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Australian Tarantulas - One Australians Journey

Dave Jay

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empty tank.jpg
Firstly, a choice of enclosures, 5"x5"x10" (12.7 x 12.7 x 25.4cm) or 4"x3"x6" (10.6x7.6x15.2cm)?
Being that I was expecting slings with an inch and a quarter legspan, I thought I'd go with the larger enclosures. They are self cleaning fish tanks, basically ready made false bottom tanks, I use them for the majority of my scorpions, with desert species the substrate can be mostly dry. I use a layer of straight peat on the bottom, when I see that lighten in colour I add a shot glass of water.


empty tanks.jpg
 
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Dave Jay

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tanks 1.JPG
The species I chose was Phlogius sp. 'stents' , I ordered 5 as after researching they seemed like a good choice to breed for a beginner. I also ordered a Selenotypus plumipes 'northern territory'.
The next order will be 6 Selenotypus sp.2 as there is a special 6 for $50, I may just grow them and sell the majority at a larger size. They will likely be very small slings, but I feel the experience will do me good.

The advice I was given for these species to use a 50/50 mix of coir peat /sand , I chose to make it with slightly more peat , 60/40 peat/sand as I find this works well with some of my scorpions, and thought that as they are slings more peat might be better.
I was advised to use a deep substrate as they are burrowers, but also to include anchor points as some will use them. Feedback on these tanks was that I should have added more substrate ,which I will when I set more up. Basically, after hearing all the stories about how fast they are, and that they might bolt and escape, I didn't want the substrate too close to the top!
I used small plastic plants and plastic bark as decor to avoid any problems with mould or fungus on wood.
 
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Dave Jay

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Oh I’m envious you gonna get Atrax Robustus?
Probably not!
But when I go camping no doubt I can find trapdoors and wolf spiders as well as the scorpions I'll trap,so who knows!

I live in Mount Barker, South Australia, so no funnelwebs or tarantulas (depends how far north I go)
 

Dave Jay

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On the 14th of February the Selenotypus plumipes arrived, a nice plump little guy, easily the 1 and a quarter inch size. I was pretty happy!
I decided to just let it come out of the vial in its own time. After a few hours it finally came out, it did a lap of the enclosure, went into the hide and hasn't come out yet .
Senelotypus plumipes.JPG
Selenotypus plumipes pic3.JPG
Selenotypus plumipes pic2.JPG
 

Dave Jay

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tubs.JPG
tank coin.JPG
Phlogius sp. 'stents' doa 2.JPG
Phlogius sp. 'stents' doa1.JPG
Phlogius sp. 'stents' no3 pic1.JPG
Phlogius sp. 'stents' no2 pic1.JPG
Phlogius sp. 'stents' no1 pic2.JPG
On the 15th of February the P. 'stents' arrived. 3 were smaller than I anticipated, 2 were of the size promised. Unfortunately the smallest and the largest were doa.
The seller offered replacements without hesitation, I offered to pay postage, most likely I will order the Selenotypus sp.2 next pay anyway.
I show a picture of a tank with a coin in it as a size reference, the coin is 1 and a quarter inch across. The bottle top is smaller than average, but it is closer to the camera as the substrate slopes toward the back.
 

Dave Jay

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So the plumipes is still in its cave, one of the 'stents' webbed up between a plant piece and the side, the other two have blocked the entrances to their caves, I'm not sure whether to add a small cricket to their tanks or not. Perhaps they'll feel the vibrations and emerge, as the centipedes do, or perhaps they are moulting. I have read posts saying that slings may moult when first aquired. Being that they are sealed up I suppose a small cricket won't do any harm, I always add food for crickets when I feed my scorpions so that they are not hungry enough to annoy them if not eaten immediately, I'll do the same with the tarantulas.
 

Dave Jay

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Still, you have a much wider range of inverts available than we do. If you want a really aggressive spider some of the wolf spiders are insane!
One night camping in the Mallee a very large spider wandered into the edge of the pool of light and stopped. A mate of mine said he'd get it moving on its way so he picked up a 2' bit of bark to shoo it with. Over 3 feet away from it it jumped towards him and struck the bark knee height with a loud crack! We decided it could do as it pleased!
 

Dave Jay

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Oh, in the last few hours there is either a dead spider or a moult outside of one of the caves that had been blocked off since the night I got the stents :/
Guess I won't mess around with it just yet, if it's dead it's dead. Would it be strange to unblock the burrow, take like two steps and cark it?

Edit - it's gone so it must have been a moult
17th Feb - no. 3 moulted
 
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Dave Jay

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18th Feb, first feed. No. 1 ate straight away, no. 2,burrow was blocked, now small hole with tips of legs visable. No. 3 not fed due to moult.
Plumipes fed . not visible in hide, assuming blocked burrow.
Crickets have food , crickets will be removed tomorrow if uneaten.

No 2 ate cricket approx 2hrs after feeding.
 
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WolfSpider

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Still, you have a much wider range of inverts available than we do. If you want a really aggressive spider some of the wolf spiders are insane!
One night camping in the Mallee a very large spider wandered into the edge of the pool of light and stopped. A mate of mine said he'd get it moving on its way so he picked up a 2' bit of bark to shoo it with. Over 3 feet away from it it jumped towards him and struck the bark knee height with a loud crack! We decided it could do as it pleased!
Yeah Buddy! Ours in America are more placid. But they are the best bug killers ever!!
 

Dave Jay

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19th Feb. Realised that no. 3 didn't moult, it must have been sitting in a strange position. Today it was outside the burrow again, looking just the same. Like the other day, no reaction to the torch beam or tapping, I guess pretending to be dead as a defence mechanism . I put a small cricket in and it took it before I could close the lid.
The cricket in the S. plumipes enclosure still there
 
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Dave Jay

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Number 1 ,2 and 3 in order.
num1 full.JPG
num2 pic1.JPG
num3 full.JPG
I took some pictures of the Phlogius sp 'stents' enclosures today to compare the different amounts of webbing .
 
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Dave Jay

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20/02/18
Fed them all again. The S. plumipes has been visable in its hide this afternoon and has eaten the cricket from Sunday and another. It is very shy, even speaking in a low voice scares it back into its burrow, whereas P. sp. 'stents' number 3 is disturbed by very little, flashlight ,tapping gets no response at all, it either looks dead, or just goes about its business webbing outside of its burrow .
All ate their crickets.
At first on a whim I put a medium cricket into number 3's tank, which he attacked straight away but it broke free. He seemed put off after that for a while, then decided to ignore the cricket and finish off the entrance webbing. When I swapped crickets to a small one it took that within minutes.
I have video, but the file size is too large apparently , so I'll sort that out and post asap
 

Dave Jay

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The S. plumipes has been busy overnight, it's hard to see in pictures but you can see a darker line where the actual surface is, there's about an inch of loose substrate at the front of the tank, and because of the straight peat at the bottom I could tell that it had reached the bottom of the enclosure.
plumipes dig.JPG
plumipes dig2.JPG
plumipes dig3.JPG
burrow angle.JPG
burrow back.JPG
burrow side.JPG
 

Dave Jay

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Phlogius sp. 'stents' Number 3 must have been a bit busy too, there is webbing out in the open, but his nice entrance tunnel is full of dirt and his burrow is blocked .
num3 webbing.JPG
 

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