Aphonopelma in burrow

GQ.

Arachnodemon
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This is a picture of a wild Aphonopelma eutylenum in her burrow. I poured a little bit of water down her burrow and she stopped just before the entrance. It appeared she was trying to block the water. I noticed that she was a female and let her be. I have found dozens of females in their burrows, but i have yet to find a live male. I have been looking for a male to pair up with my adult female. I'm thinking either all the males have mated and are dead or that the males use temporary burrows. If they are using rodent burrows as temporary shelters, then they probably would not have the tell tale tarantula burrow look to them. This might explain why I am not finding any. I have found only two males dead on the road so far and that is it.

 
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Wade

Arachnoking
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It depends on the breeding season of that species, if it's spring or early summer, you probably won't see any more, but if it's late summer or fall, you might get lucky. You're not likley to find a mature male in a burrow, unless it's trying to mate with the resident female. Some of the ones you're seeing in the burrows are probably immature males, they look just like the females. They only develop the dimorphic appearance after they have their ultimate molt.

I have found road collecting to be the most effecive method for finding males...drive real slow down country roads during the first hour or two after sun down, prefrably in areas where you know there are tarantulas. The males will be easy to spot, ambling along...

Wade
 
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GQ.

Arachnodemon
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This is another female A. eutylenum that I was able to coax out of her burrow. Once I took the picture I tapped her in the rear with a stick and crawled back into her burrow.

 

GQ.

Arachnodemon
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Originally posted by Wade
It depends on the breeding season of that species, if it's spring or early summer, you probably won't see any more, but if it's late summer or fall, you might get lucky. You're not likley to find a mature male in a burrow, unless it's trying to mate with the resident female. Some of the ones you're seeing in the burrows are probably immature males, they look just like the females. They only develop the dimorphic appearance after they have their ultimate molt.

Wade
Wade,

I was thinking that may be the case. Some of the ones I had seen were slightly smaller than the larger females and they may have indeed been males. I didn't want to take several home though and end up with several wild caught females. I only want to take one more from the wild. By the way, I have seen a couple of egg sacks near burrow entrances. I guess the breeding season is mostly over. I did see a Dead On Road male the friday before last though so I was still hoping. Maybe next year!
 

krucz36

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GQ: you have positive ID on these guys as A. eutylenum (AKA california blacks)? i had a bug i THOUGHT was A. chalcodes, which molted into a jet-black male. then, the wild-caught i thought was A. eutylenum was tentatively ID'd as A. revursum, as far as we could tell.
i'd love to be able to sort out the chalcodes, reversums, and eutylenums...
 

GQ.

Arachnodemon
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krucz36,

I had been wondering what species I had been finding for a while. I finally asked Rick West to take a look at one of the photos I had. From the photo he said it looked like Aphonopelma eutylenum. The road kill males I have found in the same exact area look quite a bit darker than the females. They are uniformly black with the same reddish colored rump as the above pictured female. The females that have just shed are very brightly colored. I have found a couple females in the area (they had old eggsacs near the burrow entrance) and they had an overall browner coloration. They did not have as much of the reds. One of them looked badly in need of a molt and had a lot of hairs missing on the rump. I'm checking her burrow frequently to see if she has any molt pieces near her burrow. I'm interested to she what she looks like after a molt. I'm the same as you in that I would love to sort them all out. I'd like to head to east San Diego county this weekend to find some reversums. I have a feeling that once I have a chance to examine eutylenum and reversum side by side I will be better able to figure out what I am looking at with less doubt. I want to make my own little range map of species distribution around here.
 

krucz36

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that would be great. if you could preserve the roadkills and send them to someone (brent hendrixson maybe?) for ID that would rock.

i have a few wild-caught locations you could use on a range map as well, if you'd like. if you head out to daley ranch in escondido (i'm in north san diego county myself) you'll find...something. brown tarantulas. who knows! heh.
 

GQ.

Arachnodemon
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I do have two that I preserved in 90% EtOH. I have been wondering who might be a good person to send them too. Is Brent the one mentioned on the ATS forum? I'll drop him a line. If you ever see some dork hunched over a burrow with a camera it's probably me!

Gilbert
 

krucz36

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i know the "hunched over a burrow" feeling. you managed to get some great pics, unlike myself.
i've shipped a wild-caught off to brent already, i've got his research site bookmarked at home (love the west coast time) and i'll post it or send it you later on.
if you go to http://homepage.mac.com/babyfight/album/index.htm i've got a couple shots in there. the "A. chalcodes" is the one that molted into a jet-black male (without the red hairs you mentioned) and the "A. eutylenum" is the one i shipped to brent.
g
 

GQ.

Arachnodemon
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I'd definitely like to have that link! I will send one to him for sure. Great pictures on your site. Have you seen the Giant Earth Tigers at Live Cargo? I've been meaning to take a digital camera in there. Hopefully they'll let me take a picture or two of them.

Gilbert
 

Immortal_sin

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guys,
I grew up in the San Pasqual Valley (between Escondido and Ramona) out by the Wild Animal Park, and believe me, they were everywhere you looked!
I remember them as being a dark brown to black color, but the ones wandering around would have been the males anyway.
I knew nothing of tarantulas (other than they were really scary) back then unfortunately.
Holley
 

GQ.

Arachnodemon
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I have yet to take a cruise out to the Escondido/San Pasqual Valley area. So much to do! I'm heading out to the California desert in October so I should be putting up some pictures of inverts and other critters I find out there.
 

krucz36

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just be real careful of the scorps out there gilbert, they can be quite hot.
holley: i'm no more than five minutes from the san pasqual area right now. my kid's mom went to school at san pasqual high!
i'm having trouble locating brent's research pages, so i'll have to track them down later...i had a system re-install between now and when he sent the address and it may have been a casualty.
 
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