An interview with a #spidermonk

Guy Tansley (bugsnstuff) and myself talk spiders in the wild!

In this video I talk with my friend and colleague Guy Tansley from Bugsnstuff –

Guy is a well respected, world-renowned arachnologist and adventurer and is the director of photography for Andrew Smiths “Lovetaranatulas”-


Apache Chilli (Capsicum annuum) picking off first pod for next years seeds

Capsicum annuum or the Apache Chilli is a very sturdy plant with a high yield. This year I selected a test plant from B&Q just to see how well they do in my greenhouse… the answer is very well indeed.

I’ve set up a second YouTube channel ready for documenting the growth, harvest and chilli sauce making processes. Next year will be full on – greenhouse full of chilli plants. I have started my seed collection that includes some really wicked hot species.

Please check out the youtube channel – I’ll be setting up a website very soon in preparation.

I have found a love for growing plants. I may just be getting old or it was always there lurking. We will see.

Reaction to EXOTICS LAIR Thailand black rehousing!

I’ve been sitting on this video weighing up the pros and cons of releasing it. I thought about turning off comments/likes/dislikes BUT decided against it. There is no doubt that Exotics Lair is an entertainer and a hugely successful YouTuber – I have a very strong opinion with channels exploiting the animals for views INSTEAD of showcasing how amazing they can be. We as keepers/hobbyists have a responsibility to give our spiders appropriate conditions to “feel” secure and thrive. The water dish series is a prime example.

Pet-Tube keepers V’s pure hobbyists: The disappointing evolution of the Tarantula hobby.

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I remember, when entering this hobby, that there was only a handful of really good online resources for tarantula husbandry information – A couple of forums and even fewer good blogs. I had to order books at the library and borrow books from friends. The hobby was smaller and due to this, it seems, the misinformation was less abundant. Of course, as the years have gone on most of the information is outdated and theories defunct. This is the evolution of information. It’s healthy. It’s natural. It’s good.

I am in no way an “it was better in my time” kind of guy, I love technology and am very grateful to be able to whizz up a taxonomic article with a simple Google search BUT I now know where to look, what to ignore, and more importantly WHO to give a wide berth. I have a bullshit filter that works pretty damn well nowadays.

Now the hobby is huge due to how connected we are to each other and to how accessible information is – I honestly believe this is a great thing that’s happening now.

Saying that,  when you have a hobby that has grown exponentially you get a brand new level of misinformation and bad ideas spreading through new keepers like Chlamydia through a fresher’s dorm.

Your Hysterocrates does not have to have a swimming pool to survive and thrive!

Social Media is giving everyone a platform to showcase how they do things to the world – YouTube being the largest outlet for anyone who has a camera and wants to be heard. There is a certain amount of arrogance or narcissism with wanting to set up a channel and believing that people actually NEED to see your spider eat a cricket ( yes, I fall into this category- we all do)

So, here is where I start to make my title point;

What is a Pet-Tuber?

My definition of PetTuber is someone who keeps animals for the benefit of furthering their subscriber count, their standing and their channel. Not for any benefit to the animals.

These channels are where you will find most of the terrible husbandry, poor guidance and proper misinformation. Unfortunately, these are often the largest of the channels and have the most reach to new budding hobbyists with the really great information lost in a sea of complete garbage. Oh I get it, these guys are entertaining, large and loud BUT there’s a line you should not cross.

I’m drawing a line in the sand.

If you’ve noticed that I’ve “unfollowed” you then you may fall under this category – have a think – has my need for attention outgrown my love and care for these amazing creatures? Where do I fit in?

If you do, and you’re happy with that then good luck to you. I speak to a load of YouTubers that see it as more of a business than anything else – and that’s fine. When bad information and bad husbandry is shown with a “THIS is the right/only way” cavalier attitude then we’re in trouble again and this is what needs to change. I am writing this without any desire to “name and shame” or point any fingers. I would only ask that you consider and challenge what you’re watching daily. Just because he/she has a gazillion subscribers ,or whatever, does not automatically make them right 100% of the time.

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.