Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bitten by an Orange Baboon Tarantula

I have more than one hundred Orange Baboon Tarantulas ranging in size from about 2 cm to fully grown adults. They have a very intense orange colour and they are indeed very beautiful to look at, especially after a moult.

But BEWARE!! They have a very nasty attitude. They are very defensive and will readily give a threat display when disturbed.

This photo below shows the OBT in threat display. Look carefully at those fangs.

We will now take a closer look at those fangs. ( See photo below )
During the last 2 months, I was bitten by an Orange Baboon Tarantula on 3 occasions.
All those bites happened because I was not careful when handling them.
You see, I always take photos of my tarantulas whenever I have the time. On those 3 occasions, it was my fault. I purposely disturb them so that they would give a threat display. That's what I wanted to photograph. But 3 times the same thing happened. When they get very irritated, they would simply jump out from the container and of course, it would land on either my hand or my legs as I was sitting down.

The first time, I was bitten on my left arm. I felt a very slight pain, like an ant bite. I did not think much about it as that particular OBT was only about an inch in size. The fireworks came about 20 minutes later. The area around the bite was burning - intense burning. Imagine a hot electric iron placed on your hand and it was there for about 20 hours. Painkillers have no effect.
There was swelling and then numbness. The crunch came the next day. There was muscular cramp in my left hand. The cramp came on and off. I had to take muscular relaxants to ease the suffering. On the third and fourth day the intense pain subsided but the cramp persisted until the seventh day.

On the 2nd occasion, I was bitten by another OBT on my left thigh. It fell out when I opened the container. I knew exactly what to expect. The same old thing happened again - intense hot pain and muscular cramp.

The 3rd time was two weeks ago. This time I was bitten by a 3 inch OBT. It was in threat display as I was focussing my camera on it when it suddenly jumped out and landed on my left ankle. Instantly it bit my ankle and ran away. I was expecting the same old thing again. Yes, it happened but thistime it was worse. The intense burning pain can make a grown man cry. The muscular cramp affects the calf muscle, the ankle and the toes. Hospitals do not have tarantula anti-venoms. I suffered for a week.

Look at the photos of my swollen left ankle.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Malaysian Earth Tiger Tarantula

Here are some tarantulas in my private collection. First, I'll talk about my Malaysian Earth Tiger. ( Cyriopagopus schiodtei ). It has a leg-span of 7 inches. This is a very beautiful Asian species and it does well in our natural warm and humid climate.

Monday, August 31, 2009

First Tarantula Exhibition in Penang

Last night was the eve of the Malaysian Independence Day countdown
( 30-08-09 ). We ( members of the Malaysian Tarantula Society - Penang Chapter ) held a TARANTUL
A EXHIBITION at a new shopping complex - The Penang Times Square. It was very successful. We were very happy because we were able to show and educate a very, very big crowd ( around 5000 visitors ) with regards to tarantulas. For most of the spectators, it was the very first time that they have actually seen a live tarantula. Some were given the opportunity to handle some very docile ones. Some felt that the Ts were repulsive at first but on seeing others handling them, they ventured nearer to have a closer look. They say a picture is worth a thousand words: I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Liphitius desultor

Still on the subject of Liphistius desultor. Today I'm going to open the "door" of Liphistius desultor.

Photo 1 shows the "trapdoor" as it is in the wild.

I'm opening the door very delicately.

There!!! Welcome to my world!

The burrow is a horizontal shaft that goes in and sometimes it makes an L-turn and can be as deep as 20 inches or more. It is very smooth as there's a layer of fine web covering it all the way.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Liphitius desultor

I have always been very fascinated by the Trapdoor Spider - Liphistius desultor. It is very different from all other spiders, including tarantulas. It makes very little webbing and it is seldom seen outside its trapdoor. It has very intense colouring and many times after I've posted some photos, I've been asked whether its real or it's just a plastic toy. I'm very lucky to be able to see it in its natural surroundings. Here are some photos that show their burrows in nature. The burrows are always closed by the "trapdoor".

The one thing that is common to all the photos shown above are the "trip lines" radiating outwards from the doors. These are sensors that allow the spider to feel when something ( eg. an insect ) walks over them.

Now for some photos of the actual spider.

The MALE is differently coloured. It is almost totally black. At first I thought I have found something new but upon closer examination it was found to be a male specimen.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tarantula Room

Some of our very large tarantulas are kept here.

We have some very large Asian Forest Scorpion in the containers in the top row.
The middle section houses the Trapdoors. The bottom row houses the Chilobrachys sp.

Extremely large tarantulas and snakes are kept here.

And here's another view ( photo below ). The blue labels are the Cobalt Blue Tarantula, the pink labels are the Chilobrachys sp. and the lower plastic aquaria contain the Asian Forest Scorpions.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Orange Baboon Tarantula

Here's a photo of one of my OBTs.

Here's another one.

This photo (above) shows a general view of a part of my Tarantula Room.
The containers with the yellow labels on the right and the red baskets below
them house my Orange Baboon Taratulas. The red baskets are 4 levels high.

A closer look at the OBT containers.

Warning!!!! Do not come any nearer. ( A typical "threat pose" of an OBT).