Friday, April 28, 2017

#142 - FIRST (last?) POST OF 2017

I hope the new year is treating you well. This blog sort of ran its course with my complete retirement from exotic animal breeding and sales. My only tie to arachnoculture is as Editor of the Journal of the British Tarantula Society. My final ties to herpetoculture ended when my last run of my Spider Shoppe began. I traded my carpet pythons and geckos and huge tarantula breeding operation in Seattle area for one last gasp of tarantula breeding when I returned to Illinois in 2013. Of course, the reason I am, now in 2017, living entirely on the road is to continue my interest in reptiles and arachnids as a naturalist, writer and photographer. 40+ years of cages is enough. I don't even like temporarily detaining creatures I find.

Just thought I'd drop a line here to tell you that my blogging does continue. I've already posted 53 times this year at my new PIKEY blog. I don't rant much. It is a travelogue to my 2017 adventures in the United States. January and March I largely in Florida. February was Kuching, Borneo and Langkawi Island, Malaysia. April has been Texas. I write this from the far west mountains around Alpine, TX. Next week I will be meeting arachnologist Brent Hendrixson, Ph.D. and three of his honor students from Mississippi's Milsaps College to chase some scorpions in the Catalinas.

Hopefully some of you have been catching the new blog, but I invite the rest of you to check it out. I thank everyone who checks out my @jacobipix Instagram feed. I have well over 100 new wildlife images captured this year posted. Last night I posted fourteen more to include scorpions, snakes and lizards from Boquillas Canyon and other areas of Big Bend National Park. I observed the psammophilous (sand-dwelling) endemic scorpion Parauroctonus boquillas and that was a highlight. The big, hairy spiders are represented by Aphonopelma moderatum from Webb County, TX and A. hentzi from Brewster County. True spiders range from Macracantha cancriformis to Argiope argentite to a beautiful Phiddipus sp. (poss. arizonensis) from Seminole Canyon. Snakes? Mojave Rattlesnake, Red Racer/Western Coachwhip and, from Borneo, Tropidolaemus waglerifrom Bako National Park, Sarawak. There's loads more and croc lovers will see American Crocodiles and gators from Everglades National Park and a Texas gator. I've been doing a lot of bird photography this year and have some treasured shots from Malaysia, Florida and Texas. A hornbill image from Langkawi and a Golden-fronted Woodpecker from Big Bend are personal favorites as are the ospreys of the everglades. Mammals, birds, reptiles, arachnids ... just check out the pix. When I get more time I will be updating my SmugMug fine photo galleries with higher resolution files that may even be purchased.

I don't feel like telling anyone to "kiss my big hairy spider" any more. I'm living the dream and off the grid. I hope you'll instead consider checking out my tales from the road in the new blog. I'll leave you with this image of me horseback on the other side of the Rio Grande in Boquillas del Carmen, México. — Cheers, MJ

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Happy Holidays and Best Wishes in 2017!

My best wishes to you and yours. As the new year begins, please note that I will primarily now be blogging at Bookmark/follow over there for almost daily updates.

Even more frequent will be my image posts to Instagram. You can follow me both there and via my new Twitter at @jacobipix.

I have updated, but until I start marketing my eBooks it remains a one-page site. My new website is Both sites will evolve during 2017. Watch my blogs and social media for announcement of 2017 eBook releases.

A few days ago I received my print copy of my newest release – Journal of the British Tarantula Society 31(3). Although I create the Journal (edit and design/layout) and also write for it, it still is always a treat to actually find the air mail envelope in the mailbox and finally hold the print issue in my hand. The current issue's cover feature article is mine and details why I believe the tiger spiders from near Kandy, Sri Lanka are P. subfusca, whereas those from the montane Nuwara Eliya region are a different species deserving a new name. Hobbyists get that backwards and now most label "highlands" as subfusca and "lowlands" as "sp. lowland" or, worse still, "bara". Incorrect. Read my article ...

I have plenty of content for the March Journal, which will be the first issue of Volume 32. Yes, thirty-two years of quality content and a publication that has progressed to be a fifty-page full-color magazine that is the finest found in arachnoculture. The sister publication, BTS Newsletter, will soon see its fourth release.

Again, best wishes for an absolutely fabulous new year. I hope you'll follow my adventures and message me during my travels. If you want to treat me to a cocktail and have me toast you with a shoutout on social media check out the Donate buttons on my websites.

Cheers, MJ

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

#140 - NEW BLOG

Hello y'all,

I've decided to keep Kiss My Big Hairy Spider going even if the page visits certainly have diminished. I think it is still a great place for me to blog about issues that are specifically arachnid related. However, yesterday I made my first post to my new blog. Pikey: Boondocking and Shunpiking; the Gypsy Life is my new home for tales from the road, both my adventures in the United States and my travels abroad. As some of you know, I am taking my field trip activity to a whole new level in 2017. I have bought a brand new truck and RV and soon will leave Chicagoland for full-time living all across America. I will be blogging almost daily as I chase reptiles, arachnids, birds and other wildlife across the beautiful United States. The plan is to spend most of January in southern Florida, return to Chicago in early February because I fly to Borneo and Langkawi, Malaysia on February 8, and then - after returning to Chicago in late February - I will head south again and make my way west along the Mexico border. Weather will dictate my path as I strive to keep the temperature range between 50 and 80ºF. By July I will be up in the Pacific Northwest where I used to live and then will head to Alaska. During my 2017 road trip I will have many adventures, but my focus will be on photographing and writing about the arachnids and reptiles of the U.S. for future eBook style projects, articles and lectures. I also will be photographing birds and other wildlife for similar use. Personally, I will also be just enjoying life and working on my music. I have rekindled my interest in songwriting after composing what I feel is the best song I have ever written in celebration of a special lady's birthday. I've created a Soundcloud channel for my music and all of my projects can be accessed through my new primary website - I will revamp as well during the coming year as it will host the eBooks I will be creating. So please check out the new website and give it a bookmark and make sure you follow the new blog. Pikey will be the place I post regularly now, but if I just want to talk about arachnids I will post here as well.

Thanks for reading, MJ

Monday, November 14, 2016


In preparation for leaving Chicagoland and living as a nomad, I have been downsizing to only the essentials. For me, this means camera gear, hiking and field gear, laptop and other devices, t-shirts, shorts and a couple acoustic guitars. Everything else is clutter. It's amazing how cluttered you can become in less than four years, especially if you live alone in a three-story house. But I'm trading it in for a 31' travel trailer.

For the past month or so I have been selling off my library via Amazon Seller, but waited until yesterday to begin advertising arachno and herpeto books. I posted on AB and created a PDF listing that is available by emailing me. Sales have been brisk already and some great stuff is gone. I thought I better let my faithful KMBHS peeps know about the book sale.

The list changes often so it is easiest if I just email the updated current list rather than post it here or make it available for download. So hit me up at if you are interested in seeing what reptile, amphibian and invertebrate books I have available. Tomorrow I'll add what remains of my other non-animal books and such. Cheers.

Thursday, November 10, 2016


As a secret special gift to those of you who still check on this now infrequent blog, I'd like to offer you a copy of the new BTS Newsletter. In chronicles my trip to Budapest, Hungary to lecture and also features an interview with my best mate and badass tattooist extraordinaire Mark Pennell. Plus it has a short article on tarantula feeding by Danni Sherwood with follow-up comments by yours truly. It is only available to members, but I've put it on my own server just for Kiss My Big Hairy Spider devotees.

I guess nobody is interested in above as the link was wrong for two weeks until I just changed it and nobody commented or notified.... :(

#137 - Poecilotheria subfusca and P. sp. highland

Poecilotheria subfusca is from the Kandy region and "P. bara" is a junior synonym and using the name "bara" in any format is invalid. The highland spider from the alpine forests around Nuwara Eliya should be properly called P. sp. highland.

Period. End of. Full stop. Finito.

Wanna read more and learn why? Join the BTS! The December issue of the Journal of the British Tarantula Society will feature my article on the topic.


Hello again!

It's been awhile ... I hope y'all are well.

Today I sold most of the remaining 11 spiders in my possession. Hopefully my house will sell soon and I will be on the road conducting research and creating photoessays on the arachnids and other wildlife of the United States.

This blog entry is called "Assclowns" because I just made a rare login at Arachnoboards to update my final spider sale advert of my long career, and to post an ad for BTS memberships. The British pound to American dollar exchange rate is at its best since I first traveled to the U.K. ten years ago. It's a great time to take advantage of that savings!

As I scanned the ads to find my own, I noticed - with absolutely no surprise - a whole bunch of sellers who I've never ever heard of before (weekend warriors/beginners/clueless). I also noted some ridiculous price lists from some names I at least recognized (although other than Kelly Swift I would argue that all the good dealers are gone). Who is this assclown Rossi anyway? He definitely wins the award for the most ridiculous of the incredibly ridiculous. Pachistopelma rufonigrum for $250?!? I was the first American to breed them and, as far as I know, still the only. I could barely give them away at $75-90. No spiderling is worth more than $150. Ever. Typhochlaena at $750. He's smoking crack! It's probably the most exciting spider to enter arachnoculture, but again ... a baby bug isn't worth more than a hundo and a half. Pictures of rings? Assclown! He seems to be trying to surpass Patrick Kane as the sleaziest spider seller ever. Harpactira pulchripes slings @ $150?!? Again, I was the first American to breed and I sold some at that price then! I've now sold all but my original breeder female (who has been paired). If she produces slings I will sell them for fifty bucks. Wait.

I've never heard one good thing about this nobody, and everyone I have talked to has used the disparaging and often profane terms. However, there are many assclowns. Can you believe Gearheart is still out there preying on the clueless?!? Boggles the imagination doesn't it? Inland Sea? Still out there selling only the most common uninteresting species at the lowest prices, and shipping illegally via the postal service... On the first ad page alone I counted five never hear of "dealers" with fairly extensive for sale lists. It will be a new five next year. Stamp collectors come and go. Many will trade their Ts for leopard geckos.

For those of you that are serious hobbyists, and can navigate through the sludge to find the honest and honorable, I wish you the best in your new projects and hope you have great success in 2017. There is still plenty of enjoyment in the hobby if you can avoid the assclowns and arachnobored.

I could go on, but my medication is kicking in LOL. We must insulate against the assclowns by whatever means necessary. They can all KISS MY BIG HAIRY SPIDER!

Yours in rant, MJ