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My O. schioedtei has... disappeared?!?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by boina, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    Honestly, she's just, well... gone. The enclosure is empty - and closed! I certainly have made mistakes in not closing an enclosure properly a few times over the years and had a few escapes that way, but in each and every case I found the enclosure open and I knew the spider had gotten out and how it had gotten out.

    In this case I have a fully and safely closed enclosure - and no spider. The enclosure was never left open, I'm absolutely sure of that. If I had found it even a little bit open I would have gone looking for the spider, making sure it was still there, but there never was a breach in security. I took the cage apart yesterday because nothing in there had changed for months - no new web, no excavation, and I wanted to make sure... well, I made sure the spider was gone. The enclosure was absolutely secure - it was actually the first European glass enclosure I ever set up for an Asian arboreal and I was a bit paranoid and not even a sling could have gotten out of that, let alone a subadult O. schioetei.

    Now, my O. schioedtei was very, very reclusive, maybe the most reclusive of all. The last time I've seen her was several months ago. I remember her abdomen looked weird - asymmetrical, and I remember I wasn't sure about her health. She also was in premolt, moving very slow for that species. I found a very old molt in there, broken and in pieces, so she must have molted at some point. I also found a live Dubia in there... and the last time I've fed her is quite a while back (months ago). Can that Dubia have eaten the spider, like completely and without a trace??? Maybe with some help from the usual cleaner crew? Usually I don't worry about live prey with arboreals because they make thick cocoons to molt in that no Dubia can get in - or, more often, they just kill the prey they don't want and dump it in the water dish. Maybe in this case the O. schioedtei was sick and didn't kill the Dubia or make a perfect cocoon and got killed and completely consumed by the Dubia? Do you think that's possible?

    Does anyone have any better ideas what happened to my spider? I'm sure she has been missing or dead for weeks or even months already and I just never noticed.
     
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  2. lostbrane

    lostbrane Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    If there was no other food source then perhaps. Since dubia have been known to cannibalize it is logical to think that a dying or dead tarantula would be enough of a food source, considering there wouldn't be another one around.

    The only other thing is perhaps, even with your attentiveness there was something that could have possibly been overlooked? I highly doubt that but you never know.

    Anywho, sorry about the loss. This a strange one to be sure.
     
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  3. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoknight Active Member

    It would have to be a pretty big dubia to eat an entire T. Did you ever have it open when you while you were feeding or whatever and get distracted? I mean maybe she bolted while you weren't looking.
     
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  4. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    Nothing is impossible, but it's highly unlikely. First of all, as a rule I don't leave OW enclosures open. I wouldn't exclude anything at this point, but if I ever left it open for a minute or two I don't remember. Then, a reclusive spider that is well established in her enclosure doesn't just go and bolt usually - but again, nothing is impossible. And last but not least I'd expect my cats to alert me if there is any spider suddenly out and about - my spiders are in my living room, as are my cats.

    I can't completely exclude that possibility but I think it's really highly unlikely.
     
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  5. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoknight Active Member

    You're probably right, but I thinks it's more likely than a dubia eating an entire T. Do you know if the dubia was in there a long time and starving? I once saw a red runner that was hiding one of my T's enclosure rush out and grab a mealworm, but it let go as soon as the mealworm started struggling. My point being roaches, evening starving ones, aren't very aggressive.
     
  6. Theneil

    Theneil Arachnodemon Active Member

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    I would guess you would smell the tarantula long before a single dubia would be able to completely consume it....

    I recently began to ponder if a freshly molted T could squeeze out of an even smaller than normal hole since they are still squishy? Other than that, i have no other ideas at this time.

    Just for thoroughness you could post a pic of the enclosure, but i'm pretty sure you know what you are doing...
     
  7. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoknight Active Member

    You know now that you mention this it reminded me of something that happened to me a while back. I had a 1.5 inch O. philippinus in a nano kk that was in premolt. After a while of not seeing it I decided to check on it. I found the molt but no spider, and there were no live prey in with it either. I wondered at the time if it managed to squeeze through the slats while was still soft. I never did find that spider.
     
  8. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    Yes, that's true, but maybe the tarantula died first and was consumed later? The Dubia did have a couple of months to eat it, after all.

    I'd think so, too...

    No. It would have to flatten itself like a stamp to get out of there. The biggest opening was less than 2mm, that's less than 1/12 of an inch. Not even the most squishy tarantula is that flat.

    Edit: Please, people don't tell me I've a subadult O. schioedtei living free in my house among my cats... That's seriously scary.
     
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  9. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoknight Active Member

    I think it comes down to two possibilities. Either it died and was eaten before you noticed or it escaped without you seeing it. Not sure which is worse for you, but I don't think I would want one of these loose in my house.
     
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  10. lostbrane

    lostbrane Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    I would be surprised if your cats hadn’t alerted you to another escapee. That being said I think it would be much safer/better to err on the side of caution on this one and assume it got out.

    Stressful and worrisome to be sure but better than thinking everything is a ok only for it to turn up in some form of nightmare scenario.

    I guess the next question would be where to even begin looking...
     
  11. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoknight Active Member

    Here's another thought. Would your cats either have played with it to death and left it under furniture, as cats sometimes do - or eaten it, also as cats will sometimes do?
     
  12. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    If it got out it must have been months ago... at this point it could be anwhere, it could even have made it outside through an open window...

    Both a possibility... But if left under furniture I kind of think I would have noticed a smell... although I've found mumified mice under furniture at times, that I never noticed the smell of...

    I still, for the life of me, can't figure out how the spider could have possibly gotten out. If I do maintenance I have my can of water and my catch cup with a roach in it right beside the enclosure. I open the enclosure, pour any remaining water from the water bowl into the substrate, wipe the bowl with a tissue, refill it, throw in the roach, and close the enclosure. All right in front of the enclosure. A sling might sneak by me, but a 5" O. schioedtei? How??

    I've been working in a diagnostic lab for years. To reduce mistakes that could be fatal to someone you learn to train yourself to do things in a certain way in a certain order that never changes. It becomes second nature, ingrained in your subconscious. You do things that way even if you get destracted because that's how you always do them.

    My last spider that escaped (a large, fully adult X. immanis) managed to break the lock on her enclosure and open it by herself - but the lock on this enclosure is intact and locks just fine. The other escapees were beginner mistakes years ago when I misjudged what a spider could open/get out of. I cannot see myself getting distracted and leaving the enclosure open and I cannot remember ever seeing it even a bit open.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2018
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  13. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoknight Active Member

    Count your blessings. My cat likes to leave mice in my bed. I guess in case I want a late night snack? Believe me, finding a dead mouse by laying on it is not something I care to repeat. Once she even managed to stuff one between the mattress and the box spring, which I found by smell. Still trying to figure how she pulled that off.
     
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  14. draconisj4

    draconisj4 Arachnoknight Active Member

    I would think that if the spider had been eaten by the Dubia or just died you would have found at least some remains.

    After watching my 4" P. irminia with an adult red runner in her fangs squeeze through a gap at the top of her cork slab that was app 1" by 3/8" there is a remote possibility yours might have gotten out. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself. Bit of a shock.
     
  15. SonsofArachne

    SonsofArachne Arachnoknight Active Member

    You got me, maybe the famous teleport? Once my M. robustum was sitting on the middle of it's enclosure when I turned on the lights - I blinked and it was in the mouth of it's burrow, about 8 - 10 inches away.

    Or maybe it did get eaten. How close did you check that old molt? maybe it was leftovers?
     
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  16. lazarus

    lazarus Arachnopeon

    Would it be possible that the molt you've found was in fact not a molt but the remainings of your dead tarantula? I imagine that in a few months not much besides the exoskeleton would be left from a dead T
     
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  17. Venom1080

    Venom1080 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Either it's escaped, or died and eaten by the roach. Imo.
     
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  18. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnoreaper Arachnosupporter

    I'm guessing either it's Hiro Nakamura or it died and got tag-teamed by the roach and the clean up crew.
     
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  19. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

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    No. I had an X. immanis juvenile escape that way when I had just started keeping Ts. Since then I know not to leave any gaps anywhere. Not even a sling could have gotten out of that enclosure.

    The molt I found was pretty broken and rotted. It's not impossible that it was actually leftovers of the spider... I didn't think so at the time because it was only the exoskeleton, but then roaches ond the clean up crew clean up pretty well...

    I had to look that one up... :hilarious:
     
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  20. Greasylake

    Greasylake Arachnoangel Active Member

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    When a dubia gets cannibalized in my colony all that I find left is a very clean exoskeleton, often times it looks like a molt that was ripped apart. I think your T dying and being picked apart by the dubia is pretty likely.
     
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