My new Bird eater…
So along with my new vinegaroon I got two new tarantulas this week from a very cool priest who breeds and collects snakes but was trying to downsize his collection. So when we were first emailing he told me that he had a bird eater tarantula that he wanted to give me. Of course, I automatically assumed that he was referring to a Goliath Bird eater (T. blondi) which is a tarantula that I have always wanted to add to my collection (okay, so maybe every tarantula is a tarantula I want to add to my collection). So needless to say I was very excited when I went to pick up my new T. blondi but of course the moment I saw the tarantula I knew that it was no T. blondi and he didn’t seem to know exactly what it was either other than he thought it was a bird eater. Of course, I still wanted it and I took it home and began researching what it might be and I THINK it may be a juvenile Bahia Scarlet Bird eater (Lasiodora klugi) which is a tarantula that I had actually never heard of before. But anyways, since I unfortunately am working next weekend I can’t have it identified at NARBC so instead I am going send out a few emails with pictures to other big names in the tarantula hobby… which is something I should probably do with Rimby (the suspected Costa Rican Red Rump) also. I will keep you all posted on what I find out.
Radical News Folks…
I just got a job as a presenter at Reptile Zoo… basically I present various reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates and educate groups about them. I am beyond stoked that I will be educating about some of my favorite animals AND being paid for it!
Why Vinegaroons are Metal as Fuck
So yesterday I received a free little baby (top two photos) who, by my friend’s suggestion, I have named Zim. Zim is a Vinegaroon, they are also called Whip Scorpions. Many people have no idea what a vinegaroon is so I will start off by saying that it is an arachnid, which means it is related to scorpions and spiders. They are in the family Thelyphonidae. There are different types of vinegaroons, I think this one may be a Giant Vinegaroon (Mastigoproctus giganteus) (see bottom photo of a full grown Giant Vinegaroon) because the guy who gave it to me said that he got it from Ken the Bug Guy and Ken the Bug guy seems to only have Giant Vinegaroons in stock at the moment. Vinegaroons use only six of their legs for walking and they use the front two legs as sensory organs like antennae. They prefer dark, humid environments and in captivity they generally eat crickets and/or roaches. They are not venomous, though they may pinch and THEY CAN SHOOT ACID OUT OF GLANDS IN THEIR ABDOMEN AND INTO THE EYES OF THOSE WHO ATTEMPT TO PREY UPON THEM… and that is why vinegaroons are so metal. The acid they shoot out of their tails is acetic acid and it smells like… you guessed it, vinegar, which is how they got the name vinegaroon. I am pretty damn excited about finally owning one.
One of the insects I saw on my trip was this California root borer (Prionus californicus) which is in the longhorn beetle family. These buggers are native to Western America and are considered an agricultural pest. I found this particular one while camping in San Jose, CA.
Now, I don’t know if they are all like this, but this was one hell of a sassy bug! After excitedly showing it to all of my friends and photographing it I decided it would be a good idea to move it off of the walkway so that it wouldn’t get stepped on (yes, it may be a pest but it’s cute okay!?). So I proceeded to try to gently poke at it with a stick in an attempt to guide it off of the path… but boy, it was not happy AT ALL about that! It wouldn’t budge and instead it started to tell me off in its’ little bug language (which sounded like squeaky hissing) and waving its’ jagged “horns” angrily at me. Finally, I got fed up (and a tad bit offended) and I said to it “Fine if you want to get smooshed, please don’t let me stop you… jerk.”
Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, I’ve been on an epic adventure along the U.S. West Coast (Good news is that I saw and photographed plenty of bugs along the way that I will post about!) Snoopy and I are working on some new posts right now so expect this to become a much more active blog very soon! Thanks for sticking with me!
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…
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! :)
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.