My Photography of
"Radinka Onawa", the Platycryptus undatus
and Friends of Her Kind
Click on the spiders' names below to link quickly to each spider without scrolling.
Radinka Renny Rufus Rhys Renita Rakim Runa
Note: Unlike most of my other pages, this one proceeds with older photos at the top. Newest photos are at the bottom.
"Radinka Onawa" --- female
July 30, 2008 - July 25, 2009
July 30, 2008
This female spider was found on the window screen on July 30, 2008 and photographed the same day. It had been over two years since I've found one of the species, Platycryptus undatus.
This time, I got much better photos than I obtained of the last Platycryptus undatus. I also made a couple of animations, including the below. I decided to keep her and named her Radinka Onawa. Radinka is Slavic for "active one" and Onawa means "wide awake" in Native American. I thought those were both quite suiting to her personality.
December 13, 2008
Radinka has shed her skin a couple times since her last photo shoot and is somewhat larger. Here she is on a Christmas cactus flower, photographed on December 13, 2008. I was even lucky enough to get several shots of her underbelly as she spun around on a silken thread.
March 14, 2009
Here she is photographed on my orchid. She hadn't eaten for several months and I thought she might be on her way out, but then I found a live fly (we had a few warm days and it must have come out) and put it in her cage. About an hour later, she had captured it. I guess she has such a strong preference for flies over crickets that she will starve for months waiting for a fly.
July 20, 2009
Sadly, these were the last photographs of Radinka. I had just found her a new male the day before and I was doing this photo shoot so that they could be placed together right away, as I knew she was old (almost a year since I first captured her).
"Renny" --- male
June 1, 2009
Sadly, this spider was going to be mated with Radinka, but he died just before I was going to put them together. It had taken me nearly a year to find her a mate of her species and I just fattened her up on wingless fruit flies, which seem to be her favorite snack. I was feeding him too and he seemed to be doing fine, but I found him dead unexpectedly. I was going to introduce them in just a few days from then. I just wanted to take all precautions possible so that Radinka wouldn't eat him, but now it's too late. I just hope I can find her another guy before she dies. She's almost a year old now (maybe more, depending on how old she was when I found her). One can tell this one was a male because of the orange markings underneath his eyes. Females do not have this coloration.
"Rufus" --- male
July 20, 2009 - April 28, 2010
I found this guy at my parents' house on their garage door. His photo shoot below took place on July 20, 2009. He was also to be mated with Radinka and was even placed in her cage and lived with her for 5 days until her death. Apparently, she was just too old to be mated. I hope now that I can find another female for him. I really wanted to breed this kind of spider.
August 31, 2009
Rufus shed his skin a few days ago and got a full orange "moustache"!!! Here he is photographed on a hoya plant on August 31, 2009.
February 6, 2010
Here is Rufus on a mum.
Rufus started slowing down soon after these photos were taken. He wasn't eating much and was staying in his resting sac. On April 2, 2010, I introduced him to Renita. I kept her in a smaller cage while he had free roam of a larger cage that contained the small cage. This way, they could see each other. I left them like this for a few days and they were interacting through the plastic. Then I opened Renita's cage so they could meet. Renita allowed Rufus inside her resting sac and he used his front legs to tickle her all over. They were in a lot of different positions, but I am not sure if they mated. I thought everything was going well until I found Rufus outside the sac (Renita still inside) being held by one leg in Renita's fangs. She didn't want to let go of his leg and he couldn't get away. It did not look very friendly. So I interrupted and touched the sac and she let him go. I'm pretty sure he already got some venom in his leg, because after this, he was using his leg very gingerly and became even more sluggish. He hardly moved around in his cage and wouldn't catch a cricket (I had to give him a dead one to eat). Sadly, I found him dead on April 28, 2010. I was planning on mating him that weekend again, because I'm still not sure whether or not they were successful last time, but now it is too late. I thought this guy would live a lot longer because he is younger than Rhys.
"Rhys" --- male
September 5, 2009 - July 2, 2010
This awesome male was found up near the gutters and I had to get him down with a net. I couldn't even believe it was a Platycryptus because it was so large. I figured it was a wolf spider or something because he was so large. ---it was so high up that I couldn't get a good look at it. It turns out he is a very friendly male. He is lots of fun to play with and isn't as timid as most Platycryptuses (or is it Platycrypti) that I have dealt with. Usually, they are very skittish and hide all the time. This guy just crawls all over my hand, jumping around, looking at me. When I play with most spiders of the Phidippus audax species, if they land on the floor, it is extremely difficult to get them back into your hand. They really don't like the feel of human skin and instinctively seem to avoid it. This guy doesn't seem bothered at all. I am not sure if that is common with others of his species because like I said, they are usually skittish, so I have never really handled them much. I photographed him the day he was caught on my orchid.
October 24, 2009
Here are photos of Rhys playing hide-and-seek in some fall gourds and Indian corn.
November 17, 2009
Here are photos of Rhys on a lily.
February 6, 2010
Here is Rhys on a mum.
June 19, 2010
Here are photos of Rhys on some sweet williams, coreopsis and butterfly bushes from my backyard. When I took these photos, I felt like they may be his last ones. He has been slowing down a lot and doesn't even try to attack crickets anymore---he only wants flies. On the morning of July 2, I found him upside down at the bottom of his cage, dead. I don't know if he fell and couldn't get back over or what, but it was as sad as when I lost Biglegs. Rhys is my favorite platycryptus ever---it will be hard to top him.
"Renita" --- female
September 13, 2009 - May 10, 2011
I found this female soon after finding the male above, named Rhys. I was going to breed them, but I am afraid for what will happen to the babies if they hatch in the wintertime. I couldn't possibly care for all of them. I planned to breed them in the spring of 2010, but by then, I was too attached to Rhys. I loved Rufus too. One of the males had to be mated if I were ever to raise babies of this species. So in April 2010, I introduced her to Rufus, and she killed him after what seemed like a courtship that was going well. She didn't even lay any eggs. In July 2010, I found a new male, named Rakim. Even though I had him only two weeks, I was so attached to this cutie, but really wanted to mate Renita. So I introduced them. Everything seemed great until I found him at the bottom of his cage dying from Renita's bite.
Here is Renita photographed on September 13, 2009.
February 6, 2010
Here is Renita on a mum and unknown purple stalked flower.
October 10, 2010
I can't believe Renita is over a year old now! She is slow though and doesn't really jump anymore. I take her out and put her in a special feeding container. She doesn't have the energy to catch normal-sized flies anymore, but she will eat fruit flies. She will sometimes bunch up 5 or more into a ball and chew on them. In the photos below, she has one fly in her chelicerae.
January 9, 2011
Renita just hides in her sac most days---she is over 14 months old!!! She has learned that when I poke on her sac, it is feeding time. She comes out and crawls right into her feeding tube and I give her fruit flies and water. When she is done eating, I put her back in her normal cage near her resting sac. Sometimes, if I have had her in the tube for a few days, she is wary of going back into her sac. She pokes at it multiple times to make sure that another spider has not taken up residence. Then she finds the entrance and goes back in and waits for the next feeding time. I got some photos of her on an orchid (but she fell off onto the padded towels below after I shot the first few pictures (which aren't even as focused as I would have liked, but I didn't want her to fall off again). I don't think she was too happy being trapped in the middle of three antique glass eyes, but it sure made for some interesting photos.
Update: These were her last photos. She died on May 10, 2011 before I had a chance to take any more. Renita lived nearly 18 months with me, the longest of any of my spider pets. She was a joy until the very end. I loved how for the last 6 months of her life as she was winding down and couldn't catch large prey, every time I tapped on her resting sac, she knew to it was time to come out to eat fruit flies and always crawled into the feeding tube with no hesitation.
"Rakim" --- Male
July 2010 - August 7, 2010
This gorgeous male sacrificed his life to bring some beautiful baby platycrypti into the world. I mated him with Renita, who had already killed her previous mate, Rufus, without even laying any eggs. I was scared for Rakim, but it had to be done if there were ever going to be babies. I always introduce the male to the female by putting a smaller cage with the female inside of a larger cage that the male has already been inhabiting. The female can come out into his territory through a small opening I leave. I was hoping I could get Rakim out of there safely once mating had occurred, but I was too late. I logged what happened during their courtship below...
For the first two days, he stayed in the outer cage. They looked at each other on occasion through the plastic.
Day 3 he was inside of her tank, but she was on the outside and had actually fallen to the bottom and couldn’t climb back up. I put her back on the inside and within about 20 minutes, he was tickling her abdomen with his front legs while he was on top of her and after a bit, she would turn around like she was ready to mate. I didn’t want to distract them, so I left them alone.
Day 4, he had taken over Renita’s resting sac and Renita was on the outside, tapping, trying to get him out. She walked away and he finally came out, but by then, it was as if she wasn’t interested anymore and she migrated to the outside of the cage and stayed in his resting sac that he made previously.
Day 5, I found her inside of her original cage again, about ˝ inch away from her old resting sac. He was occupying her old one and she was building a new one right next to it.
Day 6, he was in her sac and she was on the outside of her cage again.
Day 7, they were both on the inside of Renita’s cage, kiddy-corner to one another. One of Renita’s old sacs had been fixed up by one of them and taken over. I couldn't tell who took over which sac as they were both inside their sacs.
Days 8 and 9, he stayed on the outside of her tank.
Day 10 he was inside her tank, tapping at the sac she was in.
Day 11 he was on the outside and she was on the inside.
Day 12, I found him at the bottom of the outer tank, having trouble climbing the walls and looking like he was having seizures or something. He would fall on his back and couldn't get up. It was awful. I knew he'd been bitten by Renita. I tried to keep him comfortable in a crumpled napkin that he could stay attached to without falling upside down. He hung on for a whole day, but then he died. That was August 7, 2010.
Thankfully, Renita laid a sac of fertile eggs!!! 11 babies emerged on August 30 and 31, 2010. Click here to see photos of the baby platycrypti.
Here is Rakim on July 15, 2010.
"Runa" --- Female
August 9, 2011 (photographed and released)
I would have liked to have kept this beautiful female and found her a mate so that I could try raising babies again, but I just don't currently have the time to keep any spiders, so she was released after her photo shoot.
Go to Photos of baby Platys from Renita and Rakim.
Go to the Main Directory of Spider Photographs.
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