Venting on my quest for a trapdoor spider

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
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Jan 31, 2010
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I have been hunting around my yard for trapdoor spiders for the past 6 months. I have found various weblined burrows in my yard, and dug them
up with no avail. My nephew just happen to find a sling one day while digging. I kept that one about a week and upon rehousing it, accidently killed it. The next one we found on my front porch and was a MM and died a few weeks later. And on the latest hunt, I had came across a hole lined with silk. I dug deeper and deeper for about thirty minutes. I finally found another tunnel and instead of checking it first, I went ahead and excavated it with my knife. I then looked down in the giant hole I had dug to see a 2" trapddor flailing around. I caught it and immediately placed it in an ICU. It lost one of it's legs, one of it's pedipalps and half of the other pedipalp. And for some reason the abdomen was wrinkled and squishy, but it was not leaking fluid anywhere. I kept it in an ICU for three hours with no improvement and it is dead. So all my experiences with trapdoors have been horrible. I want one so bad, one that I can just go out into my backyard and catch. A native species. How awesome is it that you can just go catch yourself a pet that is just like a mini tarantula, yet I have had the worst luck. I hope I will be able to get one some day without it being MM or me killing it :(
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
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Jan 6, 2009
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Maybe you should just be a little more careful and a little less rushed when you're trying to catch one.

Also, I think flooding would be a better method of capture.
 

John Apple

Just a guy
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Jan 26, 2003
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First off take your time a lil and try this [a method taught to me by the 'great' Josh]
excavate a large hole or depression next to the burrow and after that dig the burrow inch by inch and put the dirt in your hole....burrows don't colapse this way and the spider is an easier find
good luck
 

Terry D

Arachnodemon
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Nov 21, 2009
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Chris, I don't know if it would work for a trapdoor but dangling live crickets in at the edge of Aphonopelma hentzi burrows works great. Sometimes they're really quick but be faster and pull the cricket closer to the mouth of the burrow as the t comes up. Have a sharp knife, icepick or a screwdriver handy. The following works best if the soil is somewhat soft or loamy . When the spider comes up to investigate the prey, begin a few inches from the mouth of the burrow and slowly shove the tool down and in at an angle toward/through burow walls blocking it's retreat. I have yet to harm a single t doing it and it has worked like a charm on quite a few occasions. Then again, it won't work if they're pre/post molt or aren't feeding. Worth a try though. Hope it helps. :) Terry
 

P. Novak

ArachnoGod
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Sep 12, 2005
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A little different, but when I caught some native tarantulas, I would hunt at night for a MM and then take him to a burrow. He would do his drumming and out came the female. Simply cup them both and there you go! No need to dig and ruin the enviornment! :)
 

buthus

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Jun 8, 2006
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I dug out my first trap ..burrow intact.. using my car keys to dig away the hard soCA dirt. Took a long time..45min maybe an hour. Taking my time was worth it. ;)
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
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Jan 31, 2010
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Well I inspected the next day, and found that its carapace was cracked. :( That sucks because it was a nice size too.
 
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