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Accidental Wild Caught Feeder

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by lostbrane, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. lostbrane

    lostbrane Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

    So, I decided to take a look at one of my Af P. regalis since she’s hanging out on the cork bark.

    I notice that her chelicerae were in a strange position as well as her pose. Suddenly, I see a wiggle.


    Might be difficult to tell but that bit of reflective light near bottom center is the eye of a moth.

    It must have gotten into the apartment one day when I was entering/exiting and got itself into her enclosure but it’s quite the surprise. I hope it doesn’t have anything harmful on/in it. I suppose the likelihood of that is somewhat low but it is making me slightly apprehensive.
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  2. Demonclaws

    Demonclaws Arachnosquire Active Member

    That is a big moth to wonder into the enclosure… Did you use horn worm or other worms as feeders before? They burrow and pupate in the substrate.
  3. lostbrane

    lostbrane Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

    None that I know of. Previous owner could have tossed one in there at some point but as far as I know he only fed her crickets. I’ve only given her prekilled superworms and a male dubia.

    It’s not a particularly large moth, at least in comparison to something like M. quinquemaculata. I’d wager it’s wingspan to be something closer to 5cm.

    Here’s another photo although still not great:

  4. RezonantVoid

    RezonantVoid Hollow Knight Arachnosupporter

    I've had unexpected cockroache babies and fruit flies turn up in substrate before but never a moth. Very interesting
  5. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    The moth could still be the mature form of a buried hornworm or other feeder, even if it is a little small. Adult size for many inverts is determined by larval food supply. If a larva is sufficiently developed when the food supply is cut off (such as when it is tossed into the tarantula cage) it can still pupate and mature - but will become a smaller version of the adult. I've had small sphinx moths before when they ran out of food before they were fully ready to pupate. They looked just like the normal ones - but half the size. I also currently have some half-size Dynastes grantii beetles with itty-bitty horns because the soil I raised them in was not rich enough. (Lesson learned! I'll do better next time.)
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    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Vanessa

    Vanessa Grammostola Groupie Arachnosupporter

    I bet it was a feeder who has pupated. I can't see a moth getting into an enclosure like that. There is nothing in there to attract them.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Yeah that must have been a feeder that has pupated moths are quite fat and would struggle to fit through kritter keeper style ventilation
  8. lostbrane

    lostbrane Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

    I had forgotten this.

    I found some form of an exuviae this morning with a head shape mysteriously similar to the moth so, I think that mystery has been solved. Well, partially anyway.

    I was just rather surprised by the whole thing. So anyways, thanks for the information folks.
  9. Rique

    Rique Arachnopeon Active Member

    Chanda...I agree with you on poor nutrition as a potential cause for stunted development. McMonigle states that if optimal size is desired, supplement in the form of dog or cat pellets, or fish flakes should be given, between hatching and the L2.

    I have personally not attempted this yet. However, if and when I do, I’ll be finely mixing several ounces of fish flake in the substrate.

    Other sources on other forums have mentioned no difference in attaining majors by adding protein. But then the timing of the addition following L2 may be a factor.

    Again, McMonigle states that even if larvae are fed optimally with protein supplement after L2, this will not influence major development [pun intended lol].

    It’s also questionable as to constant cooler temps influencing majors, because warmer temps may increase metabolism. However, increasing metabolism may do little to assure a major, if the nutritional value of the substrate is poor...as you say.
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