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Aphonopelma moderatum


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Recently I decided that I would like to find Aphonopelma moderatum in it's natural habitat so I loaded up the truck and began driving South in my search for my favorite Aphonopelma species. Below is my story copied and pasted from another board:

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So I've been in the field for 2 days now... tonight I'm in South Texas. Monday morning I left Austin at 6am.... I was in s/w Texas by 10:30am already finding stuff. Hunted in Dimmit Co. for most the afternoon and then drove into Del Rio. Drove to Sonora, TX on monday night. Hunted around Del Rio on tuesday.

The main reason for the trip was to find Aphonopelma moderatum in the field.... So far I have failed. I have found 16 tarantulas in burrows over the past 48 hours, but none have been A. moderatum. I was in KNOWN areas for them...I must be missing something...I can find the T's...just not the moderatums. Oh well.

Herps have been pretty good:

1 DOR Mexican Milksnake

2 DOR Bullsnakes

1 live Bullsnake

2 DOR Diamondbacks

1 live Sonoran Ground Snake

1 DOR Western Coachwhip

3 LIVE Texas Desert Tortises...

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Here was the burrow of the 1st Aphonopelma sp. found on the trip in Demmit Co. There are lots of big wolf spiders that build similiar burrows.... but you CANNOT mistake a T burrow once you know what you are looking for. I also found 1 under a rock in a scrape in Del Rio.... all the burrows looked just like this one!

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Kinda bummed that I didn't find my target species but i still have a few days left out here...So far, South texas has been MUCH more productive than West Texas. There has been ALOT of rain this year...everything is green...crap, there were even mushrooms growing out in Del Rio next to cacti in the desert....

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********* SUCCESS ***********

I finally found Aphonopelma moderatum today 5 hours south of Del Rio along the Mexican Border.... wow...I had given up. On a side note, I found one of the regular dark Aphonopelma sp. in a burrow no more than 10 feet from a A. moderatum burrow. I collected 3 and left all the rest....saw lots of burrows! Sorry about the bad pics...

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Envious! I was driving around all Saturday and Sunday, and found mostly mud. However there were TONS of interesting grasshoppers... No T's, pedes, or roaches....

Matt K

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