A. geniculata - something special or something weird

smitje

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
75
It might be coinsedence but I am a bit worried. On the Dutch tarantula forum we have a 4th person experiencing trouble with his Agen. I was the first, my spider started with sluggish behaviour and after a couple of weeks it died on me. I posted a topic on arachnoboards tried some stuff but she never recovered. Several months have passed since but during this time 3 other A. geniculata' either died or are in bad shape. All other spiders seem fine. I keep about 30 but some of the others own way more spiders.

Are they specifically sensitive to things? Ofcourse temperature and moisture came by as options but somehow that doesn't add up. I kept mine on the moist side, others on the dry side. Mine died when temperatures where pretty high, others just days ago (winter/temperature on the low side).

Again it could be a weird coinsedence but is there something special about geniculata's we might be missing? Some special requirement or maybe hypersensitivity for temperature fluctuations? Any clue would help.

Thanks!
 

Arachnomaniac19

Arachnolord
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
654
I had the same thing happen to my first genic. I'm curious to see if it could be that they're more sensitive to air pollution.
 

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
5,689
I can tell you this, man... while A.geniculata is indeed a benign attitude Theraphosidae (it's beyond me that some people suggest those as "intermediate", they are all "food! Give me food!" and nothing else) they aren't, on that sense, "hardy" just like the 'Grammo/Brachy' are, in general, especially during our (yours more, since you live in the Netherlands) European cold winters.

In Winter they tend to act sluggish if the temperature isn't enough warm for them (while a C.cyaneopubescens or that G.pulchripes are perfectly fine)... all of those of that genus I had in the past (and still I have today) loved a bit of moist substrate when the furnace is on, and air in the room dry quickly. I keep them at 24° C day 20°C night with an always moist area of the enclosure.

Now I'm not saying, in the slightest way, that that's the cause of the death tou and other keepers had.

I'm just saying that I always keep an eye on those (and others, such P.cancerides, 'Phamps', genus Ephebopus etc) in Winter time.
 

smitje

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
75
Ok, so it's fair to say that Agens are amongst the more sensitive tarantula's?

Still these deaths strike me as weird. We have for a fact not the cleanest air down here compared to other countries in Europe. On the temperature and humidity, I am keeping an eye on that. The other guys are also passionate so I really doubt it has something to do with that. Doubt is all it is, because as you say it gets cold down here and most of us use central heating that dries the air quickly. Then again, we also get craploads of rain and are next to the North sea. Humidity levels are pretty high on average. I asume that dampening the substrate should be sufficiënt. In my case I even had it in an ICU but she still didnt make it. Maybe I was already to late.

I dont know, 4 spiders of the same species over a rather short period whilst dozens are running arround healthy. With 4 different keepers and locations.

Could they carry a genetic defect maybe? Not sure where the others got them from, ill ask for that. It even got me thinking about the water but we get some of the cleanest arround straight from the tap. At least thats what they tell us :)
 

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
5,689
Ok, so it's fair to say that Agens are amongst the more sensitive tarantula's?

Still these deaths strike me as weird. We have for a fact not the cleanest air down here compared to other countries in Europe. On the temperature and humidity, I am keeping an eye on that. The other guys are also passionate so I really doubt it has something to do with that. Doubt is all it is, because as you say it gets cold down here and most of us use central heating that dries the air quickly. Then again, we also get craploads of rain and are next to the North sea. Humidity levels are pretty high on average. I asume that dampening the substrate should be sufficiënt. In my case I even had it in an ICU but she still didnt make it. Maybe I was already to late.

I dont know, 4 spiders of the same species over a rather short period whilst dozens are running arround healthy. With 4 different keepers and locations.

Could they carry a genetic defect maybe? Not sure where the others got them from, ill ask for that. It even got me thinking about the water but we get some of the cleanest arround straight from the tap. At least thats what they tell us :)
Well, I don't even want to enter (sorry man, don't get me wrong, eh) in speculations about what happened to you and other Dutch keepers you know that had similar issues, because there's a lot to consider and questions.

I only say, as a complete opinable opinion of mine, that yes, if compared to genus Brachypelma, C.cyaneopubescens, genus Grammostola and such, those IMO needs an "eye" during our Winter time (I talk for me... my furnace is always on, since I have a completely independent system, so air that dry is an issue) so yes, while hardy T's, IMO they are a bit more sensible to that and tends to be sluggish.

But this vary, of course, from nation to nation (after all all of us lives in completely different environments... think about someone living in a desert area, or tropics). Therefore the way I care for genus Acanthoscurria in Winter and in Spring/Summer are completely different.

But as I've said, this isn't IMO what happened to you, I've just take the "ball" for say that :)
 

Andrea82

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
3,610
Ok, so it's fair to say that Agens are amongst the mositive tarantula's?

Still these deaths strike me as weird. We have for a fact not the cleanest air down here compared to other countries in Europe. On the temperature and humidity, I am keeping an eye on that. The other guys are also passionate so I really doubt it has something to do with that. Doubt is all it is, because as you say it gets cold down here and most of us use central heating that dries the air quickly. Then again, we also get craploads of rain and are next to the North sea. Humidity levels are pretty high on average. I asume that dampening the substrate should be sufficiënt. In my case I even had it in an ICU but she still didnt make it. Maybe I was already to late.

I dont know, 4 spiders of the same species over a rather short period whilst dozens are running arround healthy. With 4 different keepers and locations.

Could they carry a genetic defect maybe? Not sure where the others got them from, ill ask for that. It even got me thinking about the water but we get some of the cleanest arround straight from the tap. At least thats what they tell us :)
Did the spiders come from the
same breeder? (I've read it on the forum as well, but i am more active here, replying in english here so that people here can read my post).
 

smitje

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
75
No they don't appear to be from the same breeder, I checked with the other ones.

Due to a dead Avicularia sp. peru sling I got another idea but Im not sure if this was the case with the agen. Simply because i didnt check or couldnt see.

Well, when I put the avic under the microscope I found freaking mites.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

smitje

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
75
Weird thing is I already noticed that she was not walking as gracefull as the other one and she stayed behind in growth. Both my agen and my avic had the normal substrate. With All my other spiders I mix calcium through it. So, they both behaved kind of in the same way, reduced speed, sluggish, unable to catch prey as normaly. Both died. My agen was way bigger but it also took longer for her to die.

I took my dead avic and left her for about 35 minutes on pure calcisand. Check out what happend to the mites.
 

Attachments

smitje

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
75
They went from 8 or 9 big mites to 4 mites half the size. Looked a bit sad but I had to make sure it works.
 

Attachments

smitje

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 24, 2016
Messages
75
I expected to be able to see mites. Well you might in a late stadium but even with a 4x magnification I was unable to spot them. The microscope pictures are x20 and x40

I wouldnt recomend putting any T on pure calcisand by the way. I use like 10% through the normal substrate.

How many mites does it take to kill an average size T? When I look at other pictures they are full of them and still walk arround. My avic was small so I suppose it doesnt take many but a 10cm T? Maybe I just missed them as I could neither spot them on the avic without magnification.

Is strange movement a symptom of mites normally?
 
Last edited:
Top