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A. Avicularia with a Bald Abdomen

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Tia B, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Tia B

    Tia B Arachnopeon

    My new Avicularia tarantula has suddenly developed a bald spot. I've only had him about a week, he has about a 2" leg span. I live in a desert area and it is difficult to keep humidity, could that have caused this? I know they're somewhat of a higher humidity species. It really worries me, being as this is my first tarantula of species.
  2. BC1579

    BC1579 Arachnosquire Active Member

    Pics of the T and the enclosure would go a long way.

    Also baldness sometimes come from hair kicking. I’ve not heard of avics being big kickers, but anything is possible.
  3. Tia B

    Tia B Arachnopeon

    20171011_182436.jpg 20171011_182505.jpg
    Here is my tarantula and his setup. You can see his balding abdomen. I had just misted the tank before this picture.
    • Sad Sad x 1
  4. BC1579

    BC1579 Arachnosquire Active Member

    Avicularia are arboreal. That T needs stuff to climb on, ASAP.

    You also need cross ventilation holes, ASAP.

    Cork bark, plastic vines, something. That T only needs to be that low to hunt. Otherwise it should be up, up, up.

    That hide on the ground is mostly useless for an arboreal T I would think.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. BC1579

    BC1579 Arachnosquire Active Member

    755FB638-36DD-4F15-9674-43223E76896B.jpeg 62018D22-7307-4300-8C48-5B4A942C4AF9.jpeg That enclosure is also huge for that T. Here are mine. Roughly the same size as yours in about a 1 gallon container each.

    The second one is having a nom.

    You need like a tarantula enclosure flipper like those reality TV shows. I nominate @miss moxie.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 5:34 AM
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  6. Tia B

    Tia B Arachnopeon

    Yeah, I know I definitely need to add some climbing stuff. What do you suggest for something I could improvise in the meantime until I get a chance to give him better things?

    Also, could that be the cause of his balding?
  7. Tia B

    Tia B Arachnopeon

    I've never kept arboreals before, so I know I probably need some improvements.
  8. BC1579

    BC1579 Arachnosquire Active Member

    They can bald from stress.

    Think about it like this - most people are comfortable walking around on the ground. We’d get mighty stressed out if we had to dangle from trees 150 feet up.

    Same for your T. It wants to be higher. It’s likely uncomfortable down low and is likely stressed.

    As for temporary climbing, don’t get anything from outside. It may have harmful mites or other baddies that will hurt the T. Maybe a clean water bottle or something? No detergent, no soap. Clean it well and see what happens. Get a few in there. Those Ts like anchor points.
  9. Tia B

    Tia B Arachnopeon

    Thank you for your advice, I really do appreciate it. I plan to eventually move him into a smaller enclosure similar to yours after getting some climbing objects. I put in two water bottles, a small rectangular lid and a paper towel tube in the meantime. Hopefully that will provide him with some climbing power and destress him a little bit.
  10. BC1579

    BC1579 Arachnosquire Active Member

    Just be careful of glue and stuff like that. Should be fine.

    Most big box stores have the shapeable vines, cork bark, bamboo. They’ll love you for it. They’ll web you up a nice castle if they have the material.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 5:28 AM
  11. miss moxie

    miss moxie Arachnoprince Active Member

    First of all, that spider looks like it could be going into pre-molt. Second of all, Avicularia don't need high humidity at all. In fact, the opposite. They do very well with little humidity altogether. Third of all, shouldn't you have gotten the proper enclosure before you got the spider? Bad husbandry can kill Avicularia quickly, they're very fragile. You need to switch them over as soon as possible. We see Avicularia die around here all the time.

    I keep all of my Avicularia/Caribena/Ybyrapora in tall enclosures with cocofiber, a water dish, and fake plants for them to climb up into and make web tunnels against.

    • Agree Agree x 2
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  12. cold blood

    cold blood ArachnoGod Active Member

    You don't need to keep humidity up or maintain high specific humidity numbers...doing so may very well kill this species. Dry substrate, water dish, a nice piece of wood and a lot of plants around the mid-top...and lots of cross ventilation.

    Forget everything you think you know and start re-learning here on the boards...these is a ton of great avic info already posted in many places by many experienced keepers.

    Re-do that enclosure ASAP...that's a veritable death trap. Its way way too wet, its too big, its completely barren and has nothing to climb on or web to.

    I'd stop the misting regimine....this is something that should only be done minimally (both in frequency and amount)...its just for an easy drink. If you are using a hygrometer to attain humidity numbers, throw it away before it causes the ts demise.

    BC, add plants to those set ups...and a water dish.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  13. Yeah -- add some anchors for webbing. Those water drops represent Avic tear drops. So incredibly sad a set-up. I'd kick my rump bald in that enclosure. :(
    Glad you found Arachnoboards -- we all want the best for your T!

    So ventilate, dry out, add some climbing anchors. I usually use a tall corkbark as centerpiece and then glue-gun lots of silk plant pieces to side walls for web anchors. Mine always moults near top in a special webbed cocoon.
    Yours needs enough work that you need to remove T so you can fix it.
    Hope you can get things set-up quickly so avic can adjust and web up.

    Good luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Anoplogaster

    Anoplogaster Arachnobaron Active Member

    Welcome to the forum! Hopefully, you’ll stick around and be a part of this community:)

    A bit of input for your new pet:

    Keep this spider dry. Misting won’t do any good. Ignore online caresheets and get your info from here. Dry wih a water dish.

    This enclosure is definitely not proper. You need lots of cross-ventilation (holes around the sides), which is tough to do with glass. Lack of ventilation and too much moisture are the most common causes of death for this genus of spiders. And it needs plenty of anchor points for webbing. Cork bark and fake plants are popular for this, mainly due to mold resistance. Try to avoid grape wood, as that stuff will mold even from the slightest bit of moisture.

    In regards to the baldness of the abdomen: Avicularia spp. possess urticating “hairs” that are meant to irritate as a defense mechanism, but they don’t typically kick them off the way other NW tarantulas do. They come off on contact. A balding abdomen could be for many reasons. The spider may have shed them off around its environment as a means of protection. It could also be nearing a molt. First thing first, get it into a proper environment ASAP, and we’ll go from there.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  15. Tia B

    Tia B Arachnopeon

    My T does have a water dish currently. I normally keep terrestrial Ts and this is my first arboreal. This particular tarantula ended up in my care rather suddenly, and the enclosure I set up in a hurry because I didn't really have any warning. If I had the opportunity, I would have set up a cage before bringing it home.

    I thank you all for your insight. Criticism hurts, but I want to give this new tarantula a proper cage. The terrarium is not glass by the way, it is some sort of thick plastic.

    I knew from the beginning the cage was... underfurnished. I have not had the chance to furnish it and found many conflicting reports of what they required in their cages.
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  16. BC1579

    BC1579 Arachnosquire Active Member

    If it's plastic you're in luck. Either with a drill, Dremel, or some other tool you should prodigiously puncture that enclosure - higher up if possible.

    This will allow any runoff from your watering dish to keep the substrate slightly moist while providing cross ventilation up high. It's similar to what these species may see in the wild - moist forest floor, breezy and dry treetop. It also allows the T to regulate itself by moving higher or lower in the enclosure. It'll find a happy place.
  17. BC1579

    BC1579 Arachnosquire Active Member

    I've got some silk plants I can add. They've got water dishes on the back side of the enclosures. I turn them toward the dark corner because even with the blinds closed there's enough sun in the morning to get that part of the enclosure foggy and steamy.
  18. After you get the vent holes completed -- it'll be fun arranging all the silk flowers inside!
    I think you'll enjoy having an arboreal T. :)
  19. Deeser

    Deeser Arachnopeon Active Member

    Lots of debate on here, but many of us use desiduous wood and bark collected from the woods around us without harm, and its especially useful in a jiffy to furnish an empty tank.

    Many of us treat that wood by boiling/baking to remove pests and residues, while others don't even bother. Definitely be aware of any pesticides that may be showered over your area before collecting from a specific zone.

    Cork is useful in that it's lightweight and not prone to rotting as quick in moist environments. But as stated above, Avics don't need wet humid environments, so any desiduous bark (stay away from cedar, pine, etc) that's been thoroughly dried should work fine.

    My two cents: if you have the choice between furnishing that cage with free, natural materials from around you, or else to wait a week to buy extortionate cork bark, best to give that avic the home she deserves sooner than later.

    Again: my opinion which has worked well for me and others, but remains a topic of debate.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. BC1579

    BC1579 Arachnosquire Active Member

    That's definitely one that people seem split over. I've read that sterilization is necessary, and I've read that it just wipes the slate and allows a first-come, first-served landscape for anything to move in and take hold.

    My suggestion was just meant to get the T up and off the ground even if it was on a clean, plastic water bottle.

    I'm excited to get an update on the little guy/gal and see what the new digs look like.
    • Agree Agree x 1