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Mid Molt Death

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Valarien, May 3, 2019.

  1. Valarien

    Valarien Arachnopeon

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    My megaphobema mesomelas died in the middle of their molt. The night before I saw them on their back as they are shown in some of the pictures here. I noted that there was this werid yellow substance on their one side but other than noting it I did not think much more of it. But after waking I found them in exactly the same position. After pulling them out if the enclosure I took that fourth picutre a better close up shot of the yellow substance. I am not 100% sure which is why I am posting this but it appears that they had some complications during their molt...and died as a result. 20190502_185940.jpg 20190502_185936.jpg 20190502_190014.jpg 20190503_044218.jpg
     
  2. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    How long did they take to moult? This yellow substance, are you sure it is not moulting fluids?
     
  3. Valarien

    Valarien Arachnopeon

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    I am not sure, I just spotted them in mid moult last night after dinner. So they could have started moulting any time during the day. As far as it being molting fluid I cannot say, however if that is what it is it could perhaps have been the complication that caused the T to get stuck in its molt.
     
  4. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Did the carapace pop or were there any signs of molting, other than the spider being on its back? When you saw it the night before, were the legs splayed on the ground around it, like they are in the pictures? Or were they sticking up in the air? Just wondering if it's possible your spider wasn't molting but perhaps was climbing in the tank, fell, landed on its back, ruptured something, and was leaking hemolymph or other internal bits - which could explain the yellow substance.
     
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  5. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    It looks like moulting in yhe pictures!? Well this sucks, i am sorry for the loss!
     
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  6. Valarien

    Valarien Arachnopeon

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    Their carapace was popped and they were partially out, their abdomen was also almost completely separated from the old exoskeleton. The pictures where they are in their enclosure is from last night. Their legs were spread out like that when I found them and took those pictures.
     
  7. korg

    korg Arachnobaron

    Very sorry to hear it. Molting is obviously a vulnerable time for them so always sad when something like this happens.
     
  8. EtienneN

    EtienneN Arachnonovelist-musician-artist Arachnosupporter

    Lost an A avic years ago in a similar fashion. So sorry for your loss!
     
  9. Anoplogaster

    Anoplogaster Arachnodemon Active Member

    Can you elaborate on these “molting fluids?” Don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard of fluids coming from a healthy molting event.
     
  10. Theneil

    Theneil Arachnoprince Active Member

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    if i am not mistaken:

    Exuvial fluids are a liquid that the spider pumps between the new and old exoskeleton in order to soften and separate them.

    Note: i have not done any extensive research into the process so i very well could be mistaken to some degree.
     
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  11. Hamiltincolin25

    Hamiltincolin25 Arachnopeon Active Member

    I’m about 90% confident that there is fluids that have the function you have stated, but have no knowledge on anything beyond that.
     
  12. Valarien

    Valarien Arachnopeon

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    Just found one of my balfouris dead mid moult...in almost the same way...partially out of moult...carapace top opened and partially out...and on the one side there is a some dried substance that seems to have come out of the T....
     
  13. Valarien

    Valarien Arachnopeon

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    Another....dead mid molt balfouri...this one is a very obvious rupture....why is this happening all of a sudden?!?
     

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  14. Arachnophoric

    Arachnophoric Arachnodemon Active Member

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    No clue why that's happening, as molting issues tend to be completely random if the enclosure is left undisturbed during the process. Possibly just really rotten luck :(

    Are your balfouri communal by chance? If so, perhaps the explanation for the second one with the ruptured abdomen is simply that it got preyed upon by an opportunistic cage mate.
     
  15. VanessaS

    VanessaS Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    All arthropods release a fluid in between their old and new exoskeleton that gets released by hormones. The fluid contains enzymes that help break down any connections between the old and new exoskeleton. Just prior to moulting, the majority of that fluid is reabsorbed into their bodies and the remainder acts as a lubricant to help them to extract themselves.
    In cases where long term dehydration is an issue, the amount of moulting fluid might be reduced and therefore not be as effective. That is why it is more important to keep them properly hydrated all the time, as opposed to soaking the enclosure when you notice that they are in pre-moult. It's too late by that point. There is also a risk if someone has taken in a neglected tarantula, despite giving it proper care directly before moulting. Sure, applying a bit of water to a stuck leg might help it, but overall it is far more important that they were properly hydrated in the weeks, or months, prior to actually moulting. It could also contribute to why they are at a risk of dehydration directly after moulting.
    I've always thought that a wet moult might be caused by an excess of moulting fluid that wasn't properly reabsorbed and has resulted in the enzymes starting to break down the new exoskeleton as well. I have no scientific study proving that, though.
    I have found moulting fluid a few times, especially with my large females. It is usually a little wet patch underneath them after they moult, but recently my senior Brachypelma emilia moulted and her old carapace was filled with it. I took a photo, but it didn't turn out that well. You can see the little puddle in the middle and the edges where it has started to dry. I stuck my finger in it and it was colourless and had no scent to it.
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    DSC02595-2.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  16. Valarien

    Valarien Arachnopeon

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    Yes they are communal...but they are not even partially eaten...so I don't think that they were preyed upon....
     
  17. Theneil

    Theneil Arachnoprince Active Member

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    What are you using for substrate, water, food items, etc. Perhaps it is some sort of chemical exposure such as fertilizer or pesticide in the topsoil or some contaminan
     
  18. Valarien

    Valarien Arachnopeon

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    Just using coco fiber....and well...I don't know what happened but it is officially cannibalism.. I had 10 balfories....rehoused them had 10...now I have only 4. All four of the survivors...are all still living in the same burrow together...I don't get it...
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
  19. VanessaS

    VanessaS Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    Just because there is a higher rate of success for keeping that species in groups, doesn't mean that there are any guarantees.
     
  20. Valarien

    Valarien Arachnopeon

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    Yes but if they are getting territorial...why would they all continue to live in the same burrow together?