Thursday, 10 August 2017

A Puppy Is For Life.

First of all today is my brother's 26th birthday, Happy Birthday to him. I believe he got a Nintendo Switch from his lovely girlfriend, meanwhile i got him lots of Oreos. Both good, both good.

So i went down to Walsall to be tattooed by the wonderful Kimberly at Goodall Street Tattoo Parlour, i've known Kim for some time since we shared a room during our trip to New York in 2014, we were on the same course at university and now she's begun her tattoo apprenticeship.

 

She's quite the traditional tattoo artist and frankly her drawings of dogs melt my heart, they are too sweet. So, of course i had to have my first ever dog, the dog i longed for since i was a little girl, the dog i got in so much trouble for because i wouldn't stop asking, 'Pip', transformed into a tattoo.
Now she will walk with me forever & wherever i go. Pip certainly approves.

Check out Kimberly's Instagram & Go get Tattooed!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

What An Incy Wincy Spider You Have.


Today i've welcomed a new member to my little Arachnid family. This time the new member is not a part of the 'Theraphosidae' family, most likely known to you as the 'Tarantula'. Nope, this time i have a true spider species. 

It has taken me months to decide which true spider was the one for me, initially my heart being set on the 'Nephila Pilipes' after having seen one in Thailand. Pilipes are best left to web up in a suitable room, due to the huge web size produced by these spiders they can not easily be kept in enclosures. Keeping them in an enclosure often results in them not being able to produce their web and ultimately leading to death. Now, i'd be down with them roaming my room, but i have my fur babies to think about, whilst they aren't venomous enough to kill me, the same can't be said for my rats.

Whilst browsing the discover function on Instagram, up popped the cutest spider i had ever seen and that spider was the 'Regal Jumping Spider (Phidippus Regius)'. Distributed throughout the Southeastern US this spider is a larger species of jumping spider with females reaching an average of 15mm with the males slightly smaller at an average of 12mm. The males and females are easy to differentiate with the males always being black and white with females ranging from grey to a bright orange.

I believe mine to be a male but at a incy wincy 2mm it's difficult to truly tell, besides i wouldn't be mad either way with both males and females being as equally adorable. Which just leaves the question, what on earth did i name this little guy? One of the most striking parts of this spider are the iridescent chelicerae, shifting from turquoise to violet tones it reminded me of the chemical element 'Bismuth', once oxidised it turns into a spectrum of colour. So, meet little Bismuth. 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

My Tarantula Has Turned Into A Different Species!?


Chrysa my tarantula spiderling has changed species overnight, once known as an Avicularia Versicolor she has 'magically transformed' and in so doing has become part of a newly recognised genus known as the Caribena and shall now be known as the Caribena Versicolor.

Okay, so quite obviously my tarantula hasn't changed one bit but rather two Arachnologists have created a new genus in which the Versicolor will now fall under as of March 2017. What makes them fall under this new Caribena genus and no longer part of the Avicularia?

Well there are two main reasons why this genus has been created and so far only two tarantulas have been accepted; both of which were previously part of the Avicularia Genus. Unlike Avicularia, Caribena are found in the Antilles whereas Avicularia species are found in mainland South and Central America. The other reason for this separation is a physical characteristic as Caribena are distinguished by having longer and thinner type II urticating hairs in a conspicuous patch on the upper surface of the abdomen. 

Interesting right!? I imagine that changing species is hard work but Chrysa doesn't seem too fussed about it all.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Oh My Gosh, We Have Babies!?



I can't quite believe it, today seven tiny pink jelly beans appeared in my rat's hammock.  How did they get there!? I returned from a normal day at work with my parents saying they had some news, after the last news I got when I returned from work I wasn't so excited but this time they had a huge grin on their faces. "You'll never guess, follow me, I'll show you". Earlier that morning I had to dash off and so I asked mum to check on the rats, to her surprise as she opened up the hammock there snuggled up were rat babies!

But who's were they? I think I had a good idea, Bodhi, the one gaining weight, I had noticed. When we picked up our three new girls two weeks ago we were assured none were pregnant, so I thought nothing of it, after all she's in a new rat group, maybe she's getting more food.

Because we haven't had her long and the group is quite new we moved her and babies to a separate cage for safety. I'm excited, but man, I've a lot of research to do tonight.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Welcome To The World Baby Jack


On Sunday 18th September (Just!) my cousin Sarah and her husband Greg* gave birth to a little baby boy named Jack. Today my mum and I got to meet the little cutie, we both got cuddles although he decided to be very vocal and i'm definitely not in tune with babies, i don't know what they want and i don't know how to fix them. 

He cried a lot, because he was hungry and if he wasn't hungry he had wind, then he had a full nappy and of course he doesn't like to be nakey. He was still super cute with his little grump face. 
Babies are tough, huge kudos to mums around the world.

(* Greg did not give birth)

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Skin Diver Body Modification


Today i decided i wanted a new piercing and one that i'd recently been thinking about was a dermal anchor in my hand. I had to phone four places before i found someone that would be willing to put one in my hand due to the high chance of it getting caught and being pulled out.

I went into Abacus in Derby and the piercing lady informed me that a skin diver would be a much better piercing for my hand, it works very similar to a dermal anchor but it's smaller and i will not be able to change the top, it does not unscrew. Because of that i chose a simple silver one but there were many colours to choose from, spikes, rainbow gemstones, it took me a good five minutes to pick one.

So the pain, pretty much painless. The area was frozen and if anything it's just a very bizarre sensation, she took a very tiny metal rod that is very much like an apple corer and took out a small circle chunk of my skin and in goes the diver, the things i do right!?

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Getting My First Tarantula


Today i adopted my first ever Tarantula, i have wanted a T since i was a little girl, yes i've always been weird and talking to people today they can remember me going on and on about a particular T that i wanted after seeing it in a reptile house on a trip with my family. Well that T was the Pinktoe (Avicularia avicularia) native to Costa Rica, Brazil and the Southern Caribbean. I mean look at their little foot nubs, they're baby pink and something in little Amy thought that that was the most adorable thing she ever did see on a spider.

Of course it's taken me about 12 years to take the dive into owning one, whilst i'm not afraid of insects*, including spiders (i get that very much from my dad) i always assumed they'd be a hassle to keep requiring all sorts of expensive equipment. Turns out whilst some probably do there are many that do not and my little Pinktoe is one of those.

Pinktoe's are a new world arboreal species, this means they have urticating hairs and live high up opposed to on ground. They are docile but can run and jump very quickly and will flee rather than fight, they have a unique defence which involves flicking their faeces at potential predators. Whilst they do have urticating hairs they can not flick them off of their abdomen.

They are often a favourite for beginner's due to their docile nature and easy keep. I bought Rhodon with the cage he was already in to reduce any stress but i'm looking to replace it soon as it doesn't have as much height as i feel an arboreal species should have.

Believe it or not, until today i had never held a tarantula, so whilst being near a tarantula would not worry me actually having contact with one made me a little nervous. Rhodon is so light and fluffy though that it put my nerves to rest quickly and the more you do something the less out of the ordinary it becomes.

*with the exception of wasps/hornets, they terrify me dearly.