Official weblog of the world's cutest Chaco Golden Knee tarantula  
 
 
     
 

Groomed for Success

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2018   |   POSTED BY MICAH GARTMAN

 
     
 

Summer started off on a low note for Sydney Sue. He spent the first three weeks of June secluded in his cave pouting about the abysmal Houston heat. I considered joining him, but there wasn't enough room for the both of us in there. He reappeared, though, just as I was cookin' up a batch of tasty crickets. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Since then, he spends his time lounging in the front area of his house—what we call the "front yard"—doing fun spider activities like digging holes, taking naps and climbing on his cave. He's still trying to open the lid on his house, but he's too short to get enough leverage to push the hatch open. In this poorly lit photo you can see him attempting a break-out:

 

 

 

     
   
     
 

When not planning his great escape, Sydney Sue has been making improvements to his home. He excavated more dirt from his cricket-catching tunnel (which he piled in and around his water bowl) and recently broke ground on a new hole in a corner of his front yard. Diane says he's just putting on a show to entertain us:

 
     
   
     
 

Such a dapper young man! I think he gets his fashion sense from UFC announcer Bruce Buffer. "Iiiiiiiit's TIME!!!"

And, of course, there has been LOTS of time for naps. Naps in the shade; naps in the sun. Naps next to the water bowl; naps IN the water bowl. It's tarantula nirvana, and Sydney Sue hasn't wasted a single moment of it! Here he is sleeping next to his plastic tube:

 
     
   
     
 

And who doesn't enjoy napping head first in a corner?

 
     
   
     
 

A different corner but an interesting siesta position to say the least:

 
     
   
     
 

I'm not sure how this pose is comfortable, but it must be. He was still in the same spot the next morning:

 
     
   
     
 

Digging and napping is extremely difficult work—and quite messy. After a long day of earth moving, a proper gentleman takes a few moments to clean his feet (click the image to play):

 
     
   
     
 

He primped for hours. Each paw, spinneret and bristle on his fuzzy butt were groomed to perfection. Afterwards, he took a well deserved nap :)

 
     
 
 
     
 

Molt Watch 2018

It's been 704 days since Sydney Sue's last molt. We were told that Grammostola pulchripes are a slow-growing species, and they weren't kidding! At this rate, he's on track to break the record for world's oldest spider. Speaking of which…

 
     
 
 
     
 

R.I.P., Number 16

According to an article from Pacific Conservation Biology, the world's longest living spider has passed away at the age of 43 years. Known as research specimen number 16, the female Gaius villosus—an Australian rainbow trapdoor spider—spent her entire life in an underground burrow. Sadly, her death was not due to old age. She was, instead, the victim of a parasitic wasp who paralyzed her with its sting and then used her body as a host for its eggs.

Just more proof that everything in Australia can kill you.

The genus Gaius is a a cousin of the tarantula as they are both members of the infraorder Mygalomorphae. Trapdoor spiders are very sassy, which is a polite way of saying they'll bite the heck out of you if you disturb their burrow. You'd be sassy too if you had the physique of an army tank:

 
     
   
  © Copyright 2018 Leanda Mason. All Rights Reserved.  
     
 
 
     
 

Tarántulas en Las Montañas

While searching for frogs beneath rocks high in the Andes Mountains, biologist Tracie Seimon found something she never expected to see at 14,700 feet: tiny tarantulas. “We started seeing these little burrows with fuzzy little bums sticking out.” After conferring with tarantula guru Rick West, it was determined that she had discovered a never before seen species of tarantula. “These spiders are just beautiful. They have blonde legs, with a black body and a bright red spot on their back.”

Because she made the discovery, Dr. Seimon was given the great honor of creating their scientific name. The fuzzy-butted spiders are now known as Hapalotremus vilcanota, an homage to the Peruvian mountains where they were found.

Personally, I would have went with Hapalotremus fuzzbuttarino. But I'm not a scientist, so what do I know?

 
     
   
  © Copyright 2018 Josh Richards. All Rights Reserved.  
     
 
 
     
 

Nicole Kidman Saves a Tarantula

Did you know that Academy Award-winning actress Nicole Kidman is a spider lover? A mature male Aphonopelma sp. almost fell into her swimming pool, but she was able to save it before it plunged to its demise. She later posted a video of the encounter on her Instagram feed. Thanks, Mrs. Kidman! Like I always say:

Be nice to spiders :)

 
     
   
  © Copyright 2018 Nicole Kidman. All Rights Reserved.  
     
 
 
     
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