TEACH ME BE SMART LIKE YOU (handling)

BooyaTarantula

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
57
Hey everybody,

Well it's been approximately seven minutes so I have another question to post (just kidding, it's actually been three days... but I still ask a lot of questions...). I have three T's, a sub-adult aphonopelma seemanni (about 3 inches), a Nhandu chromatus sub-adult (they are sub-adults when they have their adult colors right??) who is about 3/4 of an inch, and a Cyclosternum Fasciatum subadult who is around 1 inch. These are my first T's and have been in my care for about 2 months, and I have been observing their reaction to my presence in the tank (changing water, feeding, etc...) since I got them. They are all pretty easy going, the Nhandu was kind of stressed until I gave him something to hide under, and I was wondering which of the three would be best to handle (and some tips on how to do it). I know it can be potentially harmful to your T if you drop it, but I plan to have a suitable environment to prevent any disaster like this. My Seemanni has never tried to bite before, but I have gotten some hair flicks when I've tried to prod her onto my hand so it seems like she may be out of the question. She is also quick to run into her hide where it is nearly impossible to get any kind of an angle on her. So, what are your expert opinions and suggestions? I appreciate all the help I can get.

P.S. if you know of threads that could help, it'd be sweet if you'd post the link. I try searching for things like "handling" but it gives me like a billion threads, 99% of which have nothing to do with what I am interested in... Thanks again
 

spider_fan

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 14, 2005
Messages
143
Out of the ones you have I'd say the A. seemani is the easiest to handle. They can be a little jumpy though, so handle it over your bed and never keep it any more than like 3 or 4 inches from the bed, so that if it does decide to jump it has less chance of being injured.\

As for her hairing/hiding business, if she doesn't want to be handled aty the moment, then don't try to handle her just then. And it is usually easier to get the T into a cup or bowl first, then let it crawl from that to your hand so it doesn't have to climb up onto your hand.
 

ShadowBlade

Planeswalker
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
2,596
I too say the A. seemani would probably be the best to start with. The N. chromatus urticating hairs are very nasty. And the C. fasciatum are awful quick at 1".

Sub-adult isn't too technical of a word really, but I've always used it as one molt before maturity.

-Sean
 
Last edited:

Singapore_Blue1

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 15, 2005
Messages
275
Which one....lol

Well I figured i would put in my two cents on this one...Honestly you should just try each one out and see which one reacts better to your hand...Generally yes the A. seemanni should be more docile; however there are exceptions to every rule...I handle all of my T's and i currently have 45 different species...The one thing i will tell you is the more you do it the more the T will become accustomed to your handling...Kinda like feeding it; the tarantula will know when its getting fed by certain vibrations/movements; same goes for handling...In my personal experience C. fasciatum isn't fast when it is larger..I have a 4" female and she is a sweetheart; and very slow...So as i said before try all of them..you might be suprised...
 

edesign

AB FB Group Moderatr
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
2,110
http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/search.php?searchid=762645

"handling and technique"

it's not a widely known fact, unfortunately, that the search engine operates best using Boolean operators such as "and", "or", and "not". I should ask the admin if there's a way that a little blurb can be added somewhere noticeable so that people are made aware of this important fact. Try incorporating those operators in to your search and you will probably turn up better results next time :) Glad to hear you at least tired! :clap:

Also, I think there may be a handling sticky in this forum or it might have possibly been moved to the "Articles" forum.

My A. seemani is nervous as can be...might seem calm but sometimes even the slightest disturbance (air, vibration, etc) will send her sprinting like the wind. I'd never attempt to hold her just for that fact. I had a N. chromatus that never hesitated to give a threat display...I think a lot of people's chromatus' exhibit this or are at least somewhat nervous. Again, not a species most would recommend for handling (not to say it can't be done...). I don't know squat about the fasciatums :D BUT...aside from the seemani, the other two are quite small and therefore handling will be easier. I've never held any of mine once they broke 2"...always seemed to develop attitudes and/or fangs that were more than what I wanted to be intimately associated with lol (I really don't like needles or anything needle-like).
 

Merfolk

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 13, 2005
Messages
1,330
I am not a handler, but don't campain against it. However, I wouldn't handle any sub adult or juvy T because they are at the peak of their aggressivity.
 

billopelma

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Messages
604
One of my first out-of-control spider experiences...
I was doing tank maintenance when my (mature) seemani ran up my arm and jumped off my shoulder onto the floor, thankfully landing on carpet and not the hardwood. I kneeled down and scooped her up and she ran up my arm again and around onto my back, hunkering down right between my shoulder blades where I had no hope of reaching. I was afraid to stand up in case she jumped again and didn't want to chance pulling my shirt off over my head and having her run inside it. So I had to crawl down the hall to the bedroom where there is a floor level mirror so I could see to scoot her around to where I could reach.
Be prepared for this type of behavior, have someone else there to assist or at least have a hand mirror and catch cup handy. The mirror and a flashlight also help when they run behind a bookcase or up under the dishwasher or whatever. You can well imagine why I know this...

Bill
 

yeR_NarKoTiK

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
16
I am not a handler, but don't campain against it. However, I wouldn't handle any sub adult or juvy T because they are at the peak of their aggressivity.
i tried handling my G. auriostrata like a month after her last molt (shes only about 2", and im praying its a girl, but i have no idea) and the little girl turned into a pissy little critter... kickin hairs and a huge defense posture... WAY different from before. i didnt understand the attitude changes as they go molt to molt. guess i know now :)
 

phil jones

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 17, 2006
Messages
1,052
hi i do not hold ANY of my - t.s - never have and never will its just not worth the danger to me or my - t.s- i think they are a look and learn ( pets ) not pick up and stress you or the - t.s.- just my o-p- === phil
 

edesign

AB FB Group Moderatr
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
2,110
I am not a handler, but don't campain against it. However, I wouldn't handle any sub adult or juvy T because they are at the peak of their aggressivity.
:? that makes no sense...can you elaborate? Most T's seem to start getting an attitude (if they're going to get one) around that age but I'd hardly call it a peak of defensiveness (unless yours actively chased you down for no real reason, then you could call it aggressive...and somehow I doubt that).
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
8,662
My little N. Chromatus at 1.5" would try and eat the 12" tweezers when changing the water dish, I call it little dog syndrome. She just got worse as she got bigger.
 

dukegarda

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 22, 2007
Messages
498
:? that makes no sense...can you elaborate? Most T's seem to start getting an attitude (if they're going to get one) around that age but I'd hardly call it a peak of defensiveness (unless yours actively chased you down for no real reason, then you could call it aggressive...and somehow I doubt that).
It could happen in the sense that a T could mistake your fingers as prey. I consider one of my roseas aggressive. She will chase things around her enclosure when it's food time. Not only then, but she has gone after my hand when I was taking out the water dish. I don't think she felt I was a threat, but thought I was a tasty meal. But I understand why you're using defensive instead of aggressive. We're invading their world. I read that article. = )
 

edesign

AB FB Group Moderatr
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
2,110
glad to hear you read it :)

However...attacking your finger/hand thinking it's food isn't quite what I'd call aggressive. Well, I suppose you could argue that it IS aggressive since T's don't attack prey out of defense lol...but I'd venture that if you got tagged it wasn't because it mistook you for prey but rather defending it's territory. A T's reaction time is infinitely faster than ours and with all the chemoreceptors on the pedipalps (and front legs iirc) they will know before biting that we're not prey. There have been multiple reports from people on this forum of their T's striking at their hand/fingers but not actually biting and skittering off after realizing it wasn't food (so the stories go). But yeah, I see what you're saying and I'm not in complete disagreeance :)
 

ShadowBlade

Planeswalker
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
2,596
I don't think she felt I was a threat, but thought I was a tasty meal. But I understand why you're using defensive instead of aggressive. We're invading their world. I read that article. = )
Either way, its not active aggression.

And juvies are not at their peak of attitude. Go poke around an adult C. crawshayi and see if its any nicer then a 3"er.

-Sean
 

BooyaTarantula

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
57
I have been informed (possibly incorrectly) that T's in the juvey and sub-adult stages are more defensive and skittish simply because they are little and are more vulnerable as such. Made sense to me when I heard it, and it seems like that's the way it is. I handled my Seemanni for the first (and last time for awhile) last night and everything went smoothly, she's a doll. I only let her walk over my hand a couple times and that was it. Next thing I know, I brush her backside with the spoon I was using as a prod and she's off at a billion miles per hour, much faster than I could get a hold of the situation (I DID plan ahead though and she was on my bed in a way that she had nowhere to go). Needless to say, I think I will wait for a little more docile and slow T before I do any more handling. Great creatures, and I understand that handling may stress them out but IMO they suffer "stressful" encounters in the wild enough to merit the odd handling as long as it is done in a contained environment. I just got a five-six inch Theraphose Blondi today and I SURE AS HELL AM NOT STICKING MY HAND IN WITH THAT THING. I have been told I should pick up a B. Smithi for handling purposes as they have a docile reputation (granted there are exceptions) and are not known to bolt at all. Is there truth to that statement?
 

Alice

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
976
depends - i have a annitha (smithi colour morph as i understand it) that is very nervous, kicks hairs at everything and tries to run every time a hand is even near her...
 

Scorpendra

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
1,518
i don't handle any of my spiders; it just wouldn't be worth any of the risks to me.
 

dalejamin

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
27
LOL! I typically don't handle my T's now. When I first got my E. campestratus, she was as docile as could be. But once she got used to her new enclosure, she developed an attitude. I don't consider it a bad attitude, just attitude {D She's jumped at me a couple times when I was moving her water dish, etc. But she's never actually taken a bite.

She'll usually retreat toward her hide if I make too much noise or get near her, and I sure don't wanna stress her by lifting her hide up just to get her out. Maybe one day, when I'm braver! Oh, and when I got her, I noticed too semi-bald spots where she'd apparently kicked some hair, so I knew from the get-go that she had a potential 'tude ;)
 

edesign

AB FB Group Moderatr
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 23, 2004
Messages
2,110
I have been told I should pick up a B. Smithi for handling purposes as they have a docile reputation (granted there are exceptions) and are not known to bolt at all. Is there truth to that statement?
No...that is a false statement. No T is guaranteed to never sprint off...ever. However, there are species that are known to be docile that have a much lower chance of doing that. But no guarantees...and individual T's within a species don't always share the stereotypical attitude of that particular species (there are calm OBT's and there are evil G. roseas)...and, not only that...just because a T is handleable for weeks at a time does not guarantee it will be handleable the next.

Btw...you are aware that Brachy's possess some pretty nasty urticating hairs right? Granted, some people have worse reactions to them than others but Brachy's are generally known to be hair kickers. Perhaps an Avicularia species such as an A. avicularia or an A. versicolor would be a better choice? They also have urticating hairs but are much less prone to hair kicking and are also known to be fairly docile in general (other species not so much such as A. braunshauseni...I can agree as mine isn't the nicest lol). I hear they like to press the abdomen in to you more than kick hairs...but I've never handled any of the Avic species I have *or any of my T's for that matter*...they do occasionally kick hairs as well but not often.
 

BooyaTarantula

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 11, 2007
Messages
57
The hairs is another funny aspect of the whole handling thing for me. My primary concern is not getting bit, and the other day as I sat there with a big stupid smile plastered across my face because my Seemanni was crawling on my hand I was probably busy inhaling hairs like it was going out of style... Needless to say, out of all of this i've acquired a healthy respect for their natural defenses. I think it would be wise for me to try to find a less tempermental T for my handling expirements, and I realize that each species will have it's share of monsters and pet rocks, but the guy I buy from is very knowledgeable and is on the lookout for a nice docile T for that purpose. Basically if you choose to handle your spider you have to be at peace with the fact that you may get bit or hairs tossed at you no matter the T or the environment.
 
Top