see being offered are WC, stressed animals, or in poor health. Although they are fairly common throughout their distribution range, it does not help their populations that collectors keep taking new ones from the wild when they have no idea what they are getting themselves into. I do not know of anyone who managed to breed them in captivity.

    I understand your point of view about aesthetics. That's fine! :) This is why I said in the beginning of this thread that my setups are not very visually appealing, but they serve their purpose. The whip spiders don't care really, they have poor vision anyway...
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  17. Ghoul

    Ghoul Arachnosquire

    I already expected it, especially because of their massive arms I can't really imagine them molting, it's like imagining a giraffe hanging upside down getting out of its skin :d I wouldn't even have the space. Damon d. on the other hand got just the perfect size for me. Though watching Benji grow he already looks quite big and he isn't even adult yet! I love my little guy very much though. I hope he gets old <3

    They really seem to care about the surface though, or at least Benj does. I guess they can feel and smell it. The first two times I tried to pick Benji up he avoided my hands like the plague, even squished through my fingers to stay on his cork bark. And whenever I put him back in he knows when I'm near the enclosure and walks right back onto the cork bark, once he REALLY wanted to go and jumped back in from my hand to the enclosure. I didn't even know they could jump until that point! He's a brave little guy. He threatened me before too (it was pretty cute, such a tiny little guy trying to intimidate something much larger hah), though I feel now he's a lot calmer when I'm around than he was in the beginning. He's full of surprises :happy:
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  18. Definitely recommend Orin McMonigle's book on amblypygi for anyone who really appreciates these animals. Includes pictures, natural history, etc. but a lot of tips on keeping these guys, different husbandry between species, ... large focus on Heterophrynus sp.
     
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  19. Banshee05

    Banshee05 Arachnobaron Old Timer

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    Charinidae are in general not that easy to keep and less easy to breed. I did it with a half of a dozen species from different continents and countries. Right now I am trying to breed three different Charinus species from the Greater Antilles, but quite hard to find the real micro-Habitat conditions for them, for example: most of the Antillinean Charinus species live in dryer costal "rainforrest" on a karstic Stone massif, which make it really hard to set up this at home. You have very hot and dry periods during the day, but you have periods with a lot of rain and humidity during night and when it rains/ or the flood arises. Beside this, as Gill already mentioned, they cannot tolerate so mich as others do, they are to small and most of the time the Containers were we Keep them are also quite small, so no different climate regions in the tanks are present. ...all in al not easy. The only "easy" for anybody is C.acosta from Cuba.
    Same with P.decoratus, they are one of the most colorfull Whips I have ever seen, and when you collect them across the eastern part of Cuba the become more and more yellow going eastwards...awesome, BUT in fact they are not that easy to breed, keeping is most of them with all phrynids easy, they are more or less dessert species like damonidiensis in Cuba as well, or kennidae and decoratus in DomRep etc. So you Need a Special climate during reproduction and a different one during moulting... ;)
     
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  20. Banshee05

    Banshee05 Arachnobaron Old Timer

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    ah let's wait and see, I am now breeding the first F1, raising them to adulthood....
    In my experience, nearly ALL Whips are fragile and hard at the beginning when you get them as WC on an Expo...but if you have success that the moult once, reproduce them etc. the next/and first real captive breed populations is easy as usual. The tricky and exhausting deal are always the low number of WC individuals and that the right Person with the skills and climate Chambers get them, once this step is done, they should be easily available for anybody, as I have done for now nearly 25 different species in the last years.
     
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