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A tarantula's method of ingestion

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Dogfish, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. Dogfish

    Dogfish Arachnopeon

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    Hello, thank you for taking the time to read this.

    I have always believed that tarantulas, like other spiders, inject their prey with a venom that both paralyzes the victim and breaks down the tissue inside of the victim allowing the T to "suck out" the innards like a milkshake. Now that I have a sling i notice that the spider does indeed hold crickets to it's mouth like it is sucking on it, but the shell of the insect also slowly disappears.

    So now, assuming that the T actually chomped down its crickets like a turkey sub, I hit the internet and searched for an answer. All I can find are posts that claim that the T's do indeed "suck up" their prey. So where is the rest of the cricket going? Does the venom actually dissolve the carapace of the food as well as the innards? Perhaps the T sucks up the juices and then crunches down the carapace for a nice after-dinner snack? I am a bit confused by this.
     
  2. paassatt

    paassatt Arachnoangel

    The venom itself is not what "liquifies" the prey, but rather it's the digestive juices the spider uses. The venom kills the prey, the digestive juices break it down and allows it be ingested. What's left after everything edible is eaten is referred to as a bolus. It's made up of all the harder stuff that the digestive juices couldn't break down. You'll also notice that if the spider is overfed, the bolus will be bigger because while there remains some edible stuff, the spider couldn't take it all in. This is where you run the risk of developing nasty things that feed off rotting material, and why it's important not to overfeed.
     
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  3. Amoeba

    Amoeba Arachnolord

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  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Arachnopeon

    would the bolus look like a tiny brown ball that would be hanging in the web afterwards?
     
  5. captmarga

    captmarga Arachnobaron

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    Yes, quite likely the bolus is the foreign ball in the web. Some spiders keep them in one area (such as a burrower shoving it out the entrance). Use long forceps or tweezers to nip it out of the enclosure.

    Marga
     
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  6. Dogfish

    Dogfish Arachnopeon

    Went to remove the bolus when I got home today and my sling had ejected it from the web onto the floor of its enclosure. Funky little spider.
     
  7. Frost

    Frost Arachnopeon

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    This makes sense on not over feeding. thanks paassatt.

    ---------- Post added 10-03-2011 at 05:16 PM ----------

    Cool link! Thanks.
     
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  8. Ahh and that is because after the venom kills the prey, tarantulas "vomit" digestive acids onto the meal and then suck it up. The carpace dissolves because of that - not venom.

    Boluses are not good - most of my boluses develop a fungi of some sort after as little as 12 hours - remove them as soon as the tarantula discards them.
     
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  9. Amoeba

    Amoeba Arachnolord

    Do you mean mold?
     
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  10. See the thing is it didn't look like mold that I have ever seen before. Next time I see it ill take a pic - it looks like pure white hair on a person after they have been shocked (its standing straight up).
     
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  11. Amoeba

    Amoeba Arachnolord

    I get that too but I think it's mold not fungus. Fungi can happen too
     
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  12. Just did a little research - mold are fungi!
     
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  13. Amoeba

    Amoeba Arachnolord

    Well played.
     
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  14. It was fun ;)
     
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  15. paassatt

    paassatt Arachnoangel

    Mold comes in all shapes and colors.
     
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  16. I would believe so considering there are thousands of known species of mold - your post helped strengthen my understanding though. I just meant I had never seen it before owning tarantulas (got my first T July, although now I have 20)!
     
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