A. avicularia dead or molting?

Alexw

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
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16
My first and only tarantula, a pink toe (A. avicularia) stopped eating a little less than a month ago, soon after I got him. I thought it might have been nematodes and posted about it here: http://arachnoboards.com/threads/wo...ria-not-eating-nematodes.292956/#post-2611043

Since then, I decided it wasn't nematodes and the T was just in a long pre-molt. He definitely lost the ability to walk on the smooth surfaces of the enclosure. In the last three days he has slowed WAY down and stayed near the bottom of the enclosure. I saw him drinking out the water bowl yesterday. Today I found him hanging by one leg on the cork bark and motionless, and 30 min later, he is upside down and motionless on the substrate. I suspect he just fell a few centimeters from where he was hanging.

Does this look like a normal molting position or a death curl? :'(



I've tried feeding him every week. I mist the enclosure every day and it always has a full water dish. The top is entirely ventilated and the there is a small amount of cross ventilation.

Since he hasn't eaten for so long I was afraid this might not end well...
 

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
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Jan 15, 2017
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Well, if you saw him/her hanging by a leg before this, it is definitely possible that he/she fell from that position. Give it a couple of days, though. There isn't much you can do at the moment. If it's a molt, Avics don't stay in that position for more than a day or so. So the next couple of days will tell you a lot.

Hard to tell whether or not it's a death curl based on the situation. A typical death curl is most obvious when the spider is right side up, because the legs will be tucked under.
 

boina

Lady of the mites
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This does not look like a molting spider at all but rather like a dying one. It's pretty thin, too. You know that misting your Avic is a very bad idea, right, and doing it every day is even worse? Still, you live in dry climate and the top is...mesh, I guess? Depends on how much you misted, but Avics are very sensitive to too much humidity. High temps and too much humidity are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and Avics seem to have no resistance at all to them. The usual recommendation is dry with a water bowl, especially since this is not a sling.
 

Alexw

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Feb 20, 2017
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16
This does not look like a molting spider at all but rather like a dying one. It's pretty thin, too. You know that misting your Avic is a very bad idea, right, and doing it every day is even worse? Still, you live in dry climate and the top is...mesh, I guess? Depends on how much you misted, but Avics are very sensitive to too much humidity. High temps and too much humidity are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and Avics seem to have no resistance at all to them. The usual recommendation is dry with a water bowl, especially since this is not a sling.
I believe he has died :(. I read a ton of contradictory information on the internet about housing avics, but I thought the consensus was high ventilation AND decent humidity. I misted half of the enclosure, and as the daytime humidity here is in the single digits, it usually had evaporated in less than an hour. This is the enclosure: https://www.amazon.com/KollerCraft-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=D85GEVX9W4818VJ99V53. I put additional holes in the sides of the plastic with a soldering iron. The top is not mesh, but a stronger metal grating - It would lose humidity just as fast as mesh would though.

Man, I feel bad, especially if my misting was causing him to not eat or lead to his death more directly.
 
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boina

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I believe he has died :(. I read a ton of contradictory information on the internet about housing avics, but I thought the consensus was high ventilation AND decent humidity. I misted half of the enclosure, and as the daytime humidity here is in the single digits, it usually had evaporated in less than an hour. This is the enclosure: https://www.amazon.com/KollerCraft-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=D85GEVX9W4818VJ99V53. I put additional holes in the sides of the plastic with a soldering iron. The top is not mesh, but a stronger metal grating - It would lose humidity just as fast as mesh would though.

Man, I feel bad, especially if my misting was causing him to not eat or lead to his death more directly.
It's impossible to say what caused your spider to die and I really have no clue if your misting harmed your spider. Don't beat yourself up. I've never dealt with single digit humidity - if humidity around here is below 50% it's a very dry day - so I don't know how I would handle that. I'd probably moisten the substrate somewhat instead of misting, but I can't say if that would make a difference. If it was WC anything can happen anyway.

Don't give up. But if you get another spider maybe don't get an Avic. They have a narrow range of husbandry requirements and if that isn't met it's downhill fast.
 

Venom1080

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Sep 24, 2015
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I believe he has died :(. I read a ton of contradictory information on the internet about housing avics, but I thought the consensus was high ventilation AND decent humidity. I misted half of the enclosure, and as the daytime humidity here is in the single digits, it usually had evaporated in less than an hour. This is the enclosure: https://www.amazon.com/KollerCraft-...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=D85GEVX9W4818VJ99V53. I put additional holes in the sides of the plastic with a soldering iron. The top is not mesh, but a stronger metal grating - It would lose humidity just as fast as mesh would though.

Man, I feel bad, especially if my misting was causing him to not eat or lead to his death more directly.
arachnoboards > the rest of the internet.
by a long shot. never follow random online care sheets.
 

Alexw

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 20, 2017
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16
It's impossible to say what caused your spider to die and I really have no clue if your misting harmed your spider. Don't beat yourself up. I've never dealt with single digit humidity - if humidity around here is below 50% it's a very dry day - so I don't know how I would handle that. I'd probably moisten the substrate somewhat instead of misting, but I can't say if that would make a difference. If it was WC anything can happen anyway.

Don't give up. But if you get another spider maybe don't get an Avic. They have a narrow range of husbandry requirements and if that isn't met it's downhill fast.
Thank you for the kind words. It was wild caught and bought from a reptile store. I'm not going to give up the hobby, but this is a heavy blow. I have a vinegaroon (M. giganteus) and a flat rock scorpion (H. troglodytes) that seem to be doing absolutely fine and I've had them for a few months. However, after this, I'll probably post my enclosures and husbandry methods here just to make sure I'm not making any mistakes. I'll definitely do the same with any new inverts I may end up getting in the future. Thank you for your help!

arachnoboards > the rest of the internet.
by a long shot. never follow random online care sheets.
I was mostly watching youtubers with huge collections as opposed to the dreaded caresheets. I believe it was a Jon3800 video I watched originally that said since avics need such high ventilation, frequent misting would be necessary to maintain humidity, even as much as everyday. I looked for this statement in his Avicularia videos but I could not find it. It may have been someone else. Regardless, I will be checking with the forums here from now on.

Has there been any change.... :(
I'm afraid not :(. He is still in this position. His legs are curled in more from the original picture and it's been around 36 hours since I found him hanging motionless. :( :(
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
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I was mostly watching youtubers with huge collections as opposed to the dreaded caresheets.
YouTube care advice is all over the board in terms of quality. For your next Avic, I would definitely recommend posting pictures and requesting feedback on your setup before adding the tarantula. We're happy to answer the questions of new keepers who are trying to do the right thing for their tarantulas.

You may have already seen this post, but if not, here is some basic Avicularia care advice.

I live in a very humid climate, so I usually keep my juvenile and adult Avics on dry substrate (it's not right to say "on," since a happy Avic is rarely on the ground) with a water dish.

If you are in an exceptionally dry climate, you can more effectively raise the humidity by moistening the substrate and/or adding a second water dish on the ground. (The greater the surface area, the more moisture evaporates from it.) Misting only raises the humidity briefly, because the moisture quickly dries. (It also annoys the tarantula if you mist it.)

Ventilation is really the key. A lot of people are misled into restricting ventilation in order to reach some arbitrary humidity reading, and Avics don't like stuffy cages.
 

Venom1080

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Thank you for the kind words. It was wild caught and bought from a reptile store. I'm not going to give up the hobby, but this is a heavy blow. I have a vinegaroon (M. giganteus) and a flat rock scorpion (H. troglodytes) that seem to be doing absolutely fine and I've had them for a few months. However, after this, I'll probably post my enclosures and husbandry methods here just to make sure I'm not making any mistakes. I'll definitely do the same with any new inverts I may end up getting in the future. Thank you for your help!



I was mostly watching youtubers with huge collections as opposed to the dreaded caresheets. I believe it was a Jon3800 video I watched originally that said since avics need such high ventilation, frequent misting would be necessary to maintain humidity, even as much as everyday. I looked for this statement in his Avicularia videos but I could not find it. It may have been someone else. Regardless, I will be checking with the forums here from now on.



I'm afraid not :(. He is still in this position. His legs are curled in more from the original picture and it's been around 36 hours since I found him hanging motionless. :( :(
Unfortunately, jon3800 is not exactly a reliable source for many tarantulas. Especially Avics. Many keepers, including myself, keep avics bone dry. He is right on the ventilation however.
 
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