Keeping Atractids in America

Geb Arachnia Whitney

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Hello all, through my searches, I've not found a thread dedicated to this specific subject. Is there a way to acquire these sought after spiders in the states or am I just having another pipe dream?
 

chanda

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Would I be correct to assume you mean "Atracids" (only one "t") - the Australian Funnel Web spiders? If so, then your chance of getting one in the US is slim to none. As far as I know, Australia is generally reluctant to export their native species - plus the US would probably not look too kindly on anyone attempting to import them, particularly given their reputation.

Keep in mind that the bites on these spiders can be medically serious - some species have a potentially fatal bite without proper medical intervention/antivenom - and the antivenom is not readily available in the US. It is only stocked in Australia - where the spiders actually live. Antivenom is expensive, often in short supply, and does not have a terribly long shelf life, so American hospitals are not going to start stocking it on the off chance that some random keeper might get bit. If a keeper in the US were to somehow get hold of one of these spiders - and then he (or a family member) got bit - it is unlikely the antivenom would arrive in time to save them.
 
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Geb Arachnia Whitney

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:smirk: yeah... Couldn't remember how to spell it

Thank you. It sucks that I can't do my part to save a few more spiders but I understand the cause and effect of it all. I just hope they get those fires under control soon.
 
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RezonantVoid

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Just remember depending on the species you're after its an excruciating death in as little as 15-20 minutes. While they can absolutely be kept quite risk free with enough caution, theres a good reason we dont them leave our borders
 

Geb Arachnia Whitney

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It just doesn't make sense when gaboon vipers, king cobras, sand spiders and deathstalkers are allowed but funnel webs aren't.
 

BenLeeKing

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It just doesn't make sense when gaboon vipers, king cobras, sand spiders and deathstalkers are allowed but funnel webs aren't.
Yeah, that's true. Though I'm sure there aren't any inland taipans in the US Herp hobby? (I seriously don't know anything about the herp hobby tho)
Like previously stated, the Australian exportation restrictions.
But hey, if you want something like it, just get a Macrothele
 

Geb Arachnia Whitney

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Yeah, that's true. Though I'm sure there aren't any inland taipans in the US Herp hobby? (I seriously don't know anything about the herp hobby tho)
Like previously stated, the Australian exportation restrictions.
But hey, if you want something like it, just get a Macrothele
Like I said, it's not that I want one for my own studies but to save them from the raging wildfires going on in Australia. Plus, the media keeps demonizing them so more and more arachnophobes end up killing them for no good reason.
 

RezonantVoid

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Like I said, it's not that I want one for my own studies but to save them from the raging wildfires going on in Australia. Plus, the media keeps demonizing them so more and more arachnophobes end up killing them for no good reason.
Males barely live a month after maturing so it would be virtually impossible to get a breeding pair across in time unfortunately
 

Geb Arachnia Whitney

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Males barely live a month after maturing so it would be virtually impossible to get a breeding pair across in time unfortunately
If it were theoretically possible...
Simply ship two already gravid females of different bloodlines from the same species. We could then mate the offspring and reintroduce the excess back into their native areas. Just repeat the process until you've got about 30 or so different bloodlines in the hobby. If you want to be romantic about it, get a gravid female for every chromosome of that particular species.
 

RezonantVoid

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If it were theoretically possible...
Simply ship two already gravid females of different bloodlines from the same species. We could then mate the offspring and reintroduce the excess back into their native areas. Just repeat the process until you've got about 30 or so different bloodlines in the hobby. If you want to be romantic about it, get a gravid female for every chromosome of that particular species.
Typical of my shortsightedness i didnt think of this. I have read one source stating females may reabsorb unlayed sacs if stressed or for survival but i doubt its credible and this would probably be doable for at least the more common species like Robustus, Valida and Infensa.

But that raises another question: if gravid females have been secured, is it worth the expense of sending them abroad when they can just be kept here where keepers have access to antivenom? An infuriating number of roadblock questions keep popping up
 

Geb Arachnia Whitney

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Sand spiders don't have any antivenom. There's no problem there. If you get bitten, it's likely because you weren't using the noggin and you done messed up. In that case, the gene pool corrected itself... You either get bitten for science, or stupidity, there's no grey area.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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I don't understand what is so special about the Atricidae compared to other mygales around the world. Other than their hyper defensive disposition and deadly venom, they are not all that different from any other mygale from any other part of the world as far as terrarium pets are concerned. From an evolutionary point of view, the family is fascinating, but I don't think that is why anyone would want to have one. People need to get it in their head not every animal on the planet makes for a good pet. There is no point to having an atricid in captivity other than for the novelty of having something you can't have or having something that can kill you. There are many mygale species in North America that look like an atricid, and have similar habits, so why have one that can kill you if you do something careless?
 

RezonantVoid

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I don't understand what is so special about the Atricidae compared to other mygales around the world. Other than their hyper defensive disposition and deadly venom, they are not all that different from any other mygale from any other part of the world as far as terrarium pets are concerned. From an evolutionary point of view, the family is fascinating, but I don't think that is why anyone would want to have one. People need to get it in their head not every animal on the planet makes for a good pet. There is no point to having an atricid in captivity other than for the novelty of having something you can't have or having something that can kill you. There are many mygale species in North America that look like an atricid, and have similar habits, so why have one that can kill you if you do something careless?
Have you seen how incredible their burrow entires look?

[Edit]
I ran to the garage and grabbed some photos. Top is A.Robustus and bottom is H.Versuta.
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AphonopelmaTX

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Have you seen how incredible their burrow entires look?
Sure, but I don't think a superficial reason like "they make nice burrow entrances" is justification for the exportation of a potentially dangerous exotic group of spiders to America. I'm not opposed to having Atricidae in America, just not for the pet trade. Australian spiders are so special that I think they need to stay in Australia so there is never a chance of them being exploited and that there is never a chance for some idiot to hurt or kill themselves just to have one.
 

RezonantVoid

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Sure, but I don't think a superficial reason like "they make nice burrow entrances" is justification for the exportation of a potentially dangerous exotic group of spiders to America. I'm not opposed to having Atricidae in America, just not for the pet trade. Australian spiders are so special that I think they need to stay in Australia so there is never a chance of them being exploited and that there is never a chance for some idiot to hurt or kill themselves just to have one.
I agree with all of this. While i acknowledge they can be kept safely as pets, and dont deny breeding could be done overseas, i think for the hobby's sake its probably better they stay here. The webbing point was more to say there are unique aspects to them aside from venom that makes them enjoyable to keep. What i would approve of, is large scale antivenom production facilities since for some reason we only have 1 single such place here in Aus that has to stock every hospital along the east coast with a fresh supply. That involves captive breeding in said facilities, you you're effectively saving both the species and people's lives :)

I guess you can just look at them as the forbidden fruit of hobby. Damn pretty to look at, but out of reach for your good

H.Formidabilis
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