Aphonopelma moderatun Distribution Q?

Gsc

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
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538
Does anyone know the Texas distribution for the Rio Grande Gold Tarantulas? I have had a few friends find them in Del Rio and on Hwy 90. After a few hours of searchong google, I'm still not clear on exactly what counties they occur in... I've heard rumors that they streach from Rio Grande City up to Del Rio....

Thanks,
Graham
 

hamfoto

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
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Dec 9, 2004
Messages
777
It would be beneficial to not post an answer to their location here on the Internet. This is a species that is being taken out of the wild at an alarming pace. People that want to protect them in the wild guard their locations as deeply held secrets.
Sounds good to me...I've heard of some people coming here, loading up boxes of them and shipping them off for the pet trade. No thanks!

Chris
 

beetleman

Arachnoking
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Jan 5, 2005
Messages
2,872
It would be beneficial to not post an answer to their location here on the Internet. This is a species that is being taken out of the wild at an alarming pace. People that want to protect them in the wild guard their locations as deeply held secrets.
Sounds good to me...I've heard of some people coming here, loading up boxes of them and shipping them off for the pet trade. No thanks!

Chris
:mad: that's not good.
 

Gsc

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Jul 22, 2004
Messages
538
I appreciate your concern...I truly doubt commercial collectors scour the message boards though... I was mainly looking for range maps... Tellibg someone WHAT COUNTIES they are in doesn't give away locations... anyways, I talked with some friends and I have found a few localities..

Graham
 

M.F.Bagaturov

Arachnoprince
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Jun 20, 2004
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Interesting point of view...
It is not hard to find a locale for the species called "Aphonopelma moderatum", but it is harder to realise what is the real "Aphonopelma moderatum" is, so Your foundings are may can be of anything else...
 

Michael Jacobi

ARACHNOCULTURE MAGAZINE
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Mar 17, 2003
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As someone who first photographed Aphonopelma sp. "moderatum" in the wild some 25 years ago, I agree with Chris. (Note: I write it as I have because as Mikhail suggested, the taxonomy of this species is in question. There are those that believe it to be one of two other species, but that's off-topic for this discussion, not to mention outside of my personal interest).

Several years ago, a known wildlife smuggler and commercial collector (a polite euphemism for rapist of nature) collected more than 1000 specimens of this spider for the pet trade. It is naive to believe that a degenerate like he, who incidentally bragged about this "conquest", doesn't have access to the Internet or visit the world's largest online arachnid community.

My long experience finding this spider in the wild suggests that it is common in pockets, leaving these fragmented populations susceptible to serious damage due to overcollection.

The distribution of any species certainly isn't classified. Anyone with a modicum of mental facility can do a literature search, read locality records, network with other people who have searched for a given species in the wild, and pinpoint specific habitat. That doesn't mean we have to make it any easier. Therefore, I certainly won't list the counties in which I have found this golden beauty of US theraphosid fauna. I appreciate the point that providing counties isn't the same as providing GPS coordinates, but in this day of instantaneous global communication, any public information is exponentially detrimental to animals that should be left the hell alone. The original post in this thread provides general information related to where it is known to exist. Let's leave it at that.

Kind regards, Michael
 

hamfoto

Arachnoangel
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Dec 9, 2004
Messages
777
Mikhail...good point. It's something that will get fixed in the future (hopefully not too far down the road).

Michael...very good point!

The fact is that population studies and spatial distribution studies have just NOT been done on tarantulas (except in a handful of cases - Brachypelma klaasi in Mexico, Avicularia avicularia in Trinidad, and Eupalaestrus weijenberghi and Acanthoscurria suina in Uruguay). And most of the locale info you find on Aphonopelma is from studies using A. hentzi or A. anax.
You can find other research that is similar and lists where certain spp. can be found that were used for that specific research...but you have to look. No point in making it easier for people to take them out of the wild.
There's the rub...describe a new species, do a study on a "cool" looking species or a rare one...and you have just documented, for anyone who wants to read it, where they are located...
The bummer is that we just don't know enough about population densities and structures of tarantulas in the wild to know how much we are affecting them by taking them out of the wild...hell, we can't even figure out for sure which Aphonopelma spp. are which...

Chris
 
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