Aponophelma seemanni (Costa Rican Zebra)
Just a quick update on the Tarantula side of the zoo, as well as a walk through of the types of enclosures that I use.
I’m going to be building a custom arboreal (tree spider) enclosure based on the first attempt that I built for my Avicularia avicularia (no I did not stutter…that is the name for the Guyana pinktoe. 🙂 )
For now another gallery post with several of the species as well as the enclosure types that I prefer.
Just click on the first picture to enter the gallery and see the captioned information on each set up. Enjoy!
AMAC 4″x4″x5″ plastic box. Vent holes drilled with sharp tipped soldering iron
AMAC tall. Usually used for arboreal species, it also works well for deep burrowers and, as you can see in this picture, heavy webbers. The top vent is loose. This is where food and “tong maintenance” is managed from. The rock is to prevent jailbreaks. 🙂
Arboreal setups. AMAC box. To the right a 2″x2″x5″ enclosure for smaller climbers. The tape is for a mistake I made when cutting the hole. It was my first attempt, and rather than toss the enclosure, a small piece of tape made it “prey-escape-proof”. 😀
AMAC short lid. 4″x4″x5″. Excellent enclosure for slings to young juveniles.
AMAC 1.5″x1.5″x3″ I use these for the very smallest specimens.
The AMAC boxes also give a great window on the action when it goes below ground. Here is my Lounge Lizard, a P. cambridgei (Trinidad Chevron) settled into its underground apartment.
The clear plastic box is my preferred enclosure as I can see the tarantulas without having to lift a lid. Seen digesting food is my latest addition, the infamous Heteroscodra maculata (Togo Starburst Baboon).
G. pulchripes checking out things. Below, it has several chambers, but more and more it comes to the top to either hang out, or veg on the surface.
Looks can be deceiving. This is a 4″x4″x5″ house. The Nhandu chromatus here has tunnels and chambers shot all through this enclosure. The entrance is only a tiny part of the home it has made here. This species will get much larger, and I’ll be sad when the “re-house” day comes, as this one has really excelled in the building department.
Zoomed (or Lee’s or other branded names) Kritter Keeper. Outstanding pre-made enclosure. Cheap, effective, and stackable.
Another view of the Kritter Keeper. Specimen is a 4″ G. rosea.
This is another Kritter Keeper enclosure, with the “Lee’s” branding. 4″ A. seemanni
Exo Terra “Breeding box”. These have just started popping up at reptile/exotic shops, and for 10-12$, I’m damned impressed. A side feeding door, plus a spacious top latch door make these an outstanding choice for juvenile terrestrials, as well as dwarf species. Stackable, and crystal clear.
Tiphane’s home (6″ G. porteri mature female). 5 gallon aquarium. Some don’t recommend the mesh top, but for this specimen, I have no issues with it.
My first large arboreal enclosure. This was more an experiment that turned out well. I was worried that a 5 gallon aquarium wouldn’t have good ventilation, especially for the intended species ( A. avicularia). I decided to dremel out 4 large vent holes, and ensure that the door wasn’t “air tight”.
5 gallon arboreal, back side. As you can see, 6 months on, the A. avicularia (Dimi) settled in quite nicely, and made it “home”.
Another angle on the enclosure.
Roach coaches. Dubia to the right, lateralis on the left. Top coach is a “nymph house” for smaller lats. Bottom left is the main house where the bigger meals go.
Recent discussions I’ve had over what to feed exotics (specifically in my case, tarantulas) led to this post.
Typical feeder crickets
At first, almost every exotic pet animal owner (keeper) starts out with crickets. They are the ubiquitous “feeder” insect for everything from lizards to some snakes, tarantulas, scorpions and on and on.
[They ARE ubiquitous at this point because vendors were selling and raising them first. Go to any full service pet store/supplier, and you will see boxes of crickets for sale. Many species of exotics will only take crickets for the most part. We won’t even get started on worms/superworms/etc. heh.]
Almost every keeper comes to loathe the little evil bastards at least a little. Many of us more than a little. Crickets are smelly, noisy, short-lived, hoppy, annoying creatures. To top all of that off, they aren’t even the best food for animals that need insects for food.