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Bug Raising...

O.k. so I have been thinking of creating a small bug sanctuary for a few bugs. (namely spiders) I wanted to get some opinions on catching and keeping wild spiders (such as jumpers) for personal research and photography. It would only be for set amounts of time and then released back to the wild world of outdoors. Any opinions? Suggestions. Don't really know where to began. Back home in VA there was a hobby store where I could get setup stuff, but not sure in Central FLorida?

I keep
most of my jumpers (some 300-400 over the last few years) in these little 8oz freezer jars purchased from a local grocery store. No more than one per container unless I'm raising spiderlings, which can be kept together for the first 3-5 instars. 2nd instar spiderlings can sneak out of these things, so if they're present I have to cap the container with Spandex (panty hose) before screwing the lid.

I feed them flightless fruit flies, rear to maturity if needed, mate them if I have both sexes, and either release back to the wild or preserve them in alcohol for microscopic examination and proper identification.

They can go weeks without food, but must have water (moist cotton ball) or be kept in a moist environment if they aren't fed regularly.

Moths from the porch light will do fine for dinner if they are available. To catch them, hold the open end of the container towards the moth and shine a much brighter flashlight up from the bottom of the container. Draws them right in. With practice you can pull in 3-4 moths at a time with the jumper still in your container. Much easier though to catch and transfer in two steps.

A spider I would love to do t
A spider I would love to do this with, is a specific type of jumping spider... but I don't know its name. It's a small white and black, jumping spider covered from head to toe with thick fur. I love this spider, we get them in our garden. I've actually caught them watching me... and following me with their heads when I move back and forth. They seem to be very curious about the world around them. I swear one followed me once for several yards... cute little guys too.

Too bad their so small and have such a short life span though, they'd make an awesome pet. I took pictures of one once, but now I can't find them....

(I don't suppose anyone would know the name of this particular spider?)

Edit:
I found some pics online of the one I'm talking about. I think its a lot of fun watching these little guys, and they're so exotic looking. I think they'd make great photo subjects.

http://www.greglasley.net/Images/Bold-Jumping-Spider-0001.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1172/1366551467_43adfceee7.jpg?v=0
http://home.att.net/~larvalbugbio/beast/bbeast8-04.jpg

 
Phidippus audax
is the spider that you are talking about. Jumping spiders have great vision. Look here: http://bugguide.net/node/view/2006/bgimage

I'm NOT an expert...
...but I just posted some photos of my set-up for Oecanthinae which I am trying to raise from eggs. This is my very first attempt at anything like this, so I'm using the hit and miss method. I, too, would love some tips from folks who have experience in rearing insects. I'm hoping to document the life-cycle of as many species of Oecanthinae as possible. Since I have three twigs which have now produced nymphs, I have three large glass containers with a live host plant in soil. I provide temporary greenery with aphids for them to eat, but also am trying commercial cricket powder and cubes. I have also seen them nibble on soft cat treats. While some folks might not condone captive insects -- my purpose is to document life cycle information for a species which I consider greatly under appreciated. Good luck with the jumping spiders -- another great insect.

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