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All Tarantulas Can and Will Bite

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by CyclingSam, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. CyclingSam

    CyclingSam Arachnoknight

    I know my title states the obvious, but many often forget that the tarantulas we consider docile and often recommend to beginners can quickly become balls of fury. A perfect illustration is my A. avic., which my daughter named "Pinky." Pinky is usually a calm critter; however, tonight when I went to feed her, she snapped on me and threw one of the biggest, if not the biggest threat display, I have ever seen from any of my spiders. She had her fangs flared and even struck at me a few times.

    What are your examples of threat displays from species that are generally considered beginner, or docile, species? I know there is a Brachy army around here somewhere.

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  2. Pseudo

    Pseudo Arachnosquire

    My Aphonopelma seemanni gave her first threat display and attempted to strike last week when I placed her in a new enclosure. My Brachypelma vagans always gives a threat display no matter the circumstances and is very aggressive. She has bitten me before when I was changing her water and didn't notice her near the dish.
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  3. Mvtt70

    Mvtt70 Arachnobaron

    Not sure if I have a species known as somewhat more docile that acts the opposite, but my B. vagans sling is very aggressive (for its size).
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  4. Orionoid

    Orionoid Arachnopeon

    Ah, a thread designed for @The Grym Reaper . Gotta bring in that lovely B. hamorii pic.
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  5. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnotank Arachnosupporter

    We all know why I'm here :hilarious:

    I purchased a Brachypelma hamorii from Poland a couple of years ago (back when they were still B. smithi). She was an absolute saint, never kicked hairs and was so docile that it was absurd, she was one of the few tarantulas that I handled back when I still handled my tarantulas.

    She remained like this up until her second moult in my care, after which her temperament changed drastically. When you touched her legs with the tongs she would immediately about-face, throw up a threat posture and repeatedly slap at anything within reach.
    She's gotten nastier with subsequent moults, she doesn't even throw up threat postures anymore, she just bites without warning.

    On the plus side, still not a hair-kicker ;)

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  6. Dovey

    Dovey Arachnobaron Active Member

    Where does the line form for sociopathic roseas? :depressed:
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  7. VanessaS

    VanessaS Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    I wonder if we get that reaction sometimes because we disturb them while in some sort of resting state?
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  8. Dovey

    Dovey Arachnobaron Active Member

    Oh I'm totally willing to sign on to the fact that, when a good tarantula goes bad, it's almost (almost, mind you) always a startle response.
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  9. CyclingSam

    CyclingSam Arachnoknight

    I did disturb her, but all Ts are generally disturbed to some extent at feeding time. She knew I was coming. I openned her lid. I had a cricket by the back leg and I tapped it on her web a few times and moved it a little closer to her. She then threw up the display. I am suspecting she is getting ready to molt. I looked at her chart and she hasn’t eaten for a month and it’s been way over a year since she molted last.
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  10. Ztesch

    Ztesch Arachnosquire

    The same thing happened to me when I attempted to feed my A. Mettalica while she was in premolt. She is super chill 99% of the time but on that occasion she flipped out when I put a hornworm in front of her face. Struck at the worm and then continued to threat until I managed to get the worm out.
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  11. Quinnk74

    Quinnk74 Arachnopeon

    I have the complete opposite so far. I have an OBT that is a saint, has been for the three molts I've had her for. She barely moves when i pull out her water dish to clean it when she is right next to it. Just waiting for the day when she remembers what she is supposed to be
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  12. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnotank Arachnosupporter

    I've had this while trying to feed my P. irminia while she was in pre-moult, started slapping at the cricket until I could hook it out, only time I've ever seen a threat posture from her.
  13. Sana

    Sana Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    Water dish disagreement. It belongs to him. End of story.
    Couldn’t help myself. I love a good threat display thread now and then.
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  14. Dannica

    Dannica Arachnosquire

    My Brachypelma vagans is probably the meanest little dude I’ve ever seen lol. He runs around his enclosure in circles, stopping only to threat posture and strike at the air. He will strike at the water every single time I fill his dish. If I’m doing maintenance on a tank near his, he will be in a threat pose the whole time, sometimes standing up so high he falls over backwards. He doesn’t retreat to his hide, and if I need to remove a water dish and replace it (because he fills them with substrate the second they’re placed) I usually have to place a catch cup over him just to prevent him from striking at my tongs or me. He’s only about 2.25 inches, so I’m interested to see how long this lasts. On the bright side, he doesn’t kick hairs lol
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  15. VanessaS

    VanessaS Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    The only real, full on, threat display I have ever received was recently from my Lasiodora difficilis female. I took her down to feed her and noticed that she was stretched completely out in the center of her enclosure... even after I opened the lid. That seemed very odd to me since she is always moving about when I disturb her. I put the cricket in, a few inches away, and when it got close she absolutely freaked. I took the cricket out immediately and put her back.
    The next day I tried again and she was acting fine and moving around when I opened the enclosure. She ate and everything was back to normal with no sign of any defensive behaviour.
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  16. Mirandarachnid

    Mirandarachnid Arachnobaron

    My vagans is a little spunky too, if my hair so much as brushes the side of his enclosure, he throws himself at it. Mine's only about an inch, inch and a half. Maybe they'll grow out of it :hilarious:
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  17. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    Bulldozer, my juvenile female Grammostola pulchra, is normally very easygoing (and seemingly inquisitive about anything that moves in her enclosure). However, once when I was trying to nudge her out of the way for maintenance work, she gave me this half-hearted threat pose. (It's the only threat pose I've ever seen from her.)

    How she thinks she looks:
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  18. Garth Vader

    Garth Vader Arachnohipster

    The only time I have seen one of my Ts in a threat display, it was my juvenile Aphonopelma anax who usually resembles a fat, mellow rock. I think I disturbed an important meditation time or something.
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  19. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    You could be onto something. They may not sleep as we conceive the term, but they may go into a less alert state, sort of tuning out everything except their sense of touch and vibrations. When either of those two senses are triggered they might go directly into full-alert status, either defense or feeding mode.

    But that's just speculation, I don't think there would be any way to confirm it.

    My G. pulchripes threw a bit of a defensive posture followed with a strike on tongs recently. Seeing as how she is and my B. hamorii are the only ones I have that I would even consider prodding with a finger in order to get her to move if I felt it was necessary, that underlines the unpredictability of tarantulas. There have been times when the pulchripes barely bothered to move when encouraged with tongs, just lazily crawling away.
    It could also have something to do with the time-span since the last feeding, of course.
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  20. MikeofBorg

    MikeofBorg Arachnosquire

    Never had my A. avicularia threat display to me, but he does like to squirt poop. He actually got me on the beard one time and I didn't know until my wife pointed it out to me. I was walking around most the day with some Tarantula poo in my beard.
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