Maintainer: Martin Overton
*** Welcome to the alt.pets.arachnids newsgroup! ***
Version 1.02, Last Updated: 9th October 1997.
alt.pets.arachnids Tarantulas & Scorpions, chat and info exchange.
Maintenance of this FAQ is done by the following:
Anyone may choose to suggest edits, additions and subtractions to/from
the FAQ(s). They can send it to the above, and it will be used subject
to it being useful or clarifying a point raised here.
For the present, the authoritative version of the FAQ remains the one
This document is primarily concerned with explaining what this
newsgroup is for and answering some simple but common questions.
Other FAQs posted, will attempt to address many of the issues which
are frequently discussed on alt.pets.arachnids, but these do not claim
to represent all shades of opinion among the users of a.p.a. - in
particular, it does not include information which, in my estimation,
is likely to be of more help to those interested in the spreading of
malicious information than to those who wish to be protected from it.
This document is an honest attempt to help, it can *not* be regarded
as being in any sense authoritative, and has no legal standing. The
author accept no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for any
ill effects resulting from the use of any information contained in
Not all the views expressed in this document are mine, and those views
which *are* mine are not necessarily shared by my employer.
-- Martin Overton
Copyright on all contributions to this FAQ remains with the authors
and all rights are reserved. It may, however, be freely distributed
and quoted - accurately, and with due credit.
It may not be reproduced for profit or distributed in part or as
a whole with any product for which a charge is made, except with
the prior permission of the copyright holders. To obtain such
permission, please contact the author of the FAQ.
The latest version of this document is available from:
(this is the primary source)
If there's any interest in non-English versions, perhaps people would
let me know and I'll see what I can do.
A number of individuals and sites have agreed to make it available
via anonymous FTP and/or WWW. These include:
Accessing This Newsgroup:
If you are reading this, you either already have access to this group
via usenet or are reading a copy of this FAQ stored on a web site.
To gain access to this newsgroup:
From your browser enter the following into the address box:
If this does not work then your service provider does not carry this
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You can both read and post from DejaNews.
Feel free to ask any questions, convey findings, odd occurrences or
other information or chat regarding arachnids.
If you are asking questions about a specific arachnid, then please
include both common and scientific names (where known) a brief
description of the arachnid might also be of use. The question can be
as detailed as you feel is required.
Please don't ask for a reply by e-mail only as this is considered bad
manners (the reply may be of use to other too!).
What are arachnids?
Arachnids are a group of creatures that include: Tarantulas and other
spiders, Scorpions, Mites, Whipscorpions, Vinegaroons and Solifugids.
There are around 75,000 described (known) species of arachnids (half
of then mites). More new species are frequently being found.
But aren't they insects?
No. The main differences between arachnids and insects are:
1. Arachnids lack antennae and have four pairs of legs rather than the
three pairs found in insects.
2. Arachnids only have two body divisions (cephalothorax and abdomen).
Insects have three divisions (head, thorax and abdomen).
3. The legs of arachnids are attached to the cephalothorax.
4. The 'head' of arachnids may contain up to 12 simple eyes.
5. Arachnids may also have two other sets of appendages; fangs
(chelicarae) and the other look like a pair of small legs (pedipalps).
6. Size: From tiny mites to tarantulas with a 12 inch legspan.
Aren't Tarantulas Poisonous?
No, tarantulas are not poisonous, they are venomous, as are bees,
wasps and snakes (amongst others).
Aren't Tarantulas Bites Deadly?
No, there bites are not considered to be anymore dangerous than bee or
wasp stings. They *may* be more painful.
The few people I know that have been bitten are still here to tell the
tale, indeed one person has been bitten more than 20 times by a
variety of tarantulas.
He has handled thousands of tarantulas and admits that these bites in
the vast majority of cases were caused by mis-handling. Most
tarantulas would rather beat a hasty retreat than have a go.
There have been no substantiated deaths caused by the bite of
tarantulas. Indeed more people have died from bee stings and snake
bites than by any type of spider.
Where can I find out more?
Read the other FAQ(s) posted to this newsgroup at regular intervals.
These currently include:
- The Tarantula FAQ
- The Scorpion FAQ (Coming Soon)
There are many good books available, so try your local library.
Here, ask a question in this newsgroup.
Join one of the many recognised arachnological societies, such as:
The British Tarantula Society
Mrs. Ann Webb,
81 Phillimore Place,
HERTFORDSHIRE WD7 8NJ
Membership Rates: UK/EUROPE 10 UK Pounds per year.
Elsewhere 16 UK Pounds per year.
The American Tarantula Society
Robert Gale Breene III,
PO Box 3594,
South Padre Island,
Membership Rates: USA 15 US Dollars per year.
Elsewhre 20 US Dollars per year.
This newsgroup is dedicated to discussion of Arachnids (Tarantulas,
Scorpions, etc.), their needs, information, education and help for new
and existing tarantula and scorpion keepers and enthusiasts. Whether
it be scientific data, questions, or anything else to do with
arachnids, all questions and arachnid related discussions are welcome.
This newsgroup will also be used to dispel the myths and half-truths
about these wonderful and mis-understood creatures.
alt.pets.arachnids is an un-moderated group, no censorship will be
levied or tolerated.
alt.pets.arachnids is open to all levels of keepers and enthusiasts,
whether you are: pet keepers, amateur or professional researchers, or
academic researchers, or just curious, or doing a school project on
A number of FAQs will be posted at regular intervals
(This is one of them). These will also be available at the following
web site: http://www.geocities.com/~tarantulaman
What *is* anonymous ftp? What does "http" mean?
If you are new to Usenet and are not familiar with the terminology,
you might want to read the general introductory articles found in the
newsgroup news.announce.newusers. Doing so will make your life on the
net much easier, and will probably save you from making silly
If you think that right now you are reading an echo, a conference, or
a bboard, I'd also strongly suggest a trip over to
(It is true that some of you may indeed be receiving this group as an
echo, or conference, or what have you, but that just means somebody
set up a gateway. Generally, it will be wise not to forget that most
of the articles in this newsgroup originate (and end up!) on Usenet.)
| Need help with, or advice on Tarantulas, Scorpions or Snakes? |
| E-mail me or visit my web site. |
The Tarantula's Burrow http://www.geocities.com/~tarantulaman
*** NEW *** Alt.Pets.Arachnids Newsgroup, drop in for a chat!