Tarantula Rambles

There have been some exciting developments revolving around my T collection recently. Foremost is that my birdeater, Lasiodora parahybana has molted. Unfortunately it's also shown its true colours: it's a boy. While this may seem like rather unimportant information, it actually immensely effects the poor little guy. See, female tarantulas in captivity live, on average, 15-20 years. Males, meanwhile, are fucked over with around a 4-5 year lifespan. The problem is that the modified pedipalps of the males, evolved as baby-making-sex-arms, prevent the males from moulting properly following their adult moult. Both male and female tarantulas attempt to moult after reaching adulthood, and the males just plain suck at it. My little fellow has about a year before he goes and commits suicide.

In less horrific news, the remainder of my collection is doing just dandy. My Pamphobeteus platyomma also just moulted, and while the gender is still unknown, it looks stunning. I'd take a picture, but honestly my camera just sucks (and I don't really have the initiative to take a picture right now).

I suppose I still owe the blog a post on tarantula mating, and while the reveal of my birdeater's gender would have been a perfect lead-in, I'm just not feeling that motivated right now. I've just spent the last 3 hours working on my anaesthesia course to the revelation that it's pretty much a doomed endeavour, and I want nothing more than to continue learning while my brain is in that gear, so I'm off to wander the internet in search of intriguing bug/reptile info. Or maybe those papers on Invertebrate emergency care... hrm...

The Great Butterworm Controversy

Within the reptile hobby in North America there are a few well established feeder insects. I mentioned most in an earlier post, but did not talk about butterworms. The reason I avoided butterworms is that, unfortunately, they are impossible to culture outside of Chile. More on that soon.

Butterworms, like all of the popular "worms" available as feeders, are actually the larval stage of an insect. In the case of butterworms the adult stage is the Chilean Moth, Chilecomadia moorei; they are also called the Trevo- and Tebro- worm (and even a few instances of Tebo- and Trebo), and are like silkworms in that they feed exclusively on a single species of tree, the Trevo/Tebro/Trebo/Tebo, Dasyphyllum diacanthoides.

C. moorei are exclusively found in Chile, and are considered a possibly invasive species. When shipped out of Chile, C. moorei larvae are irradiated to kill parasites, and, it is speculated, to prevent them from pupating. I have seen websites contradicting this, and claiming that the reason C. moorei larvae don't pupate in captivity is that they have a nearly 6 year larval stage, but this has come from only a few small, un-notable sources. For whatever reason C. moorei can't pupate outside of Chile, the fact keeps them a lucrative export for the country, frustrates hobbyists like myself, and prevents C. moorei  from becoming one of the premier feeder insects available.

Untitled, unimportant

Crap am I ever lazy.

I've actually gone so far as to look over the questions in the assignments of my anaesthetic course. They are not trivial. This is actually going to be pretty difficult. And yet I'm still managing to procrastinate the work. Well, I'm away for the rest of the day to see my new niece, but tomorrow after getting home is being set aside for some serious learny stuff.

I've also been somewhat at a loss of what to do re: blogging, hence this abhorrent filler post. Plan on discussing vermiposting in the near future, maybe delve into some of the roach species popular in the pet trade. I'll likely be writing something on the bus, so perhaps I'll have something to post after tomorrow.

And of course I still have planned a few posts on veterinary ethics. One is half written in my drafts here...

Time to catch a bus!