After the molt...


Jul 1, 2007
While this may be a silly question (hopefully it's not), I'm a first-time tarantula owner with a G. Rosea under my care. Everything's been going along swimmingly (I've only had her-I think- for about three weeks) and she decides to take the initiative to molt. Now things are fabulous. She was small and brown. Now she's huge, pink, and brand new.

Now what do I do? Do I destroy the silk bed or will she do that on her own? How long do I wait to feed her? Anything I should be concerned about?


Old Timer
Feb 22, 2007
How big is she? If she's really big, we may be able to sex her from the left over skin. Also, a good picture of the bottom of her abdomen might do the trick (although the skin is THE last word, usually).

I don't normally do anything, apart from remove the skin, and normally find that the spider will destroy its own web eventually. If that doesn't happen you can, of course, take to it with a pair of tweezers.

Just give it a few days/weeks. She's soft still, and probably quite sensitive,

Stan Schultz

Old Timer
Jul 16, 2004
... While this may be a silly question (hopefully it's not), ...
Nope. The really silly, some would say "stupid," questions are the ones that you don't ask.

And, stupid questions are always easier to deal with than stupid mistakes.

... Now what do I do? Do I destroy the silk bed or will she do that on her own? How long do I wait to feed her? ...
Because you don't give us any specifics I have to answer you in general terms.

In general, leave it alone. They ordinarily do just fine all be themselves. As an evolutionary line, they and their precursors have been doing this for 500 to 600 million years and they pretty much have all the wrinkles ironed out. Relax. Smile. Be happy.

In about a week, throw in one (1) cricket that's not larger than their abdomen (the rear half of their bodies). If it eats the cricket within a few hours, throw in 2 or 3 more. If it doesn't, remove the cricket to another container and try again in 2 or 3 days. (Give the crickets a little moist fruit like apple or orange for water and some food like a few flakes of tropical fish food, dry oatmeal, or plain wheat bran.)

Many will tell you that you shouldn't leave the cricket in with the tarantula for more than some specific period of time (which varies with the individual who's spinning this story). In fact, a tarantula is easily capable of defending itself against a marauding cricket EXCEPT when it is actually on its back and molting and for a few (less than 4 to 6) hours thereafter. At all other times the tarantula is either capable of eating it, or moving away, or simply kicking the little beggar into the next week. Once the tarantula has molted and is back upright, if you manage to forget to remove the cricket nothing bad will happen. Don't panic. Breathe easy. Enjoy.

... Anything I should be concerned about?
Yup! Messing with it. Leave it alone. Don't move the cage. Don't touch the tarantula. Don't let anyone else mess with it either. Now is the time when the tarantula needs a little quiet time.

Chilean roses are among the hardiest tarantulas on the market and will generally thrive under almost unbelievable abuse. And this gets them into a lot of trouble because they have a serious problem. They're southern hemisphere tarantulas and they, alone among all other southern hemisphere tarantulas, seem to have the most trouble making the adjustment to northern hemisphere timetables. Visit for more information.

If this is your first tarantula, you need to read one or more good tarantula books to get a firm idea of how to care for these bizarre creatures. There are now three good tarantula books on the market. They're all available for FREE check-out from most public libraries. If you like what you see they're available for sale "off the shelf" from many of the pet shops in your area, by special order from any bookstore and by order over the Internet from places like,, and I list them here in alphabetical order by author.

Breene, RG. 2005. QUICK AND EASY TARANTULA CARE. TFH Publications. An almost painfully simple book with all the basic information. Even though it is extremely inexpensive it has no gross errors. A good starter book.

Marshall, SD. 2002. TARANTULAS AND OTHER ARACHNIDS. Barron's Educational Series, Inc. A somewhat more advanced book than Breene's, but very, very good.

Schultz, SA and Schultz, MJ. 1998. THE TARANTULA KEEPER'S GUIDE. Barron's Educational Series, Inc. Written for the advanced beginner as well as the novice, you'll want to read this book over and over as you discover more and more about these fascinating creatures.

None of these books costs as much as a tarantula, but any one of them could save you a bundle in wasted time and money on useless stuff and dangerous care regimens, not to mention dead spiders. It would not be too surprising to find that you had a copy of each in your personal library within the next few months.

Enjoy your tarantula!
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Old Timer
Aug 4, 2007
Stan, I can attest that I have read it over and over and over. I seem to pick up something I missed before each time I read it! I find especially of interest the first 82 pages or so. I also agree, do your homework first, feed them, make sure they have some form of water bowl [tuna fish cans work great!]And leave them to do what they do while you observe them and enjoy these preposterous creatures!