Meet Hermy (My Pet Tarantula)
TRIGGER WARNING: This post contains photos of my pet tarantula, Hermy. Yes, you read that correctly, I have a pet tarantula!
In my previous post, I very briefly mentioned about our exotic pets but neglected to mention what type of animals they were! Sorry about that. We currently have 4 Great African Land Snails (Brian, Swirly, Gary and Slug-a-lug) who’ve been with us four years and a pet tarantula named Hermy.
Hermy has been part of our family for over a year now and I honestly couldn’t be happier with him as my pet. I know a lot of people find it strange that I have a pet tarantula; some find it disgusting or even dangerous. Yes it’s true, he can bite, but they don’t tend to unless they feel threatened and will usually give you warning if they do by rearing up on their back legs. But with Hermy, he will most commonly hide rather than attack.
Another thing to consider with New World tarantulas, such as Hermy, are the urticating hairs all over their body. When the tarantula feels threatened they rapidly scrape these hairs from the back and sides of their abdomen into the eyes, nose, or lungs of their vertebrate predators.
The hairs are coated with irritating chemicals which may make you itch if you come into contact with them. So make sure to wash your hands thoroughly when handling their shed moult skins (similar to a snakeskin). I’ve never had any issues with Hermy; so far.
How did Hermy become part of the family?
Hermy was kindly gifted to me by my parents who found him on sale through our local ‘Trade It’ magazine. To be honest, I’m surprised my mum agreed as she hates spiders! But I think she’s learnt to… tolerate… him now. My dad, on the other hand, loves Hermy and will happily watch him crawling around his enclosure or spinning webs with his spinnerette.
My mum not-so-fondly remembers going to pick Hermy up and praying that his enclosure didn’t open or roll-off her car seat! Poor mum. Honestly, I don’t know how she did it, but I’m very happy she did. I’ve always wanted a pet tarantula and love having Hermy as part of the family. We feed him crickets but found he doesn’t eat as regularly as some other pets we’ve owned. And make sure his enclosure is well humidified.
To introduce Hermy to you a little more, I thought it would be fun to answer the ‘My Pet’ tag which I found on Taylor’s blog, ‘When I’m Older‘. Make sure you check out her blog and read her answers too.
‘My Pet’ Tag – Get to Know my Pet Tarantula
1. What is your pets name?
Hermy, but we also call him “Spidey” or “Spider Pig”. The latter is from The Simpsons Movie, remember when Homer named their pet pig?
2. What kind of pet is it and what breed?
Hermy is a tarantula, specifically a Chilean rose tarantula (Scientific name: Grammostola Rosea). One of the New World, more docile species.
3. How long have you had your pet friend?
Just over a year.
4. How did you get your pet?
As I mentioned earlier, I saw an advertisement for him in a ‘Trade It’ magazine but never thought I’d own one as my mum is afraid of spiders. So I was happily surprised when she presented the tank to me for Easter! Yep, my mum whose afraid of spiders brought home a tarantula.
5. How old is your pet?
Approximately 8 – 10 years old. Tarantula’s usually mature at 5 years old when they start to moult, which Hermy was already doing when I got him. The owner was unsure of his age but I’ve had him a little over a year now.
6. What are some quirky things about your pet’s personality?
The way he tries to climb the glass of his tank. It looks like he’s trying to escape. 😅 … Maybe he is!
7. What does your relationship with your pet mean to you?
Hermy is, so far, a pretty docile creature. I love watching him spinning webs or climbing his enclosure. Tarantulas are simply fascinating to watch. It’s a different relationship to the one you may have with a furry pet.
8. What are some of your favourite past times with your pet?
None really. He seems to enjoy it when I mist the tank with water though, lol. He also seems to react more when the TV is on, which I’m sure is due to the vibrations felt by the sound system. Rather than Hermy actually watching TV(?).
9. What are nicknames that you call your pet?
As I mentioned above, we call him Spidey or Spider Pig.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Hermy and if you’d like to do this tag, feel free. 🙂 But please let me know so I can come and read your answers.
What pets do you have? Would you ever consider a pet tarantula? Let me know in the comments.