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A. ancylochira sling is just holding its prey. Suggestions are appreciated.

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by Gretchen, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. Gretchen

    Gretchen Arachnopeon

    Hi Everyone!

    I just got a shipment of T's, or in other words, X-mas in June! In my order, there were several Avicularia slings including A. ancylochira, A. bicegoi, and A. azuraklaasi as the 'freebie'. :) Sizes of the slings were measured at 0.86", 1.19", and 0.90", respectively, and slings are estimated at several months old. (Measurements were taken from hind to diagonal front leg tips.)

    All slings except for the Avicularia ancylochira were immediately active after unpacking, and walked up and down their bark walls in their new environments. Meanwhile the A. ancylochira went to the bottom and curled up on the ground. I fed everyone, selecting a pinhead cricket (about a third the body size of this T), for the A. ancylochira. (I particularly selected small, so the animal was not intimidated by its prey's size in the event it was stressed from the shipping.) While all the new arrivals hungrily grabbed their crickets, it was several hours later that the A. ancylochira grabbed its pinhead, then taking its food up onto its bark wall to consume it. I was pleased, and figured that all would be alright with this little beauty. I then left all the T's to come back approximately 5 hours later to check on them. When I checked on the A. ancylochira, she/he STILL had the FULL pinhead cricket in her/his fangs; and she/he was in approximately the same spot that I had seen the animal in earlier. Although the cricket was not alive, it was NOT digested either. It was almost as if she/he was just holding it, but not consuming it!

    I have seen T's drop their food and come back later for it, but I have never seen them just hold prey for long periods without consuming it. So I figured I'd give this T another couple hours in the event it had just dropped it and picked it back up at that very moment that I observed it. So during the course of the evening and into the night, I checked on the T at various intervals only to see the same thing - the A. ancylochira relatively motionless (same position), just holding the undigested cricket in its fangs. It was somewhere between a 12 to 15 hour period that the T finally released the dead cricket leaving it against the wall. The cricket was whole. :-O

    That was several days ago. Since that time, all the new slings have consumed 2 crickets, while the A. ancylochira has consumed none. However, today, the A. ancylochira decided to grab another pinhead, and go up on the cork bark. I was again hopeful. Sadly, it appears that this is going to be another repeat performance similar to the other day - the animal has been just holding this new cricket in its fangs for the past 6 hours now! :-(

    Is this behavior normal for A. ancylochira? Can anyone suggest what's up? All ideas are appreciated!
  2. maybe he's not just hungry. try not feeding him for a week then try again.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Gretchen

    Gretchen Arachnopeon

    Hi Kelvintheiah!

    It is taking the cricket on its own as if it is hungry. However, if it does not digest this cricket this time, I will hold off on feeding again for several more days. Thanks for the suggestion!

    It almost seems as if their is no venom being injected into the cricket to soften it so it can be digested. Also, when I looked several hours ago, the cricket was contained, but still alive in the fangs; and this little sling had already been holding it for several hours. Strange, ay?
  4. poisoned

    poisoned Arachnodemon

    As far as I know, venom does not have function in digestion.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. yap thats true. venom is used to paralyze the prey not to use to digest. scorpions put acids to the prey before then can eat them.


    i was surprised to know you're a girl. am i right? well, try feeding him after a week. slings wont die if they were not fed for a week. also, look closely to the sling,
    especially on the fangs, if you can see, look for any damages might have damaged its fangs. you can also try feeding him a pre killed cricket or might as well try to feed other preys like meal worms, superworms or blatta lateralis(my favorite).
    • Like Like x 2
  6. MaskFac3

    MaskFac3 Arachnopeon

    My adult a versicolour also does I reckon its what they do when they're in premolt as a guess
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Shell

    Shell ArachnoVixen AKA Dream Crusher AKA Heartbreaker Staff Member

    I'm not telling you this to alarm you but to share what I have experienced. I recently had a L. violaceopes sling that was doing the same thing, it would grab the cricket, hold it, hover over it...everything aside from actually eat it. When I did feed it live, the cricket wouldn't die but the spider would continue to hold it. This went on for 2 months, it kept trying to eat with no success. I tried prekilled, chunks of cricket you name it. It seemed upon looking closer that the spider couldn't fully extend it's fangs to get them into it's prey. I kept it hydrated and warm, hoping it would molt and correct whatever was wrong, but after 2 mths of this, the sling finally died.

    From my experience, a pre molt spider will sometimes kill prey that is annoying it, and then leave it and not eat it. If I am understanding the OP correctly the sling does want to eat but seems to not be able. Pre molt is not what I would think.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Gretchen

    Gretchen Arachnopeon

    @Poisoned and Kelvintheiah -

    Thank you for the education that the venom does not assist in the digestion. I'm always learning here! :-D

    ---------- Post added 06-23-2012 at 08:58 AM ----------

    @Kelvintheiah -

    Yep, I'm a girl! I was born that way, too! LOL! :-D

    ---------- Post added 06-23-2012 at 09:02 AM ----------

    @MaskFac3 -

    One of my thoughts was also possible pre-molt, but the behavior is incorrect. This animal is not hitting it and moving away... It is holding it for hours!
    • Like Like x 1
  9. it might be a problem on its fangs like shell mentioned. some T's don't attack its prey when something is wrong with their fangs.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Anonymity82

    Anonymity82 Arachnoprince

    It's strongly suggested to wait at least a few days to try and feed your new Ts after you receive a shipment. It allows them to feel more comfortable in their new homes and even throw down some webbing. They may not feel comfortable eating their food if they don't have a hide to drag it too. Granted the rest of them did fine but they are all individuals. I'm guessing it can be entirely possible that the spider is just taking out a possible threat with no real intent on eating. IMO.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Gretchen

    Gretchen Arachnopeon

  12. Shell

    Shell ArachnoVixen AKA Dream Crusher AKA Heartbreaker Staff Member

    The fangs on the violaceopes "looked" normal, it just appeared as though the sling couldn't open them all the way when trying to feed. Good luck.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Gretchen

    Gretchen Arachnopeon

    @njnolan1 and kelvintheiah -

    Several people have suggested feeding at another time. I will do that. Once this T gives up its food this time - BTW it is still holding the food and it has been doing this for around 16 hours now, I will NOT attempt to feed it again for several days.

    I do know that an animal is stressed after shipping, but I always offer food. If the newly re-homed animal behaves nervous or unsettled with the food, I remove it immediately and do not attempt for a day or so. However, usually in the approximately 50 spiders I have gotten in through shipments, most hit immediately. It almost seems that it makes them more at home faster. Plus I do not have to worry about the dehydration factor, and can get a good sense of the animal's general over all health quickly. For instance, I know there is something wrong with this A. ancylochira, but suspect nothing wrong with the others.
  14. goodluck and keep us updated.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Gretchen

    Gretchen Arachnopeon

    @kelvintheiah -

    In essence, it is like I am feeding pre-killed. The cricket is dead now and it is still in the animal's fangs. I also will examine the fangs closer once the T releases its food, and will wait to feed again for several days. Luckily, I believe this animal has maintained interest in the prey offered so far, but possibly other food would be worth a try. Thanks so much for the suggestion.

    ---------- Post added 06-23-2012 at 09:41 AM ----------

    To everyone that has posted... Your ideas and information have been invaluable. T people just seem to be smarter than other people!!! LOL!

    ---------- Post added 06-23-2012 at 09:43 AM ----------

    You bet! I will keep everyone posted on this little beauty's outcome.
  16. nocturnalpulsem

    nocturnalpulsem Arachnolord Old Timer

    Any word on this little guy? I have the same problem with one of mine. Upon close examination, the fangs aren't folding outward all the way. The chelicerae move, but the fangs don't. Poor thing tried to "gum" its food to death. Which, isn't very effective as you can imagine. Tried cricket soup, etc. but not interested.