1/21/2021: Regal jumping spiders at Roach Crossing
After some deliberating I’ve decided to start stocking regal jumping spiders, Phidippus regius. They are wonderful pet spiders and certainly the most consistently engaging arachnid pet (pet holes are fun for a few seconds during feeding time, though).
A few years ago when Hylus giganteus was imported in small numbers, I remember the hype for what was the “largest jumping spider in the world”. This has since been retconned to some other Hylus species, but regardless upon receiving my supposed giant jumpers I was extremely disappointed by the size. Surely some individuals could reach grand sizes, but these are probably adult males and most of that “size” is legspan.
Shortly after that, I received my first Phidippus regius, and I was overwhelmed with the mass and presence of these spiders. Not to mention the diverse array of colors present on the females; a true kaleidoscope of black to grey to orange to peach. These hearty native spiders truly deserved more credit and affection.
While breeding bugs is pretty much what I spend every waking moment doing, some things do require more attention and care than others. For this reason I have decided to stock wild caught Phidippus regius. However, I’m not making this decision lightly. While I doubt that collecting for captive stock (live or dead) makes a significant dent on most wide-range wild populations, I think our invertebrate friends (and the people who find them) deserve more respect than that. Thus, I will be working closely with the collector to ensure the populations are managed responsibly and reverently. There are already some protocol in place to meet this end in part, but I’d like to see what more I can do to ensure that people can have access to quality, sustainably-collected Phidippus regius. There will be no emperor scorpion scenarios here.