My entries here at Kiss My Big Hairy Spider are now few and far between, but I haven't forgotten it and, at least for now, do not intend to abandon it completely. Today I thought I would just write some random paragraphs to catch up on whatever arachnid-related topics I can.
I presently own eleven spiders. That's remarkable and there have been few times over the past forty years I have had less. I want the number to become zero, and am hoping one of my close friends will take what remains on permanent breeding loan. I've offered them first to Jason Newland, but communicating with him is difficult at best. Chad Campbell would be my second choice. Most of the spiders are Harpactira pulchripes. One is a mature male that was one of the slings from my first ever American breeding of the species. I mated him back to his mother and have one or two young females that I will also pair him with. Sadly, my largest specimen, a wild-caught that I acquired from Germany along with the smaller female that produced the first American sac, recently died. Another recent pairing is "Monocentropus lambertoni". I put it in quotes as I am not convinced our pet trade identification is correct. The first ultimate male I had was pickled and given to African theraphosid expert Richard Gallon to contribute to his work on the species. He said he had two other males, but I don't know if he'll ever get around to it. I'll see him soon in person and pester him. After I paired the initial male to my only female she molted so it was sheer luck that the only other specimen I had was male and matured recently. I actually paired them when John Apple was staying at my house on his last visit.
I thought my October 12 departure to Budapest was going to be a week long eastern European holiday hanging out with my best mates Mark & Kim Pennell and Ray & Angela Hale, but I have now been asked to be one of the lecturers. I will be presenting a revised and updated version of the "Merian's Avicularia and other Tarantulas of Suriname" that I delivered at the ATS Conference in 2014. I am really looking forward to seeing Budapest and now join fellow lecturers Andrew Smith, Ray Hale, Peter Kirk, Richard Gallon, Ray Gabriel and Peter Kirk on the podium.
One of the eleven spiders I still have is quite remarkable. I need to photograph him soon. He is a mature male Poecilotheria smithi that matured – get this! – 2 years, three months, and 18 days ago!!! I'm considering a longevity article for an upcoming issue of the Journal of the British Tarantula Society or the BTS Newsletter.
Speaking of the Journal ... The next issue, 31(3), comes out in December and my deadline for articles and other content is November 1. I will begin working on it next week.
I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to my Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo and Langkawi, Malaysia trip in February! I will be chasing inverts, no doubt, but hope to get some fantastic primate, bird and reptile images in Bako National Park and elsewhere.
As always, please keep up with my photos on Instagram at @jacobipix and my full res photography at exoticfauna.smugmug.com. My exoticfauna.com is website is now a single page, but check it out and also take a gander at my new website, mjacobi.com. The new site will tell you about my new blog that I will be starting in 2017. After the Borneo/Langkawi trip, I will be hitting the road for an American field trip with no end. I will be trying to focus as many arachnids and herps as possible, while also doing scenic photography, wildlife photography (especially birds) and much more!
PS: FUN GAME: try to guess (without Google cheating) the languages I presented each of the numbered sections with. Hint: in some cases they relate to the content of the following paragraph; in others they definitely don't.