Friendly chacos, docile as rocks.. ?

Morr

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
46
Hello,
I recently got a sub-adult Grammostola Aureostriata, a Chaco Golden Knee. One of the prime reasons behind my getting one, was their reputed calmness, as my geniculata swiftly crushed any dreams I might have had about one day holding her.
Anyway, I keep her in a quite big petpal, with a substrate consisting of ~70% peat, and 30% vermiculite. Perhaps I need to raise the substrate level, though, as she seems determined to live her life as an arboreal. I've had her for two weeks now, and when she's not eating, she sits as high up on the walls as she can possibly get.
From the start, she seemed a little.. not so calm. Zoophobas, as big as they get, she wolfed down as many as I tossed in, every day. Even my 6" genic does not react as violently to food as this spider does. Lightning fast she strikes, whitout hesitating even once... which made me jokingly call her "Haplo", for a while.

Today, I noticed her sitting on the ground for a change, and decided to try handling her. I put on a winter jacket, and the thickest pair of gloves I could find, and put the petpal on a pile of pillows, on the floor. Having heard the best way to go about this was gently stroking them with a paint brush, to get them to walk up on you hand, I got the longest pencil I could find.
I started with knocking a little on the walls, on her cork bark hide, which she's NEVER been inside, and then on the ground, to let her know I was there. Taking care not to breath on her, I then quietly and carefully stroked the hairs on her hind legs... and WHAM! - she turned around, lightning fast, with fangs up and ready, front legs up above her head. Half a second later, before I had time to react, I hear the distinct clicking of her fangs hitting the pencil. She got so agitaded, I thought she'd fall backwards from her threat posture.
Afterwards, she kept that posture for 10 minutes, before climbing the wall, to take her place on the wall again.

Heh, at least my ½ inch versicolor hasn't shown any aggression. But I'll bet she'll be the first hissing avic the world has ever seen.

Anyways, I have a tendancy to write long posts, but I'll make up for that with five pictures. Meet Angry, my Chaco:
 

Morr

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
46
This was actually taken several minutes after she bit that pen, so she's a little calmer here:
 

TheDon

ArachnoDon
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 19, 2003
Messages
836
Ya I would raise the substrate for her safety. If she were to fall from that height she may split her abdomen. And especially if she thinks shes an aboreal like my A. Seemani who also thinks that she is an aboreal. I raised the subtrate to about 3" from the top and now she doesnt bother. Nice pics, and unfortunately i cant tell you if she is a she or a he.


peace

TheDon
 

dennis

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 2, 2003
Messages
770
As far as my sexing capabilities go, I'd say it's a female...

And about it being angry, the 'docility' of each genus, or species is just a guideline, most of them will be calm and docile, but some aren't. Same with rosea's, they are recommended as beginners species for their docile nature, but some of them have the attitude of a P. murinus...

Dennis
 

invertepet

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
608
You know, normally I'd chalk this up to individual temperament (some 'docile' species can be aggro and vice versa), but I get the feeling your Chaco is very unhappy. I'd change the substrate from that peat or soil with pearlite mix to straight vermiculite with a little peat mixed in. Try pressing the water 'dish' down so it's more easily accessed and you may even want to try to change enclosures. Normally I'd say that Kritter Keeper style box would be fine for a G. aureostriata, but you may want to look into a more shallow container in this case.

Temp? Humidity?

bill
 

Vys

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
1,571
Can perlite even be used with T's?
Anyway, do some T's prefer vermiculite to peat?
 

RugbyDave

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 5, 2003
Messages
1,428
I agree with Bill, although I'd probably move to a 40%verm, 40%peat, 20% soil/ecoearth/whatever, though ;)

otherwise his words are golden!


also, you have to keep in mind that even the reputed 'docile' species have their unique little angry Ts! Each T is very very different... you know the story, right?

peace/har det bra!
dave
 

Vys

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
1,571
Soil without fertilizer or other not-so-invert-friendly stuff is not so easily found in Sweden, or so it seems.

And I take it perlite is indeed golden for T's then.
 

Morr

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 17, 2002
Messages
46
Thanks for the replies.

Of course I realise that temperament depends greatly on the individual T, but still I find her being THIS angry a little unsettling. Oh well, perhaps she is unhappy.

About the waterdish, yeah, perhaps it's too high.. but I don't think so, it's edge is only about 1½-2cm higher than the substrate. Seeing how adept she is at climbing, I don't think she'd have a problem, especially after seeing my genic's.. aherm, no so gracious drinking, a while back. I'll try and press it down a bit more though.

About the temperament/humidity.. after having read all the care sheets I could find, I keep her on dry substrate, with the large shallow waterdish for water. I've seen lots of people recommend 30-50% vermiculite, the rest peat, so I tried it, and my genic loves it. I guess I could try with more vermiculite, but the Chaco has recently webbed the ground, which I thought meant she's s tarted feeling at home.. and, throw in a crick or whatever, and she's down on the ground in a heartbeat.
I'll porbably raise the substrate, to at least double the ammount I have now, or change enclosure, to a much shallower one.

Regarding the temperature, well, it's always between 22 and 26 Celsius.

Anyways, thanks for the advice.
 

RugbyDave

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 5, 2003
Messages
1,428
hey there

you'd be surprised at how aggressive or defensive some "docile" species can be!

use the search button on the top of the page to look for some threads about really really nasty G.roseas :)

i'll handle my H.gigas before i'll go anywhere NEAR my rosea (and I have =D )

good luck with the new T! Looks great!

hej hej
dave
 
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