Agressiveness in Old World Spiders

Godzilla2000

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I'm beginning to think that the nasty reputation some Old World spiders have like the H. Lividum are for the most part unreliably based on superstition about the nippy nature of these breeds. I have so far not been bitten by my Cobalt Blue. Yes it did throw up a threat posture but that was after the final post-kitty knocking down their cage incident that augered the removal of said cat from my apartment. Before I bought my Cobalt, I was under the impression that every time I put my hand in the enclosure it would leap out like a mad demon and bite me every chance iot would get. But so far it and my Tiger have stayed quite comfortably in their burrows allowing me to make the necessary adjustments to their tanks and give them water with no incidences. So my question to all of you is this. Is the nasty reputation an Old Worlder gets warranted or not?
 

Code Monkey

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Welcome to the big reason a lot of people campaign to have them termed 'defensive' rather than 'aggressive'.

'Aggressive' creates the impression that their bad attitude is proactive rather than reactive and that is only rarely true for any species. If you go poking about into a cobalt or other "aggressive" species' burrow, or try to pick it up with your hands, sure, expect some sort of violent reaction. But if all you are doing is watering and cleaning, odds are the worst you will see is a spider hunkered down in its burrow.
 
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Buspirone

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Maybe improper care by early keepers caused them to seem aggressive. Like misting them, not providing a burrow or sufficient substrate to dig one or keeping the cage too wet.
 

vulpina

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You're right about being defensive rather than aggressive. My H. lividum, H. albostriatum, C. thorelli, C. fimbriatus, and H. hercules are not aggressive per say, but I wouldn't stick my finger down a burrow either. None of these I mentioned has shown me any aggression by seeking me out during maintenance and attempting to bite, they stay in their borrows during this procedure. My H. maculata is very defensive, touch the lid of the enclosure and an immediate threat posture is shown.

Andy
 

Godzilla2000

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Originally posted by Buspirone
Maybe improper care by early keepers caused them to seem aggressive. Like misting them, not providing a burrow or sufficient substrate to dig one or keeping the cage too wet.
For the most part, all of my tarantulas hate misting and scrunch down into their burrows whenever they sense the spray bottle bearing down on their enclosures. But my Vietnamese Tiger is the exception. It's either in a deep sleep or it likes being misted because it's accustomed to it.
 

Godzilla2000

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Originally posted by vulpina
You're right about being defensive rather than aggressive. My H. lividum, H. albostriatum, C. thorelli, C. fimbriatus, and H. hercules are not aggressive per say, but I wouldn't stick my finger down a burrow either. None of these I mentioned has shown me any aggression by seeking me out during maintenance and attempting to bite, they stay in their borrows during this procedure. My H. maculata is very defensive, touch the lid of the enclosure and an immediate threat posture is shown.

Andy
I'd have to say that I own st least one seenigly defensive New World spider. Anyone have any experience with the Andean Stripeleg? I have a 1.5 inch juvenile and it's been striking at the cricket I gave it plus throwing up a defensive stance. I assure you it it a 1/4 inch cricket I gave it so it's not very huge. Personally I think it is so cute to see a little bugger like that acting all defensive.
 

Iktomi

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My P. murinus is also very defensive...but I've also noticed that she will NOT run away from a threat. She will turn toward whatever she perceives as a threat and strike without tiring...over and over again. She actively pursues anything that bugs her.
 

Botar

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Originally posted by Inktomi
My P. murinus is also very defensive...but I've also noticed that she will NOT run away from a threat. She will turn toward whatever she perceives as a threat and strike without tiring...over and over again. She actively pursues anything that bugs her.
Sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

Botar
 

Code Monkey

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Originally posted by Inktomi
My P. murinus is also very defensive...but I've also noticed that she will NOT run away from a threat.
My take on this is that since Usambaras usually web up most of their tank into quite the hammock/web tunnel system, that whole tank is their "burrow" as far as they're concerned. Disturb them the wrong way and you've got an angry, orange bitey thing on your hand.
 

Godzilla2000

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I've been meaning to get an Orange Bitey thing. But I'm not sure I'd want it now unless I know it hasn't been neglected. I think alot of spiders get aggressive because people just do not take the time to take care of them properly. To me there's nothing more adorable than a Cobalt Blue Happy Dance. The best way I can describe what Luci did when I fed her crickets goes something like this:

Feverishly dash around the bottom of enclosure. Grab cricket. Scurry up the wall with the cricket in fangs. Dart down grab second cricket. Leap up onto the wall of enclosure. Dash around wall of enclosure. Leap onto the peat moss substrate with crickets still fanged. Spin a web around burrow. Head to the other corner and enjoy meal.

This is the best way I can describe what Luci was doing when I fed her. Right now Luci is a very happy Cobalt Blue.
 

Chris

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Well all of my asian species have been true to the reputation... they are both nutcases.

My Lividium takes any chance she can get to try and intimidate me. There is nothing she loves more than to come flying out of her burrow in a threat position and take numerous strikes at me... and this is when I am watering the cage beside hers lol

Granted, over the past month or so she has chilled out a lot... must mean its almost molt time lol
 

Maggie

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I too would say more "defensive" than "aggressive". However i think it varies from species to species and certainly individual to individual. I have one that definitely would rather strike with very little provocation.
 

MizM

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My H. lividium is defensive , only going into threat posture and holding her ground when something approaches her lair.
My "Big Bitey Orange Thingy" is aggressive running headlong into anything that comes near her lair.

BIG difference!
 
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