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Catching L. bishopi

Discussion in 'Other Spiders & Arachnids' started by FrDoc, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. FrDoc

    FrDoc Gen. 1:24-25 Arachnosupporter

    Hey all you spider hunters, I live in Central Florida and it is a spider treasure trove. Example, I capture so many Lycosidae that I generally just let them go after a while because I catch a better one. This positive anecdote is a point of frustration because I don’t really want to catch wolfers. I WANT to snag some L. bishopi specimens. I live smack-dab in the middle of their range, my back yard is full of palmetto scrub, but I have yet to find one. Do any of you Latrodectus hunters/keepers have any words of wisdom?
  2. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    They live in pretty specific habitat, which is often protected. I think it’s a sandy habitat with palmetto and a specific type of pine tree. They are also very good at hiding their retreats. I’ve known experienced people who search hours and find none. I also think it may be nearing the end of the season for adults, but I definitely could be wrong. My words of wisdom are to get some slings, but I may be a little biased since I sell them.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2020
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  3. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    I don't know about L. bishopi per se, but if they're like other Latrodectus, your best bet is to go out at night with a flashlight. Our local L. hesperus and L. geometricus tend to spend most of the daytime tucked away in their hidey-holes, but when I shine my light into the nooks and crannies at night, they're all over the place.
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  4. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    When I was doing fieldwork in FL I had the best luck just finding webs and trying to tease them out during the day. The sandy areas with palmetto was important, but I think they like it being somewhat open as well, so them being in an area more regularly managed by fire may be a key thing to look for.

    Another way to hunt for them may be to search for areas with documented Ellipsoptera hirtilabris or Cicindelidia highlandensis (BugGuide and iNaturalist could help with this). Those species both seem to specialize in the sort of habitat bishopi loves.
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