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New owner - Desert Blonde query

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Josh B, Jan 12, 2019 at 5:52 AM.

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    Hi guys,

    As the title suggests I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous Desert Blonde tarantula. I did as much research as humanely possible before purchasing her and think I’ve cared for her very well these past few months!- however, In the pursuit of thoroughness I have decided to ask you fine folk if there is anything I could improve upon!

    My T’s details:
    Species: Aphonopelma chalcodes
    Age: 2 years approx.
    Leg span: 3-4 inches.
    Temperament: Sweetheart.
    Enclosure type/size: Exo Terra Large flat faunarium.

    Additionally, I would like to know if the bald patch on her bum is anything to be concerned about, and if her placing her fangs through the ventilation slits on her enclosure is normal? - as of right now this T has been nothing but lovely, as she is very calm and not defensive in the slightest, and feeds once every couple of days on small crickets.

    Thank you in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. Minty

    Minty Alba gu bràth Arachnosupporter

    The bald patch is nothing to be concerned about, it just means your tarantula has been flicking off its urticating hairs. The abdomen will be hairy again after the next moult.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. ahh ok thank you, I was wondering if it may be an indication of an impending moult. Though, it is a bit strange the idea that she has flicked so many before coming under my care and has not since, I'll take that as a win! :)
  4. antinous

    antinous Pamphoprince Arachnosupporter

    Also, just to add in, age means nothing with tarantulas. Unless the you got the date they were born, you would have no way of knowing the age. DLS (diagnol leg span) or the tarantulas body length is how people describe their T usually.
  5. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    A bald spot, in and of itself, is not an indication of pre-molt. However, some tarantulas do shed more hairs around their enclosure during pre-molt. Additionally, the presence of a bald spot allows you to see if the abdomen is darkening beneath, which indicates an impending molt.

    Signs of pre-molt (a single sign might not mean pre-molt, but if you are seeing multiple signs, it is likely pre-molt):
    • refuses food
    • seems more lethargic, skittish, or reclusive than normal
    • coloring looks drabber than normal
    • spontaneously shedding hair around its enclosure (unprovoked by external stimuli)
    • seals itself into its burrow (do not disturb sign)
    • entire abdomen turns dark (not visible on larger tarantulas without a bald spot): will molt within a few days to a week
    • makes a molting mat: will likely molt within a day
    • flips onto its back or side: it begins!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    • Funny Funny x 3
  7. Bob Lee

    Bob Lee Arachnoknight Active Member

    I feel insulted as a human...
  8. Perhaps it was poorly worded, all I meant was I have spent many years watching and learning about arachnids and there were so many conflicting opinions on what a bald spot meant- at least on the internet. This led me to seek the aid of keepers vastly more experienced than myself, in determining what's actually going on.
    Thank you all for your responses thus far. :shame:
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    All good. Theres lots of misinformation out there, so I get it. Stick to AB for reliable advice. ;)
  10. I imagined this to be the case, and again I thank you for your response. I have to ask, I have read that in many instances this species famously likes to burrow and yet mine doesn't, is there anything I could be doing wrong that may be preventing her from doing so? On a typical day she patrols the perimeter of the enclosure, tries to climb the sides, bites the gaps in the side of the enclosure?, or just sits there calmly spread for hours at a time. Is this typical chalcodes behaviour?

    - these questions may appear trivial, but honestly any responses would help tremendously!
  11. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    Your setup looks fine, individual specimens will vary...mine used to burrow loads and just stopped one day. I wouldn't worry about it.
  12. darkness975

    darkness975 the sun grows ever darker Arachnosupporter

    Many do not burrow in captivity. Most of my critters sit out in the open often even during the day. Never in the sunlight though.
  13. Ok, thank you!- these guys are slow growers too right? :p
  14. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking Active Member

    Yup, super slow.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. viper69

    viper69 ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Yes..always looking for a way to escape.
  16. EtienneN

    EtienneN Arachnosquire Active Member

    A word of caution about the plastic cage with the slits, I did have a G. pulchra that broke his fang doing the exact same thing. He was fine, able to still eat with the one good fang and in a couple of moults you'd never know he ever had the injury to begin with but after that incident I have a strong preference for acrylic cages with holes drilled in the sides.
  17. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    yes...like the one you have is easily a decade or more old....not just 2 measly years....a 2 year old could sit on a fingernail...lol....very slow growers.

    This means exceedingly long molt cycles....it may only molt every 2-3 years.

    This also means low food requirements...heavy feeding will lead directly to excessivly long fasting periods.

    Id feed it twice a month....and just a single decently size prey item....if you feed large prey, like an adult roach, you can feed once a month.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  18. Just watching it makes me cringe out of fear of that exactly, I am buying a different set up come Monday. Oh and I’m doubling the substrate to see if I can’t get her to burrow :)

    Oh wow.. really?- I was told she was Young, and I was feeding her twice a week on small crickets but she seems to be fasting now so I guess that’d be why. Thanks for the response :)
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2019 at 4:23 PM
  19. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnotank Arachnosupporter

    Individuals may vary, I used to keep mine in a flat setup but moved her to a deeper one because she likes to dig.

    I've had 2 big Lasiodora females do this as well, one on a standard kritter keeper and the other on a breeder box.
  20. Rigor Mortis

    Rigor Mortis Arachnosquire Active Member

    I've concluded that I have the weirdest A. chalcodes out there because she's only ever shoved a tiny pile of dirt out of the way in her hide to make a second door. Other than that she hasn't shown an interest in burrowing.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2019 at 12:22 AM
    • Like Like x 1