Spiderboy Puts His Hairy Eight-legged Pets on Display
October 6, 2011
We couldn't put the visual opportunities that this week's 831 story presented to bed with just the one photo in our print publication. There are just a couple more amazingly creepy stars in tarantula collector Vincent Pizzo's arachnid hoard that have to be seen.
The Gooty sapphire is an Indian tree-dwelling species that is critically endangered and can inflict a very painful and possibly serious bite.
Tarantula's molt their entire exo-skeleton in one piece as they grow. The process is very stressful for the spider and once it sheds its new body is almost rubbery. It takes up to a week for the spider to regain its rigidity and begin eating again.
Here's some excerpts from Sam Sciolla's piece giving a little more insight into how Pizzo started on his road to tarantula obsession:
Though he feared spiders, he had always loved snakes, reptiles and other pets. It was a San Jose reptile convention that actually provided a chance to reconsider when Pizzo eyed a man handling a large tarantula. Remembering a mix of horror, shock and interest, he says, “I had to go check it out.”
After Pizzo received a Chilean rosehair for his 19th birthday (at his request), he began surfing the Web to learn how to care for it. The most useful resources he found were forums like arachnoboards.com, where geeks would post anecdotes, breeding tips, spiders for sale and research, and where he learned odd facts, like tarantulas have sensitive hair that detect vibration, and female tarantulas can live to 40.