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Handling again

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Henry Kane, Jul 2, 2005.

  1. Henry Kane

    Henry Kane Arachnoprince Old Timer

    It would be very cool if this thread doesn't wind up swirling the proverbial "handling thread drain of oblivion".
    I got to thinking about the whole handling thing last night, the more defensive o/w stuff in particular. I personally am o.k. with handling on occasion but to not do this excessively or anything, I do not make a point to do this in front of people as a parlor trick and only will handle the T if it's out and about and decides to venture to the edge of an open enclosure. Sometimes I'll even photograph the occasion. That all aside, the last couple times I've done this, the monotonous questions we've all read on the topic began to surface. I try not to make a habit of justifying myself to ummm...myself *lol* but caved this time. First I acknowledged that I am not doing this for the "freak out" factor as no one is usually present and if anyone I knew were, they would probably give a damn either way. But, why take photographs then? To preserve a very cool moment of course but what makes it cool? Well, the fact that a T with a generally nasty reputation is defying all that most people believe about them by casually and gracefully exploring on my skin. That's when it occurred to me. I've just dispelled one of the common myths about "big nasty spiders", o/w'ers especially, that keeps the hobby in the "creepy, misunderstood, why the hell would you want a spider" category. Even inside the hobby, the reputations of o/w species seems to cause them to be less perpetuated in the hobby than the more cuddly variety of many n/w'ers. I will admit I find it very cool for a reputedly grouchy specimen to become seemingly calm or even curious. I don't mind preserving the moment on film either for that reason. It fascinates me and I personally feel that I've actually achieved something in the way of personal knowledge and possibly for the benefit of the hobby. In short it seems possible that these certain moments are not the doom of the hobby that I often see tham made out to be. There may even exist some slight sliver of potential benefit under just the right circumstances, done by a knowledgable person in just the right setting at the right time.

    K, Feel free to express any opinions for or against of course. Please just keep it civil and courteous.

  2. becca81

    becca81 Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    From what I've seen, many OW spiders seem to become less defensive outside of their enclosures and I'm not very surprised when I see people handling them. People who know what they're doing and don't attempt to stress the spider out seem to do fairly well handling them.

    I've thought about my reasons for not handling before and what I've concluded is that handling a spider isn't what I enjoy about the hobby. Touching my Ts or feeling them walk on me doesn't do anything for me. I prefer watching them in their enclosures anyday to watching them crawl on my floor, bed, table, leg, etc. Since they don't need to be held and it's not something that I enjoy doing, I leave them be.

    Seeing one T dropped and killed also helped me decide to continue not handling mine. It was done by an inexperienced teenager who was trying to show off, but it still really bothered me.
  3. Joeyo

    Joeyo Arachnosquire Old Timer

    i dont have to handle my Ts either. I haven't been in the hobby for very long, but i haven't ever picked one up. Although, i do believe i might have to very soon due to my avic making her home at the top, right under the lid. Im going to have to get her out of the way to clean sooner or later.

    But, back on topic, I see alot of people with opinions going either way on this subject and people who do handle Ts have a wide variety of reasons for doing so. I haven't seen many people with a more neutral opinion, which is how i feel. I don't see someone who handles a T as shocking, or brave, or anything like that. But, at the same time, i don't feel that they are doing any wrong. Personally, i might handle a T for no other reason than curiousity, but i would first have to make sure i had a safe place to do so and know how haha. (Since i have never been interested in handling a T, i never looked into the proper way to do so.)

    In short, my opinion lies in the experience of the handler. I wouldn't think it a good idea for someone as inexperienced and unknowledgable how handling as i to pick up a T to show off, but i would have no problem with someone who has experience with Ts and their behaviours picking up a T to either inspect its health and well being or to just enjoy their pet.
  4. GoTerps

    GoTerps Arachnoking Old Timer

    I enjoy handling my spiders, simple as that. Heck at least when handling the OW spiders you don't have to worry about itching. Unlike many, I also very much enjoy pictures of spiders being handled... mainly I like the perspective you get of seeing a large spider on a hand/arm etc... You can see some of my "handling" pics HERE . Just an assortment of different species. Many of these spiders were only handled once, mainly to take some pics that I enjoy.

    One thing I have no patience for, are pictures of people standing up with spiders (I'm always sitting on the floor), spiders on their backs, their face...etc..

    I also don't have much patience for the.. "oh my god the spider must have been sooo stressed out!" crap.
  5. Immortal_sin

    Immortal_sin Arachnotemptress Old Timer

    Gary, that's probably the best post I've seen yet on the subject, possibly because it mirrors my own reasons. I very rarely handle any spider, but have been quite a bit lately because I've been packing them up to send off. Because I have experience, and know what to expect, packing them, and particularly dismantling the communal P murinus tank went quite smoothly.
    I have also found the more defensive species not nearly so, once removed from their homes. Mostly, they just want to hide. Occasionally, it seems that they are not too stressed, and actually relax.
    I think it's just a very personal thing, and each person has to decide if it's something they are comfortable with.
  6. cryptly

    cryptly Arachnobaron

    I don't make it a habit of handling my Ts, but I do bring them out on occasion. My neighbor's kids love to come over and visit my Ts (they even brought crickets over one night so they could feed my Ts). Because they're so interested, I occasionally will bring out one of my calmer NW Ts so they can get a closer look. The kids love it. (Note: kids are sitting on the floor while handling, and it's mostly they put their hands over mine and let the tarantula walk across. I'd never just drop a T onto a kid's hand.) The hands on approach seems to be giving a greater positive impression about tarantulas than looking at them in their enclosures ever could. (I think I'm creating potential tarantula addicts. :D )

    While I like getting a closer look at my Ts, I prefer to watch them do their own things in their enclosures. I don't think I'll ever try handling one of my OW Ts. They're so speedy and unpredictable I don't think I'd feel comfortable trying. Maybe after years more experience, but for now I'll be content to just sit and watch my OW'ers. :)
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2005
  7. Crotalus

    Crotalus Arachnoking Old Timer

    I do it if it serves a purpose for example show a person who think tarantulas are monsters, or if the spider is unwilling to get coaxed out of the tank with a tweezer. I dont do it because I think they like it, because Im pretty sure they prefer to be let alone. I dont acctually find it so strange that aggressive species is quite calm walking on your arm, it simply dont see you as a threat.
    To handle them because you believe they are enjoying it, or as a thrill thing is just plain stupid in my opinion.

  8. darkeye

    darkeye Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I handle. And I handle for me. Not the spider. not the "WOW", not anything even remotely like it.

    I handle for me.

    I love my spiders. I love my scorpions. I love my centipedes. I love my millipedes.

    I also love my dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, etc...

    And I handle them as well.

    These are my pets. They are not science projects, or a collection...they are pets. Each of them has a name, and I would venture to say that each has a personality as well.

    I enjoy handling my pets. I do not enjoy handling ALL my pets, however. I know my own limits with animals, and put their safety before my need to hold them. Having a "<explictive voluntarily removed> off" H.lividum running around is not safe for the spider... as I said, I have cats.

    I also enjoy watching them do their thing without my interaction... I guess I swing both ways... ;)

    I have changed many minds by demonstrating that they are not monsters, and having a picture of my T.apophysis in my hand for a desktop reminds me that these are amazing, wonderful creatures. And I love them so very much.

    We all keep our animals for our own reasons. Some are collections in the truest sense of the term... others are not.

    Ja Ne!
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  9. ink_scorpion

    ink_scorpion Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I don't understand the comment "...know what to expect..." here. Does the T communicate its intent to you somehow?

    It seems like a lot of risk, both to the handler and the invert. I don't think I would ever handle an OW T, because of our mutual safety. On the other hand, I don't condemn anyone who does handle their Ts. Just keep in mind that, if something bad happens, it puts the whole hobby at risk. Should this happen, then I am of the opinion that it is everyone's business! Please use common sense and be careful! Best Wishes! :worship:
  10. becca81

    becca81 Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    I think she means that she has had many experiences with Ts and she feels comfortable gauging their reactions and is probably aware of any possible subtle signs of stress or defensive actions.
  11. bonesmama

    bonesmama Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I enjoy handling my T's very occasionally-and not all of them-I only handle a few. I think Darkeye said it all--it IS for us, as human beings we have a need (most of us, lol) to interact with our pets. I also think that if my first, a G.rosea from the local petstore, was NOT a T that I felt comfortable handling, I probably would have only 1 or 2, cause I might be afraid of them. I have a very healthy respect for them, but I feel more secure knowing that in a pinch I'm not afraid to touch them. I was in a petstore once, and this stupid girl had a T running up her arm and under her hair on her neck, and I was able to get the situation under control without the T getting hurt. If I was afraid, the T would probably fallen from her shoulders and been killed.( I also enjoy the photo-ops! {D ) As was said before, it is a personal choice.....but I gotta admit, there is a thrill in having all those hairy legs walk on you!
  12. Lorgakor

    Lorgakor Arachnomom Old Timer

    I entirely agree with Darkeye.

    I handle some, not all of my spiders, and I get alot of enjoyment out of it, just as much enjoyment as I get from watching the hands off species through the glass or plastic. If the particular spider is not in the 'mood', I don't take it out, simple as that. I recently held a pokie sling, a first for me, and I tell ya it was exhilerating. :) They are so beautiful and it is amazing to see them so close up.
  13. ink_scorpion

    ink_scorpion Arachnobaron Old Timer

    I think some of the posts are straying off topic. The original topic was Old World (OW) Ts. Grammastola rosea is not on OWer. The only Ts I do handle are all NWers, but that was not the the point of this discussion as I understand. Please keep this in mind, because there is quite a large difference. Thanks...
  14. becca81

    becca81 Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    I don't believe the focus was intended to be only OW tarantulas. I feel that Gary was reflecting on his personal reasons for handling and used his handling of OW Ts as an example.

    IMO, the original hope of this thread was for it not to turn into another heated debate over why handling is right/wrong and end up with another locked thread. Reflecting on one's experiences and reasons for handling and sharing those reflections can be done with NW or OW species and still apply to the thread.

    I don't personally handle or condone handling, but it has been interesting to read the reflections of experienced keepers who have made the choice to handle and their reasons for doing so.
  15. Immortal_sin

    Immortal_sin Arachnotemptress Old Timer

    I mean, know what to expect in terms of defensive behaviour, and how fast they can move. Since we ARE talking OW Ts, IME, they do tend to behave differently then NW Ts. Knowing what CAN occur, keeps me calm and focused when working with them. Again, I'm not speaking of handling them in this instance, I was speaking in terms of dismantling a communal setup of P murinus. I had to pack up one for shipping. Since it was a mature male, I decided that the whole communal thing needed to go, since it's not sling proof. One of the few times I've 'handled' P murinus, is when it disappeared inside my clothing :eek: Again, remaining calm and using slow movements is important.
    Again, to clarify, I *usually* handle defensive OW Ts when packing, unpacking, or moving them to different containers.
  16. ink_scorpion

    ink_scorpion Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Now that's scary! Glad you came away from that without taking a bite! :clap: