Our first T! Hopefully not last ;) (sorry for length!)

Phases

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
205
Hey all! I just joined because, well, we have a new T and I am a life-online person. My occupation in fact is that of a Forum/Server Administrator and Community Manager, a couple places. So, naturally finding a forum was a top priority when we got her, for me. This one looks nice, I have found a couple answers here, seems pretty active, and is on XF so, here I am!

Say hello to our first, and hopefully not our last, girl. I was extremely lucky to get this one and I love and thank my wife for caving and agreeing to it, and if it IS my last, well, could be worse. That said, the wife is coming around to them not being so bad.

So, this is our C. Versicolor - Bonnie. We got her maybe a week ago. She was in an 8 x 8 x 12 enclosure which, seems okay, but after research we decided to up to a 12 x 12 x 18. I'd like a little bigger but, I'm unsure who and what yet to trust on that, on what is best, and this is okay for now.

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She's just getting settled in. It took her a couple days to build her hammock that you'll see pictured. In her last enclosure, which we had bought her in a week ago, she had a burrow with two entrances.

I am unsure if she will put a top on this one. As far as I know, she has not gone down at all. I was hoping she'd make her burrow just under there, in that cluster of branches, to ensure I could open the lid. We'll see. Btw all that wood was from my yard and grilled in foil at 350 for 20 minutes. I don't like the "trunk", going to put something else there. Leaves are from fake plants.

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I have a lot of questions, but probably not ones that really could be answered. Maybe just spark discussion to help me think.

- Might she molt again? Her legs seem a little dull compared to some pictures, and her toes are NOT pink. They are more golden.

- Measuring DLS, with her standing still but fairly strectched, (see pic of her on arm, over blue pants) she comes in at 4.5". So I'm calling it 5 inches. Seem fair? If so, I suppose she's got another inch she could grow?

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- The substrate was damp after I added the water and mixed it to bring it from brick to what it is. It's been damp and cold ever since. I think she might hate that. I'm going to mix/fluff it a few times a day, maybe put a small breeze on it, to dry it out a little bit. Bad idea?

- Is it okay to sort of discourage or encourage where to and not to web? She had it on the front door originally too, i snipped it off and cleaned it, and she titied up her web appropriately.

- I fed her five crickets the day prior to her move. That was four days ago. All I have now are Super Worms which I've never tried to feed her, but she has no interest as of today. I understand even normally she wouldn't, as at this point she may only eat one time a week, or every couple. But, I did try just to see if I could get some 'i'm happy' re-enforcement. Dunno if she just isn't in the mood cuz her burrow isn't complete, if she doesn't like SWs, or if its just way too early.

- She tends to do nothing when I am here. Is that normal, or because I'm here during her rest period during the days?

- Lights! I know this is a debate. I was told blue and red they cannot see. I got a blue LED to put over her and its nice but, when *I* look at it, jesus it is bright, and she can't look away or close her eyes. Do we have a consensus here on whether they see anything, or if it is damaging?

- She did give me a love bite while holding her, once. I didn't get the hairs, the poop, the thumping of the butt, none of that first. She just slowly opened her fangs. I was like what are you doing buddy. Then she slowly moved them down to my skin. I said, Bonnie, why friend, why? Then, she started to squeeze. Left a couple marks but didn't really break the skin. I kinda shook her onto my chair, picked her back up. Fangs exposed but 4 legs on each hand, so she was like, spanning the two, and took her and put her up. Heh, so I learned sometimes they have moods and don't want to come out. I am very gentle with her, and learning her signs is all. I could tell, for example, during these 3 days in her new cage, she did NOT want to come out. In fact today is the first she seemed eager to come say hi. So, I held her a while. :)

P.S. I did have a rose hair and stripe knee as a teen, but I don't remember much. 20 years ago.

Anyway. HI! Wow that got long.
 
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cold blood

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Wow...you should have seperated that novel in to chapters:confused:

Ok...wood from the yard is a poor idea, especially considering any neighbor spraying anything will be on it....if thats not bad enough, it will probably become a beacon for mold....you can get outside wood, but you need to get it from away from houses and know what to avoid and what to collect...90% is unusable....driftwood is my personal preference.

It seems otherwise well set up....but the substrate should be kept predominantly dry....too much moisture will eventually kill it. The sub should be tamped down, not fluffed....bit this species will rarely set foot on the ground.

You need to feed it less and less often....one or two crickets every 7-14 days is sufficient. Superworms are fine, too...just crush their heads (or they will burrow) and leave them on the webbing...generally they will make a platform or you can leave it at the burrow entrance.

Its pretty much full grown amd wont get much bigger, but it will continue to molt...probably yearly.

Handling is going to be discouraged by most experienced keepers...its a hazard for the t...nothing positive can result for it, only bad things can happen. Most of us cringe just seeing handling pics...think of them like fish...for observation only.


That thumping of the butt is a defensive maneuver, its pressing urticating hairs onto you.

I see the hygrometer in there....get rid of it...not only is it not accurrate, but measuring humidity is totally unnecessary and pointless....ignore literally everything you have read on care sheets, its all crap...this is your best source for info...@viper69 and myself have pages and pages of great info on avics and their cousins...soak it all in.

Versicolor also doesnt have pink "toes".

Light isnt something they need...but it wont hurt, although bright or warming lights should be avoided.

Good luck with the new beauty.
 

Phases

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
205
Thanks! Well, I can't gurantee anything with this wood, the limbs are from my trees. I used an organic spray on one tree last year. We have an acre lot btw The firewood is from who knows where. I cooked them both, was told that would kill off stuff, but the possible (organic) pesticides could be bad?

I could start over with store bought stuff, but the double move upset her? I might can swap much of it out without disturbing her web.

The fluffing of the sub is just to help dry it out faster, I will tamp it back down thank you. I'll prob leave the meter in there just to alert me of extreme highs or lows.. but I wouldn't mind removing it.
 
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JoshDM020

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 24, 2017
Messages
358
More on handling: you were right about moods. But its not just day to day changes. The way a tarantula acts can change literally with a breath. Breathe on it, and anything could happen. It could bite, it could run, it could fall and die if up too high. You could do absolutely nothing to freak it out and it could still freak out just because it feels like it. They respond to things as one of two things. "Food" or "threat". "Friend" is not an option with these guys. If it DOES run you now have a large venomous spider loose in a house that has other people in it. To an adult, this species wouldnt be too bad, most of the time. To a small child or a cat/dog, the effects could be worse. Just some things to consider. If you DO handle, do it in a room it cant get out of if it runs off of your hands, and handle it on a bed or close to the floor so it doesnt get hurt if/when it falls. I hope none of this comes off as aggressive, its just a serious risk to the tarantula and anyone in the house.
Edit: organic pesticides are still pesticides. Designed to kill bugs.
 

Phases

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
205
Alright so I'm in agreeance with the wood. I'll cave and go look at store bought wood products in a couple hours, and replace. I think I can do it, actually, without disturbing her web very much. So I think I will try that first, cuz those fake leaves can be detached from the wood. I'll just have to hope they can reattach nicely to whatever I get her. Most her webbing, though, is on the sides and leaves at the top that wouldn't be bothered.

If it goes all south, I'll clean out her webbing too. :( But, I agree.

As for the handling. I will probably handle her 10-20 minutes a day or every few days. I like to pretend she likes me ;). I stay low to ground and take precautions. I won't talk about it. ;) I'm sure as the excitement of having her dies down, so will that. We've handled her out 3 times since we got her. 2x before her move, and once today. I didn't want her first time out with us to be relanted to demolishing her home heh. I'm sure I'm thinking too much into her instinctual mind.
 

darkness975

dream reaper
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Aug 31, 2012
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I didn't want her first time out with us to be relanted to demolishing her home
They don't have the capacity to think like this.

+1 to replacing the wood with safer wood from the store. Also, though you did not say you would do this, I just want to say don't use feeders from outside. They could have pesticides, parasites, etc. that could be transferred to the Spider.
 

mconnachan

Arachnoprince
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Aug 5, 2012
Messages
1,246
Thanks! Well, I can't gurantee anything with this wood, the limbs are from my trees. I used an organic spray on one tree last year. We have an acre lot btw The firewood is from who knows where. I cooked them both, was told that would kill off stuff, but the possible (organic) pesticides could be bad?

I could start over with store bought stuff, but the double move upset her? I might can swap much of it out without disturbing her web.

The fluffing of the sub is just to help dry it out faster, I will tamp it back down thank you. I'll prob leave the meter in there just to alert me of extreme highs or lows.. but I wouldn't mind removing it.
Best to change what needs changing now before she gets settled, then once you've replaced the substrate and the wood everything should go well, congratulations on your first T, many more will follow, enjoy your 8 legged wonder.
 

Walker253

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
556
C. versicolor is like fine art. Look and don't touch. You'd hate for that surprise where she jumps and ruptures an abdomen. Pricey mistake. As far as a bite, even as a previous poster claimed, the venom is low and unless there is an allergy, it's not much more than a bee sting, even in a child or a cat. This isn't a Pokie.
Dump the wood, get cork bark. Long pieces that go high. Don't worry about disturbing the web. She'll make more.
She'll molt again, but she's mature so it's much less often than when she's growing. Like @cold blood said, you don't have to feed that much. You can pack her full, but she'll quit eating at some point.
As far as lights, nothing needed. I keep a red flashlight to sneak down and look at my T's at night. You won't see her move much during the day because they are primarily nocturnal and are active during dark hours.
 

Phases

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
205
OK replaced wood and and got more fake plants. Went to several stores and got our favorites and came back to mix and match. Didn't end up using the cork but, we do have it available if we're feeling the urge to swap out.

Here is what we came up with. Hope it's not too crowded, or doesn't encourage enough up high living. (her last cage her burrow was on growd), and also hope it doesn't encourage webbing on the front door. I'll monitor. We were able to keep from destroying her hammock. For better or worse.. Dried out substrate btw then tamped it down when in.

Long day! :)

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Phases

Arachnoknight
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Jun 1, 2017
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205
She has done minor repair work on supports for her hammock so, looks like we're in good shape :) I had wondered if they recognize their own webbing or if its more like the environment around it. Though, she'd not traveled down that we knew of so shouldn't be any harm.

I guess I wondered if she'd reject the hammock wondering if it was another spiders but, nope she scooched right up into her little spot and did her thing. It may have helped that I put her right on it.
 

TarantulaArvind

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 10, 2016
Messages
32
First of all, welcome to the boards!!! :happy:

That's a very nice enclosure you've got there arranged.. Although those decorations are for aesthetic purpose, it nevertheless provides the versi a lot of anchor points to use for webbing..

Although this is an arboreal species, I feel maybe u can add a little bit more of substrate. Maybe uve done it right, jus my eyes deceiving me..

Reg. handling.. It's not advised to handle your Ts. Although we can form an emotional connection with these, but they can't form an emotional bond with us.. Their instincts are only flight /fight, food, reproduce.. Even if it tries to move on you, you're jus an extension of the ground it's standing on... Suddenly if it changes its mind and feels you're a predator, it's going to attack you, or worse, try to escape and fall in the process.

As for the handling. I will probably handle her 10-20 minutes a day or every few days. I like to pretend she likes me ;). I stay low to ground and take precautions. I won't talk about it. ;) I'm sure as the excitement of having her dies down, so will that. We've handled her out 3 times since we got her. 2x before her move, and once today. I didn't want her first time out with us to be relanted to demolishing her home heh.
Even if you do want to handle it until ur excitement wears off, I feel 20 minutes handling her on a daily basis is going to stress her out badly.. Make it minimal time and at ground level... (plz don't feel we're being condescending or anything, we jus wish safety for you and your T. We know you wish well for your versi ).

Welcome to the boards!! Learn everything from here.. This is the best place to be.. And wish you more Tarantulas in future...;):)
 
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Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
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Jan 15, 2017
Messages
675
Nice new T you got there! She's a beauty, for sure:)

Well, if she's not your last T, you'll definitely be interested in spending less energy on their enclosures the more you get. After a while, it's like "Eh, this tub will do just fine for my 56th T."

Spiders have some really interesting behaviors, but are also experts at doing absolutely nothing. You'll find that out real quick, too;)

One other thing: Tarantulas have very poor eyesight. They sense their world through chemistry, touch, and vibration. Handling a T is like handling Helen Keller.
 

cold blood

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Hope it's not too crowded, or doesn't encourage enough up high living.
They love clutter, it looks great. But up high is where it will naturally want to be, and it should be something you plan for. You see a lot of people who don't put enough or high enough cover and the t just ignores everything and webs the top corner.
 

Phases

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
205
Thanks (almost) everyone for their replies! She's attaching to the top stuff, hoping she heads downward a little with her webbing. She's working on it now, but yah top corner for her. :)

I have 2 inches of sub currently. I can certainly add more! In case she falls?

Handling will go down as the excitement wears. In fact haven't but once since the move. I find it difficult using front door and she's webbed onto the screen now.

So I must have posted something or somehow to someone's distaste. I'd ask but, I learned a long time ago there's one on every site and you generally can't please them all.

So yah she's webbing now. I'd like to go watch but I'm afraid shed stop if I go in (if she's not already from my peeking at her.. sun coming up and all anyway). I'd like her to get "done" asap so she feels less vulnerable.
 

Phases

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
205
Can someone help educate me, I'm looking around online but would rather a live person explain. I see these (I think these?) referred to as avic, versicolor, etc. Is it both?

The label when bought simply said "Antilles Pink Toe" and I've gone from there to conclude it is a C. Versicolor. Is "Avic" the A. Versicolor - which they were maybe originally the same thing before the re-class that broke a few out, that I have read about?

I was surprised to see no pink "toes" on this one - more like light bronze or dark gold.
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
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Can someone help educate me, I'm looking around online but would rather a live person explain. I see these (I think these?) referred to as avic, versicolor, etc. Is it both?

The label when bought simply said "Antilles Pink Toe" and I've gone from there to conclude it is a C. Versicolor. Is "Avic" the A. Versicolor - which they were maybe originally the same thing before the re-class that broke a few out, that I have read about?
Caribena versicolor was known as Avicularia versicolor until March 2017. It was transferred to a new genus.


I was surprised to see no pink "toes" on this one - more like light bronze or dark gold.
While people sometimes refer to any Avicularia as a "pinktoe," many species don't actually have pink feet. It's just one of the many demonstrations of how scientific names are more precise and less ambiguous.
 

Venom1080

Arachnoemperor
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Sep 24, 2015
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4,583
Can someone help educate me, I'm looking around online but would rather a live person explain. I see these (I think these?) referred to as avic, versicolor, etc. Is it both?

The label when bought simply said "Antilles Pink Toe" and I've gone from there to conclude it is a C. Versicolor. Is "Avic" the A. Versicolor - which they were maybe originally the same thing before the re-class that broke a few out, that I have read about?

I was surprised to see no pink "toes" on this one - more like light bronze or dark gold.
It's best to ignore common names. There's multiple and no set one for each species.
Your spider was called Avicularia versicolor. A versicolor or Avic versicolor for short. It has since been reclassified as Carbeina versicolor.
Nothing against you, I just really don't agree with handling. Especially when the genus has a tendency to jump.
 

Phases

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
205
Thanks :)

P.s. we're very slow, careful, and don't handle long. Mostly just new excitement anyway. Not sure that's a reason to dislike a whole post from a new member, not super welcoming, but I hear ya!
 
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