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okay, i'll bite (spiderling care question)

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by krystal, Aug 5, 2002.

  1. krystal

    krystal Arachnodite Old Timer

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    i now have two spiderlings, an l. parahybana and an l. cristata. i've had a difficult time locating suitable food for them—none of the pet stores around me have pinhead crickets, which leaves me at a loss as to what to feed them. i don't have experience with flightless fruit flies, and even if i did, i still couldn't get any around here. the smallest crickets i can find are a tad bit smaller than 1/2 inch. my l. parahybana sling is around 1 inch, and my l. cristata is about 1/4 inch. what are the chances my slings will eat a bigger cricket if it is already dead? and what other food alternatives do i have that are normally available in pet stores?

    also, i was wondering if anyone has ever tried using a cotton t-shirt, as opposed to a lid with holes in it, to cover the top of their sling jars. i have mine set up in this manner, and at least thrice a day i re-wet the cotton t-shirt square in order to up the humidity. they are kept in my closet (around 80 degrees) and i check on them often. as they get bigger, though, i am going to replace the cotton t-shirt with a real lid, but for the time being, i thought i might be able to pull off the shirt bit.

    and lastly—do not buy "lizard litter" by the makers of the "jungle mix" substrate. i purchased a bag thinking it would be all right for the tarantulas (the bag claimed it was ideal for arachnids), however, the stuff started molding after the first day. it was quite messy.
     
  2. MrDeranged

    MrDeranged He Who Rules Staff Member

    Hey Krystal,

    Congrats on the new slings. There are two things you can try that have worked successfully for me with feeding the tiny ones.

    1. Try ripping off the hind legs of large crickets. I've found slings will eat them readily

    2. Get the smallest crickets you can find and pre kill them. Just rip off the head or something and throw it in. The slings will eat them. There will probably be alot of leftovers though. Make sure to clean them out quickly as in a high humidity sling environment, they'll mold quickly.

    As for the T-shirt idea, it sounds very interesting. I've never heard that one before. I would however worry about them chewing through it once they get a little bigger. I have told some people to use a wet towel across enclosure tops to help increase humidity in large tanks, your T-shirt idea is just smaller scale. Good for you :)

    If the lizard litter is what I'm thinking it is, that stuff is horrible. Looks like little white/greyish pellets right? Gets all mushy and nasty if it gets wet. It might work with a terrestrial with no moisture, but I wouldn't use it anyway. Any time you dropped some water in there, it would get unusable. It's just as bad as that corn cob bedding crap.

    Scott
     
  3. krystal

    krystal Arachnodite Old Timer

    what's the best way to remove a cricket's hind legs (or head)? should i just bite them off? :)

    you're right about the lizard litter stuff—the bag boasted about how it was perfect for high humidity, as the plant it is made out of gradually releases water into the air or something like that. whatever the colorful advertising on the package said, it was good enough to sucker me into shelling out $30 for the bag.
     
  4. MrDeranged

    MrDeranged He Who Rules Staff Member

    For the legs, just pull them off. Whether by tweezers or by hand, it's up to you :) As for the head, just smoosh it. As for how you do that, it's up to you too :)

    Scott
     
  5. Valael

    Valael Arachnodemon Old Timer

    If you're not too crazy about ripping the legs off, I found that (with a tweasers) if you squeeze the upper portion of the leg (the big femur type thing closest to the body) they fall off with no problem.


    Then you don't have to worry about ripping the cricket's butt off and killing it -- Good way to save crickets for larger T's
     
  6. Code Monkey

    Code Monkey Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    I've got a pair of small dissection scissors that I use for dismembering my spider food. You can feed a lot of slings on just one medium cricket with some creative body modification :D
     
  7. TheEternal

    TheEternal Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I had a 1/4" L. parahybana (he got out and was lost recently) and I did just fine feeding him 1/2" crickets that were prekilled. He'd quite literally rip them apart!! :)

    -Bryan
     
  8. devildoll

    devildoll Guest

    Co_Mo,
    you're sick!
    i like it:)
     
  9. krystal

    krystal Arachnodite Old Timer

    all right, i solved the leg prob—i trapped a defenseless cricket in a plastic sandwich baggie and smooshed the bag together so as to trap the cricket between the plastic layers. i then proceeded to take the butt of a paint brush and break its legs. i felt like i could cameo on the sopranos as my paint brush edged closer and closer to breaking the leg. i think i like the mobster way of breaking legs. maybe one day i can get into the "jack the ripper way" that co_mo speaks so highly of!
     
  10. Spiderling care question

    Have you tried termites for your spiderlings? There should be termites in Virginia (assuming that's where you're living). Here in Alabama, the population density is about 13 colonies per acre - a spiderling will pounce on a termite.

    Without knowing what kind of s'lings you have, I was going to mention the forest-floor substrate for the s'lings. Forest-floor is the stuff that comes in a brick. You put the brick in a 2 gallon pail, add about a half a gallon of water, and hours later you have a pail bulging with semi-moist (nearly dry believe it or not) substrate. Try this and add about an inch deep in your container. The point being, just as a house plant will attract little gnats, forest-floor also attracts the gnats. No one likes the notion of gnats living with their tarantula, but it's nature. It happens. Sometimes I could almost be willing to bet that the substrate comes with the gnats. At any rate, spiderlings will eat these gnats. You can change this small amount of substrate anytime you feel the gnats are stressing the tarantula. You will never have an uncontrollable infestation with these little gnats. They are barely visible to the unaided eye. If you feel the subtrate has too many - change the substrate. This may disgust some folks, but it is necessary in some instances.

    For the record, adult tarantulas seem to adapt well to coconut bark - other don't. A nice balance of forest-floor, sterile decorative moss and , for some, coconut bark seems to work best.
    It's one of these things you have to experiment with I suppose.

    For tearing crickets heads off and pre-kills and the like, this too has worked for my s'lings in the past. A hungry spiderling WILL feed on a freshly killed cricket. I'm not sure what all of the plastic baggy is about, but a tarantula keeper shouldn't have any reservations about preparing a meal for the babies. (I'm teasing;) ;) ;)
     
  11. Mendi

    Mendi Arachnowolf Old Timer

    Hey Krystal! you could just freeze you a few hundred little crickets and thaw them before feeding them to your slings. The will eat the readily from my experience and you also freeze any mites so you don't have to worry about an infestation from the ones that come with the crix. Plus being dead already, you don't have to worry about them getting lose, and just grab them with you tweezers, no contact at all... And the termites are also good tasty feeders for your little ones to have