CJ's Bug Blog

What do colony collapse and spider venom have to do with each other?

For a long time the cause of the mysterious mass- collapse of honey bee colonies was unknown but if you keep up on the issue you may have heard that the main cause has been determined to be neonicotinoids, which is a type of insecticide. The effect of this insecticide has been proven to have a significantly negative effect on bee survival. Europe has the right idea and has banned them but the U.S. is dragging their feet for various reasons and we really don’t have time to mess around with this issue. There is an article circulating that you may have seen about this saying that honey bee extinction is a very real thing that could happen relatively quickly. If that happens it’s very possible that we will all die, since bees pollinate a huge percentage of our crops. Sure, we may adapt and find other (possibly artificial) means of pollination but it will probably be a huge struggle and a humongous expense (you think the economy is bad now?)

An interesting discovery was made recently that may help with our problem: the venom of the Australian funnel web spider can be used to make an effective bio- pesticide without causing such detrimental harm to bees. If you ask me we (America) need to quit shuffling our feet and ban neonicotinoids immediately and jump into researching this new bio-pesticide made with spider venom and in the meantime implement some organic pest management techniques! Here are some links if you want to read more…

http://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20140706-25637.html

http://rt.com/usa/164348-bee-friendly-pesticide-spider-venom/

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/about/intheworks/ccd-european-ban.html

http://www.wired.com/2012/03/neonicotinoids-bee-collapse/

Hey bug- people! So I just wanted to let you all know that I am selling a vial with a molt of my tiniest tarantula Moby inside of it (as well as some not bug- related jewelry) check it out!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CR33P3RCOUTURE?ref=search_shop_redirect

heyyy i just wanted to pop by and say hi (((: I was looking at my pictures of that huge corn spider i found a couple of years ago (idk if youd remember it) but i realized i hadnt talked to you in forever and i hope youre doing ok!!!! also youve reminded me that i want to start a pin collection. idk how successful ill be bc i dont think i can handle a kill jar, i feel bad killing the ants in my room, but i just want a wall that looks like your background lmao

Hi! Thanks for popping by! Of course I remember the awesome spider pictures! Yeah I understand about the kill jar thing totally. I have been trying to start a pinned collection for ages but it’s slow going because I just collect insects that I find already dead in good condition or if they are already dying I use the jar to speed it up. Let me know if you start and how your progress goes! Thanks for popping in to say hi! :)

pewpuupalace:

neeneejb:

Orchid Mantis

it’s sooo pretty .

i love these little guys, they are like magical girl mantissssssessssess

My emperor scorpion, Houdini, died today :(

I have been worried about him for weeks because he hasn’t been interested in eating and I tried roaches then crickets and he just wouldn’t take them and he was like laying in his water dish so I thought maybe he was just being finicky and craving humidity because he was about to molt so I even added an extra water dish to up the humidity and I’ve been having dreams where he would eat and I was so happy then I would wake up and realize he still hadn’t eaten and when I checked on him today he was dead. I left him for the whole day just in case to see if he showed any signs of molting (I haven’t seen a scorpion molt yet) but alas, nothing so I poked him to see if he would move, and nada. I pronounce him dead. I’m pretty bummed, I’ve only had him about 6 months, not sure where I went wrong :/ He was never a very a good eater though, maybe he was just unhealthy to begin with… I did get him from petco after all…

I’ll buy another one from someone else and try again soon…

In the meantime maybe I’ll try to taxidermy him…

So on the left is my new baby Green Bottle Blue (chromatopelma cyaneopubescens), Moby. My aunt bought her (not sexed just wishful thinking) for me for Christmas ^_^ On the right is how she will look when she grows up.

Sooo a funny thing happened…

Some personal things happened recently involving school that have led me to the decision to not go away to college anytime soon… which means I no longer have anything keeping me from buying more tarantulas, scorpions, millipedes, centipedes etc…

LET THE MADNESS ENSUE.

Drone Fly vs. Honey Bee

I was inspired by the post that I just reblogged where the person mistook a honey bee for a bee-mimic fly. Here is a photo comparison of a drone fly Eristalis tenax (see top photo) and a honey bee (genus: Apis however I cannot distinguish between the seven different species of honey bee) (see bottom photo). As you can see, and as the other post pointed out, the drone fly only has one set of wings and the bee has two sets (though it can be difficult to see the second set). The markings are also different, as are the behaviors. The drone fly moves erratically and/or hovers around whereas bees often more slowly from flower to flower.  

nemertea:

jayrockin:

A deceased bee-mimic fly. It wants you to think it is a European honey bee and can sting you, but you can tell it’s a faker by the stockiness of the body, the non-geniculate antenna, and the size of its compound eyes; which touch at the top (European honey bee compound eyes are separate and located on opposite sides of the head.)

So there are lots of flies out there that mimic bees, and they are cool, but this is actually a plain old honey bee, Apis melifera. It’s just a drone, or male bee. Drones can be readily distinguished from the females by their large eyes (and, yes, they are stingless, as stingers are derived from the ovipositor, a structure found only in females). The easiest way to tell that this is a bee and not a fly is to look at its wings — he very clearly has two sets of wings, unlike flies, which always have a single pair of wings (the second pair is reduced in size to a tiny pair of stabilizing structures called halteres).

I rehoused a couple of my tarantulas today. This one is Rimby she outgrew the Tupperware container that I had her in. If you don’t already know the story, I got her for free when she was a tiny little sling from the owner of an exotic pet shop shortly after I bought my first tarantula, Zmeef (my Versicolor). I don’t actually know what kind of tarantula Rimby is, the guy who gave her to me told me but I don’t remember for certain. She looks a lot like a Mexican Red Rump but I remember the guy saying Costa Rican something, and there are Costa Rican red rumps and they look pretty much exactly the same as mexican red rumps. So I’ve been calling her a Costa Rican red rump for about a year now. I’ve never actually held her before (she tends to be pretty feisty) but she was on her good behavior today so I figured I would take advantage.

the-ever-so-odious:

morticulture:

gnarly

hornworms are squishy and yummy

the-ever-so-odious:

morticulture:

gnarly

hornworms are squishy and yummy

nemertea:

What a cutie patootie.
Also, look, she totally has a nametag and her name is Ava. ADORBS.

nemertea:

What a cutie patootie.

Also, look, she totally has a nametag and her name is Ava. ADORBS.

i like having animal knowledge and i don't know a lot about tarantulas, can you give a sermon on tarantula disposition, both the very aggressive angry sides and the very sweet baby side and everything in between??

necessary:

UMMM OKAY!!! i’ll try!!! (this is going to be super long)

IDK WHERE TO START UHHH SO LETS START HERE

there are two main types of tarantulas

you got your new worlds, then you have your old worlds.

your NEW WORLDS like the name obviously state come from the new world or most of the western hemisphere (minus australia.) AKA north america and south america! most of these species possess urticating hairs, meaning they can give you a rash if you make them mad! they possess these hairs on their BUTTS (i mean abdomens.) this is why they are so fluffy and stuff. you don’t really wanna go around petting a NW tarantulas abdomen.

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EEEEEE cute, right?!?!

if you have a really nervous NW tarantula, they can end up kicking all their hairs off and getting a cute little old man bald spot!

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however, they have the ability to regenerate a full butt of hairs with each molt.

NW tarantulas make the best “pets” because instead of their first defense mechanism be BITING (which freaks people out) is either to run or they kick their hairs off instead. and because they possess these kawaii barbed fuzz needles, means their venom is very very weak to humans. (if they’re the bitey type…)

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new world tarantulas are generally more calm and a lot don’t even feel the urge to kick hair.

some NW tarantulas completely lack the urticating hair so they have more of an old world tarantula attitude…

the psalmopoeus genus is a great example of these itchless new worlds! though they are very pretty, they typically can be very defensive and are reported to have strong venom. (bites are very rare an non-lethal to humans)

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that pretty much sums up your new world tarantulas!!!

your old world (africa, asia, australia…) tarantulas are a little different…

they lack these urticating hairs which is a plus for some experienced keepers/collectors who cant stand the itchies! (personally, urticating hairs dont bother me usually.)

since they lack these hairs they often come with a bad attitude and some pretty serious venom an speed! they’re recommended as pets for experience keepers only.

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did i mention they can also be extremely beautiful?! they make awesome observational look but don’t touch display pets.

their venom can cause severe pain, nausea, muscle cramping, headaches, dizziness, irregular heart beat.. etc.

this being said, no one has ever died from a tarantula bite before, and are not considered medically significant!!

every tarantula has a different personality. you can have a new world who is very mean, and an old world who is very nice.

i have a nhandu coloratovillosus female who are suppose to be a very mean species of new world tarantula, but she is a pet rock! she is the sweetest tarantula i own.

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she doesn’t ever kick or throw a threat pose!

then i also have a brachypelma vagans girl who are supposed to be on the docile, laid back end of tarantulas.. but…

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that’s her… obviously not a happy girl! her first instinct is to bite, then kick hair!

she’s fine as long as you don’t spook or provoke her, though. i love them all the same!

they come in all different sizes and colors!!!!

when most people think of tarantulas they think big brown spider…

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but they also come in what the heck rainbow spider colors!!!

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they also come in halloween color, convenient for the month of october!!!


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their size range from XXS

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(^ also perfect for valentines day)

to XXL

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i’m pretty sure there’s a tarantula for everyone! (if you’re into that sort of thing…)

ok this concludes my brief essay on tarantulas!!! there is so much more to be said but i am hungry now so bYE

This is great.

Clean up beettles

Submission: Will blue death feigning beetles bite and/or chew on a molted tarantula or scorpion? I have a flat rock scorpion now which is so primitive and fascinating looking, plus they are very long lived. Do you know anything about their venom?

My response: Apologies for taking forever to respond to this, I don’t know if a blue death feigning beetle would bite or chew on a molting arachnid… personally, I wouldn’t risk it. They seem to not have a strictly vegetarian diet, since people feed them cat food as well as vegetables which is the same as I feed my crickets and I know that crickets will sometimes chew on a molting arachnid so it seems very possible to me that a blue death feigning beetle would too.

As far as the venom of flat rock scorpions goes, I have read that their sting is similar to a bee sting so their venom isn’t deadly unless you happen to be allergic. They are also pretty unaggressive. They are definitely on my list of wanted invertebrates. Beautiful little buggers ^_^

Lol Please blog more often I already read all your posts

This just made my day! Thanks for reading all of my posts! I apologize to you and all of my other followers for not posting more often, I am ridiculously busy with school and two seasonal jobs this month plus dance classes several times a week so it is hard to find time and energy to write new posts and research new things to write about. I will try to post some new stuff really soon, hopefully after the weekend! Thanks for sticking with me despite my irregular posting habits it means a lot!