Be honest with yourself. The concept of caring for an Old World Tarantula

gypsy cola

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
195
Due to a post http://arachnoboards.com/threads/how-to-get-an-h-lividum-off-your-back.285229/ by @Shampain I am going to share my story about my inexperience with Old World Tarantulas.

In 2010 I was introduced to tarantulas by an impulse buy that my older sister got. I decided to get one as well to over come a phobia. Due to my sister often self inflicted drama filled life, I ended up caring for her T. I had two T's, I bought books, visited this forum (under another alias at the time). I was just obsessed and had to get many as possible, I was ravished.

I discovered tarantulas are Pringles, and I had devoured the entire can without breathing... I felt bloated.

I made many mistakes any individual would have made or has been advised against. From just straight out horrible enclosures, wild caught feeders, heat mats, heat lamps, to housing slings in 10 gallon enclosures with about barely any substrate. My biggest mistake was getting into Old World tarantulas before I was ready.

I was careless, I was consumed. Every color, size, temperament I had to claim. This was Pokémon.

I picked up three Old World Tarantulas. OBT, at the time they were call P.fasiciata, and I what I considered the ultimate T.... Haplopelma lividum aka the Cobalt Blue Tarantula.

A full grown female Cobalt Blue is one the most awe inspiring experiences when seeing in person. The dominate and demanding personality, the immense size, the fierce attitude, and mostly the deep metallic blues that reminds one of a Pepsi can. I had to have one.

I was about 18 at the time. All I cared about was how cool spiders were. I saw them as beautiful and magnificent creatures, what I cared more about though was status of having such a fear inspiring creature and calling myself master over these fierce majestic beasts.

I didn't understand the concept of look don't touch...

I took many pictures of these spiders as possible, I handled ALL of them that were large enough to handle. Even throwing these T's on my face. At the end of the day, these spiders were nothing more than a Facebook post and collections of "toys".

My Cobalt Blue... I handled. If I had a group of friends over, this was the spider I had to show off, this was the one I pulled from its prison. Set on the floor running from the dozen of stampeding feet in my room set to the soundtrack of the gasps and screams (mostly men). fondled back and forth for the sake of adrenaline. She was not a pet, she was a possession, she was purely mine for my pleasure. Simply existing to satisfy my masculinity.

It was a powerful feeling holding this creature who at any moment can scar my life.

I had too many close calls with this spider that only made me more bold. It wasn't until after 4th or 5th time that she had ran on my back that it finally clicked. I was ripping her out of her only safe place for sake of stroking my ego. I understand that tarantulas do not have complex feelings but, I was emulating my feelings onto her. Realizing how stressful it must have been to be harassed by giant groping hands and to rebuild your home only for it be torn down at cost of amusement.

I had to be honest with myself. Am I as owner of these animals providing the best care. The answer... I as an owner, am not responsible enough to provide the best care for my animals.
I sold all of my old worlds and handled my T's by coincidence.

When acquiring any tarantula, you need to ask yourself. Can I provide the best care for this animal? Am I willing to take responsibility if someone is hurt by my animal? Can I keep the animal safe and others safe from the animal? Can I appreciate this animal with minimal interaction? If you unsure about any of these questions or you have to ask... you are not ready. Be honest with yourself

This picture is from the first time it had happened. 2010

 

magicmed

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 4, 2016
Messages
403
Great post! Love it. A public service for both not handling and OW species as well as jumping the gun. Personally I know the highest I'll ever go up the ladder is psalmopeous Cambridgei and I'm not in a hurry to get one. Not out of fear, but out of respect due to posts like this :)
 

louise f

Arachnoangel
Joined
Jul 8, 2012
Messages
936
You were lucky you never got bitten by one of those Haplos. I am glad that you changed your mind about holding them, both for your own and the spiders sake..;)

And really great story. :)
 

saturnthegrey

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 15, 2016
Messages
80
My first T EVER was a haplopelma vonwirthi (I know this is the millionth time I've said it) and I still feel like an idiot about it. It was sold as something else, didn't do the proper research to discover it was in fact very different until it was too late. If you are wondering, it was sold to me as a Brachypelma Schroederi(correct spelling?) Boy was that ever a bar situation. Ive never been afraid of spiders and I use to pick up the aphonopelma anax that are frequently found here without a second thought. That Tarantula taught me the most important thing about keeping T's. Always use caution and always remember to respect these creatures. Unfortunately it did put a phobia into my mind that I never had before but im greatful it did. I would much rather be scared and careful than fearless and stupid.
 

Abyss

Arachnoknight
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
281
Pretty dramatic lol but agree aside from the exaggerative drama of it lol.
Well done :)
 

Andrea82

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
3,605
="Abyss, post: 2502008, member: 114131"]Pretty dramatic lol but agree aside from the exaggerative drama of it lol.
Well done :)
I don't think it is exaggerative drama at all. It is how he felt. I think it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable on a forum like this.
I don't have acces to the winner rating, but you're definitely are one @gypsy cola !
 

8Legs8Eyes

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
126
People have joined this hobby for a variety of reasons, and I feel like the desires for keeping these magnificent creatures evolves over time as the keeper learns more information and gains experience. It is great to see a story of evolution here, and I hope that those who are thinking of getting old worlds or tarantulas in general will learn from you. Thank you for sharing!
 

Abyss

Arachnoknight
Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Messages
281
I don't think it is exaggerative drama at all. It is how he felt. I think it takes a lot of courage to be vulnerable on a forum like this.
I don't have acces to the winner rating, but you're definitely are one @gypsy cola !
All opinion, i agree with the premiss tho as i said.
 

Starantula

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 24, 2015
Messages
9
I jumped into old world's pretty swiftly. We're coming up to 2 years in the hobby and probably about a third we own out of 54 Ts are old world's. Never looked back. Do I get nervous or edgy during feeding or rehoming? Sometimes, but I feel I can handle the situations that may arise (albeit very cautiously). Luckily in regards to physical handling our first OW was aquired long after deciding handling was not a good thing.
 
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