A blog about science and religion from the viewpoint of a biology student in a state that's pretty much not on the map.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A lot of shit to get in for a couple ball pythons...

...I sincerely hope the tarantulas were rare.

Exotic pet smuggling is a problem for both hobbiests and environmentalists. Some of the worst ecological disasters result from introduced species of plants and animals. The people who regulate shipping into and out of countries know this, and this type of thing gives a bad rap to people like me who love to keep spiders.

I do keep spiders. I have about 50 or so. The species on my profile is called Phlogellius vulpinus (I believe it's now synomized with Selenocosmia vulpina, but I don't keep up on my taxonomy as well as I should). It's incredibly rare...less than 10 were in the whole US the last time I checked so that gives you an idea of what my collection is like.

I only buy captive bred. And there's a huge movement within the hobby for captive breeding programs for most species. Nowadays, mature adults are only imported a few times and then bred until it becomes uneconomical to import full grown adults.

Unfortunately, it looks like this package was headed for Sydney, Austraillia. Even though they have some of the coolest animals on the planet...pretty much everything endemic (including the spider in my profile pic). Unfortunately, this is a continent that has been hit hard in the past by introduced species and any action they'll take is pretty much justified in my eyes.

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