A. Versicolor Acting Funny

N1ghtFire

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Jun 17, 2016
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I have 3 avicularia versicolor slings that I have had for one week now. One of them i about half the size of the other two and is acting what i consider to be kind of strange.. it has not eaten at all since I got it while the other two have eaten 2-3 small crickets each. Its abdomen also looks really skinny compared to the rest of its body, while the two larger ones have very plump large abdomens. The tiny one doesnt move much, and had recently been spending some time out its web in or near the water bowl for long periods of time. I have attempted looking up possible causes, like dehydration, premolt, too humid in the cage, ect. Its cage also smelt really bad and stuffy, and the waterbowl seemed to have spilled soaking the sub, so I cleaned put its cage yesterday and put in new subtrate and scrubbed everything off before putting the tarantula back in. Today I noticed another strange behavior. Since it doesnt have its web anymore after cleaning the cage it is sitting on the wall of the enclosure with about 3 of its legs curled under it and the rest holding the side of the cage. Its also not webbed much since i cleaned it and the other two are webbing all the time. Does anyone have any suggestions of whats up? Should I worry or is all of this normal? My main concern is how skinny the T looka compared to the others..

Summary:
  • Won't eat
  • Skinny abdomen
  • Not active
  • Long periods spent by water bowl
  • Not Webbing
  • A few legs curled under it while on the wall of the cage
I tried to take picture but couldnt get any good ones, so sorry about the quality.
 

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Kodi

Title Master
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The 3 legs underneath of him is probably cleaning his fangs. My versi does this all the time. If you watch long enough without disturbing him you'll see him take a leg and put it under his fangs almost like he's using the hair on his legs as a tooth brush. It's adorable if you ask me.
Moving him out of his enclosure and tearing his web down would have caused some stress. There's no telling how soon he'll rebuild it.
I don't think that it has molted very recently.. the last molt was still in the cage when I got it and didnt seem too fresh.
Also, "fresh" when referring to a molt is within the day. The exuvium (molt) dries very quickly.
 

N1ghtFire

Arachnoknight
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maybe parasites then? when was its last molt?
It has not molted in my care yet. All i know is that my biggest versi molted a week before I got it (2 weeks ago). I have no idea about my smallest one.
The 3 legs underneath of him is probably cleaning his fangs. My versi does this all the time. If you watch long enough without disturbing him you'll see him take a leg and put it under his fangs almost like he's using the hair on his legs as a tooth brush. It's adorable if you ask me.
Moving him out of his enclosure and tearing his web down would have caused some stress. There's no telling how soon he'll rebuild it.

Also, "fresh" when referring to a molt is within the day. The exuvium (molt) dries very quickly.
Him cleaning his fangs would make sense, maybe that is what he was doing. And i realized that it would cause stress cleaning its cage but the subtrate was almost soggy and smelt bad so I figured cleaning it would be the best option. He has half a cricket I stuck to the side of its cage and water so i plan on leaving him alone as long as possible to avoid additional stress.
 

Venom1080

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It has not molted in my care yet. All i know is that my biggest versi molted a week before I got it (2 weeks ago). I have no idea about my smallest one.

Him cleaning his fangs would make sense, maybe that is what he was doing. And i realized that it would cause stress cleaning its cage but the substrate was almost soggy and smelt bad so I figured cleaning it would be the best option. He has half a cricket I stuck to the side of its cage and water so i plan on leaving him alone as long as possible to avoid additional stress.
slings should be kept mainly dry with a water dish for humidity. the sub should never be completely moist. its called grooming when they do that, im pretty sure its to clean the hairs on the legs, not so much the fangs.
 

KezyGLA

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Good informative original post. Thank you for being clear and providing photographs.

Seems like post moult behaviour. Have you seen it stretching at all?

Stuffy cages can be very bad, especially for Avic slings. Seeing as you said the cage smelled and it was stuffy I'd go for a good few more holes on the sides of that enclosure. A lot is better than too little.
 

lunarae

Arachnobaron
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Sep 22, 2015
Messages
385
Check your ventilation, make sure it has plenty of air and that the substrate is on the dryer side rather then moist. Make sure it has access to the water bowl as well. My A. purpurea did the exact same stuff before it croaked on me and I believe it was due to to much moisture in the air/to stuffy.
 

N1ghtFire

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Check your ventilation, make sure it has plenty of air and that the substrate is on the dryer side rather then moist. Make sure it has access to the water bowl as well. My A. purpurea did the exact same stuff before it croaked on me and I believe it was due to to much moisture in the air/to stuffy.
Good informative original post. Thank you for being clear and providing photographs.

Seems like post moult behaviour. Have you seen it stretching at all?

Stuffy cages can be very bad, especially for Avic slings. Seeing as you said the cage smelled and it was stuffy I'd go for a good few more holes on the sides of that enclosure. A lot is better than too little.
I keep the subtrate pretty dry with just a water bowl. The reason the sub was so wet before is because the water bowl kept spilling and i didnt notice, i assumed it was just evaporating.

I'm assuming the ventilation is fine, because the other two avic have the same ventalation and are thriving.. it has lots of ventalation on top, but the sides are too hard of a plastic for me to poke holes through without breaking it. Theyve also been in these containers for months without a problem. So i dont think ventalation is so much of a problem.

If none of these behaviors are particularly alarming, i wont worry and just see what happens and leave the tarantula alone. These are my first aboreal tarantulas, too. So i may be just over thinking every little thing.
 

KezyGLA

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Any Avic may look like its thriving and within a day be dead. Stuffy cages kill. I would heat a needle and pierce the plastic with it. Cross ventilation is key to preventing stuffy cages.

I would advise that you try to make cross ventilation.. but at the end of the day, it's your descision.
 

KezyGLA

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image.jpeg Here is what I house my Avic slings in. Plenty of ventilation top and sides. Cheap and works great.
 

lunarae

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Just because the other two do fine, doesn't mean that one is. It could simply be weaker and more sensitive. I had my A. purpurea in the exact same enclosure I had my A. versicolor when it was younger and it did ok for a day or so then went down the toilet. But if you keep all three together and in the same area and the same care and two are thriving and one isn't. It could very well just be that it's weak and wasn't meant to make it. It happens.
 

viper69

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because the water bowl kept spilling
Make these to prevent that > http://www.tarantulasus.com/showthread.php/4353-A-tip-for-a-Tip-resistant-water-dish

I'm assuming the ventilation is fine, because the other two avic have the same ventalation and are thriving.. it has lots of ventalation on top, but the sides are too hard of a plastic for me to poke holes through without breaking it. Theyve also been in these containers for months without a problem. So i dont think ventalation is so much of a problem.
I own and raise a lot of Avics. Your assumption is wrong. A T can look and act healthy, and die the next day. Top ventilation is not sufficient. You need to add ventilation down the sides of the container/s. Instead of poking holes, get a drill, or melt some holes, etc

Months is not a long time at all. Here's a post I wrote for Avic owners

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/avicularia-husbandry.282549/#post-2461399


At their current size I would put them in 32 oz deli cups to make your life easier AND to help ensure they thrive. I would model your cage furniture off of Kezy. I have been using a cork slab at an angle for almost 10 years and it works great.

The one in the pic does have a small size abdomen that would make me concerned as well a bit, assuming it hasn't molted recently.

Make sure its water bowl is full at all times. Also, not all Avics will readily drink from a water bowl. You may have to lightly mist the container walls at times.

In doing this you will increase the humidity. If your ventilation is poor, you will created a moist, stuffy cage and your Avic will die at some point likely.
 
Last edited:

N1ghtFire

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Make these to prevent that > http://www.tarantulasus.com/showthread.php/4353-A-tip-for-a-Tip-resistant-water-dish



I own and raise a lot of Avics. Your assumption is wrong. A T can look and act healthy, and die the next day. Top ventilation is not sufficient. You need to add ventilation down the sides of the container/s. Instead of poking holes, get a drill, or melt some holes, etc

Months is not a long time at all. Here's a post I wrote for Avic owners

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/avicularia-husbandry.282549/#post-2461399


At their current size I would put them in 32 oz deli cups to make your life easier AND to help ensure they thrive. I would model your cage furniture off of Kezy. I have been using a cork slab at an angle for almost 10 years and it works great.

The one in the pic does have a small size abdomen that would make me concerned as well a bit, assuming it hasn't molted recently.

Make sure its water bowl is full at all times. Also, not all Avics will readily drink from a water bowl. You may have to lightly mist the container walls at times.

In doing this you will increase the humidity. If your ventilation is poor, you will created a moist, stuffy cage and your Avic will die at some point likely.
I really like that water bowl idea, ill definitely try that when I have a chance!
Your post and the one you linked me to were really helpful. My dad has a wood burning tool that is basically just a needle that gets really hot, so I will use that to burn through the plastic and make more vent holes on the side. The fumes of the melting plastic wont have any effects on the Ts will it? Or should i remove them before carefully putting some holes in the enclosure? I dont want to remove them and stress them out more than i have to, but I'll remove them if I need to.

I attached a picture of my small versi compared to one of the bigger ones. Its abdomen is so much smaller...

Once I take care of the ventalation I will mist one side of the cage wall for the sling. Is there anything else I can do to help it?
 

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lunarae

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I really like that water bowl idea, ill definitely try that when I have a chance!
Your post and the one you linked me to were really helpful. My dad has a wood burning tool that is basically just a needle that gets really hot, so I will use that to burn through the plastic and make more vent holes on the side. The fumes of the melting plastic wont have any effects on the Ts will it? Or should i remove them before carefully putting some holes in the enclosure? I dont want to remove them and stress them out more than i have to, but I'll remove them if I need to.

I attached a picture of my small versi compared to one of the bigger ones. Its abdomen is so much smaller...

Once I take care of the ventalation I will mist one side of the cage wall for the sling. Is there anything else I can do to help it?
Remove them. Not just because of the fumes, but the heat could attract them and they'll come over to the melted plastic which would be very bad. It's always best to remove a T from an enclosure when you do any kind of serious maintenance to it. Not just for the T's safety but also your own. Any number of things could go wrong, if you accidentally burn yourself while your doing it, you drop the enclosure, there goes the T along with it is another scenario I see happening.
 

N1ghtFire

Arachnoknight
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Messages
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Remove them. Not just because of the fumes, but the heat could attract them and they'll come over to the melted plastic which would be very bad. It's always best to remove a T from an enclosure when you do any kind of serious maintenance to it. Not just for the T's safety but also your own. Any number of things could go wrong, if you accidentally burn yourself while your doing it, you drop the enclosure, there goes the T along with it is another scenario I see happening.
Good point
 

viper69

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The fumes will kill them!!!

Do you seriously think burning plastic won't let off toxic chemicals o_O:(:rolleyes:

I'm glad you asked!!!
 

N1ghtFire

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The fumes will kill them!!!

Do you seriously think burning plastic won't let off toxic chemicals o_O:(:rolleyes:

I'm glad you asked!!!
I was making sure, i know they are toxic to humans but didn't know about spiders. I would've had to take them out anyway, it wouldve been impossible to add the ventalation while having to keep an eye on the Ts and not burning myself or anything else. I added 8 holes around the top of the containers and 4 rows of 3 holes down the sides, so they should have pleanty of ventalation now.

Also, I got the tiny versicolor to drink some water. I used a needle syringe to add a few drop of water to the side of the cage and after a few minutes the spider came over and drank one of the droplets. He has also started webbing again, and has a small hammock going at the top of the cage. Still hasn't eaten, though. (picture was taken before I added ventalation)
 

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viper69

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I was making sure, i know they are toxic to humans but didn't know about spiders. I would've had to take them out anyway, it wouldve been impossible to add the ventalation while having to keep an eye on the Ts and not burning myself or anything else. I added 8 holes around the top of the containers and 4 rows of 3 holes down the sides, so they should have pleanty of ventalation now.

Also, I got the tiny versicolor to drink some water. I used a needle syringe to add a few drop of water to the side of the cage and after a few minutes the spider came over and drank one of the droplets. He has also started webbing again, and has a small hammock going at the top of the cage. Still hasn't eaten, though. (picture was taken before I added ventalation)
When in doubt, just take it out is my policy ;)

If that one survives I'll be curious to see what gender is. Those are all good signs, not out of the woods yet.
 
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