Tarantula Hunting in Arizona

Ktbuesa

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Ok, so a few of you may have read my post in photo Id thread.
I live in northern Arizona and right now till Halloween is the annual tarantula mating season. I've seen so many just walking around it's crazy. Well I'm interested in finding a female but all I'm seeing are males. When is the best time to hunt for tarantulas? I know females burrow but I've also heard that nighttime they all come out and walk around looking for bugs to eat. If I grabbed a flashlight and hunted tonight what are my chances of finding a female?
 

Venom1080

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they usually dont leave their burrows at all. you have to look very carefully for a hole with feet at the entrance. best time is def night.
 

Ktbuesa

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they usually dont leave their burrows at all. you have to look very carefully for a hole with feet at the entrance. best time is def night.
Ok, sounds good. I've already walked around the majority of my property today looking but haven't seen anything but males.
 

cold blood

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You won't find females just walking around in the open like those MMs. You need to be looking for completely different things. You need to look for signs of a burrow, and while some are obvious, a lot aren't.
 

viper69

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If I grabbed a flashlight and hunted tonight what are my chances of finding a female?
No one can tell you that.

I wouldn't take a female from the wild, especially during breeding season for many reasons. It's estimated that only a few tarantulas from a given egg sac make it to adulthood.

If you want a native species go out and buy a captive born one rather than reducing the chances of this species surviving on its own by collecting a wild-caught specimen.

Would you like to be picked up by some giant stranger, removed from your home and everything you know? If not, then why do it to another animal, because you can?

You should leave them alone, or observe in the wild. That is of course if you care about the animals you seem interested in.
 

Ktbuesa

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You won't find females just walking around in the open like those MMs. You need to be looking for completely different things. You need to look for signs of a burrow, and while some are obvious, a lot aren't.
Oh I know. I've read that the males are the ones walking and females burrow. Do they burrow in the open or more under some cover?
 

Jeff23

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No one can tell you that.

I wouldn't take a female from the wild, especially during breeding season for many reasons. It's estimated that only a few tarantulas from a given egg sac make it to adulthood.

If you want a native species go out and buy a captive born one rather than reducing the chances of this species surviving on its own by collecting a wild-caught specimen.

Would you like to be picked up by some giant stranger, removed from your home and everything you know? If not, then why do it to another animal, because you can?

You should leave them alone, or observe in the wild. That is of course if you care about the animals you seem interested in.
I agree with this. Wild caught is not the T to obtain. Get a T from a breeder if you are seeing ones that are common in the market. Otherwise at least wait until the egg sac has been produced and plan to get some slings instead.
 

viper69

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Otherwise at least wait until the egg sac has been produced and plan to get some slings instead.
This is not a great idea either. Every little T counts with such a low survival rate.
 

Jeff23

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This is not a great idea either. Every little T counts with such a low survival rate.
If you own the property you can create an environment that promotes a higher T survival rate to offset a few slings (assuming you find nest(s) where you can reduce the T enemies around it, expand hide locations, provide a little extra food opportunities for them). If it is public lands your ability to do much to help them would be more limited.

But once again, for me it would only be something to consider for slings of T's that are not common to the hobby where having them in the hobby would help promote conservation of the species (assuming you are able to identify it properly as well). For example, here in the US there are a lot of different Aphonopelma, but only a few are in the hobby. The environment of many of them is constantly under duress due to construction expansions. Obtaining Hentzi T's and chalcodes T's from the wild is not desirable since there are loads of them available from breeders.
 

viper69

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If you own the property you can create an environment that promotes a higher T survival rate to offset a few slings (assuming you find nest(s) where you can reduce the T enemies around it, expand hide locations, provide a little extra food opportunities for them). If it is public lands your ability to do much to help them would be more limited.

But once again, for me it would only be something to consider for slings of T's that are not common to the hobby where having them in the hobby would help promote conservation of the species (assuming you are able to identify it properly as well). For example, here in the US there are a lot of different Aphonopelma, but only a few are in the hobby. The environment of many of them is constantly under duress due to construction expansions. Obtaining Hentzi T's and chalcodes T's from the wild is not desirable since there are loads of them available from breeders.
How would one create more food opportunities for this species, without creating issues for other species once the balance of nature was upset?
 

Jeff23

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How would one create more food opportunities for this species, without creating issues for other species once the balance of nature was upset?
When people put insecticide in their backyards to kill the ants and pests in their gardens they upset nature. When people destroy that wasp nest on their front porch they upset nature. When a new home is built in a plot where a home doesn't exist it upsets nature. When a tree gets chopped down without another one planted to replace it nature is upset. So throwing a few crickets into known T hides will obviously upset nature as well, but certainly not more than everything we do everyday to kill the daily nuisances and obstacles in our lives. So we can be as anal about this protection of nature as we wish, but at some point our tolerance reaches a peak where we pass a threshold into the dark side for something of some sort that we desire.
 

viper69

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But we aren't building homes or any of the other things you mentioned, those are false equivalencies IMO haha. We are talking about an established plot of land. So you are saying make some T hides and every so often throw in some pinheads for the slings?
 

Jeff23

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But we aren't building homes or any of the other things you mentioned, those are false equivalencies IMO haha. We are talking about an established plot of land. So you are saying make some T hides and every so often throw in some pinheads for the slings?
Not really. You switched it to nature with the comment below. So I was speaking in general of all the things people do to disrupt nature everyday and most people don't care.

How would one create more food opportunities for this species, without creating issues for other species once the balance of nature was upset?
It will create an imbalance just like the idea of killing the yellow jacket nest that is under your walking path or the hornet nest in the bushes, etc etc etc. Everything we do to the environment creates an imbalance of some sort. And if I did have T's in my backyard I would be biased for them and against their enemies. But you may mean biased for a particular T species instead. If so, I would not be biased for a particular T species if I wanted to provide them some extra food to help them thrive. If I owned property that had multiple T species I would try to help all of them to some extent so that I could have as many interesting T's in the wild to watch as possible.
 

viper69

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Not really. You switched it to nature with the comment below. So I was speaking in general of all the things people do to disrupt nature everyday and most people don't care.



It will create an imbalance just like the idea of killing the yellow jacket nest that is under your walking path or the hornet nest in the bushes, etc etc etc. Everything we do to the environment creates an imbalance of some sort. And if I did have T's in my backyard I would be biased for them and against their enemies. But you may mean biased for a particular T species instead. If so, I would not be biased for a particular T species if I wanted to provide them some extra food to help them thrive. If I owned property that had multiple T species I would try to help all of them to some extent so that I could have as many interesting T's in the wild to watch as possible.

I think I may not have been more specific enough in my responses.

I'll try again! ;)

I read this from you below

If you own the property you can create an environment that promotes a higher T survival rate to offset a few slings (assuming you find nest(s) where you can reduce the T enemies around it, expand hide locations, provide a little extra food opportunities for them)
So I thought if one reduces enemies on your property (we aren't building homes on it ;) ) doesn't that shift the balance in nature. By nature I MEANT in the context of owning a plot of land behind my house where nothing is done to it. I'm not spraying for ants, bees etc etc. It's simply a plot of land with Ts on it. I'm not speaking about what society does as you mentioned, just my little corner of the planet.
 

Jeff23

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I think I may not have been more specific enough in my responses.

I'll try again! ;)

I read this from you below



So I thought if one reduces enemies on your property (we aren't building homes on it ;) ) doesn't that shift the balance in nature. By nature I MEANT in the context of owning a plot of land behind my house where nothing is done to it. I'm not spraying for ants, bees etc etc. It's simply a plot of land with Ts on it. I'm not speaking about what society does as you mentioned, just my little corner of the planet.
I see what you are saying. I only spoke from the other angle because it seems that people always have biases and favor something in nature. Even on plant life we destroy certain plants and keep the ones with fruits or flowers that appeal to us. I suppose this is why we destroy the environment that is needed for some animals to thrive - rationalization that certain things are of no use or bad. Most people will kill any spider they see. So if a few of us create a plus for the T's on the property it won't really help the T's enough to overcome the ones who who would create an imbalance in the opposite direction.
 

Walker253

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I don't believe there is any shortage of A chalcodes in the wild. They are listed as common and non threatened in most Locales.
My Lady and I went hunting for blondes a few moths ago. She called it a trip when she came up on a big rattlesnake. All I found to that point were males.
I believe a lot of A chalcodes in the industry are wild caught. My two are. They are super healthy and are thriving. Great eaters.
 

Jeff23

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I don't believe there is any shortage of A chalcodes in the wild. They are listed as common and non threatened in most Locales.
My Lady and I went hunting for blondes a few moths ago. She called it a trip when she came up on a big rattlesnake. All I found to that point were males.
I believe a lot of A chalcodes in the industry are wild caught. My two are. They are super healthy and are thriving. Great eaters.
Out of curiosity, do you notice any difference in their personality from a bred version. I know a tarantula doesn't have a lot of intellect but am curious if there is any difference on how they settle to living in a container after being in the wild?
 

Walker253

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Out of curiosity, do you notice any difference in their personality from a bred version. I know a tarantula doesn't have a lot of intellect but am curious if there is any difference on how they settle to living in a container after being in the wild?
I have 2 females, one about 5.5 inches, the other a little over 3 inches. The larger one is like every other NW T I have. The smaller one is a little more active, but doesn't seem stressed. I've handled both. Neither throw hairs or throw a posture. Both eat fine.
The wild A chalcodes rarely venture from their holes. I've seen a couple females out there. They were both right next to their hole. The males are the ones you see all over, crossing roads, in people's houses, etc.
Their are other wild T's in captivity. The P muticus comes to mind. The large females you see for sale are almost all wild. The smaller ones are usually captive born.
 

viper69

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I've been at 3 shows in the past few months and each T vendor had at least 50-80 deli cups filled with an adult A. chalcodes. There is no way these are NOT wild caught. It's a shame because this is no different than what people have done to the G. rosea/porteri and the B. smithi.

This continued raping of our own natural wildlife most definitely has an effect on the wild population in my opinion.

The only thing that MIGHT save this species from the fate of the smithi is that it's not as brightly colored.
 

Andrea82

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I've been at 3 shows in the past few months and each T vendor had at least 50-80 deli cups filled with an adult A. chalcodes. There is no way these are NOT wild caught. It's a shame because this is no different than what people have done to the G. rosea/porteri and the B. smithi.

This continued raping of our own natural wildlife most definitely has an effect on the wild population in my opinion.

The only thing that MIGHT save this species from the fate of the smithi is that it's not as brightly colored.
I don't undetstand why people keep taking them from the wild. Are they hard to breed?
 
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