An overactive A. chalcodes

volcanopele

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
Messages
72
So I'm not sure if I need to change up my A. chalcodes' setup or I am just being an overly-concerned spider parent. I have had this sub-adult female Aphonopelma chalcodes (named Cersei) for about 3 months now. Her legspan is about 4". She's kept in a 12" x 12" x 12" enclosure filled with 7" of cocofiber (that has a 0.5" layer that's dry while the rest stubbornly hasn't dried out yet). The enclosure is pretty bare bones, admittedly, with a water dish and a half-log hide. Temperatures are the same that my other Ts have to deal with. In the winter, that's ~68-70 F at night and 75 F in the afternoon. She (and my other Ts) are in a room with a lot of filtered sunlight, so the have a good sense of the diurnal cycle.

IMG_2516.JPG

Now the good: She's a great eater. I feed her a large cricket about once every 5-6 days and she has never turned down a meal since I got her. She has a bit of a short attention span though, so while my other juvies and sub-adults have switched over to dubias, she is being kept on crickets. She's a very docile T. I don't handle my Ts, but I'm sure I would be fine handling her.

Now the bad: I have run into chalcodes in the wild, both as mature males when I'm hiking with my dog and as holes in the ground. So I know that females usually burrow or at least have burrows. Cersei? I gave her a starter burrow when I first got her and she filled it in. I tried again a month later and she filled it in again. There is a half-log in there and she uses it in the mornings, early afternoons, or when she's eating. It isn't half-buried like the one in my N. chromatus's enclosure. So what's the problem? During the late afternoon and evening, she is constantly wandering around. Back when her enclosure had a screen lid, she tried to chew through it and climb on the underside of it. As a result, I switched to a cut sheet of plexiglass that slides in where the screen lid was. Now her escape attempts are limited to lifting herself up by the fangs and trying to push up on the lid. She's like Jackson Polluck: her walls are her canvas and her poop's her paint. Not once has she attempted to make a burrow.

So? Do I need to be concerned? Is all this activity just an attempt get out of the enclosure because she is unhappy with the setup? What do I need to fix? My thoughts have generally centered around the hide. I could try to half bury the half-log? Or: I got a piece of PVC pipe yesterday that I can also consider as a hide replacement if that's her "problem". I can bury it to give her a fake borrow. I could get another hide that has a closed back so she has someplace that's dark during the day?

Or is this just a spider being a spider? She isn't in any danger. The amount of space above the substrate is only a little more than one DLS. She is eating just fine. She does recognize the half-log as a place where she can hide when she feels she needs to.
 

Arachnomaniac19

Arachnolord
Joined
Aug 23, 2014
Messages
654
Try drying the substrate out and seeing what happens. It could be normal, or stress from excess humidity. Opportunistic burrowers usually won't make a burrow outside of when they're slings, at least in my experience.
 

boina

Lady of the mites
Active Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2015
Messages
2,226
My B. smithi was a bit overactive like that and she also had substrate that wasn't yet dried out in the lower regions. I dried enough cocofiber (bone dry) and rehoused her on the new substrat - et voila: she stopped trying to climb the walls.
 

volcanopele

Arachnosquire
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
Messages
72
Hmm, trying to think how I could dry out the substrate more than letting it sit for three months... I guess I could stir it, loosen it up (that's pretty hard packed soil in there, since I had thought she would want to burrow). It would mean that the soil would be wet at the top, but that should get it to dry out faster...
 

dopamine

Arachnobaron
Joined
Feb 7, 2010
Messages
341
These spiders generally won't burrow in captivity. I've heard a theory that the instinct leaves them when in a properly set up enclosure because they don't feel as threatened as they would out in the wild.
I have a chalcodes as well, and mine never uses her hide. Not once. In fact her favorite spot is on top of it.
 

Attachments

clive 82

Arachnoknight
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
Messages
205
So I'm not sure if I need to change up my A. chalcodes' setup or I am just being an overly-concerned spider parent. I have had this sub-adult female Aphonopelma chalcodes (named Cersei) for about 3 months now. Her legspan is about 4". She's kept in a 12" x 12" x 12" enclosure filled with 7" of cocofiber (that has a 0.5" layer that's dry while the rest stubbornly hasn't dried out yet). The enclosure is pretty bare bones, admittedly, with a water dish and a half-log hide. Temperatures are the same that my other Ts have to deal with. In the winter, that's ~68-70 F at night and 75 F in the afternoon. She (and my other Ts) are in a room with a lot of filtered sunlight, so the have a good sense of the diurnal cycle.

View attachment 231268

Now the good: She's a great eater. I feed her a large cricket about once every 5-6 days and she has never turned down a meal since I got her. She has a bit of a short attention span though, so while my other juvies and sub-adults have switched over to dubias, she is being kept on crickets. She's a very docile T. I don't handle my Ts, but I'm sure I would be fine handling her.

Now the bad: I have run into chalcodes in the wild, both as mature males when I'm hiking with my dog and as holes in the ground. So I know that females usually burrow or at least have burrows. Cersei? I gave her a starter burrow when I first got her and she filled it in. I tried again a month later and she filled it in again. There is a half-log in there and she uses it in the mornings, early afternoons, or when she's eating. It isn't half-buried like the one in my N. chromatus's enclosure. So what's the problem? During the late afternoon and evening, she is constantly wandering around. Back when her enclosure had a screen lid, she tried to chew through it and climb on the underside of it. As a result, I switched to a cut sheet of plexiglass that slides in where the screen lid was. Now her escape attempts are limited to lifting herself up by the fangs and trying to push up on the lid. She's like Jackson Polluck: her walls are her canvas and her poop's her paint. Not once has she attempted to make a burrow.

So? Do I need to be concerned? Is all this activity just an attempt get out of the enclosure because she is unhappy with the setup? What do I need to fix? My thoughts have generally centered around the hide. I could try to half bury the half-log? Or: I got a piece of PVC pipe yesterday that I can also consider as a hide replacement if that's her "problem". I can bury it to give her a fake borrow. I could get another hide that has a closed back so she has someplace that's dark during the day?

Or is this just a spider being a spider? She isn't in any danger. The amount of space above the substrate is only a little more than one DLS. She is eating just fine. She does recognize the half-log as a place where she can hide when she feels she needs to.
I bought an AF chalcodes a few weeks ago & did exactly the same as you. I have given a partially buried hide which has not been used. Mine did climb the walls for a short time but seems to have settled in now. As others have said though I have also read that chalcodes & many other species don't tend to burrow in captivity.
 

gypsy cola

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 16, 2014
Messages
195
The majority of my tarantulas have burrows. I have a space heater in my spider room. Temps are about 80-90. My T's burrow to escape the heat. My AF A.chalcolodes burrows every time she has been rehoused

Don't worry about it. Burrows are not necessary. If they don't use one, its because they are already feel secure in their enclosure.
 
Top