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Dead Tarantula. What Did I do wrong?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by FezTheImmigrant, Jan 9, 2019.

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    I'm new to the hobby, and I got my Grammostola Pulchra sling back in June. She had been doing great for months, and she molted 3 times during this period. Back in November, I rehoused her into a new enclosure because I felt she was getting too big for the old one. She immediately burrowed into her new enclosure, and I suspected that she would probably molt, so I left it at that. I would peak inside her burrow every now and then, and I saw that she was doing fine.

    I recently discovered that she had molted since she pushed her molt out of her burrow, so I assumed she was probably getting ready to come out, but today I decided she was probably in her burrow for too long, so I dug her up.

    She was completely in a death curl and not moving. I inspected her and noticed a shriveled abdomen. I'm just confused because she was doing great. I read on multiple forum posts that you should never dig out a tarantula from their burrow. I read that if they were thirsty they would come out for water. (I always kept her water dish full) Lastly, I read that "tarantulas know how to better tarantulas than humans". I feel that I did something wrong, but I'm not sure.
    • Sad Sad x 1
  2. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    Sorry to hear man, it must have dehydrated down there...were you using an under tank heat mat by any chance?

    Pictures of the setup are always helpful.
  3. This was her setup. She was burrowed underneath the skull when she died. There were no heat mats. I never sprayed her enclosure with water, because i read the GPs don't need all the humidity.

    Attached Files:

  4. chris0220

    chris0220 Arachnopeon

    Sorry for your loss. Is that lamp in the pic always directly over the enclosure or was that just for the pic?
  5. That was just for the picture. The enclosure was never near anything that could make the enclosure too hot.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    Where is the water dish? Keeping it bone dry without a water source will dispel certain disaster.
  7. Sorry I took out the water dish when I dug up the enclosure. but she had a water dish in there, and it was always full.
  8. lazarus

    lazarus Arachnosquire

    Sorry for your loss. For slings I always keep part of the substrate moist by pouring water in a corner of the enclosure, even for Ts that originate from arid areas (G. pulchra is not one of them, they are found in a grassland area with wet and dry seasons.)
  9. Thank you for the advice. I'll keep that in mind if I ever get another G. Pulchra.
  10. sasker

    sasker Arachnolord Active Member

    Sorry to hear that you lost your tarantula. I was just wondering what the diagonal leg span of your tarantula was and how large exactly your critter keeper is. I don't know how big your tarantula was when you first got it, but if I remember correctly a 1st instar sling does not become a decently sized juvi within three molts. It is easier to keep track of the well-being and habits of your tarantula in a smaller enclosure (including feeding and watering) than in a bigger one. I am not saying that your enclosure was too big, just trying to rule this out.
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  11. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Healthy spiders will usually not dtay burrowed to their death. It is very possible something went wrong with the molt that had nothing to do with your husbandry... sometimes, things just go wrong.

    Spider abdomens shrivel after death, also... so depending on how long she was dead, that could have happened post-mortem.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. Crone Returns

    Crone Returns Arachnoangel Active Member

    Where's her water dish?

  13. Yeah, I suppose so. It's just weird because she pushed out her molt and everything. She seemed ready to come out and just never did.

    She had a water dish. I just took it out when I dug her up and forget to put it back in the picture.

    I'm not entirely sure how big she was, but I do have a picture that might help. This was a few weeks before I had rehoused her.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2019
  14. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Fwiw, the enclosure it was in, was just perfect.

    House a sling in an over sized enclosure and this is precisely what you get...a sling that borrows away and cannot be monitored...which is often an issue for new keepers.

    For future reference, a KK should never be used for any t much under 2"DLS. Prior to that size they are actually an escape risk in a kk.
    • Agree Agree x 3

  15. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.
  16. Thekla

    Thekla Arachnoangel Active Member

    Did you put that stone back into the water dish in the new enclosure? If so, she probably had a hard time even reaching the water. Tarantulas need unobstructed access to water, they need to submerge their mouthparts in order to drink, so, no pebbles or stones, no sponge or whatever. And if the substrate was really dry as well, she might have been dehydrated even before the moult, and without reserves and no means to rehydrate after the moult, she couldn't make it. :(

    Just a thought...

    I'm really sorry for your loss. :(
  17. I had actually taken the stone out in her new enclosure, but she definitely could’ve been dehydrated before her moult. Thanks for the input.
  18. SteveIDDQD

    SteveIDDQD Arachnopeon

    As others have said, for the vast majority of slings you need at lease a bit of moisture in the substrate, even if the adult doesn't need any. That's the only potential issue I can see with what you did (as long as you're sure your sling couldn't get out of the KK), but that probably wasn't the issue though - It may have just had a bad moult, it happens, so don't beat yourself up about it.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. JoeRossi

    JoeRossi Arachnohumbled Old Timer

    As stated, "don't beat yourself up" as it happens. For those individuals with 100% sling mortality record I always question the size of collection they have, but am always happy to hear it. Bottom line is they are bugs, we try our best, but often times for no reason or failure of our own they can die. The more you have the more this seems to occur as well, but always sad to see. Keep trying as it's a wonderful hobby......
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  20. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

    I'm with @Teal here - I can't see anything wrong. G. pulchra are fine without extra moisture from a rather small size on as long as the have a water dish (without stones) and I don't think the enclosure is really all that large either.

    Sometimes things just happen. It's very sad but there's nothing anyone can do about it.
    • Like Like x 1