Looking to house a orbweaver. Don't know where to start.

Socfroggy

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Jan 22, 2017
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Hey guys I'm looking to get some sort of orbweaver as my second spider (my first is a Phidippus Regius). I'm not really sure what kinds their are but I know there's a giant one. I'm looking for a small one that I can keep in an enclosure cheaply bought online or elsewhere. What are some good options and what's the best thing to keep them in?
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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Jun 27, 2010
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I like to use the large/extra-large butterfly pop-up cages to house small orbweavers. They're lightweight, easy to store when not in use, and provide plenty of ventilation for the spider. Add a few long sticks to provide anchor points for webbing, leaving the center of the cage clear for the actual web, and you're good to go.

I've kept Argiope trifasciata and Argiope argentata successfully. The are a little harder to feed than some spiders - mine didn't seem to like crickets, plus the dang things would kick holes in their webs, trying to get free. They did much better with flies and small moths. I've also tried Araneus and Eriophora species, but they were used to making much larger webs out in the open. They refused to web in captivity so I released them.
 

Socfroggy

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Jan 22, 2017
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I like to use the large/extra-large butterfly pop-up cages to house small orbweavers. They're lightweight, easy to store when not in use, and provide plenty of ventilation for the spider. Add a few long sticks to provide anchor points for webbing, leaving the center of the cage clear for the actual web, and you're good to go.

I've kept Argiope trifasciata and Argiope argentata successfully. The are a little harder to feed than some spiders - mine didn't seem to like crickets, plus the dang things would kick holes in their webs, trying to get free. They did much better with flies and small moths. I've also tried Araneus and Eriophora species, but they were used to making much larger webs out in the open. They refused to web in captivity so I released them.
I don't have a lot of fly's where I'm at right now. Not really sure where to look either. Did you test to see if they like mealworms?
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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I don't have a lot of fly's where I'm at right now. Not really sure where to look either. Did you test to see if they like mealworms?
No, I don't keep mealworms, so I never tried them. I mostly just left my porch light on at night and caught moths for them, supplemented with the occasional fly that wandered in when somebody left the door open.

One thing I noticed with the Argiope was that they didn't really repair their webs very well in captivity. The webs would get pretty ratty, with big holes and gaps, to the point that the moths could just fly right through. When that happened, I'd just go in and clean out the whole web by hand - then the spider would make a new one.
 

Nephila Edulis

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Feb 27, 2017
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you can make a spider frame to house most orb weavers. And with a spider frame you can keep them as free range pets as long as you cover the frame when the spider is most active and not on its web. As for giant orb weavers their webs are too large to be kept in most homes and the majority of giant orb weavers (including the largest) live on the east ciast of australia. And they'll eat just about anything that gets caught in the web. You can use mealworms and roaches just fine as long as you assist the process by tangling them in the web with forceps.
 

Socfroggy

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Jan 22, 2017
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you can make a spider frame to house most orb weavers. And with a spider frame you can keep them as free range pets as long as you cover the frame when the spider is most active and not on its web. As for giant orb weavers their webs are too large to be kept in most homes and the majority of giant orb weavers (including the largest) live on the east ciast of australia. And they'll eat just about anything that gets caught in the web. You can use mealworms and roaches just fine as long as you assist the process by tangling them in the web with forceps.
Is there a guide to making a spider frame for a small orbweaver?
 

Nephila Edulis

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Is there a guide to making a spider frame for a small orbweaver?
First you need four pieces of straight wood that are 2cm or thicker in diameter, the spider will make its web between these. You're gonna want to drill holes in a base to set the four pieces of wood into in a diamond shape. Then let your spider create its web as it wants. This can be a free range enclosure (as long as it's enclosed with mesh or glass/plastic at the time of day that the spider might be looking for a new place to make a web) or you can have it permanently enclosed. You might want to change the size for different sized individuals of different ages or species
 

Nephila Edulis

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But for a giant orb weaver (like nephila edulis) you'd need a spider frame several metres across so I'd stick with the garden variety orb weaver
 

Socfroggy

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Jan 22, 2017
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First you need four pieces of straight wood that are 2cm or thicker in diameter, the spider will make its web between these. You're gonna want to drill holes in a base to set the four pieces of wood into in a diamond shape. Then let your spider create its web as it wants. This can be a free range enclosure (as long as it's enclosed with mesh or glass/plastic at the time of day that the spider might be looking for a new place to make a web) or you can have it permanently enclosed. You might want to change the size for different sized individuals of different ages or species
Thank you! It's a shame they do better with free-range frames as opposed to an enclosure.
 

Nephila Edulis

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Thank you! It's a shame they do better with free-range frames as opposed to an enclosure.
You can keep smaller spiders in enclosures as long a spider there's at least two places to anchor the web. A hatchling may only need a 5-8cm spider frame with two twigs surrounded by a glass or plastic jar. Hope this helps!
 

Socfroggy

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Jan 22, 2017
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297
You can keep smaller spiders in enclosures as long a spider there's at least two places to anchor the web. A hatchling may only need a 5-8cm spider frame with two twigs surrounded by a glass or plastic jar. Hope this helps!
It does, thank you!
 

darkness975

Latrodectus
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I've also tried Araneus and Eriophora species, but they were used to making much larger webs out in the open. They refused to web in captivity so I released them.
I accidentally managed to sucesfully get Araneus diadematus and Araneus cavaticus to web in captivity. This is the story:

When I was young I used to collect all kinds of invertebrates. Before I knew how to keep them alive I would just throw them in a tank with some leaves and sticks. Naturally everything would die. One day I captured (not sure how because of how terrified of them I was at the time) a bunch of Araneus diadematus & Araneus cavaticus. We had tons of them around the house I lived in. I had an empty 29 gallon tank that I used to use for all these activities. I threw them all in there, though not really expecting anything to become of it.

Well, lo and behold the following morning the whole lot of them had built webs right next to one another. They were so close to each other I am amazed they did not eat one another. The spiders all set up their hide retreats in the lid of the tank (standard flip up fish tank lid). The webs were all in a perfect line and they spanned the width of the tank.

The trick with orb weavers it seems is that you need to give them a ton more room than you would think they would need given the size of the spider.
 
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