Wild Tarantula Collection. Aphonopelma hentzi

Alumentum

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
12
So I'm going to be taking a trip to Arkansas and will be there for a week. I'm really hopeful to collect a few A. hentzi while I'm there. I'll be in the Faulkner county and surrounding counties for the duration of the trip. Does anyone in the area know where some have been spotted? Or what sort of signs to look for?
 

EpicEpic

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
541
People don't really condone capturing spiders and the ones that do are not likely to give up their spots. Just sayin'. Have a safe trip.
 

pannaking22

Arachnoemperor
Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Messages
4,070
If you find a hole with webbing lightly covering the opening then that's a tarantula burrow. If it's a hole with no webbing or is actually built up higher than the ground, it's likely a wolf spider. I tend to find Aphonopelma in areas that have some sort of slope, but they're pretty adaptive and can live in the flatlands as well.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,656
People don't really condone capturing spiders and the ones that do are not likely to give up their spots. Just sayin'. Have a safe trip.
That's right, we recommend capturing spiders ;).

In all seriousness, so long as all collecting is done responsibly and the species/habitat in question isn't at risk of over collection (if you were going to Mexico to catch B. hamorii then we'd have a problem), it isn't something I necessarily argue against.
That said, collecting locales shouldn't be shared publicly. iNaturalist or contacting someone privately from Arkansas who's found them would be your best bet in all likelihood @Alumentum, though you may very well just have to get out and go looking without any extra help.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

EpicEpic

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
541
That's right, we recommend capturing spiders ;).

In all seriousness, so long as all collecting is done responsibly and the species/habitat in question isn't at risk of over collection (if you were going to Mexico to catch B. hamorii then we'd have a problem), it isn't something I necessarily argue against.
That said, collecting locales shouldn't be shared publicly. iNaturalist or contacting someone privately from Arkansas who's found them would be your best bet in all likelihood @Alumentum, though you may very well just have to get out and go looking without any extra help.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
There are plenty of Aphonopelma that are being overcollected.

Look into the great work Nate @ MicroWilderness does to try and help the sad sad state North American Aphonopelma species are currently in.
 
Last edited:

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,656
There are plenty of Aphanopelma that are being overcollected.

Look into the great work Nate @ MicroWilderness does to try and help the sad sad state North American Aphanopelma species are currently in.
You will notice that I said "so long as all collecting is done responsibly and the species/habitat in question isn't at risk of over collection". If one was collecting in a high-traffic spot in, say, Arizona, Texas, etc. then we might have a problem, but Arkansas as far is I know is not a collecting hotspot, and thus removing a few specimens would likely have negligible effects long term.
I am aware of what Nate does, and it is awesome; I highly commend him for putting conservation over collection. Myself and others in my area actually work with the same species he does, and have similar rules/breeding projects going to protect our native Aphonopelma and a variety of other native invertebrate species.

I do understand what you are saying, but I think habitat destruction may be a greater threat overall, and US-native Aphonopelma of many species are not in as much trouble as many other genera around the world, like the aforementioned Brachypelma/Tlitocatl of Mexico. Just look at A. eutylenum; a relatively common species in many areas of Southern California that is easily collected, but very rare in the hobby; why?

Again, I agree we need to be very careful with our native populations and steward them properly.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

EpicEpic

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
541
You will notice that I said "so long as all collecting is done responsibly and the species/habitat in question isn't at risk of over collection". If one was collecting in a high-traffic spot in, say, Arizona, Texas, etc. then we might have a problem, but Arkansas as far is I know is not a collecting hotspot, and thus removing a few specimens would likely have negligible effects long term.
I am aware of what Nate does, and it is awesome; I highly commend him for putting conservation over collection. Myself and others in my area actually work with the same species he does, and have similar rules/breeding projects going to protect our native Aphonopelma and a variety of other native invertebrate species.

I do understand what you are saying, but I think habitat destruction may be a greater threat overall, and US-native Aphonopelma of many species are not in as much trouble as many other genera around the world, like the aforementioned Brachypelma/Tlitocatl of Mexico. Just look at A. eutylenum; a relatively common species in many areas of Southern California that is easily collected, but very rare in the hobby; why?

Again, I agree we need to be very careful with our native populations and steward them properly.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
Good to hear and well put! Unfortunately the Ozarks are indeed a very hot spot from what I gather for Aphanopelma collection are in Bill Clintons hometown state of Arkansas (Including a few others) "/
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,656
I'm curious as to where you heard that? Just so I can look into it myself further.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

EpicEpic

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
541
I'm curious as to where you heard that? Just so I can look into it myself further.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
I wish I could link you to a source, but this is just knowledge I've gathered from reading bits and pieces concerning Aphonopelma over time. If you Google the Ozarks/Arkansas and Tarantulas you will find some information you can go through. As far as the state of Arkansas is concerned, I believe A. hentzi is the only species of Tarantula commonly found but that just makes it a bigger target since its the only one being collected. It is pretty well spread out throughout a couple states (Thank you climate change), and not near as rare as moderatum or eutylenum but anyone collecting in Arkansas will collect from the Ozarks to the Arkansas River and be after hentzi. Slowly withering down their #s in that state. I wish I had something bookmarked I could share but I don't. Right now All I have is a moderatum but Aphonopelma is quickly becoming my favorite Genus! BTW, the prefix Aphono comes from the greeks, meaning dissapear. Presumably because of their fossorial nature. Ofcourse that's ancient Greek but we do use the word "Xaphanistike" or "Aphanistike" meaning the same thing in current Greek. Just a tidbit. Im Greek-American but speak, read and write the language. Pleasure meeting another Aphonopelma appreciator!
 

Alumentum

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
12
I have no desire to overcollect at all. In all honesty, I'd rather take one or two slings vs adults or juveniles. When it comes to wildlife collection I'd like to think I'm fairly responsible. I collect marine ornamentals in florida for personal use and florida has RIGOROUS regulations. In all, I've taken home 1 fish, a damsel, passed up all legal coral and mostly focused on pest or invasive species.

That being said, I can remember a few places I saw them in my childhood so I may try there. Wish me luck!
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
1,751
A Hentzi is a very underrated species. I think they are awesome.
 

KaroKoenig

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
134
...so long as all collecting is done responsibly and the species/habitat in question isn't at risk of over collection...
Here's the catch:
- Who is going to decide how much collecting is sustainable?
- Based on which data?
- Who is there to supervise and control the amount of collected specimens?

Don't get me wrong, I am not attacking here. I just want to point out that it may not be that simple.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,656
Here's the catch:
- Who is going to decide how much collecting is sustainable?
- Based on which data?
- Who is there to supervise and control the amount of collected specimens?

Don't get me wrong, I am not attacking here. I just want to point out that it may not be that simple.
Oh of course, I made what could be said to be a gross simplification of the problem, as it is vastly more complex and would take days/weeks/months/years to fully unravel and consider every angle, and even then the full effects of removing a specimen (as I discussed with @Boaz Solorio recently) from the wild vs. leaving it in the habitat will never be known completely.

We can argue this back and forth, but I don't think this is necessarily the place to do so when we already have many, many threads (one of which that doesn't directly apply but indirectly discusses the same idea can be found here) dedicated to the issue.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

jrh3

PreMolt
Arachnosupporter +
Joined
Jun 4, 2011
Messages
690
Here's the catch:
- Who is going to decide how much collecting is sustainable?
- Based on which data?
- Who is there to supervise and control the amount of collected specimens?

Don't get me wrong, I am not attacking here. I just want to point out that it may not be that simple.
I agree, when someone says they are going to collect WC specimen responsibly, this is a joke because there are also another 50 or 100 people saying the same thing.

So unless there is a database for logging collection info, you can't say its responsible.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoangel
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
952
I have collected insects extensively for many many years and I do think it can be done “responsibly”. I would go out collecting every weekend never taking more than one to two specimens from a species from an area at a time in a season. And never noticed any drop in occurance on populations in areas over the course of many many years.

now haven’t done this with tarantulas so maybe it’s different. But other insects there are defintely ways to be responsible.

Habitat encroachment and pesticide usage are far more determinetal to populations than taking 1 individual from an area or a few individuals doing so.
 

Arthroverts

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
1,656
I agree, when someone says they are going to collect WC specimen responsibly, this is a joke because there are also another 50 or 100 people saying the same thing.

So unless there is a database for logging collection info, you can't say its responsible.
This is a good point, but that only applies to areas where 50 to 100 other people are going to the exact same spot to collect from the same population, which generally tends to be a rare occurrence except for well-known spots, such as in some places of Arizona and Texas. If collection is planned to be done in the Ozarks (and if the information relating to specimen collecting is true as @EpicEpic says), I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. However, if specimens are found in some backwater area where it is obvious people don't go collecting often (if at all), then a database wouldn't be necessary, unless the exact locale information was published.

I have collected insects extensively for many many years and I do think it can be done “responsibly”. I would go out collecting every weekend never taking more than one to two specimens from a species from an area at a time in a season. And never noticed any drop in occurance on populations in areas over the course of many many years.

now haven’t done this with tarantulas so maybe it’s different. But other insects there are defintely ways to be responsible.

Habitat encroachment and pesticide usage are far more determinetal to populations than taking 1 individual from an area or a few individuals doing so.
Insects are different as they tend to reproduce in larger numbers and with greater regularity; tarantulas don't have such high numbers typically and reproduce much more slowly. However, your overall point still does apply, and I agree we really need to be more concerned about what the 99.9% of the population is doing to impact invertebrate populations indirectly than of the 0.1% who directly collect from the invertebrate populations (that's not to say that collectors don't have an impact, but in much of the US I am skeptical of how large that impact is said to be).

I wish I could link you to a source, but this is just knowledge I've gathered from reading bits and pieces concerning Aphonopelma over time. If you Google the Ozarks/Arkansas and Tarantulas you will find some information you can go through. As far as the state of Arkansas is concerned, I believe A. hentzi is the only species of Tarantula commonly found but that just makes it a bigger target since its the only one being collected. It is pretty well spread out throughout a couple states (Thank you climate change), and not near as rare as moderatum or eutylenum but anyone collecting in Arkansas will collect from the Ozarks to the Arkansas River and be after hentzi. Slowly withering down their #s in that state. I wish I had something bookmarked I could share but I don't. Right now All I have is a moderatum but Aphonopelma is quickly becoming my favorite Genus! BTW, the prefix Aphono comes from the greeks, meaning dissapear. Presumably because of their fossorial nature. Ofcourse that's ancient Greek but we do use the word "Xaphanistike" or "Aphanistike" meaning the same thing in current Greek. Just a tidbit. Im Greek-American but speak, read and write the language. Pleasure meeting another Aphonopelma appreciator!
If you find a source I would really like to see it please. Please excuse my desire to get it straight from the source, ha ha, I just really want to make sure that my information is solid on this matter.
A. eutylenum is quite common in many areas of Southern California, you just have to know where to look.
Ah, that's great to know, thank you! I do often wish I had a greater grasp of Latin/Greek so I could understand the meaning behind the names, perhaps someday soon...
I will be sure to bring my Greek-related questions to you then! Most of the time it really is all Greek to me ;).
And same to you; Aphonopelma are amazing.

Thanks,

Arthroverts
 

Smotzer

Arachnoangel
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
952
agree we really need to be more concerned about what the 99.9% of the population is doing to impact invertebrate populations indirectly than of the 0.1% who directly collect from the invertebrate populations (that's not to say that collectors don't have an impact, but in much of the US I am skeptical of how large that impact is said to be).
Exactly!! People turn a blind eye to what society does and their general negative practices but focuses on collectors and things like that which is such a small percentage, it’s backwards in my eyes!!
I am also skeptical of that.
 

myrmecophile

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
612
Keep in mind that a great deal of land in Arkansux is private. If find your self surrounded by trees with purple paint or labels on them, it is time to move on.
 

Alumentum

Arachnopeon
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
12
I'm actually collecting on land owned by family so I can practically gurantee that no one else is collecting.
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
1,751
I have Hentzi from multiple states and localities and would love to see a Arkansas hentzi..
 
Top