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Avicularia CF Purpurea Challenges

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Dovey, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. Dovey

    Dovey Arachnobaron Active Member

    Okay, for those of you who followed the purple spider discussion, this is a sling purchased for my niece and me to raise together. She wanted a purple pokie because she loves purple and thought it was so adorable that there was a spider called a "pokie," and Little Grey Spider recommended that we get a purpurea and just name her this. So we did.

    Here's the problem. She's tiny. No, smaller than that. I believe she may still have some eggshell affixed to the bottom of her shoe. That kind of tiny.

    Several very experienced members of this forum have expressed that they feel this is a particularly difficult avicularia to raise, with sudden demises and etcetera. Some of the most compelling pleas for assistance on arachnoboards come from people whose children are emotionally attached to a spider in trouble. This spider is not in trouble, but I'd like to have as many tools in my belt as possible for seeing to it that she survives the delicate phase.

    Could any of you who have raised this species from babyhood offer up any advice or observations regarding its care? I have raised fI've or six different species of Avicularia/Caribena, Psalmopoeus, and Tapenauchenius. I'm looking for advice b beyond "standard arboreal care" comments. Any ideas or theories as to what might make this spider a little bit more difficult to raise to adulthood than other avicularia?

    And the very good news is that she is pounding Pinhead crickets. This is very very good news, as her abdomen was about the size and shape of a dill seed when I got her. Smallest I've ever seen on a caprive bred sling. It is filling out nicely now.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  2. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    Their care is not any different then the rest of the genus...just be sure you get the housing right and you should be good to go. Faster your sling grows up, the quicker your out of the danger zone. My advice would be to feed heavy and check up on it regularly to be sure everything is going good. Usually avics will display certain symptoms before they go downhill.

    Good luck.

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  3. Dovey

    Dovey Arachnobaron Active Member

    Thank you so much for the thoughtful reply. Yep, I read both of these articles, and I certainly appreciate their authors as well. But you are so kind to link them for me. It feels good to remind yourself what you know, as well as dwelling on what you don't know.
  4. Sana

    Sana Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    I’ve had a reasonable success rate with these little guys. My one observation has been that they dehydrate quickly. All slings dehydrate and succumb to it very rapidly but it seems even faster than usual in my experience. I lost one of my first two to dehydration.
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  5. Mvtt70

    Mvtt70 Arachnobaron

    I keep my ~1" C. versicolor in this enclosure in the photo and it does great. I was a little apprehensive when I was researching the species and reading about a lot of sudden deaths (like with the A. purpurea) but it seems that people just handled the care wrong in most cases. I've got a lot of holes in the lid to ventilate, with a full water dish on the bottom. There's also two fake plants in like 3/4" of sub and its all webbed up.
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  6. Sana

    Sana Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    I would add some holes in the sides as well. Avicularia/Caribena need the cross ventilation badly. It was once explained to me that a tarantula species that lives as high up as these guys do would have a lot of moving air in a natural setting. So despite the humidity of places that they’re found they actually have a significantly lower humidity requirement. Some of the most successful avic keepers I know swear by cross ventilation and I have joined their camp based on my experience with them.
  7. Stefan2209

    Stefan2209 Arachnolord Old Timer

    I slightly mist the webs of the spiders once a week and never had a problem with dehydration. I´m honestly surprised you find that these dehydrate easy. I´ve kept and raised quite a bunch of different spiders from the Amazon area and found Avics to be the most tolerant in regards to low humidity.

    Guess it really depends where you look for them and where you found them.
    The Avic. i found in Peru was in a hollow of a dead tree trunk at approx. 4 feet height and had the hole completely webbed up. That location was neither high up, nor did the spider have good air flow in that environment.
    They may be pretty skilled though to exactly produce that kind of micro-climate they need to thrive in any given environment, as long as some basics are given.

    Personally, for ventilation i only use plenty of holes on top of the enclosure and never ran into problems regarding air flow.
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  8. Sana

    Sana Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    I was meaning slings in general dehydrate more quickly than their adult counterparts. I adore avics and have a fair number of them. This has just been a personal observation of this species compared to others within the genus.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2018
  9. Dovey

    Dovey Arachnobaron Active Member

    Regardless, I have moved this baby into my personal favorite habitat container for teeny tiny arboreal, the ubiquitous stabdard diner salt shaker, readily available in 6-packs from Walmart. For species that are eating fruit flies, I afix fruitfly screen to the inside of the shaker lid, since melanogaster seem just able to squeeze out through the little shaker holes. Happily, all of my Wii babies right now are eating Pinhead crickets and newborn dubias. I like these because if the sling needs some humidity, it can climb down lower, closer to the moist substrate, but if they prefer a dryer area, they can climb up the wee silk flower branches toward the lid and all its it's perforations. I've had great success with tiny avicularia babies as well as Olios giganteus babies, which are also quite tiny initially.

    I also have the tiny little $15 N. incie and the smallest little C. Perezmilesi in salt shaker terrariums, since slings of webbing species also do extremely well in these containers.

    If I had 500 slings, I will not go this habitat route, because you cannot drill side ventilation holes. However, I probably have fewer than 30 slings total in the house, and maybe half that number of juveniles. Every spider's habitat gets open and aired every day. I think air movement would be fine anyway, but I've never put it to the test.

    I'll post pictures of these little habitats as soon as I get the loaner camera charged and figure it out. Please stand by to comment. Constructive criticism graciously accepted. I would rather learn from your mistakes than from mine. :p
  10. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    Good strategy.
    You don't need to feed fruit flies, most keepers here would actually discourage using them. Consensus on them is that they are nutrient deficient, and an overall hassle to use anyway.
    Those are much better options, you can pre kill for smaller easily spooked slings as well.
    Just be mindful not to over moisten the sub, you want it to be just slightly moist, offer slings the occasional drips of water on their web...good ventilation is key too. Definitely post some pics of your setups when you have a chance.
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  11. VanessaS

    VanessaS Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    Slower grower than most of the genus, but worth the wait.
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  12. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    I've raised a lot of Avic species...I have only lost avic 3 slings total....two were purpurea. Both died within a week of being shipped. I definitely see them as more sensitive than most avics.
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  13. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

    As @Nightstalker47 already said fruitflies are deficient in nutrients. I had a scientific study saved somewhere (of course I can't find it right now...) that tried different feeders and true spiders fed with fruitflies exclusively all died from malnutrition after only a few instars. None made it to adulthood.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
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  14. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    ::dramatic reveal::

    Was this your card?

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  15. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    I've only raised one Purp. However, my experience was fine. I raised it no different than what I wrote. It was not a hard species to raise at all, nor was it a slow grower as many people here on AB write. Again, only one for me, perhaps I had the best genes ever! Perhaps if I raised a few hundred I'd feel different.
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  16. Dovey

    Dovey Arachnobaron Active Member

    OPHELIA: Oh, woe is me, T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see!

    Death curl. Dead infant. Feeding one day, dead the next. Couldn't help myself, just burst into tears at the sight. I knew this was going to happen. I just had this horrible feeling, which is why I set up the thread. It felt like this spider was hanging by a thread.

    I think it was just too small, too delicate. I haven't lost anything else in the longest time, and I just can't believe it. I've taken on a number of slings recently, and all of them are doing just marvelously. Don't know, I just had a feeling the first time I saw this little sling that it was just too small--not yet ready to thrive on its own.

    Henceforth, I will insist on a good full inch for avicularia and other arboreals. Just one more molt might well have made all the difference. Poor wee thing.

    And I have to tell my niece. Poor wee thing. Her little face is going to just melt. Oh, the curses that come to mind right now. Well, when all else fails, we always have Shakespeare. God bless him at moments like this.

    OPHELIA: And I, of ladies most deject and wretched.

    HORATIO: Now cracks a noble heart. – Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!
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  17. PidderPeets

    PidderPeets Arachnoangel Active Member

    I'm so sorry for your loss :( And I'm sorry you have to break the news to your niece. Slings can be so fragile, and this species seems even more so than the rest of the Genus. Perhaps it just didn't take well to the stress of shipping. Even in the videos I've seen of adults being unboxed, they don't seem too well off right out of the container. I'm sure it was just something unavoidable and no fault of your own.

    Don't let this dissuade you from ever trying with this species again. Sometimes things just happen, and I think this species is just too pretty to give up on after one failed attempt.

    I actually literally just picked up a 1/2 sling for myself yesterday, and even though the DLS is accurate, the thing really is so tiny. If I'm able to raise it up to a more reasonable size, I'll let you know exactly what I did in terms of husbandry, so maybe you can use that information and hopefully you'll have better luck next time
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  18. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    Sometimes slings just dont make it...there isnt always a good reason or explanation behind it.

    With that said, you could post some pics of the setup you had going...just to be sure everything was right.
  19. Dovey

    Dovey Arachnobaron Active Member

    Will do, if I ever resolve my lack of camera issues!