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Keeping orb weavers...?

Discussion in 'True Spiders & Other Arachnids' started by BlujayOnTheWing, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. BlujayOnTheWing

    BlujayOnTheWing Arachnopeon

    Has anyone been successful in keeping an orb-weaving species? I've had several, with several different housing methods, and the only one that built a web and thrived was one that got out of his case and set up camp under a shelf in my room, instead :p All others have sat around, done nothing, and eventually were either released back into the wild or died.

    I've tried building 'spider frames' with a wood frame closed in by plexiglass walls, I've tried keeping them in tall upright boxes, I've tried covering up the front of an empty shelf on my bookshelf and letting them have that space, all nothing. I'm especially frustrated that the web frame design hasn't worked, because that's the method I've always found instructions for when looking at how to keep orb weavers. Why won't they build a web? Even very small ones with more than enough space won't do it. I've kept spiders from nearly every other family common in my area at some point or another, but I really want an argiope or a cross spider, and so far that just hasn't been possible.

    Help?? :\
  2. Vespula

    Vespula Arachnodemon

    I've kept an Argiope aurantia in a balsa type wood box with a sliding plastic lid. She did fine in there. :D
  3. Sheepy

    Sheepy Arachnopeon

    I think it also depends on what species you have, especially where they are from.

    For example, if you have a tropical species, you may need to keep the temperature high and the humidity up.

    I keep Nephila in a lab situation (you can see my other thread on what problems I ran into...), but as of now I have quite large acrylic enclosed cages with misters and heat lamps attached to controllers.

    Orb weavers from my experience have a much harder time climbing up smooth surfaces, they seem to like how I have mesh inside the acrylic walls.

    And of course, try not to keep multiple ones together, I tried and it only took one mess-up on the feeding schedule for them to eat their room mates... They actually can live in the same box without killing each other if you feed them a lot.

    As for the framing, smaller orb weavers I've kept liked a football goal type box I built, but the Nephila tends to just build their webs off the mesh walls.

    Also, it seems like they like the sun. Can someone confirm this?
  4. orbweaver

    orbweaver Arachnopeon

    I have an orb weaver that I just couldn't let stay out in the chill. I was concerned about her even webbing or eating once inside, but she is setting up house in a screen lined aquarium. She has been eating as well and I am very excited about that! The orb weaver has been my favorite spider for many many years and this is my first year in Idaho with more than just a tiny one that shows up for a day or so. Charlotte (duh) stuck around and I have watched her grow over the summer. When I read that they can live a while but the cold usually kills them, I had to bring her in. Now I have a garter snake (spoiled rotten!!), a rat, and a spider calling my office home. I hope that her eating and webbing is a good sign that she is happy. anything else I should know? this is my first attempt at such a thing...
    This is Charlotte enjoying a katydid before it started getting a bit too chilly outside:
    dinner time!
  5. Dravensmom

    Dravensmom Arachnosquire

    when I was 11 I found an orb weaver.. it lived in a shoe box with dirt and sticks from outside for 3ish months before getting loose.(not that this would be the best way lol) I remember it was a cross orbweaver because my mother looked it up before she let me keep it. "his" name was chris cross lol
  6. orbweaver

    orbweaver Arachnopeon

    Okay I have switched to meal worms and she is much more comfortable with those. In fact I got her to eat two last night and she was a very happy weaver! And I was a very happy care taker. I also read large crickets can actually eat spiders?! Yikes! But the small ones escape and I have them all over the place LOL! At least we found a happy medium and Charlotte is webbing and eating and I assume that means she is happy.