Widow Keepers

JPD

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
373
I just wanted to comment on a few things that I have noticed over the years. I did mention this briefly under another thread, however, I felt that my opinion/feelings on the topic deserve their own thread.
First, allow me to start with a PM that I had recently from Buthus. I was inquiring about what he may have available with regard to widows for sale.
Here is a portion of what he had to say. I felt that it served as an incredible example of why this hobby is such a great one and how his genuine love for - and promotion of the Latrodectus is one that we should all adopt!

I give, I trade, but so far I have not sold a single spider ...honestly. So keep that in mind ...maybe u could help me stabilize one of my weaker lines (Laos for example), hook me up with a spider expert for ID purposes or hook me up with some interesting local Steatoda species from your area or something like that.

BTW ...the way to keep this little end of the hobby going is by the few of us that are truly interested in these species to get lines going and somewhat stable, then distribute them to other serious keepers. That way when someones line breaks down or is killed off or he needs to take a break etc etc ... he can restart with the specie by simply contacting another keeper. If we allow these species to become a business venture, then we get what we deserve. ...not as much fun at an even higher cost
Amazing! Buthus, forgive me for not getting permission to share the PM but your attitude regarding the hobby is impressive!

I remember years ago, there seemed to be very few interested in Latros. Now it has grown to be a "sub-culture" of sorts.

With that said, it is my belief that the "Widow Culture" can be kept to a group dedicated to the promotion of our favorite Genus via trade, exchange, etc. versus high priced sales etc.

I for one do not mind buying things but it is a bit discouraging to see "pricelists" in which L.bishopi slings are selling for 25.00-30.00 simply because of "supply and demand" When I see L.geos or L.mactans listing for 15.00 each, it just floors me. Especially when you know how plentiful these little buggers are.
I understand the dealers offering things at this price because this is their "bread and butter." They are selling at higher prices becauses there are many more things that factor into their pricing because they are trying to run a business.
I think it is important to note that selling things in order to continue to fund your own projects is entirely different than simply selling to make a profit.
Example: A few months back, I PM'd Jordan asking for L.bishopi eggsacs. He offered me pricing at 70.00 for an eggsac.
I felt that was an incredible deal. Unfortunately at that time, the wife had put a nix on purchasing anything "spider related," however, his generosity via "fair pricing" was something that has stuck with me ever since.

Anyhow, perhaps we should start a "Widow Co-op"

Enough of my rambling but I would like to hear others thoughts on this.
And to those diehard "Widowists" I offer you my sincere gratitude!
 

blackbird939

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
20
Wow. What a review!
I have sold a few widows, for $5 or so. I just sold 4 Geos, with 4 eggs for $20 shipped priority. Just enough to pay for the gas and time to box them up and take them to the PO. But I have, and prefer, to trade as well. I would much rather have a rare beauty than a $20 bill. I have a virtually unexpendable source of L. Geometricus available to anyone. I keep losing my L. Hesperus. If anybody wants a Geo or wants some eggs, please count me in. My Bishopi has a nice egg which is 7 days old. I have hundreds of mactans slings right now. Lets trade for a couple of hesperus'. I can sign all of you up for some Bishopi when/if that egg hatches. I'm not here to make a nickel, just to study and admire. $70 for an egg! I'll sell you Geo eggs for half that! heheh LOL
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
4,212
i looove widows (as you can tell by my name!!)!!{D and breeding is especially exciting to watch, and orchestrate!!{D and i too, am impressed with the tooooons of diff species of widows! and i am also impressed with Buthus and all he does ;)
 

JPD

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
373
Awesome! Glad to hear that it is something that many feel strongly about.
Trading is always a good thing.
Btw......I do have a large female C.crawshayi (about 6-7") that I would like to trade for some L.bishopi, L.geos, L.mactans, and others.
Thought I would try to sneak it in here versus posting it on the FS/Trade because I don't want a million PM's from people with L.hesperus (notice I did not mention wanting L.hesperus;)
So....fellow Extravagant Widow Keepers....PM me. L.bishopi is what I most love;)
 

blackbird939

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 21, 2007
Messages
20
Thought I would try to sneak it in here versus posting it on the FS/Trade because I don't want a million PM's from people with L.hesperus (notice I did not mention wanting L.hesperus;)

Yeah, but I do want PMs. :) I need a couple of Hesperus. 4 would be perfect. I am ready to trade for some Geos. Or.... I can offer you future stake in my Bishopi offspring. They will be ready in about 60 days>?

I can send some mactans slings too.
 

Widowman10

Arachno WIDOW
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
4,212
i've got some hesperus sacks...:D hahaha, too bad you don't want hesperus, cause i'd loooove to take that C crawshayi off your hands...{D anybody else for a 2 gravid females with sacks?? ahahahaha!!
i too love bishopi's. they are so beautiful IMO, the most beautiful latrodectus species!!
 

Canth

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
655
Put me down for some bishopi. I just had a patterned "hesperus" (caught in San Antonio, TX) have an eggsac as well as one I believe to be mactans. I'll keep y'all updated with their progress :)
 
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BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
I wish i could comment on this, but sadly, i am not allowed to buy them or trade something else on them thats where field hunting comes in, in other words i am allowed to catch them in the wild
 

buthus

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
1,381
JPD, I looked at this several times and didnt know what to say ..except shucks man. :eek:

Widow co-op ...interesting idea. ;) Might work ...and take the load off a few of us without so much fear of loosing a species ...or a collection for that matter.


I once or twice tried to sell some spiders on the boards and ended up doing trades. :? :D
Canth I think we discussed $ as an option once, but I was trying to make a deal work more than sell spiders. ...and then (confession) I backed out when i found out your age ...didnt really know much about you then. (regarding your skills and invert experience) BUT!... hopefully soon we'll make you the Widow Co-op's #1 widow farmer. ;) :D ;) How many slings could you handle? 10 maybe 15 species at around 1000 slings each?
...eh? :cool: :D
 

Pulk

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
1,049
I'm not going to be able to do much of anything for about 2 months, but I'm also fairly interested in widows. You can add me to the "fairly interested in widows" list.
 

What

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 13, 2006
Messages
1,150
I am interested, not to sure what I would really have to contribute other than loads of spare time, but w/e.

Sign me up. :cool:
 

JPD

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
373
Buthus, the comments are all well deserved. You changed my thinking as has Jordan as of recent.
I would like to host a Widow forum but I don't know enough about hosting a forum to do it. I should do some reading;)
Not sure how much it costs etc.
The co-op thing is just a thought. It would be nice to build-up large enough collections to offer newbies a nice collection to get started with for only the cost of shipping.
I think this would only enhance interest.
There is alot that could be done with this.
If we could get some more L.bishopi cooking it would only help to decrease the stress on their wild populations.
Also, to see some of these different color variations coming out of Texas etc.
Anyhow....it's late......better go for now.
 

Canth

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
655
JPD, I looked at this several times and didnt know what to say ..except shucks man. :eek:

Widow co-op ...interesting idea. ;) Might work ...and take the load off a few of us without so much fear of loosing a species ...or a collection for that matter.


I once or twice tried to sell some spiders on the boards and ended up doing trades. :? :D
Canth I think we discussed $ as an option once, but I was trying to make a deal work more than sell spiders. ...and then (confession) I backed out when i found out your age ...didnt really know much about you then. (regarding your skills and invert experience) BUT!... hopefully soon we'll make you the Widow Co-op's #1 widow farmer. ;) :D ;) How many slings could you handle? 10 maybe 15 species at around 1000 slings each?
...eh? :cool: :D
:eek: I think maybe like...5 sp with about 100 slings of each is my limit, maybe more. Considering I might get a job this year and am starting HS with 3 of the PAP classes. I really didn't think my schedule through...lol. I'll try and hook a lot of you up with the Texas widows if I find a lot. I'm interested in a forum thing as well. That'd be kinda cool.
 

John Apple

Just a guy
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 26, 2003
Messages
1,148
Having found a colony of variolus up here in southern Michigan I also have a love for widows and have done many even trades for other widow species.
The variolus seem rather agressive , somewhat more so than others.
Personally I am looking for some bishopi.
 

8+)

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
645
I would like to host a Widow forum but I don't know enough about hosting a forum to do it.
Widow Spiders was started awhile back. It kind of sputtered, stopped and started, and ground to a halt. Richard, who started it didn't want to seem like he was trying to pull people away from the other forums, and didn't advertise much, but I don't think there's much danger of that. It would be great to see it pick up some steam.
 

buthus

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
1,381
:eek: I think maybe like...5 sp with about 100 slings of each is my limit, maybe more. Considering I might get a job this year and am starting HS with 3 of the PAP classes. I really didn't think my schedule through...lol. I'll try and hook a lot of you up with the Texas widows if I find a lot. I'm interested in a forum thing as well. That'd be kinda cool.
u know I was kiddin around a bit dont ya? :D ..but 5 species x100 ...ha!

Actually with the heat Im not able to keep even that up right now. Just trying to keep promise of each specie going. Barely hanging on with a few. Cant wait til winter again.
 

Rizzolo

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
163
I agree that Buthus has a uncommon spirit about sharing and he has been great to share information and specimens with. i like how he thinks about what he is doing and isn't afraid to propose theories. He is obviously seeking the "truth," but hasn't already decided what it is. Jordan also has helped to get me started.

i have to admit to selling latros, but i try to do it at prices that are more of a public service. it feels great to have so many people with spiders that i have raised. also, if i hang onto them, i will not be able to feed them all.

selling them also allows me to justify my hobby to my wife because it buys a night out every once in a while. in truth, there is no money in it. i am currently trying to unload a few hundred of various species, to spread the wealth. i need to pare them down so that i can focus on a few of my favorites.

also, my wife is pretty fed up with the nightly sling feedings!

i have found the latro group on the board to be really fun. there are some really great postings. i hope that pooling the knowledge of the various latro lovers can lead to a much greater understanding of the behaviors of the various species. personally, i would like to see a catalogue of photos showing males, females, egg sacs, and the various stages of development of both male and female specimens of each species. that would be a fabulous work! many people focus on the markings and shape of mature females only, and don't realize the unique features of the males and egg sacs, or the marvelous markings seen (with some difficulty) on the slings.

thanks latro lovers!
 

JPD

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
373
I agree that Buthus has a uncommon spirit about sharing and he has been great to share information and specimens with. i like how he thinks about what he is doing and isn't afraid to propose theories. He is obviously seeking the "truth," but hasn't already decided what it is. Jordan also has helped to get me started.

i have to admit to selling latros, but i try to do it at prices that are more of a public service. it feels great to have so many people with spiders that i have raised. also, if i hang onto them, i will not be able to feed them all.

selling them also allows me to justify my hobby to my wife because it buys a night out every once in a while. in truth, there is no money in it. i am currently trying to unload a few hundred of various species, to spread the wealth. i need to pare them down so that i can focus on a few of my favorites.

also, my wife is pretty fed up with the nightly sling feedings!

i have found the latro group on the board to be really fun. there are some really great postings. i hope that pooling the knowledge of the various latro lovers can lead to a much greater understanding of the behaviors of the various species. personally, i would like to see a catalogue of photos showing males, females, egg sacs, and the various stages of development of both male and female specimens of each species. that would be a fabulous work! many people focus on the markings and shape of mature females only, and don't realize the unique features of the males and egg sacs, or the marvelous markings seen (with some difficulty) on the slings.

thanks latro lovers!
I just wanted to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with selling them. Especially if it justifies the hobby for you.
When it becomes difficult is when new species come about and people mark them at incredibly high prices just because of the laws of supply and demand.
Honestly, people are free to do whatever they want and it doesn't make me think any less of someone who is trying to make a little extra money.
I think I was more inclined to point out how great Buthus and Jordan are for having incredible specimens and be so willing to share.
As I mentioned before, the dealers that offer things up have to mark them up substantially to support their livelihood. Hey, this puts food on their table.
I have and probably will spend money buying from dealers if the need arises. I can't say enough good things about the majority of the dealers out there.
I think we are all fortunate to be in a hobby where it is a relatively tightnit group. Let's face it, there are not many people in the world that like spiders and other creepy crawlies so we really need to stick together;)
I think the Widow folks can make an enomormous contribution by documenting observations in all aspects of widow care.
I know alot of scientist in the field are doing the more indepth research and can't help but wonder if some of the more tedious observations are sometimes ignored because of the bigger and better things that they are doing.
Anyhow.....that's it....
 

8+)

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
645
i have to admit to selling latros, but i try to do it at prices that are more of a public service. it feels great to have so many people with spiders that i have raised. also, if i hang onto them, i will not be able to feed them all.

selling them also allows me to justify my hobby to my wife because it buys a night out every once in a while. in truth, there is no money in it. i am currently trying to unload a few hundred of various species, to spread the wealth. i need to pare them down so that i can focus on a few of my favorites.

also, my wife is pretty fed up with the nightly sling feedings!
I can't believe how much this sounds like what I would have written! Except I am so far a total failure at actually producing any offspring from Widows I've bred!!! Seems like it's supposed to be easy, except for the sling raising, and I've gotten pretty good at that. :?

I've kept bugs since I was a kid, including exotic ones, but never tried breeding them before. This time I decided that I would only buy animals that I intended to breed, especially if they were wild caught. I rationalized that I was actually making an investment, because of the money making potential. :rolleyes: {D

So far I've only managed to sell a few $3 emperors and starter colony of lobster roaches. :wall: The funniest thing to me is that my intention to breed has just meant that I've spent several times more, because I buy several of each specie so I can try to breed them. {D

Now my goal is to only trade, or if I purchase, to use money from my offspring. I'm starting to have some success with some of my creatures...

I agree with JPD that especially breeders shouldn't be disparaged for tying to make a living through the sale of animals. While some of the importers might only think of animals as a commodity, I can't imagine anyone caring for baby bugs without a great appreciation for them. All of the ones I've talked to on the phone have seemed genuinely interested in their animals.

I bought several L. bishopi from Todd Gearhart and got a nice price break for quantity. Then Buthus sent me some L. bishopi slings, along with some other goodies! Now all the males are gone, and I'll have to wait and see if I was successful with any of the older females. Buthus, I hope I can make good on the start you gave me.:worship:

I like a little bit of everything, so I really only want to keep a few species of Widows. However, I think it's fantastic to have boards like this one for networking and sharing. It's my understanding that in Europe they are really good at helping each other in the ways we're discussing. It's good that we may follow suit.
 

JPD

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 24, 2003
Messages
373
I've kept bugs since I was a kid, including exotic ones, but never tried breeding them before. This time I decided that I would only buy animals that I intended to breed, especially if they were wild caught. I rationalized that I was actually making an investment, because of the money making potential.
I think alot of people, (myself included), had dreams of coming into the hobby and making a "killing" on selling.{D I'll bet many of you ran into the same problem that I did.....any money you made, went right back to buying more stuff!
 
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