THE RANCH





THE HERD


12/14/06
The First Day

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These hairy little guys arrived today at 10:18am via DHL Overnight Express from Oklahoma City. Bought them online from Eric Tolles. Each is about 1 1/4" from tip to tip.

They are Brachypelma Smithi, more commonly known as the Mexican Red Knee tarantula. Just about the most popular of all the tarantulas as pets because they are quite docile and brightly colored when they get older.

Traveling must make these guys really hungry because they started chowin' down on the crickets right away. I thought a hundred crickets might last a while, but it doesn't look that way now.

I haven't figured out what to call them, so for now, they are A, B, C, D, and E.

I looked all around for something suitable to keep water in but finally ended up cutting the bottoms of some pop cans. I made some cuts along the rim and folded them over so it wouldn't be so jagged and sharp. I found out that the red lava rock from the landscaping is porous enough to 'soak up' water and stays wet on the surface as long as there is water in the 'dish' so I put the rocks in the water 'dishes' to keep the critters from jumping in and committing hari kiri. Now they can just climb over the wet rocks and take a drink.


12/15/06



I think Spider A was looking for a way out. Seemed to want to stick real close to the 'wall'.

Spider B was taking a break at the water hole.

Spider C still looks a might puny compared to the rest of them. Sure has a lot of energy, though. Really scoots around the barnyard.

Looks like I caught spider D at dinner time. Sorry 'bout that, little doggie.

Spider E was just out moseyin' around.


12/25/06
CHRISTMAS DAY


SPIDER A


SPIDER B


SPIDER B Again


SPIDER C


SPIDER D


SPIDER E

Well, it's Christmas day at the ranch and the chores still need to be done. Gotta feed and water the livestock, just like any other day. Thought I'd take some Christmas pics and some interesting developments have occured since the last photos.

Spider A and Spider B seem to be darkening at their abdominal bald spots. B looks almost black there! Looks like moulting time might be just around the corner for these little doggies! Stay tuned for further developments!

Not too much to report on C, D, and E except that they seem to have already had their Christmas dinner and will have to either get a larger pant size, or moult soon. Lookin' forward to that! My little critters are growing up!


SPIDER B


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Click the image above to see some really cool pictures of Spider B moulting on 01/20/07. Spider E moulted on 01/12/07 and Spider A moulted on 01/18/07.

How cool is that!?

WOW! Below are pictures of Spider B just 4 days after molting. Turns out this critter is NOT a Mexican Redknee (B. Smithi), but a Mexican Redleg (B. Emilia). Awful hard to tell them apart I guess, until they get a few molts under their belt. That's OK, I still think it's a good lookin' critter.


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