In June2010 I had time for a few days to look at some parts of Ecuador i haven`t seen so far and the first place was the town of Zaruma east of Machala at an altitude of 1200 meters.
The vegetation mainly consists of cloud forest
Ca. 35 km from Zaruma it is possible to visit an untouched part of cloud forest. Around the forst I was able to find two different unknown tarantulas sharing the same habitat.
Here a few animals living in the cloud forest:
Big Araneae sp.
The forest was full of Epipedobates anthonyi
The cloud forests are home to different butterflies and humming birds:
The tarantulas i found both lived in horizontal burrows. Both didn`t use any silk in or around the tunnel. The first species was rather small and very docile...
Burrow, about 20 cm deep:
First unknown tarantula species:
The second species from the same habitat lived within deep burrows and this species was very defensive and with a bodylength of 5 cm rather large.
Entrance to the burrow:
When disturbed they tried to bite immedately. They made no use of their urticating hairs.
This species was not shy and so it was possible to bait them with some gras also at daytime:
Juvenile , just in front of the door of the house i lived in.
Just some centimeters away there were some other unknown mygalomorph spiders.
Habitat of both tarantula species:
The visit in 2010 and 2011 I also used to search for a Pamphobeteus sp. living in the mountains near Alausi about 1500- 2000 meter above sea level. I knew from a friend that there is a big Theraphosidae sp. in this area and so i tried to find of what kind it was.
The vegetation is very different from the dry forest near Guayaquil where the other Pamphobeteus sp. lives even though it is just 3 hours away ( by car ).
After quite a while of unsuccessful search for the spiders we finally found one ... crossing the road.
It was a female Pamphobeteus sp.
At dusk it was possible to see many adult males roaming the mountains. Unfortuntely people killed most of them immediately when they appeared on the roads. So lots of the males looked like this:
Bulbus of an adult male :
Habitat of this Pamphobeteus sp.
In the same area it is possible to find a brownish Theraphosid spider. Around September it is time for producing eggsacs
At another place there was a large Dipluridae in it s typical nets
Also a nice Lycosidae sp. lives around Alausi:
Nephila clavipes is very common as in whole south west of Ecuador. On the video you can see a huge colony of these spiders with hundreds of individuals.