Normal people, when they go shopping, end up buying shoes or gadgets or cars. Today I bought a tarantula. She's a Pinktoe (Avicularia avicularia) from the look of her, but then she is only six to eight months old. She could turn out to be a he, or she could also turn out to be a Peruvian Pinktoe (Avicularia urticans). Time will tell.
In any event, she's beautiful. Here's a picture:
The photo really does not do justice to the colors. Her abdomen is a reddish purple, her carapace is has a blue metallic tint. And of course, she has pink toes.
One of the attractions of this species is that they are very docile. None of the other four spiders in my collection are handleable, so it's nice to have one that I can bring out. I've also been wanting to learn a few techniques for picking up a tarantula that would work on even more aggressive species, but you need to practice on one that's more compliant. I hope she doesn't mind.
The guy working at the petstore was not too happy when I wanted to look at her. He got the kind of look... well, okay, he got the kind of look most people, including many of my dear friends and family reading this, would get if someone asked them to hold a "giant" spider. (Come on, she's only the size of two quarters end to end. Let me go to my room and get you a real giant spider....) The lady behind the counter who carried herself as a proprietor would had to get it out for him.
Of course, I took her on the train home. This time is was the metra. No constipated people yelling "Yummy yummy!" today. I had to put her in my coat sleeve, a trick I learned from Mrs. Snake the last time I had an adventure in animal transport. Note: she was in a "to-go"-like container. I don't think I would keep a loose spider in my sleeve. Not that I would mind the spider, it's just that it would get out.
She does seem docile when I held her; but she did one surprising thing. Most tarantulas, when they get to the end of your hand, turn around and try the other direction, or else they feel over the edge until they find your other hand waiting for them. This one jumped! Very luckily, I caught her. Definitely will want to keep her over the wood floor or a blanket next time I take her out.
If there is a next time.... One problem is that I have actually managed to develop an allergy to certain kinds of spiders...! I hope she is not one of them.