We caught one! Now what?

Jeanmarie

Arachnopeon
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Oct 22, 2010
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I live in Austin Texas and my son received a female desert blonde (from an exotic pet store) for his birthday last week. We have been researching tarantulas and seem to have them on the brain now. Yesterday afternoon when my son got home from school he found a very small tarantula (about the size of a quarter, including leg span) in our backyard sitting on a toy. He is black and furry with a few orange spots on his abdomen. I easily caught him (he climbed right into the cup) and let him go into a small bug keeper. He explored for a bit then made himself a little web hammock and rested. He is exploring again this morning. I went to Petsmart to buy a critter keeper, water dish and some more substrate so that we could keep him but was told by the guy that worked there that local tarantulas will die after a few weeks in captivity. Is this true? If this is the case, I will certainly let him go but now that we are kinda attached to him I wouldn't mind raising him. Do people keep tarantulas that they catch as pets or should you only buy from the pet store or a breeder? I would love any advice I can get because I don't want to harm him in any way. If I left any important info out, just let me know.
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
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Jan 6, 2009
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No it won't die from a couple weeks in captivity unless it's a mature male. Take a pic and we might be able to tell you exactly what kind you have :)
 

JC

Arachnolort
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Apr 15, 2009
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No that is a lie. They will not die because they were wild caught.

99.99% of the tarantulas sold in your average petshop are caught from the wild. The only cases in which a tarantula will die shortly after being caught are either :

1. The tarantula is improperly cared for
2. The spider was already sick when captured.
3. The tarantula is a mature male.
 

elvasco

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 7, 2010
Messages
12
The petstore might be right for the wrong reason. First let me say I'm by no means an expect like some others on here. However I know here in Northern California that around this time of year the mature males start roaming for females and because of that we see an abundance of them. In other words I'm assuming the same is probably happening in Texas. It's probably a mature male (although based on the size he sounds a little small but again I'm not an expert on Texas ts). He will likely die soon in captivity but of no fault of yours. He'd die in the wild too.
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
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Jan 31, 2010
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1,310
Post pictures of what you caught. And post some pics of your desert blondes cage setup so we can give you so pointers.

Oh and a desert blonde is an Aphonopelma chalcodes. Now you know the scientific name ;)
 

Jeanmarie

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
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Thanks, everyone. You have got me thinking. I am trying to take a picture but can't seem to get a shot that is not blurry. Hmmm... jumping spider? Do they look exactly like tarantulas but miniature? How can you tell the difference?
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
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Jan 31, 2010
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Since when do wolf spiders have orange in them?
:wall:

Anyway, a tarantulas eyes are clustered together in one spot on their carapace, other spiders have eyes spread out all over the front of their carapace. Really you could just look at your sons tarantulas and compare the eyes of that to the one you caught. Good luck.
 

Jeanmarie

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
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Here is our desert blonde and her habitat. She is not burrowing at all and everything I read about them says that they will so do you think I need to put more of the substrate in? Maybe it is not deep enough? Also, The guy who sold her to us pointed out that she was missing a leg (gave us a discount) but said that it would grow back after a few molts. Once we got her home and I read more about tarantulas, I see that she is also missing a pedipalp. That part has me worried because I am not sure if it will effect her feeding or not. You guys have been really helpful and I truly appreciate it. I would ask the guy who sold her but not sure if I would get a straight answer from him because of the fact that he sold her to us.
 

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KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Sep 16, 2009
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170
Aw, I don't know what he is either, but he really is cute! I hope he lasts a while.
 

jebbewocky

Arachnoangel
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Oct 1, 2009
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910
The missing pedipalp shouldn't be an issue for feeding.
What kind of substrate are you using?
The little guy definently looks like a jumping spider, at least to me (I know very little about them.).
 

Jeanmarie

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
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0
I am not totally sure about the substrate because the guy at the pet store put her habitat together for us and I didn't see the bag. I guess I should know the answer to that question. Is it unusual that she really just sits on top of the bark all day?
 

jebbewocky

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 1, 2009
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I am not totally sure about the substrate because the guy at the pet store put her habitat together for us and I didn't see the bag. I guess I should know the answer to that question. Is it unusual that she really just sits on top of the bark all day?
Could be she doesn't like the substrate.
It could also be that she's still settling in.
It could also be that she just really likes the bark.
Given that she is just sitting around, and looks pretty relaxed, I'd say the latter two are more likely.

If it is just sand, that's not ideal, but it should work short term. Coconut coir (Eco-Earth is a common brand name), or peat are the standard substrates. Even desert tarantulas usually live in a mix of sand, clay, and just plain dirt--not just 100% sand.
I'd advise calling the pet store when you have a chance and ask exactly what it is he used.

EDIT: The leg and pedipalp may or may not grow back, even if it is female (a lot of pet stores aren't so great at sexing T's--either way, it's a nice T.)
 
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