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Dead or hiding?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by MrsHaas, Dec 9, 2015.

  1. MrsHaas

    MrsHaas Arachnoangel

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    I've had my P. Brachyramosa for months now and the last time I saw it was the day I put it in its enclosure. I know they are obligate burrowers, so it doesn't surprise me that it's constantly MIA. However, the last two times I fed it, the crickets went into the burrow and I left them in there over night. Come morning they were both dead in the water bowl. I see no indication of it webbing up the entrance to its burrow to prepare for a molt (but then again I'm not sure how far down it has dug). I heard they stink to high hell when they die (kind of like dead mice), but so far no foul odor. I do not want to disturb it by digging it up, especially in case it is molting, but with this one I really cannot tell if it dead or hiding lol. I do not own any other obligate burrowers, so I'd like some advice from those who have more experience. When do you assume you have dead t in this situation and what do you do about it?
     
  2. TsunamiSpike

    TsunamiSpike Arachnosquire

    When it smells it's dead. Probably get some form of mold appear at some point. Otherwise all you can do is wait. Maybe pop a prekilled cricket by the tunnel entrance, see if it disappears.
     
  3. JLPicard

    JLPicard Arachnosquire

    From what I've heard, the smell comes rather quickly. Maybe it's just fasting?
     
  4. MrsHaas

    MrsHaas Arachnoangel

    Hmmm, ok, could be then. I'm hoping it's just not hungry! It's made such a lovely burrow I'd hate to destroy it lol

    ---------- Post added 12-09-2015 at 11:23 AM ----------

    I'll try that next time I feed. I tried booby trapping the entrance by strategically placing a piece of moss and the mouth of the opening to see if it moved, thus proving it had come out yo drink or something. It didn't move for a week and then I tried to feed so I just took it out of the way so the crickets could wander in.

    I would just hate for a bunch of nematodes or mites or flies to appear and potentially harm the rest of my collection...
     
  5. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    If the crickets were dead and in the water dish, my guess is that they ended up there at the hands of the t.

    BTW, they don't always give off offensive odors when they die.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Thistles

    Thistles Arachnobroad

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    They reek within a day or two of dying, but only if the spider is decent sized. How big is yours? Under 2" and you might not notice a smell at all. I wouldn't worry though. I would only see mine occasionally, usually in the middle of the night if i happened to stop by and peek at them while on a bathroom trip or something, and they'd disappear in a flash when they detected me.

    I'd just be glad it's taken to its burrow. A hidden T is a happy T.
     
  7. MrsHaas

    MrsHaas Arachnoangel

    One of the two times I fed last the crickets died in random places away from the dish, though. I forgot yo add that in the original post. They didn't not look as though they were killed by the t. They were fully intact.

    Does anyone recommend that I dig up the brachy? I worry that if it's dead it could harbor some nasty nematodes or mites that could spread to the others...

    ---------- Post added 12-09-2015 at 11:55 AM ----------

    Yeah... It's only ab 2"
     
  8. Chris11

    Chris11 ArachnoBat Arachnosupporter

    Id personally wait another week or two... theyre finicky creatures and being a brachy premolt could take awhile...
     
  9. MrsHaas

    MrsHaas Arachnoangel

    Ok I will. Are there any signs I should look for that can point to a death before it too late and I get flies or nematodes?
     
  10. Chris11

    Chris11 ArachnoBat Arachnosupporter

    Not really besides the smell or first hand sight of scavengers, which might not even happen. If youre really desperate you could try gently flooding the burrow to see if she comes out.
     
  11. MrsHaas

    MrsHaas Arachnoangel

    I think I'll give it a few weeks like you said and then maybe poke around in there. I'd be worried I would drown him, not sure how buoyant ts are lol
     
  12. Chris11

    Chris11 ArachnoBat Arachnosupporter

    They can actually "breathe" underwater. Their bridtles trap little air bubbles that will sustain them for some time... Smaller species and slings can float and almost ealk across water due to surface tension and their weight distribution.
     
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  13. MrsHaas

    MrsHaas Arachnoangel

    Ooh excellent fact I didn't know. Ok, 2 weeks and it's swim time lol



    --J.Haas
     
  14. Chris11

    Chris11 ArachnoBat Arachnosupporter

    Just another fact that i learned from ab that 99.9% of people dont care about! lol

    ---------- Post added 12-09-2015 at 01:12 PM ----------

    I woukd post the link, but my almost infantile computer knowledge has forsaken me again... search 'underwater spiders,' or something of that sort
     
  15. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Seriously, if you are that worried and believe in your mind that there is a reason to worry, go ahead and dig it up...its a Brachy, its not like its something that will give you any trouble....worst case scenario, it has to re-dig its burrow....its not like it has something better to do.
     
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  16. Thistles

    Thistles Arachnobroad

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    Guys, it isn't a Brachy... it's a Psednocnemis brachyramosa. Those will definitely give some trouble. They're one of the few tarantulas that I find intimidating and I'm pretty bombproof.

    I would leave it alone. It's an obligate burrower that is extremely shy. It's also new to its enclosure. There's no need to panic. If it's alive, at best you'll only bother the tarantula by digging it up. At worst you could injure it or lose it when it goes flying out. If it's dead, I don't think you'll have to worry about nematodes at all. Perhaps you might end up with phorid flies, but you'll notice them and their maggots pretty quickly. They're also easy enough to eliminate. If you're really concerned, just move the enclosure with the hidden T away from the others to slow any potential spread of nastiness. I really think you're overthinking this. It's an animal that lives in a hole. Let it live in its hole.

    I also don't like the "flood" method, for what it's worth. It takes a long time for a tarantula to drown, but it does happen. You also ruin the burrow in the process as it is too soggy to use immediately. I've never done it personally but I have heard enough anecdotes about tarantulas still refusing to leave a flooded burrow and having to be excavated anyway to deter me from risking it.
     
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  17. Stranger

    Stranger Arachnopeon

    I haven't seen my G.pulchra in almost 2 months, the day I got it was also the last time I saw it. However, it has covered its burrow with dirt and a couple times now I have gently moved some of the dirt (with a little fake leaf) and then left it, by morning the dirt is piled back up so I know its alive. It hasn't eaten for me once yet. I wouldn't recommend digging it up unless there is some concerning reason to make you think it is dead. If you are going to try to get it out, take something like a thin fake plant or a piece of grass and poke in, don't flood it out. I see no benefit from that, that will just make it super wet and potentially moldy in the burrow
     
  18. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Dang thistles, you got me with another misread post....I coulda swore it was an albo...lol...ignore my post, and focus on thistles post please....my bad guys....I hate it when I do this:wall:
     
  19. Thistles

    Thistles Arachnobroad

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    Hahaha, happens to everyone. There was a recent P. muticus vs P. murinus confusion on another thread, so you aren't alone.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. MrsHaas

    MrsHaas Arachnoangel

    I'm such a worry wart lol

    ---------- Post added 12-11-2015 at 01:15 PM ----------

    My bad for the abbreviation it's such a long name to write out lol! And I'm a lazy bones these days... I know it's reputation, both for being a burrower and a bad ass, but I do tend to over think things... Perhaps I'll just move it like you said. I don't want it to freak out and bolt nor would I like to incur the wrath. Lol. Thanks for the advice.