Greetings, the name is Arthroverts.
I’ve always loved the natural world, animal life specifically, “creepy-crawlies” particularly, and “bugs” most especially. Throughout my childhood you could often find me peering under logs and rocks, rooting around in sand at the beach, or exploring tidepools and unusual holes. Unfortunately, despite my affinity for such activities and my love of finding bugs, I also had crippling arachnophobia for the majority of my childhood to the point where I would have horrible night terrors of getting bitten by black widows or even worse, the dreaded brown recluse. Regrettably, because of this I largely avoided spiders and other bugs for many years, focusing more on reptiles (snakes especially), amphibians, fish, cacti, and succulents in various (casual) capacities, though I did attempt to keep a variety of tarantulas found for sale at the local petshop, usually Avicularia of some kind that unfortunately perished quite quickly in my care, or rather lack thereof (also kept during this time were two Aphonopelma sp. mature males that family had caught me that ended up surviving for over six months). The story was not over however, and as I slowly grew older and more mature I eventually lost my arachnophobia, so that when my grandfather brought home a Grammostola porteri for me as a surprise gift at the age of 12, phobia-free (thank God) and chastened by prior failures, I threw myself into researching the proper care for it (many thanks to Jon3800 from YouTube for setting me on the right path initially). In the following years I slowly grew my collection of invertebrates, first starting with tarantulas, going to scorpions, centipedes, true spiders, millipedes, roaches, etc.; during that time I couldn’t understand why other enthusiasts purposely kept collections smaller then they otherwise could given their resources.
In the years since then however I have learned why, ha ha, and have shrunk my collection down to what I truly want to focus on and can provide for adequately. Also in that time I slowly started to move away from being a casual hobbyist to being more of a serious enthusiast/citizen scientist as I recognized the incredible need and opportunity to contribute to both the invertebrate-keeping hobby, to the largely-incomplete (or non-existent) archives of scientific knowledge pertaining to a variety of invertebrates, and to the conservation of the creatures I love so much which are unfortunately threatened by largely a lack of human stewardship of the world in whatever form that may take.
In line with this pivot, I started the Invertebrate Club of Southern California in 2019 to address the need for a local community of invertebrate enthusiasts in Southern California and to try to protect the invertebrates that are native to the area (which is a biodiversity hotspot), which has since grown into the largest amateur invertebrate enthusiast organization in Southern California. I also helped to start The Millipede Enthusiast’s Database in 2020, a website dedicated to collecting information relating to millipede species kept in captivity and observed in the wild in order to address a chronic lack of information with regards to millipedes in captivity. I helped to organize the first private import of Epiperipatus barbadensis to the USA, also in 2019, and have since been involved in a variety of projects and efforts to conserve various invertebrate species in captivity through captive breeding. Alongside The Mantis Menagerie I have helped to explore the options for amateur enthusiasts seeking to become permitted under USDA/APHIS regulations via the PPQ526 permitting system and containment facility registration for Congress-designated plant pests, and continue to dialogue on how to act responsibly as an enthusiast in a hobby that is tainted grey from overcollection, unscrupulous behavior, and the brown-boxing that unfortunately remains the only source for many invertebrate species. One of my recent focuses has been to create more dialogue between professionals and amateurs on the subject of invertebrates in order to increase understanding across the board, raise the collective conscious and dialogue of enthusiasts, and mobilize enthusiasts of all stripes to take a more proactive role in conservation of various species through whatever means possible.
This blog has been around since 2017, and initially, inspired by the likes of Tristan Shanahan, Joshua Campos, and Mike of Mike’s Basic Tarantula, I treated it as a sort of public journal of my collection. Due to how often my collection fluctuates however I have been unable to keep up with it in that capacity, and have since started transitioning into using this blog as a platform for sharing my thoughts on invertebrate-keeping, some of my photos, sharing interviews, and making sales of excess specimens I have on hand.
If you want to contact me directly, email me at arthroverts @ gmail .com. I am always happy to talk about invertebrates (though I am by no means an expert in anything, more so a jack-of-all-trades [and not a great one at that]), or refer you to a friend of mine if I you need someone more knowledgeable than me, ha ha. Also feel free to catch me on all major invertebrate forums and sites dedicated to invertebrates under the username Arthroverts. I highly recommend forums such as Arachnoboards, Allpets Roach Forum, and formiculture.com for discussing all aspects of invertebrate-keeping, and sites such as iNaturalist and BugGuide for citizen-science projects.
I am a Christian, and am always interested in exploring how biodiversity research, taxonomy, phylogenetics, and conservation interfaces with what I believe; my passion for nature and conservation stems from my strong belief that as humans we are given great power, for good or ill, over how to steward the Earth. I also firmly believe that God helped bring me through my arachnophobia, and for that I am very thankful as otherwise I would be missing out on a world of wonder today :D!