OTHER SPIDERS AS A PET :
Not only the Tarantulas are a spiders that you can kept in captivity .. but also there is a very long list of spiders ( in some resources refer as a true spiders ) that you can keep successfully in your vivarium ( Actually small Enclosure ) and can be make a good experinces by feeding , caring and watching them ..
let is start with how to keep basics then we will review a shortlisted species that are common and popular among the hobbyists .. :
Keeping Spiders :
courtesy to : www.spiderzrule.com/care.
Many people write to me asking how to keep spiders as pets. Usually I ask what sort of spider they are intending to keep, as certain spiders adapt to captivity a lot better than others. The spider that many enthusiasts keep is usually the tarantula and it can occasionally be handled (with care) as well, as their bite is not usually dangerous to us. However tarantulas are subject to stress and really prefer not to be handled and it is very easy to damage them when being handled. Personally I prefer to see spiders left in their natural habitat and observe them as they go about their daily lives - it's much better for the spider and less work for me!! I have kept redbacks successfully in my classroom but they needed to be in a sealed container and only fed by me as I didn't want any of my students
being bitten!! I don't recommend keeping the larger web spinning garden orb weavers or argiopes as they can't weave a big enough web in a small container and their life span is limited to around 6mths anyway. Hunting spiders are fine - wolf spiders and fishing spiders can live in an aquarium just fine but huntsman spiders need to roam and wouldn't do well. You also need to be aware that a female spider can still lay an egg sac and have spiderlings without a male being present so you may end up with lots of babies running around your house.
Catching the Spider:
Look in a wide variety of habitats depending on what sort of spider you are trying to catch. You'll find house spiders and widow spiders on window sills, cracks and corners inside andoutside the house. You can look for lynx spiders, crab spiders and jumping spiders on trees and bushes. Funnel weavers live in the grass, an! I have kept redbacks successfully in my classroom but they needed to be in a sealed container and only fed by me as I didn't want any of my students being bitten!! I don't recommend keeping the larger web spinning garden orb weavers or argiopes as they can't weave a big enough web in a small container and their life span is limited to around 6mths anyway. Hunting spiders are fine - wolf spiders and fishing spiders can live in an aquarium just fine but huntsman spiders need to roam and wouldn't do well. You also need to be aware that a female spider can still lay an egg sac and have spiderlings without a male being present so you may end up with lots of babies running around your house.
Catching the Spider:
Look in a wide variety of habitats depending on what sort of spider you are trying to catch. You'll find house spiders and widow spiders on window sills, cracks and corners inside and outside the house. You can look for lynx spiders, crab spiders and jumping spiders on trees and bushes. Funnel weavers live in the grass, and wolf spiders live in the dirt and leaf litter or under rocks. Tarantulas can be found in the desert and fishing spiders near streams and ponds. Use a jar and place it below the spider if its on a plant and it will drop into the jar. You can use mesh to sift through dirt and leaf litter. To catch a spider in a jar, approach it quietly (no, they will not jump onto you), and place a transparent jar gently over it, so that it ends up in the jar, being careful not to crush its legs. Then slide a piece of firm paper or card between the jar and the surface on which the spider is sitting. Keep the card against the mouth of the jar until you are ready to put it into its new home.
Keeping the Spider:
Food: Spiders are really easy to care for, although in Winter it is often hard to find food for them. Spiders eat insects of all sort, the smaller spiders and spiderlings will eat fruit flies and flies while the larger ones will eat cockroaches, grasshoppers and crickets up to small birds, frogs and even bats. You can attract fruit flies by leaving out some leftover scraps of moist food. You can even grow your own normal flies by leaving out some food to attract flies to lay their eggs in and then put the maggots in the spider's home. Crickets can be purchased at the pet shop. Spiders can go for long periods without food, find out how often your species needs to be fed and don't over feed it. Dead insects lying on the bottom will mean the tank needs cleaning and it's best not to disturb the spider too much.
Water: Some spiders need water and this can be provide in a lid with moistened cotton wool. You can also spray the tank but don't over moisten as mould will grow and the spider will die.
Depending on the spider, you can keep it in anything from a jar to an aquarium. The size of the spider will dictate how big their container needs to be. The width of the tank should be two to three times wider than the leg span of the spider wide, and only as tall as the spider's leg span. Some spiders need very little air so the top can be fairly well sealed to avoid little fingers getting in or small spiders getting out but for spiders like tarantulas air circulation is important. Try and provide a habitat as close to the spiders normal habitat - put in dirt and leaves, rocks and grass and somewhere to hide. 2-3 inches of peat moss, soil, or vermiculite can be used as a substrate. Wood, cork bark, or half of a small clay flower pot can be used for a shelter/retreat.
You don't need to light the tank but can if you wish. Some spiders do have specific heating requirements though, so check this out depending on the spider you choose.
How to catch a spider
How to catch a Huntsman Spider!
Spider Web Construction
TYPES OF WEBS:
There are several different sorts of web - the sheet web, orb web, tangle web, funnel web, tubular web and dome or tent web. The most common type of web that is seen around the home is the orb web, so called because of its circular shape, resembling a giant wheel. It is an immensely strong web, I have seen a video of a bat being caught in an orb web and consumed by a common garden orb weaver.
Several different types of silk may be used in web construction, including a "sticky" capture silk, or with "fluffy" capture silk, depending on the type of spider. Webs may be in a vertical plane (most orb webs), a horizontal plane (sheet webs), or at any angle in between. Most commonly found in the sheet-web spider families, some webs will have loose, irregular tangles of silk above them. These tangled obstacle courses serve to disorient and knock down flying insects, making them more vulnerable to being trapped on the web below. They may also help to protect the spider from predators such as birds and wasps.
Besides the orb webs, other web designs are used by different species. The net-casting spider, Deinopsis,constructs a web between her forelegs and hangs head down waiting for an insect to pass. The web is thrown over the victim and entangles it. The Bolas spider also has a special catching technique. As the name may suspects she throws the thread with an adhesive bubble at the end to her prey. The prey is decoyed by chemical substances (pheromones).
The trapdoor spider hides in a tunnel that can be closed with a door. If the prey walks over a signal thread the door is opened and the spider grabs it. Funnel weaver spiders spin a horizontal mat and wait in a funnel at the end for their prey to come along.
To create the initial base line, the spider uses the wind to carry its initial sticky thread. The silk is released from its spinnerets and carried by the wind to a suitable surface. When it sticks to a surface the spider will carefully walk over the thread and strengthen it with a second thread. This process is repeated until the primary thread is strong enough to support the rest of the netting. After strengthening the first thread, the spider will continue to make a Y shaped netting. The first three radials of the web are now constructed. More radials are added making sure that the distance between each radial is small enough to cross. This means that the number of radials in a web directly depends on the size of the spider plus the size of the web.
After the radials are complete the spider will strengthen the centre of the web with about five circular threads.
The Linyphiidae and Theridiidae to which the redbacks and black widow belongs use three-dimensional tangled web. Linyphiidae makes a horizontal dense sheet web with a lot of non-adhesive threads above it. If an insect flies against a thread it tumbles onto the mat and is grabbed. The Theridiidae construct a messy space web in which the prey is entangled.
Spider Web Construction in Slow Motion
HOW SPIDERS MAKE WEBS:
Spiders have several spinnerets at the base of their abdomen. Every gland produces a thread for a special purpose. There are seven different known glands. Each spider possesses only some of these glands and not all seven together. Normally a spider has three pairs of spinnerets, but there are spiders with just one pair or as many as four pairs of spinnerets, with each spinneret having its own function.
The average diameter of a thread in a orb web is around 0.15mm. The smallest measured thread was only 0.02 mm thick. We are able to see the web only because of the reflection of sunlight on the thread. These thin wires are capable of stopping a bee flying at full speed. This thread is not only strong but also very elastic. The thread of the orb web spiderAraneus diadematus is very elastic and can be stretched 30 - 40% before it breaks. Steel can be stretched only 8% and nylon around 20%.
Orb weaving spiders make their webs at night time and usually take them down in the morning. They eat the silk, leaving only the base line to rebuild on. Constructing the web uses a lot of the spider's energy due to the large amount of protein required, in the form of silk and after a time the silk will lose its stickiness and becomes inefficient at capturing prey. Eating their web is a way for the spider to recoup some of the energy used in spinning. The silk proteins are thus 'recycled'.
Then a spiral of non-sticky, evenly spaced, circular threads are made for the spider to easily move around its own web during construction. Then, beginning from the outside in, the spider will methodically create the adhesive spiral threads. It will use the initial radiating lines as well as the non-sticky spirals as guide lines. The spaces between each spiral will be directly proportional to the distance from the tip of its back legs to its spinners. The spider uses its own body as a measuring/spacing device. While the sticky spirals are formed, the non-adhesive spirals are removed as they are not needed any more.
After the spider has completed its web, it will chew off the initial three centre spiral threads then sit and wait with its head down, in the web for its prey to come along. If the web is broken without any structural damage during the construction, the spider does not try to remake it as this would use up too much energy and it will probably be taken down in the morning or repaired the next night.
USES FOR SPIDER SILK:
Spider silk was and is used for several applications. In olden times, it was packed in wounds to stoop bleeding. Polynesian fishermen use the thread of the golden orb web weaver Nephila as fishing line. In the New-Hebrides spider web was used to make nets for the transportation of arrow points, tobacco and dried poison for the arrow points. Some tribes in New-Guinea used webs as hat to protect their head from the rain
During World War II the threads of Araneus diadematus, Zilla atrica, Argiope aurantia and other orb weavers were used as hairs in measuring equipment. The Americans used the threads of the black widow (Latrodectus) in their telescopic gun sights.
In 1709 a Frenchman, Bon de Saint-Hilaire, demonstrated the possibility of making fabric from silk. Many cocoons were boiled, washed and dried and the thread was collected with fine combs. Some socks and gloves were produced. A study to the economic yield of this method revealed that this would never be profitable. It was calculated that 1.3 million spider cocoons were needed to produce one kilogram of silk.
In Madagascar there were some attempts to milk Nephila'sfor the production of silk. A thread was pulled out of the spinner of the spider by hand. If the spiders silk was exhausted, she was put back in the forest and the next spider was milked. The gathered silk had a beautiful golden colour. This project was also banned because of many problems.
How to Keep Spiders As Pets
courtesy to : www.wikihow.com/Keep-Spiders-As-Pets
Many people view spiders as pests, or even dangerous creatures. Although some spiders may be dangerous, many are harmless and are very suitable as pets.
1- Find a spider. There are many different types of spiders one can choose. A couple of common spiders groups you can choose from are jumping spiders, orb weavers, and wolf spiders. The spider groups most suitable for captivity are spiders that can hunt on foot. These include jumping spiders and wolf spiders.
2- Once you have obtained a possible candidate find a clear container with holes in it so that the spider can breathe. Fewer holes, (even just one) seem to work best. Make sure that the container is large enough for the spider to move around and jump around comfortably. A small jar lid or cup with wet paper towel or cotton will help to maintain humidity.
3-Make sure you can take the lid off or drop insects in the container without having to take apart the whole container. Preferably, make a small hinge that can open and close without taking the lid off.
4- Put a small covering of sand or soil in the bottom and a leaf, rock or some other object that the spider can hide under and make its lair.
5- Place the spider in the container.
6- Feed the spider. On average, the spider needs about one or two insects a day to be as happy as possible, unless it is a larger insect. Make sure that the insect that you give it is not larger than the spider itself. An insect about half the size of the spider is an ideal candidate. Some examples of good prey are flies, smaller spiders, small caterpillars, and about any other small insect. Small meal worms work well. If you use fruit flies be sure to supplement them with other insects. Most spiders can live for up to a month without food if they have water.
7- Spiders get all the fluid they need from their prey, so you do not need to putwater in the cage, but try to keep the humidity controlled.
8-Enjoy. If a spider is well taken care of, they can live up to a year. Some tarantulas can even live for 25 years.
Other Spiders as a pet .. Introduction and keeping
Other Spiders as a pet .. Introduction and keeping
Further Reading :
by Richard S. Vetter
by Ray Forster (Author), Lyn Forster (Author)
by Joseph K. H. Koh
Leong Tzi Ming (Author)
by Friedrich G. Barth (Author), M.A. Biedermann-Thorson (Translator)