Cleaning The Singapore Blue Tarantula enclosure (Omothymus violaceopes)

Description by http://www.thespidershop.co.uk

One of the most beautiful arboreal Tarantulas available. In you can imagine a 20cm+ metallic purple / blue spider with long red hairs and pink toes you nearly there! There appears to be a very low ratio of females to males in egg sacks (1 female to every 5 males so I have been told) so females are hard to come by. I have yet to see a photograph do this species justice, we tried for hours but never really got a perfect match, the photos just don’t seem to capture the purple only the blue. This species needs to be kept in a relatively large arboreal set up with vertical hides. They also like quite dark enclosures. Spiderlings tend to burrow until bigger. This species is a must for all arboreal and Asian keepers or anyone who just likes stunning spiders!

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Thank you to Jake and The Suns Of Thunder for the use of “Tennesee Smile” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD-Ih5SQl4w

Aphonopelma chalcodes (Desert Blonde Tarantula)

Aphonopelma chalcodes is a medium sized tarantula from North America

Description from http://www.thespidershop.co.uk

A nice big chunky Aphonopelma species that is blonde with a brown abdomen covered in reddish hairs. The colouration differs depending on locality, the Tucson locality has green looking femurs and brighter yellow on the carapace. They are not commonly seen in Europe as they are not often bred and can take up to 10 years to mature from Spiderling, they do however live for 20+ years.

Being a desert species they are very easy to care and have no delicate requirements and are as pullet proof as a Tarantula gets. They can be housed in simple terrestrial setup add something to hide under, a heat and a small bowl of water. They are slow moving and settle down quickly and though they make ideal pet spiders I reckon in a few years everyone will have one.

Nematodes V’s Phorid fly larvae – What they are and how to help

Nematodes V’s Phorid fly larvae – What they are and how to help

Thank you to Guy Tansley at Bugsnstuff https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=36&v=74BbVxq-218&feature=emb_logo nematode microscope

Photo: William Wergin and Richard Sayre/Wikimedia Commons https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/what-are-nematodes

SELENOCOSMIA ARNDSTI & the FIRST look inside WWW.THESPIDERSHOP.CO.UK

Description from http://www.thespidershop.co.uk A striking slender species from Papua New Guinea with bright orange legs and carapace contrasting against pitch-black femurs and abdomen. Terrestrial Asian species are generally aggressive when threatened they rear up in a threat display and won’t hesitate to bite. These are however in a league of their own and are 6 inches of pure evil. Not only are they fearlessly aggressive but also exceptionally fast so only suitable for experienced keepers. If provoked not only will they bite, they will shoot across your floor, pull the scart lead out your TV and tombstone your cat before disappearing underneath your fridge. They are generally less secretive than other Asians and are often out in the open. They require a moist substrate 10 – 15cm deep to allow burrowing and increase the humidity. They should be kept around 26°c with a 4°c drop in temperature at night.

BATHTUB BEDLAM – rehousing the baby Pterinochilus murinus “KIGOMA” and COMP winner announcement

Description from http://www.thespidershop.co.uk

The colour of the this species varies depending on original locality. They vary from a beautiful bright orange colour to tan with a starburst pattern covering its body. It is very interesting in both its behaviour and habits. Not a beginners species but definitely one of those species you need to keep sooner or later. They do not require high humidity and can be kept on slightly moistened substrate with a water dish. They are best kept in a terrarium that is set up with both arboreal and terrestrial hides. If given enough substrate they may even dig a burrow. They are very heavy webber’s and will not only cover a dense layer of web over their retreat but also over the entire enclosure, establishing elaborate silken tunnels. Care needs to be given when moving them and maintaining the enclosure as they are very fast and will not hesitate to bite or escape.

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Thank you to Jake and The Suns Of Thunder for the use of “Tennesse Smile” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD-Ih5SQl4w

Incredible footage of a GOLIATH BIRDEATER tarantula shedding it’s skin (Theraphosa stirmi moult)

Incredible footage of a GOLIATH BIRDEATER tarantula shedding it’s skin (Theraphosa stirmi moult)

Description from http://www.thespidershop.co.uk

This species is a real monster, it is a giant, robust, heavy bodied, fast and powerful Spider. This is probably the most popular species in the Hobby. Uniformly dark brown in body colour covered with dense short setae (hair) which gives it a beautiful suede appearance. There are also some longish reddish hairs on the abdomen and legs. It is interested to observe the changes of coloration of this giant from moult to moult as it can vary from jet black to pale orange. In wild it inhabits very moist (even swamp) deep rainforests where it lives in deep burrows. They feed on any capable sized prey: insects, small mammals, frogs, lizards and has also been recorded to feed on lethal venomous snakes (West, 1992). In captivity it needs a very ample terrarium with a thick layer of humid substrate. and a big water bowl for drinking. Regular misting of the terrarium provides an increased humidity which is critical for this species. It readily utilizes artificial retreats and you can also decorate the enclosure with artificial plants. This species doesn’t spin much web. In spite of the this Tarantula often being bred as spiderlings it is very hard to breed. The mating is usually successful but females do not produce the eggsacks, or if they do the eggs are often infertile. Eggsacks usually contain less than 100 eggs but the offspring are rather large and around 2cm. There are a few points about this unique species a potential keeper must bear in mind. Humidity is important to this species and require regular misting, however it also important to have good ventilation so that the enclosure does not get stagnant as this can also be harmful. This species is a voracious eater and fast grower – it can eat and eat and eat and eat…. until the abdomen looks fit to burst, so try not to overfeed it to much. This species also has urticating hairs (type III) which are considered the nastiest among tarantula fauna and can cause serious irritation to the skin. Just the slightest movement of one rear leg rubbing against the abdomen of the is monster raises a whole cloud of this hair. It is also not a docile pet, they have 1.5 – 2cm fangs and can strike a very painful bite. When this monster is distributed it will stridulate which is a hissing sound let you know it is annoyed.

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REACTION to TARANTULA bite vid (Orange Baboon Tarantula)

So every now and then a video will keep popping up in my social media feeds and over the years become extremely difficult to ignore any longer. This is one of of them. A young chap apparently getting bitten by different species of tarantula for “research” purposes…. what a crock of shite!

This spider, Pterinochilus murinus, is a defensive “old world” Theraphosid spider found in central, eastern and southern Africa and is affectionately known as the OBT or Orange Bitey Thing.

THREE spider pairings (Pterinochilus, Thrixopelma and Davus) The Tarantula Cave Breeding Comp!

So I thought I’d be a clever bugger and pair up three different species in the same night (after midnight)

I was especially keen to get the Davus pentaloris project started to get a time under my belt – me and Martin from “The Tarantula Cave” have a competition going to see who’s male Davus is the bigger stud muffin. Rules are simple, time starts when the male enters the enclosure and touches the substrate and quickest time to get at the female and connect.

Totally underestimated how long this would take. I heard from Martin that his was long…… BUT after 3 hours I gave up. Looks like I’ll have to try again soon for a better time.

Gardening at 8am!! Tomato, Chilli and Carnivorous plants

Gardening is rewarding. This is the first time I’ve tried to grow anything of my own in the garden and I’ve been documenting the process along the way. 

I don’t think these vids are suitable for a spider channel so I’ll post some on here if you want. 

BTS expo 2019 (British Tarantula Society) 19th May

The annual BTS exhibition will be on us again very soon – 19th of May to be exact. This year we are most definitely attending, the hotel is booked and the time off work requested.

I will be doing a kind of diary vlog of the three days (preparation day, night before shenanigans and then the exhibition)…Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I’m also going to try to live stream some of the tables and vendors in the main hall – your favourite YouTubers too.

Hype is building and the vendor spaces are all but full, it’s shaping up to be the best ever.

What are you looking out for? New species? Weird bugs? That one that got away so many times before?

I will be on the hunt for pairs of Poecilotheria species and groups of Selenocosmia but I’m sure there will be a few things that I can’t walk away from once seeing them in the flesh.

I plan to show some of my spiders in the “Spider Crufts” competition. In fact, I plan to enter something in nearly every category. The categories are as follows:

  • Best Brachypelma
  • Best New World Terrestrial
  • Best New World Arboreal
  • Best African
  • Best Asian Terrestrial
  • Best Asian Arboreal
  • Best Scorpion

Remember the competition isn’t only about the animals, there is a photography and Art group too. You will need to be a BTS member to enter but you can always join on the day at the BTS stand.

Please head over to http://exhibition.thebts.co.uk/ for all the proper info and announcements

The #1 top spider I’ve been waiting to add to my collection

Here they are, BIG thank you to Lee at http://www.thespidershop.co.uk for sorting me out with these bad boys. They are also bonkers! Haha checknout the vid now below or on my YouTube channel.

Centipedes anyone?

I have been given baby centipedes – Scolopendra subspinipes. They freak me out a little bit BUT they are so cute at this size.

Thank you to Gav at “Valleys Tarantulas” for coming to visit and for the awesome gift. Here is his video of separating the babies from mum

Lost a Poecilotheria metallica eggsac

To say this species is my kryptonite is an understatement. This old female will no longer be bred with any males and she will live the rest of her days happy on the shelf.

We have a second female, recently bought, to carry on with our attempts to finally get a successful eggsac.

Please think about subscribing to the YouTube channel if you’d like to see more of the metallica

New Look for the channel

“Tiny” The Worlds Biggest Tarantula Genus (Theraphosa) Making her EGGSAC! by predatororpreyonline

“Tiny” The Worlds Biggest Tarantula Genus (Theraphosa) Making her EGGSAC! by predatororpreyonline

You’ve just watched our Goliath Birdeater Tarantula (Theraphosa stirmi) making her eggsac. It took over 28 hours of recording, speeded up x100 to make the last portion of this video.
It is a youtube first for this species and was totally nerve-wracking.
She was mated on May 1st 2018 so It’s now over 8 months.

Not another tarantula unboxing video…

So I’ve received a spider today for next year’s breeding projects…

You will need to wait until the end of the video to find out what it is…. its a good one. I promise.

UNBOXING – www.thespidershop.co.uk

This week I received my Christmas pressies from my fiance Claire, a large order from Lee and the gang at The Spider Shop UK.

We had to get them this early as the weather in Wales is going to turn bad over the next two weeks…. and you can’t exactly wrap tarantulas to put under the tree.

I made the most and stretched the one box into three videos for the channel –

Poecilotheria rufilata (Red Slate Ornamental) #FINDDAVE – davestock 2018

I lost a scorpion yesterday, a Heterometrus petersii to be exact. Thank you for all your support, lot’s of people messaged and gave tips on where to try looking. We tried all night to see if he would come out wandering in the spider room – nope!

Decided I would have to dismantle the spider room systematically.

To watch the video on youtube please click the link below

CLICK ME TO WATCH VID ON YOUTUBE

Theraphosa stirmi (trying to get her to lay an eggsac)

It’s now been six months after pairing the monster in my collection – “The Burgundy Goliath” or Theraphosa stirmi.

I was expecting something to happen by now or at least some indication that she is gravid and preparing herself for eggsac production ie moving earth around or heavy webbing. So far, nothing. It’s time to take matters into my own hands and start making changes to her environment that may spur her on to drop.

In a very “off the cuff” episode from the YouTube channel, you can find out what I’ll be doing and how I’ll go about it.

Live food? Where do I recommend?

I get asked quite a lot “where do you get your roaches from?”. I have used the same guy now for 3 years or more – Live Foods Tamworth.

tamworth

I give them a 5/5 dead roach review rating and highly recommend them to anyone.5 star dead roach

You are able to watch my review video below and make your mind up for yourself

 

Dynastes hercules reidi (Mystery Box from The Spider Shop)

New arrivals here at predatororpreyonline, A juvenile Selenocosmia sp.”Sabah” and a pair of rhinoceros beetles (Dynastes hercules reidi)

These are the start of a beetle breeding empire (Jokes)

You can watch the full mystery box unboxing video in the youtube window below

I would love to know what different species of beetles you have available for sale

Moving house again…

I seem to have a lot going on at the moment, we’re moving house again and moving the inverts into a new spider room. This is a big task but I’m feeling better about the new room.. it’s even better than the room I have now – laminate flooring so no mess on the carpet. Space may be an issue as it’s either the same size as the present one or even a little smaller (I have a lot of projects coming up)

 

Rhino/Stag beetle project…

Big beetles are getting more popular in the UK and there are a couple of really good places to get a wide range of species. The problem is it can get really expensive.

The secret to breeding and rearing really big beetles is in the substrate that they eat while developing.

Knowing how to make the best substrate is key. With that in mind I have developed a three year plan that will ensure I have plenty of substrate for each year after.

As a bi-product of using the wood substrates for the beetles it makes for fantastic compost for growing plants and vegetables in the garden.

Sunday is Aphonopelma day..

Today’s video is the first to incorporate the use of my new green screen. I’m most definitely still learning, but it is a very cool effect.

Aphonopelma chalcodes, Aphonopelma seemanni and Theraphosa stirmi are showcased in this video. I also point out some problems in their enclosures with mould and spot maintenance.

I got a little pressie from a fellow youtuber – Peter Webster

With thanks to Peter for sending me five assassin bug nymphs. They are totally awesome and pretty damn quick. You can see me opening the box in the link below, I’m sure they will feature heavily in my upcoming videos.

You can view the video on youtube by clicking the link —> CLICK ME!

Western Invert Show in Bristol (22nd July)

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The Bristol invert show is one month away and excitement is building. This is a very well organised exhibition on the outskirts of Bristol, making it only 90mins drive door to door.

I will be heading over early to get some filming done – I’ve been given a traders pass from Lee @ thespidershop and have to make sure I concentrate and don’t get too distracted by the spiders/traders, to begin with.

I will be there all day until close so please come say hello, if you spot me. I’m not as miserable as my face would show.

I will be keeping my eye open for some weird bits and bobs – I fancy some true spiders and some scorpions… maybe even a couple of tailless whips.

Development of new spider room…

I’ve had a plan to relocate the spider room from our converted attic to a downstairs bedroom (unused).

The reason for the move is that the attic is a very large space to heat in the winter, and due to the velox windows, absolutely boiling hot in the summer.

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I measured the new room and bought a few heavy duty shelves. As you can see from the pic above, I assembled the shelving units in my bedroom- just to see if there was any issues with missing parts or damage (bedroom as it’s next to the spare room and has lots of space)

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Finished off doing the heavy lifting, moving beds and wardrobes, and then gave it all a good spring clean (when do you get the opportunity to do a deep clean under furniture?)

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Pretty happy with the results. Watch this space for tarantula breeding – I’m gonna smash my PB.

Thanks

Pterinoplema sazimai Update #2

I checked in on the sazimai eggsack and it’s looking really good, the nymphs are getting ready to moult into spiderlings. I’m sure they will be done within the next 2-3 weeks – really taking their time, I’ve been told that they don’t do anything quickly!

The male returned from his travels and is still making sperm webs and pacing like a trooper. I hope I can keep him alive for a few more weeks at least as the big momma female moulted, looking cracking.

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I wasn’t expecting for the male to return at all… he’s getting on in age and has serviced two females very well. I sent him to Johnny Power from The Tarantula Factory, his female dropped a sack about a month after mine. Johnny separated the N2’s as we have a 50/50 agreement on any slings produced – he counted 387 each!

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I still have no idea how many are in my eggsack as I’ve not removed them, I just leave them inside the sack – this seems to provide them with security and helps to regulate the humidity inside the incubator…. each to their own/ whatever works for you.

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As you can see above, the mirror patch on the abdomen is developing and darkening. This is a good indication of how close they are to moulting into spiderlings (this is the start of their urticating bristles developing under the exoskeleton)

I am still running a competition on the channel to win 5 of these spiderlings – just guess how many there will be from my females eggsack and I will send you some for free.

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New Logo…

As many of you are aware, I really don’t like my current logo and made a request on the channel, Twitter and Instagram – the response was incredible!

Over 40 graphic designers contacted me on various platforms and making a choice was extremely difficult. I decided to go with Mark Pennell (Serious Ink Tattoo/The BTS) – I’ve seen his work and it’s incredible.

I’m not too sure when the design will be ready to show you guys but I’m excited.

Keep an eye out for a reveal soon.

For those of you who have bought popo merch, don’t worry, both designs will be available on the store page for you to choose.

 

Gar’s Drunk Mailbag

I have a problem with drunken ebay’ing. I am not ever going to be seeking counselling for it – it is hilarious to me. Read my bio, I once bought a taxidermy owl and had no idea.

This weekend wasn’t as bad as all that but there are quite a large number of packages due to arrive this week…. it’s given me an idea for a segment on the channel.

If you want to send me random stuff (the more random the better) I will open them on camera. Please no animals without prior arrangements.

Send to

Gar’s Drunk Mailbag

29 Pantygwydr Road

Uplands

Swansea

Wales

SA2 0JA

Live stream – 20th April. Theraphosa stirmi (Burgundy Goliath)

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I will be going live on the youtube channel to pair Theraphosa stirmi – the Burgundy Goliath.

I have no idea what will happen.

It will be an evening of mating spiders and a few beers. If you have any questions for me here is the chance to fire them over.

Subscribe to the channel to receive a notification for the stream

http://www.youtube.com/predatororpreyonline

Finally, I have my holy grail tarantula…again

After some delays due to weather, the shipment for the Ornithoctoninae sp.”Kalimantan” arrived. I travelled to West Wales to rummage through the pile and pick out my pair.

I will write a big blog of my day at http://www.thespidershop.co.uk later next week but for now, I have a two-part video segment on the YouTube channel. The first has been published and is available below, the second part, and the fun part, will upload tomorrow morning. I’ll be sure to update this post after.

 

 

And here is the second part of the series – enjoy.

Gar’s Holy Grail Spider – Ornithoctoninae sp “Kalimantan”

I first came into contact with a possible relative to this species over nine years ago. They came in a large shipment from Borneo and were then labelled as Ornithoctoninae G. sp. “Orange Fringe”. Sometimes as Haplopelma doriae but this was unconfirmed.

My last experience with them was in 2013 when I got my hands on a 1.2 trio (Two females and one male) The smallest female with a 16cm diagonal legspan died promptly from unknown reasons after laying an eggsack – the eggsack then went bad soon after.

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It has been a personal mission to breed this species ever since. I know of only a few successful eggsacks.

While checking The Spider Shop’s website (as I do most days when bored) and noticed a post for sub adults at £69 each, I messaged my friend Lee Arden (Owner of TSS) immediately to secure a pair. I have no idea if there will be any males in the shipment but I am travelling back over to TSS HQ to rummage through the new arrivals and attempt to pick a male out for myself – this may prove very difficult as they are one of the most defensive species in the world …. absolute beasts that will test anyone’s bottle.

To say that I am excited is an understatement – I thought that I’d missed my chance and that I may never have seen another again.  I will be thoroughly documenting this species on the YouTube channel and on here.

BTS lectures are fast approaching

The annual British Tarantula Society lectures, held at the Aztec hotel in Bristol, are fast approaching and I am starting to get excited. The 10th of March can’t come quick enough.

If you have never been (or never knew it happened) I can honestly say that it is the best tarantula event of the year, second only to the BTS expo in May.

Last year was a good one in particular – I thoroughly enjoyed Richard Gallon’s lecture on theraphosid taxonomy (I know, not for everyone) and Guy/Paul’s lecture on documenting tarantula spiders in the field.

The after lecture dinner was broken up by Andrew Smith documentary on the history of the BTS and it was fun seeing the pics of expo’s past…. even if I did pop up in a couple of them and cringe (it’s never good seeing yourself on film from nearly a decade ago)

I will post a full review of this year’s lecture once I get home and my hangover has passed.