Successful tarantula hunting trip

Texas Blonde

Arachnoangel
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I figured Id make a new thread so I could keep the pictures of the different days separate. Today I had alot more luck than yesterday. I went to a new area, Ive seen burrows there before, but always from horseback when I cant check them out. Ive never gone there before, because there are a high number of ant nests, and I cant stand ants. (Ill talk more about that later.)

The first burrow I came across provided a cute little Carlsbad Green. I tried for a bit to tickle her out, but it was no use. I ended up having to scare her out from behind using my tongs. When the ground it wet its pretty easy to slide the tongs through the dirt into the burrow behind the tarantula. Then all you have to do is push the T upwards a bit and they usually run right out. I didnt have a quarter today, so the gold coin I put next to the burrow to show size is a .50 cent Euro piece.




This second burrow produced a pretty large, and very beautiful spider. I had expected a wolf spider to come out, and was all prepaired to try and chase it down for Jared. It was quite a relief when it was just a tarantula.




I dont have a picture of this spiders burrow, as I didnt expect to find any animals living in it. The burrow had no webbing on the top, and was in between two large ant nest, but it was obviously a tarantula burrow so I decided to give it a shot. The tarantula that came out was the prettiest of the day. I believe its an Aphonopelma stiendachneri, as they can be found in this area as well.



This last burrow was to big to resist, despite the fact that I was out of containers. Im glad I flushed the spider out, because shes simply a beast. I ended up just putting her in my camera bag until I could get to the truck for a cup. In the one pic you can see the air bubbles that are formed on the spider when it is submerged in water.




 

Texas Blonde

Arachnoangel
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Habitat Pictures

Here are some pictures of the habitat I was in today. Its not much different than most of the area, except the grass is shorter and sparser despite the rain. There are also more cacti in this area than anywhere else.

Our topsoil is very sandy, so even when the ground is rocky, its easy for the spiders to dig deep burrows. This area was a big rocker than most, but the soil also seemed sandier, with less clay mixed in. All in all it seemed be easy digging for the spiders.









 

GQ.

Arachnodemon
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That's it. I'm hitting the field. Heheh. Amazing photos. You've inspired me to get off my rear and go take some photographs of my own. Thanks again. :)
 

Texas Blonde

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Plants

Like I said before, this area had some great cacti. I came across this gorgeous "horse crippler" on my way back to the truck with the spiders. Ive never seen one with such bright red thorns before.





More cacti. Hopefully Graham will come along and tell us what kind, lol.
 

Texas Blonde

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This area has more ants than I have ever seen. I was constantly having to watch where I stepped so that squash any, or fall into one of the large nests. I dont know what species they were, but most of them were just the large red kind. There were also alot of big black ones. {D







This was the only ant I saw that I thought was cool. It was twice as large as any of the others, and seemed to be running around alone. I saw it check out two different holes, running down them then back out.





The ants bring me to my blonde moment of the trip. I was standing next to this small bush waiting on this dragonfly to land, when I noticed that there were big black ants crawling up my legs. So I freaked out and ran screaming to the truck. Right as I was going to run between to mesquite bushes, I noticed there was a web with a large black spider in my way. I saw the web right before I hit it, and started screaming again as I tried to backpedal and avoid the spider. Thankfully, the spider must have heard me coming, because it was already hightailing it into the mesquite leaves as I destroyed its web. My backpedaling served no purpose but to land me ass first in a large clump of buffalo grass.

Now, here are the pictures of the large black spider.
















 

Texas Blonde

Arachnoangel
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The only herp I saw today was this box turtle, I think the rain must have flushed him out. He was crossing one of the kaliche ranch roads and I saw him just in time to miss him with my truck.













 

Canth

Arachnolord
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Really successful trip! I laughed at the suspected wolf spider part and at your blonde moment. That beautiful spider looks like an Argiope aurantia.
 
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padkison

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The Argiope will make a nice web in your flower gardens and are great fun to feed. Snag her next time and drop her in your garden. You will have a web by the next day.
 

Crotalus

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Great shots! That black spider is gorgeous!

The first cacti might be Ferocactus sp.
The second cacti picture is Opuntia sp.
 

dtknow

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The last spider you flushed out, if it was a she....could she have been guarding an eggsac?(note small abdomen)
 

Texas Blonde

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The last spider you flushed out, if it was a she....could she have been guarding an eggsac?(note small abdomen)
In my experience they generally wont come out if they are guarding an eggsac. It did occur to me, so I dug out the burrow, but there was nothing. I find them with small abdomens like that fairly often. We have had a very rainy year so maybe just has just been shut up in her burrow hiding from the rain for too long.



Oh, I forgot to add in my first post. Every burrow I found was located on the east side of a clump of grass or bush. Pretty interesting.
 

dtknow

Arachnoking
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Interesting! I have a female who is guarding an eggsac in captivity and if I sit down in front of her sweaterbox she will soon come out to investigate, and if I stay still then go back down into her hide.
 

Gsc

Arachnobaron
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Nice Skye! Looks like you had alot of luck!
 
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