Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Bantua Hides & Jumper News

So, I decided to make a little bit of a guide on how I made the little "brooding chambers" for my Bantua sp. "Namibia", since it seems that they really like them and use them a lot in the absence of some piece of wood to chew their own brooding chambers into.

You'll need "natural" cork board first of all, I use this stuff. And then you just need scissors and hot glue, (the cheap Dollar Tree sticks for arts and crafts work just fine).

I cut two squares for the bottom and top, about 2" x 2", then cut some thinner strips for the walls, almost 2" long and I'd say 13-15 mm wide. Then I cut three smaller squares, almost 2 cm long and also 13-15 mm wide. I cut some holes in one of the smaller squares, as this is what's going to let moisture out of the humid coconut fiber area. Then, using all but one of the big 2" x 2" squares, assemble like so:

Then, fill the little squared off area with moist coconut fiber. Make sure you really pack it in there, press it down and fill it up until it's about level with the top. Then, cut a small hole out of the second 2" x 2" square, (the roof), positioned so that it's over the coconut fiber area, this way you can maintain the moisture levels in the chamber by misting some water into it. Assemble like so:

And bam, you've got yourself a brooding chamber fit for your Bantua females! 😁 Or you can just throw in a small (sterilized) rotten log so they can chew out their own brooding chambers, whatever's easier for you. 
This type of hide may also work well for Perisphaerus pygmaeus and similar Perisphaerinae species if you don't have rotten wood or curly bark hides for them, though with species that like most of the enclosure humid, a humid chamber in the hides would be quite unnecessary, and you should modify the design accordingly. 

By the way, an update on those deformed Bantua nymphs... Unfortunately one of them molted and still had the deformity, so I froze them all and then fed them to my Pyrophorus... Just thought I'd let you all know, kinda sucks, but hey the Pyrophorus certainly weren't complaining! 😂 
I've only seen one more nymph with said deformities in the colony though, adding more surface area seems to have helped, so I think it really was an environmental affliction rather than a genetic one, just one that takes several molts to recover from... 

Now, here's an interesting update on that Phidippus female I found a couple weeks ago. I've actually gotten a tentative ID from a friend, who suspects she is an old P.johnsoni female who's had much of her red hairs rubbed off due to wear and tear, either that or an atypically colored individual. That species seems to be a good match, so that's what I'll go with for now.

I have, however, figured out why she was so plump... She wasn't in pre-molt, she actually was gravid! 😁 She laid her sack on the 11th, and was quite thin afterwards. I didn't think they were supposed to eat after laying a sack, but she actually made a little hole in her web hide, and looked so thin, so a few days ago I tossed in an Eleodes nigrina larva for her to eat, which she took eagerly. She plumped up noticeably afterwards.

Here are some pictures of her and her web hide inside a cardboard tube, after eating the mealworm, (the dried husk of which was the only thing the camera wanted to focus on... 😑), as well as a couple shots of the eggsack:

Very neat, I don't know that I've ever seen a Phidippus egg sack in person! 😄 However, I am not that interested in nor equipped to rear Phidippus slings ATM, so I have sent her and her sack to a friend, Ben Lee, the person who identified her, who breeds spiders (including jumping spiders) and was actually quite interested in keeping her and her offspring. They arrived today and looked A-OK, so hopefully they do well for him! 😁

Well, that's gonna do it for today's post, hope everyone enjoyed, thanks for reading, stay distanced, and I'll see you all next time! 😉

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