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P. irminia question

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Storm76, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor

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    Hey there,

    I know that usually they grow overall darker and close their hide with webbing and substrate, but since I got her (last Tuesday) she basically closed her corkbark tube with substrate only and I'm reluctant to throw a cricket in there really (kinda worried she might get hurt). Now, I do have some superworms, too, and I could probably put one in a way that it does crawl into that hide, but I am really not wanting to stress her. I know she hasn't eaten for like 2 weeks since the last time she was fed, but as thruthetrees already suggested she could be in premolt even. Any suggestions what I should do? Leave her alone, keeping just humidity alright, or try throwing in some food and if so, which?

    I am absolutely positive, that she wasn't out of her tube even once ever since she closed it from the inside. I did refill her water though and mist the tank some for humidity to stay between 70-80%. Temperature currently is around 25°C since it's night. Daytime around 28°C


    Pic of her size (she's a subadult female, about 3 cm BL) and the closed hide.
    P1000901_2.jpg P1000908.JPG

    I used the search function but coulnd't find anything helpful for this situation. Just had to ask this stuff, since yes, I am kinda worried currently. Don't have a problem with her being reclusive, just that she closes herself up in instead ob webbing is kinda weird.
     
  2. jakykong

    jakykong Arachnobaron

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    Bearing in mind I've only owned a P. irminia for about 3 days, I haven't seen this particular behavior, there are some general tips I can offer.

    First of all, P. irminia is an arboreal tarantula. What you have looks to me like more of a terrestrial setup (and it doesn't *look* humid, although looks can be deceiving). She needs height, stuff to climb on. Check out RobC's P. irminia care sheet for info on housing: http://www.arachnophiles.com/Psalmopoeus-Sp-.php (Note: care sheets can be useful sometimes, but it's not gospel!)

    Given that, it could be showing signs of stress due to not having a more vertical setup. Mine (3") is in a 5 gallon long turned on its side, with about 5" of substrate (and a cork tube, which it has decided is less interesting than the silk plant). She's made a tube near-ish the bottom of the plant and stays at the entrance.

    Second, the tarantula WILL NOT STARVE. It's going to take a lot more than 2 weeks without food to starve it. Try months. Probably many months. If you're not comfortable giving it food, then don't. :)

    Hope this helps!

    ---------- Post added 02-12-2012 at 02:18 AM ----------

    For what it's worth, tarantulas in the wild will close themselves off if they don't have enough humidity. It lets them retain the humidity that is there. And, of course, premolt is a possibility, but I think the enclosure is more likely the issue.

    Search the boards for pictures of P. irminia enclosures (or avic enclosures - same idea - or really, any arboreal enclosure.) to get some ideas.
     
  3. HighFlyer

    HighFlyer Arachnosquire

    Since you've only had her since Tuesday, it's possible that she needs time to acclimate to the new environment. Like ^^ said, she will not starve so don't worry. Maintain humidity and be patient.
     
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  4. TarantulaKid

    TarantulaKid Arachnopeon

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    Many tarantulas close their shelter with substrate before molting. Dont worry about feeding, my B.boehmei 2" refused food for 3 months and then ate and he is perfectly good. Try giving your tarantula arboreal setup so she can climb and make silken web tubes for retreats. My P.cambridgei slings always cover their webbing with substrate.
     
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  5. Chris_Skeleton

    Chris_Skeleton Arachnoprince

    You need to get a taller enclosure and provide a lot more substrate. P. irminia burrow and will use the burrows as their hide.
     
  6. SamuraiSid

    SamuraiSid Arachnodemon

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    sneaky bastard!!! cant wait to get my hands on these.
     
  7. Toogledoo

    Toogledoo Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    I agree with what everyone else said. Also, if mine did this, I would assume molting. Good luck!
     
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  8. suzypike

    suzypike Arachnosquire

    If you're really worried and it will make you feel better, put a pre-killed cricket right at the entrance overnight. You can sleep easy knowing that the cricket won't hurt her, and if she is starving, she'll eat it. (She's not starving though. :))
    +1 to everything that's already been said also.
     
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  9. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor

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    Thanks for the info, everyone. From her current size, she has space to climb in there (since that thing is higher than wide). But since a lot of you said even more space, I'll provide her with that and put her in a bigger enclosure. I can't put her in the 30x30x40cm tank yet though, since she definetely is too small for that still. So think I should wait a time X before I rehouse her, or do that right away some day the upcoming week?

    As for the thing regarding a pre-killed cricket, I could just use a superworm (a smaller one), right? As far as I know, those don't nom on spiders.


    As for this:
    Uhm, some do when they are still slings, yes. But usually the older they get, the farther up they go with their hideouts. Also, corkbark tubes are fine for them from what most people in the hobby owning one told me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  10. Toogledoo

    Toogledoo Arachnoknight Arachnosupporter

    I don't know that I would trust a superworm. Sometimes I use them and I've found them eating my dead Ts on more than one occasion when they were left in there and a T dies.

    Also, they tend to burrow so it may not give your Irminia much of a chance to eat.
     
  11. Sounds either like she's still getting used to the new home or she's in premolt. In either case, covering up the entrance is their way of putting a "Do Not Disturb" sign. Both my juvenile P.irminia, "Bumblebee" and P.pulcher put up a wall shortly after being introduced to their cages. I saw one of them take it down to get to the water dish but she put the wall back up when she was done. I also suspect they are both going to molt soon.

    Give her some time and by the looks of it, she's put on a good amount of weight. She could also just be filled to the rim. I wouldn't try feeding her until A. She molts and her fangs are black once more or B. she gets a bit thinner.

    OH! And I have little trust of superworms ever since I've seen what a few can do to the top of a wooden desk. I still get them but I crush their "jaw" now. I know it's mean but better the worm than a spider.
     
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  12. InvertFix

    InvertFix Arachnobaron

    Just trust your tarantula. :)
    She knows what she's doing. I'm positive of that.

    This hobby is great because it teaches patience and trust. <3
     
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  13. RyTheTGuy

    RyTheTGuy Arachnoknight

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    I dont have a P. irminia, but my G. pulchripes do the same thing.

    Mine loves putting substrate on her webs.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. jakykong

    jakykong Arachnobaron

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    What kind of vial is that? It looks nifty.
     
  15. Yeah. That's a good container. I could use a few. :-D
     
  16. RyTheTGuy

    RyTheTGuy Arachnoknight

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    Idk what brand it is or anything or where it came from. It was in my pantry, and was full of rice. The top had a removable air vent lid. I took that off, you cants see but it has a screen type thing on the top. Ill try to find them online and post.
     
  17. natebugman

    natebugman Arachnoknight

    I have two female P. irminia. They're beautiful and feisty and I love them. That said, they aren't the most visible T in the world. Your set up looks pretty good for the size of spider you've got. As he/she grows, I would go with something a little taller, but don't go crazy with a huge container. I made that mistake with my first. I have her in a 12"x12"x18" Exoterra and it's just too much for her. She wanders around it from time to time, but she would do just as well or better in one of those tall micros. As for what your spider is doing right now? I can't say for sure. My suntigers have on occasion barricaded themselves in for weeks or months at a time. I assumed they were preparing to molt only to have them come out looking the same as before, just a little hungrier. He/she could be preparing for a molt or just getting over the stress of being rehoused. From the looks of her, I wouldn't worry about feeding her for quite a while. She'll be fine until she comes out searching or waiting for her cricket. Just keep the water dish full and try to keep the humidity up, but I've found that they are fairly resiliant little things. Keeping the cage wet to keep the humidity up and daily misting usually leads to fungus which is a real pain in the rear. Don't stress too much about the humidity. Mist maybe one or two times a week.

    One more thing. I know that everybody says P. irminia and P. cambridgei are arboreal and I guess this is technically true, but they aren't arboreal in the same way the Avicularia are. I see where the OP (Storm76) replied to one of the comments about them being burrowers by saying that some burrow as slings but they move their homes higher as they grow. That may or may not be true in the wild, but in my experience, the opposite is true. I kept my slings in those little plastic craft cubes that alot of people seem to use with some substrate in the bottom and a piece of cork bark usually glued inside the top. My slings tended to spend most of their time on the cork bark, building tube webs on top of it. As they got larger, they began extending those tubes down the sides to the substrate. As they became, adults/sub-adults, I moved them into larger containers with more substrate and more vertical climbing space with a vertical piece of cork bark usually leaned securely from the substrate to a wall or corner near the top. In these new cages, my P. irminia immediately built her web retreat at the sheltered base of the cork bark and remained hidden there for several weeks, digging a hidden burrow under the substrate. Now she comes out sometimes 4 or 5 days a week. Sometimes she'll sit on the cage door while I'm trying to do maintenance and make things more difficult, but she's not like my Avics, always at the top of the cage and almost always visible. My P. cambridgei was similar. Same set ups as the P. irminia. She was even more fun. Taking crickets from my tongs, investigating every intrusion into her cage, even the occasional threat display or slap. She showed no fear. She showed no inclination to burrow, even when she grew to around 5" dls and I moved her to her large cage. Moving her was quite a battle...she even pulled my paint brush out of my hand. LOL! Then she went into premolt and dug a burrow. I didn't see her for several months. After she finally emerged, she was big and beautiful...7.5" and a yellowish dark gray, but her personality had changed. Now she's usually hiding in her burrow...she'll only come out during the day when she thinks its feeding time. I see her first thing in the morning when I first turn on the light, but she's usually gone by the time I get out of the shower. So what was my point again or was I just talking about my pets again? Oh, right, don't just assume that, because your little suntiger is considered an arboreal, you are going to see it climbing on the side of it's cage or on it's cork bark all the time. There will be lots of times when it's doing just what it's doing now and if you're like me, you'll be wondering, "Is something wrong?, Did I do something wrong?, Did I get the screwed up one? Should I try to help it?, Should I look and see if it's ok?". The answer to these questions is almost always no.

    Anyway, I'm not sure if I answered any questions or just rambled on....or if anyone will even read it.
     
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  18. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor

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    Actually, my female molted yesterday and is now sitting in her corkbark-tube hardening out and "guarding" her old skin. I tried to remove it today, but seing her instantly face my tweezers, I thought it's better to just leave her be and wait. Her colors are very vivid now from the looks of her legs, though I can't tell how much she has grown since she retreated deeper into her burrow so I don't disturb her and just let her be.

    As for what you wrote, natebugman, my second P. irminia is a sling still (really small, ~1,5cm maybe) and he likes to dig. Instantly went to start digging once I housed him. Basically, from what I read, they tend to go up the older they get - then again: Individuals vary and hence it's only a "guideline" not a set fact.

    So, yeah, she's fine from what I little I saw of her and I'll wait now till next week before I try feed her. Her abdomen looked smaller due to the molting process, so she should be fine by then to start eating again.

    Thanks for all the advice, people!
     
  19. RyTheTGuy

    RyTheTGuy Arachnoknight

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    Nope, you did a very good job. I read it all.


    STORM76. Pictures of your freshly molted P.irminia please!
     
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  20. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor

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    I read it completely, too.

    As for pictures, I'd -love- to. Just that she sits in such a bad spot, that I can't currently. I do hope though, that she might come out later tonight, or tomorrow. I'll post pictures as soon as she actually poses a bit :) The one thing I am really glad about, is that she is ok. That's all that counts!
     
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