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7 Rescued from tarantula hawk... Help!

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by NoviceAO, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. Arachnophoric

    Arachnophoric Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    They're usually pretty adept at doing so, and with how much movement I'm seeing in the videos I'd forsee them becoming capable of doing that in the near future. In the meantime there's no need to get too worried about them not eating, as all of them look surprisingly healthy. You have your thorough care to thank for that. ;)

    Oh yes, they absolutely do. In fact, I'd dare to say mature males are LESS likely to be eaten during a mating attempt than two Ts of the same sex happening upon eachother randomly, as breeding is the one circumstance tarantulas will willingly interact with and seek out one another. With the exception of the likes of Monocentropus balfouri (and even this is still debated, but that's a conversation for a different thread), tarantulas are solitary creatures that will readily cannibalize, which is why they need to be kept separated in captive collections unless you want to end up with one big fat spider. And looking back on your earlier image, you definitely do have a split of both male and female tarantulas in your care.

    I'd like to add in that honestly, watering every single one every day isn't entirely necessary, especially now that they're becoming mobile. At this point, in your shoes I'd be starting to just make sure their water dishes are full and leaving them to their own devices on drinking. Since they're moving around and even a couple showing interest in prey items, they should actually be capable of finding water and drinking on their own.

    This may come across as a bit nitpicky, but no tarantula by definition is "aggressive", as they are not malicious animals that will seek you out with the intent of hurting you. Rather, they are what can be described as defensive, in that they will react because they feel threatened by us under the impression that we are a predator about to try and eat them and thus defend themselves/their territory. Most new world species (as yours are) will opt to kick hairs first as their way of saying "leave me alone" and is their first line of defense. It's usually only when this signal is ignored and they are bothered further that they will resort to biting.

    Aphonopelma species (looking at yours, it seems likely that they're Aphonopelma hentzi, and most if not all native species to the US fall into the Aphonopelma genus) in general are considered fairly docile as tarantulas go and are usually reluctant to bite, but I will add the disclaimer that each tarantula will exhibit its own individual behaviors and some will be less tolerant than others. In the event you WERE to get bit, they ARE venomous, but the venom of a species in the Aphonopelma genus is negligible in humans and would probably hurt similarly to a bee sting. I'd expect the mechanical damage of the fangs themselves to probably be more painful, but in no way are these guys a danger to you or your children.

    That being said, a bite certainly is NOT inevitable; I've been keeping for going on 4 years and own over 80 Ts of various species ranging from docile to downright nasty in defensiveness. Through years of rehousings, feedings, and general care, not once have I gotten bit - because I don't actively handle my Ts. Handling tarantulas is a bit of a polarizing point in the hobby, but it's a popular stance here on Arachnoboards that handling is a selfish practice that is done for the handler's benefit only and should not be a commonplace practice. Tarantulas do not enjoy being handled. At best they tolerate it, and at worst you end up with a stressed out animal that's either trying to bite you or trying its hardest to escape you, possibly getting hurt or killed in the process. To elaborate on that, particularly with terrestrial species, they're actually very delicate physically and not built to take a fall or drop like one from a human's hand down to a hardwood floor. This distance of a fall (as well as distances far shorter than that) can be a disaster and cause the abdomen to rupture open, where most of their vital organs are. Basically, think of the abdomen as a very full water balloon. We all know what usually happens when you throw or drop one of those.

    Your particular set of circumstances are unique in that your Ts require physical interaction in order to help them recover from their paralysis, so no one would give you any flak for handling them during their time of need, where they're all slow and relatively safe to handle. But seeing especially now that they're getting more and more mobile, I think it'd be in both yours and their best interest to start slowly reeling back with the hands-on interactions, giving the Ts more independence as they start to run on all 8 cylinders again. I'd hate for you to get used to their current behavior, because as they come back into their own they'll regain their speed and likely will not be so readily tolerant of being handled/manipulated, which is what will put you in the prime position to end up getting tagged.

    Apologies for the book, but I hope that this information is useful to you as the lucky 7 really do look to be on the upswing and will (hopefully) be back to being normal, healthy tarantulas soon. :)
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  2. aarachnid

    aarachnid Arachnosquire

    These updates make me so happy. You’re so gentle and sweet to them. Has this sparked any kind of desire to keep a tarantula, or do you think you’re done once these guys are rehabilitated? Thank you for the videos!
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  3. NoviceAO

    NoviceAO Arachnopeon Active Member

    Crazy!!! Yeah were careful for sure. I would hate for them to do so well then injure them myself!
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  4. aenigmatica8

    aenigmatica8 Arachnopeon

    Wow!! That’s so nice of you to take them in. Tarantula hawks freak me out. I don’t know anything about this, but good luck with these guys!
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  5. Wait! So you knew nothing about tarantulas, then saw SEVEN of them getting stung and dragged across the street and decided to save them.
    (Which already is a bit crazy in my opinion. :bag: )

    Then here you are, still carefully looking after each one of them and still learning about their behaviour.
    Wow, what an impressive dedication and accomplishment. Well done. :wideyed:
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  6. NoviceAO

    NoviceAO Arachnopeon Active Member

    What a sweet thing to say!!!
    It's totally crazy and pretty dumb to be honest. I interfered and surely got an additional 7 killed, so I felt obligated to stick it out to try to help these ones. You guys have been very helpful!! I've never had or wanted tarantulas, was always respectful but very nervous about them. Not my thing. But ive fallen for these guys... they're such troopers!!
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  7. NoviceAO

    NoviceAO Arachnopeon Active Member

    20191120_093513.jpg 20191120_095714.jpg 20191120_095332.jpg 20191120_094941.jpg 20191120_094655.jpg 20191120_094351.jpg 20191120_093930.jpg Hello again everyone! The kids have named these guys... and I have photos of each, dorsal and ventral. Anyone want to guess on the sexes? I don't know what they are!
    Some have big rumps and some have tiny rumps... is this good? Bad? Is someone starving? There are a few injuries... 2 limp legs, 1 missing leg, and 1 immobile fang. All on separate Ts. Ant advice on how I can help them... or who to focus on regarding nutrition or hydration? Thank you much!
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
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  8. When tarantulas molt they can and will regenerate missing legs, but it will tale a couple of molts until the new leg looks like the old ones.
    For the other things you asked I lack of experience. :bag:
  9. Arachnophoric

    Arachnophoric Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    Lucy and Stubbs look very female. Webster and Aragog also look female, but I'm less confident on them. Bruiser and Corbin are mature males, evident by the palpal bulbs/emboli on the ends of their pedipalps (the front 2 tiny "legs" - compare them to the pedipalps of the others and you'll very clearly see the difference), and lastly Scar looks to be an immature male.

    For future reference, requests for sexing/sexing photos should be submitted to the appropriate sexing gallery and not asked in a thread. ;)

    Nobody looks worryingly thin, though clearly Aragog is the thinnest. Until they start to eat though there's nothing you can really do about that. At most you could try to make a meal/food source easier for her to ingest by mashing up prey items into a "soup" and seeing if she'll drink it. But things are far off from being that dire.

    Given that the Ts survive to their next molt, these will heal/recover. They're only 2 months out from having been paralyzed and are already moving around on their own - a couple bum and one missing limb is inconsequential for them. The legs will either recover, or if they don't regain use of it and it becomes a burden the T may even self-ampute it. And as previously stated, Ts posses the capability of entirely regenerating a leg, usually with 2 or 3 molts. For a large Aphonopelma that may take MANY years as their molt cycle is glacial by this size, but rest assured that as long as the T isn't a mature male who's had his ultimate molt (and therefore his guaranteed last molt), that the leg will start to grow back.

    The immobilized fang is of little more concern as it could make it harder for that T to eat if it's still paralyzed when it's ready to start eating again. However, there's nothing within your power you can do to get the fang moving again and you'll just have to wait it out as you have with the rest of the paralysis.

    I'll reiterate what I mentioned in my earlier post - these Ts are very clearly on the mend, well enough that I really think you can start to reel back on the "bottle feeding" so to speak. Stop taking them out to water them on a daily basis, keep the dishes in their enclosures full, and start letting them drink on their own. I've seen Ts in significantly worse condition capable of drinking water when they're thirsty.

    Try not to handle them unless it's necessary as it'll be getting to the point where being handled/manipulated will just start stressing them out, which could very much be counterintuitive to their recovery. Obviously keep an eye on all of them for any indication of things going downhill like a death curl and abdomens becoming shriveled up, but the one I'd be keeping the closest eye on is Aragog since she has a bit less meat on her bones, so to speak. She'll be most prone to potential dehydration, but again, seeing how mobile she and all of the others are, at this point it would seem they should be capable of drinking water without your manual assistance. :)
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  10. NoviceAO

    NoviceAO Arachnopeon Active Member

    Thank you!!! That was super helpful. I have been monitoring them very closely, even with putting a camera on them I access while I'm away. No one has been seen drinking just yet. I've backed off the other bigger bootie ones.. but am still offering to the tiny ones like aragog. He has hooks and the emboli... so knowing hes older and smaller I'm paying special attention to him. They used to get handled multiple times a day, now down to once daily. 20191129_134420.jpg
    I was giving repashys bug juice to them today... and a fruit fly landed on this guys fang! I wish he would have eaten it... no dice. :(
    Thanks again for the advice
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  11. NoviceAO

    NoviceAO Arachnopeon Active Member

    I was told hes Grooming??? Agree? Disagree?
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  12. Arachnophoric

    Arachnophoric Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    Good to hear, honestly Ts usually don't drink that frequently so there's a good chance they're just not thirsty while in their enclosures. As far as the MMs go, they're on relatively limited time regardless of their run in with the wasps. Male Aphonopelma can live up to a couple years post-maturity, and you have no way of telling how old they are, so if one takes a sudden turn for the worse or dies, it's unlikely that it's in any way your fault. Just a heads up.

    I'd suggest doing a thorough read of that repashy and its ingredients - isn't that food for crested geckos? If so I'd be worried that it would contain stuff that Ts shouldn't be ingesting. They really don't need to be eating yet, nobody is frighteningly thin and Ts can fast for way longer than your Ts have gone without eating. Also I'd be shocked if a healthy adult T tried to eat a fruit fly :hilarious: Way to small to insight a prey response.
  13. Arachnophoric

    Arachnophoric Arachnoangel Arachnosupporter

    I didn't see any grooming behavior in this video.

    How damp are you keeping the substrate? This species shouldn't be kept on perpetually damp sub, and the video makes it look rather wet.
  14. TriMac33

    TriMac33 Arachnoknight Active Member

    I just want to say how endearing and sweet it is to see what you've done for these Ts. I know some people here disagree, but I believe you did the right thing and I just love how dedicated and sweet you are to them.
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  15. mjzheng

    mjzheng Arachnopeon

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