Tiphane G. proteri
G. proteri

Noob-keeper post:

So after a ton of reading and researching, the general conclusion I’m seeing about arachnid intelligence is…all over the place.

Iskierka G. rosea

Recently my G. rosea sling “Iskierka” managed to squeak out of an air-hole that was just a tiny bit big and go on “walk-about” in my office bedroom. I found her on the floor merrily tromping along toward a book case a good 10 feet from her starting point. (And In no hurry, she was just walking along.)

As an experiment, I placed her cage in a larger wide container, and placed a glass lid on her cage. (not exactly lightweight, but unanchored.)

She escaped the cage.

How? She isn’t more than 1/2″ in complete diameter and the lid is 1/8″ thick glass. She SLID the lid back enough to squeeze out. She then wandered slowly and in no hurry about the large container, checking here and there for who knows what. I re-caged her easily with a light tap on her rear leg and she waltzed into a small pill bottle. I put her back in her original home and she went back to her normal spot as if nothing had happened.

Now WHY should she want to? Or care? We keep these wee ones in tiny little cages no bigger than a large vial or deli cup at this point as it is supposed to be “big enough”. If these creatures ARE comfortable in this kind of an environment, WHY BOTHER with the Houdini act? -rhetorical.

Without anthropomorphizing, this tells me that even as a tiny sling, these animals can problem solve.

Tiphane on the left and "Ms. Fumblebutt" - temp name-- on the right.
Tiphane on the left and “Ms. Fumblebutt” – temp name– on the right.
Tiphane checking things out.
Ms. Fumblebutt sucking down some water. She can’t make up her mind as to whether this is a drinking hole…or her toilet. 😀

I have two larger T’s who are within 1/4″ in growth of each other, the same species…and couldn’t be more different personalities. In fact I keep falling back on my “cat” analogy. If you put eight legs on cats, I don’t see a whole hell of a lot of difference in behavior. (Granted cats are larger, and do some different things, but way too much is the same for me to just blow it off as imagination.)

These animals have moods.

They can determine that their owner isn’t a threat and allow itself to be picked up and handled as opposed to lunging/running or what one would assume to be an automatic flight/fight response.

OBT on the attack!
OBT on the attack!

Or they can be like OBT’s (Orange Bitey Things or their name:Pterinochilus murinus) and make the attack the primary modus operandi no matter what. (UNTIL the exception…there are always exceptions with T’s.)

Not saying “brain surgeons” here, but there is a whole hell of lot more going on in those prosomas (the front body part that contains the brain), and it doesn’t take a biologist/entomologist  to figure THAT out.

They can barely “see” as vertebrates do…until you realize/discover that they have an overall sensory apparatus that would make Daredevil feel like a 2nd rate charlatan. (Their entire body is a sense organ in essence.)

I’m betting that these creatures can “SEE” better than we can, but in an alien way that combines all of this stuff into a coherent picture that we human types can’t really visualize…much the same way that multiple dimensions beyond the 4th one buggers up our poor ape brains.

And then I read over and over how little they have actually been studied, and the first thought that pops up in MY prosoma is…WHY THE HELL NOT?  -heh.

Also Tarantula wikipedia entries need fixing…badly. (egads.)  🙂

5 thoughts on “Tarantula Keeper’s Journal Entry 3 – Deep thoughts

  1. Hi, I found you via cancerides, who has been nothing but an enormous help (and very courteous with it!) as my collection of tarantulas continues to grow: I have 32 now, with three pending. Nice to “meet” you 🙂

    When my grown on sling/not quite juvi GBB arrived I delightedly housed her and settled down for the afternoon… until I looked across at her enclosure and realised that, really, she ought not to be dancing around *on top of it* and should, actually, be in it! I had to swiftly recapture her, steal a vented lid from a larger juvenile and swap it over (my H. columbia was deep in his/her premoult burrow, so neither noticed or cared about the minor disturbance).

    I’ve also had an E. murinus (Skeleton Leg) shoot across the enclosure and over the carpet whilst performing maintenance: catching such a creature with your bare hands is risky, and I would have been better prepared if I’d known what they’re like on a good day (she’d only ever been dozy, but she arrived premoult so I didn’t get to witness her real behaviour for several weeks after her arrival)! Needless to say, I had a catch cup ready when my P. chordatus (Kilimanjaro Mustard Baboon) arrived, and always have a spare terrestrial tub for larger Ts to hand so that pokies and other arboreals can be swiftly caught if they attempt to teleport away from their new housing – which my P. rufilata did last week. I was able to get her into her sweetie jar before she could find a way to clamber out of the terrestrial tub she landed in and leg it 🙂

    1. Yep, his site is very helpful and a fun read on top of that. Nice to meet you as well. I’m up to 8 here and 2 on the way. Going to “cap” my herd at 12 for the time being. I’m still learning, and going through the processes. 🙂

      When housing, if the info has even a “hint” of “fast”, I do the deal in the bathtub with a catch cup. I learned that lesson with my chromatus who led me a merry chase around the office. (that was fun. heh.)

      1. Haha, the Chromatus is totally insane: mine would eat my face if she could – I only have to breathe a little too close to her enclosure and she comes running lol. I love her to bits, the greedy madam.

        It’s also never the ones you expect to cause trouble who actually do. When my P. rufilata and S. calceatum arrived last week I elected to house the calceatum (or Face Hugger) first in case of trouble. It went quietly and hid under a decoration, whereas the P. rufilata (and all of my pokies have been very calm before) decided to be Evil Kineavil for a while until I could capture her!

        I was going to stop at ten… it’s addictive 🙂

        1. Yeah I’ll agree with the chromatus being nuts. She’s burrowed and sealed off now, so there is that.

          The easiest ‘house’ was my ornata. She walked out of the vial onto the bark of the new cage and went down and dug a burrow. heh.

          I’m going to hold at 12 because that gives me a bit of each type. Good education and a bit of variety in husbandry. Going to put up another blog post about goings-on in a bit. 🙂

          1. My ornata was a dream to house too. Just a grown on sling, so only feeding every couple of weeks to avoid overfeeding, but think it’s premoult now as I’ve not seen it for a week or so and the locust I put in at the weekend is still roaming. Currently my smallest pokie, and so fluffy and cute. I also have a regalis, who was 10 months old when I bought her, so about a year old now, plus a recently moulted sling/juvi P. met and the rufilata. I didn’t plan to get any Old Worlds, but I just adore them now. I still appreciate my dozy New World terrestrials though, and wouldn’t part with any of them 🙂

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