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GQ.
07-02-2005, 07:58 PM
Here are a few photos from a couple different hikes. These are pictures of wild Aphonopelma burrows in California. The tarantulas were not collected.

First up is a burrow. This is NOT a tarantula burrow. Many times I see people fruitlessly pouring water down these burrows. It is a rodent burrow. Notice the lack of webbing/excavated dirt/waste/exoskeleton/prey exoskeltons around the hole.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/GilbertQ/ArachnoRodentHole.jpg

Next up is a shot of a tarantula burrow that has been webbed over. During the day you often will find burrows with this thin webbing laid over the opening. This is presumably to keep out ants or other unwanted visitors.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/GilbertQ/ArachnoAphonopelmaHoleWebbed.jpg

If a tarantula is actively awaiting prey you will see this. I usually see tarantulas in their burrow entrances beginning in the later afternoon. The darker it gets the closer to the entrance I see them.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/GilbertQ/ArachnoAphonopelmainHole.jpg

Here is a tarantula after I poured water in the burrow.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/GilbertQ/ArachnoAphonopelmaA.jpg

This is another tarantula flushed out.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v289/GilbertQ/ArachnoAphonopelmaOverHole.jpg

evil_educator
07-02-2005, 11:12 PM
nice pics.. oh so when you pour water, the tarantula comes out?

Brando
07-02-2005, 11:57 PM
nice pics.. oh so when you pour water, the tarantula comes out?

its like those little sponges when you put them in water they turn into something, its a just add water thing ;P

Mad Hatter
07-03-2005, 12:26 AM
Nice! Where in CA did you find them?

GQ.
07-03-2005, 02:01 AM
Thanks!

Evil Educator,

Yes, they come out with a bit of water added. In the past I've found that sometimes they will come to the entrance and fold up their legs to block the entrance. When I see them do this I stop pouring water and leave them be. On several occasions I have later found slings and empty egg sacks at burrows that I have previously witnessed blocking behavior. It may be coincidence, but I still leave a burrow alone if the tarantula is attempting to block the flow of water. Occasionally the tarantulas will plug the entrance with dirt and debris. Usually after they are unplugged I find molt pieces or an empty egg sack outside the burrow.
I know, I'm a tarantula nerd, but I occasionally check up on known burrows to see if they are still occupied. I don't usually flood the same burrows repeatedly. A simple glance tells me if a tarantula is in residence. The tarantula in the last photo has been in the same spot for about two years! That tarantula was the size of a dime when I first found it. It has progressively enlarged the burrow to allow for growth. (Okay, I can't verify that it is actually the same tarantula as I haven't tagged it or anything. It may be another tarantula utilizing the same burrow.)

Mad Hatter,

The photos are all from the San Diego area. :)

Crotalus
07-03-2005, 05:19 AM
Nice pictures (as usual)!
You never tried the straw trick to lure them out of the burrow?

/Lelle

aaronrefalo
07-03-2005, 08:00 AM
nice pictures.....i would like some time to go in similar places....i live in malta...and there none of such things

Aaron

GQ.
07-03-2005, 01:18 PM
Thank you!

Lelle,

I do use the straw technique quite often. I have mixed results with it. If the tarantula is not visible I don't even bother. I've never been able to coax up a tarantula that was at the bottom of the burrow. If the tarantula is visible I can usually get it partially out of the burrow as it tries to grab the straw. The tarantulas around here don't seem to want to come out of the burrow after the stick. What I do is coax them to the entrance first. Next I insert the stick into the burrow and tap the tarantula on the backside. The tarantula usually comes right out. It then makes a u-turn and heads back in.

:)