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Aphonopelma seemani Escape

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by Beedrill, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Beedrill

    Beedrill Arachnoknight

    Hey everyone, It's been a while.

    Unfortunately, I return with bad news and I am hoping for some advice.

    My 4 1/2 inch A. seemanii is apparently a LOT stronger than I gave her credit for. She unscrewed the lid of her enclosure two nights ago and is at large in my house.

    So my question for everyone is this:
    Has anyone ever experienced an escape from this species or similar moisture loving terrestrial species? If so, what were the results? Did you ever see them again and if so were they still alive? If the T was recovered before it dried out, where was it found and how long after escaping?

    My current strategy is this:
    I have strategically placed water dishes in various locations around the house and I am waking up every 2 hours at night to look around the house as best I can. I have also been leaving the ceiling fan in the living room on to hopefully deter her from leaving the room she escaped in.

    Honestly, any advice on escapes is appreciated, as well as thoughts and prayers if you don't mind. I was very fond of her, and she was my newest tarantula so I'm pretty torn up about it.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Liquifin

    Liquifin Arachnoangel Active Member

    I've had terrestrial escapes before, but not for two days, maybe an hour at longest. What works for me is that they love super tight spaces. So as a safety precaution in my T. area I have very small cardboard crevices around that I make in case one of my more skittish or OW T. escapes during rehousing. But it's best to search in small crevices and tighter spaces for a start, because a T. priorities the safety over a perfect environment first. So tight spaces first and moisture areas second, it has been two days, so it must've settled somewhere in between tight and moist by now. But A. seemanni can tolerate it dry as well.
  3. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Had a friend that had a tarantula at large gor 3 years! He found it in the bathroom 3 years later!!!!! But it was a G rosea. So relax, i think she is alright
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnodemon

    A tarantula cannot unscrew a lid that is impossible
    • Agree Agree x 5
  5. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX ArachnoGod Active Member

    o_O and how? Using which tool? A screwdriver, perhaps?

    Sorry but your choice of words cracked me up :playful:

    Returning serious -

    As you already know, there's only one thing to do: search, search, search.

    There's not really (IMO) 101 % valid "insider tricks" to share about for those kind of situations.
    For instance, even happened that certain keepers managed to find back their 'escaped T's' due to their cat/s, that pinpointed the bugger under/nearby a furniture etc
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnodemon

    I was thinking more of a jam jar type lid, which would be extremely impressive since the tarantula would be inside of it
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Vanisher

    Vanisher Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Think he meant lifted lid up?
  8. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnodemon

    Yes more than likely haha
  9. Beedrill

    Beedrill Arachnoknight

    @Chris LXXIX

    Clarification: The enclosure is a gallon (or slightly larger) size plastic Jerky container with large holes in the lid for ventilation. The holes are easily large enough for her to fit 2-3 legs out of, but not her carapace. I never foresaw that being a problem because the lid screws down tightly and I didn't think she could possibly turn it when closed tightly. I've only had her for a few months and I've never seen her go anywhere near the top of the enclosure. I keep her in 5 inches of moist coconut fiber with a very small amount of sand mixed in. I can post some pictures later if necessary.

    I assure you though, the lid was firmly on. The material is much lighter than any of my other enclosures, and I've never had a larger tarantula like this one before. I only have slings and one juvenile male B. hamorii that was sold to me locally, pre-housed in one of those acrylic model car display cases. In fact, all my other T's (except tiny slings) are housed in them. Definitely going to use those from now on...
  10. lostbrane

    lostbrane Arachnobaron Arachnosupporter

    I think photos would at least be interesting.

    You probably already checked but did you already go through the enclosure? Just in case she somehow found a new hiding spot in the fibre? Was the lid off and that’s how you knew? Anyone with access to your room that could have messed with the enclosure?

    Anyways best of luck. If there is a fridge nearby it may have gone for that...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Beedrill

    Beedrill Arachnoknight

    Yeah, I've seen several tarantula escape threads that involved a T in the back of a refrigerator. Luckily, there is no fridge nearby...just two pianos... RIP: my back

    I'm certainly not giving up anytime soon, so hopefully it will all work out in the end.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnodemon

    So you're saying it is a jam jar type lid? I can't believe that a tarantula managed to turn a lid.
    Are you sure you didn't actually have an octopus?
    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. Beedrill

    Beedrill Arachnoknight

    Here are some pics I took last night. I forgot to put the water dish back in, but you get the idea. Just FYI, the straw in the back is there so that I can water the bottom layer of substrate directly and have a good humidity gradient for her.

    Also here is her molt from when I first got her back in Feb. for a size reference, though she is actually a bit larger than this obviously.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2019
  14. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnodemon

    Unless I see video evidence of the tarantula opening that lid, I'm going to say that is impossible, I just can't see how it could get out, pushing a lid open I can believe obviously. But turning a lid? It's a bit of a stretch
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Beedrill

    Beedrill Arachnoknight

    Here is a video that shows a large G. pulchra moving a pane of glass that almost certainly weighs a pound or more using her front legs and fangs. Just a reminder, tarantulas weigh a few ounces usually.

    The first few seconds of this video by tarantula youtuber, The Dark Den, shows the aftermath of a B. hamorii escape. This time without an opening in the first place, but rather just flimsy material and an over sized T.

    Here a large tarantula, likely a Pamphobeteus sp., drags away a young opossum, a creature that almost certainly outweighs the attacking tarantula and is strong enough to put up a serious fight against the T.

    These are only the first few examples of tarantula strength and outstanding behavior that I could recall off the top of my head.

    Furthermore, tarantulas regularly pull through wire mesh with their fangs alone. A quick search through the threads here should yield you with ample evidence of that. This is one of the reasons that wire mesh isn't recommended for T's.

    I do not see how it is a stretch of the imagination to believe that a tarantula, inquisitive and powerful for there size, could be testing the size and strength of openings in its enclosure and suddenly realize that the lid could turn. Now, am I proposing that the tarantula had a moment of cognizant thought and decided to open the jar lid on purpose? No, absolutely not. Rather, I think that once she realized that the lightweight lid could move, she accidentally moved it to the point that she could indeed lift the lid off and did so purely on instinct.

    I realize that the videos that I chose as my evidence are by no means usual behavior for tarantulas, and that tarantulas themselves are not believed to be particularly intelligent or resourceful, but to essentially rule out any unusual behavior at all, and call me a liar, is narrow minded and ignorant. I know that I secured the lid of the enclosure the last time I was tending to my collection (wednesday), and that she was in the container until Friday evening at least.

    Besides, how do you know others have not had the exact same thing happen to them in the past? Would they come here so that you and other bright and shining personalities like yourself can ridicule them? Probably not. I know that my last few engagements here have had me just counting the seconds until I could get back on and have a nice slandering. Furthermore, did you even intend to answer any questions that I or other like minded individuals would have, or just chime in to let us all know how inadequate we are as keepers?

    In the end, I am deeply concerned about my animals' well beings, and I go to hell and back for them when it is necessary for me to do so. Do you think I wanted her to get out of the safety of her enclosure and into my cluttered home?
    Her name is Isabella. She is the first confirmed female tarantula that I have ever had, I loved catching her working on her burrow, I adored how ferocious she was when feeding, I have lost literal hours of sleep over the last few days searching for her, and I may never see her again. Had I known that this could have occurred, I would never have left her in that enclosure for even a minute.

    Do not insult me by assuming my lack of diligence and care.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. PidderPeets

    PidderPeets Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    I will always recommend laying down towels or clothing (in a crumpled mess, not flat). That's where I found my LP, and what I've heard multiple other people have success with
  17. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnodemon

    And yet you showed no video of a tarantula turning a lid, way to get defensive over nothing bud.
    I have tarantulas I know that they are strong. However, I am more than positive that they won't be able to open my peanut butter jars for me.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Beedrill

    Beedrill Arachnoknight

    Yeah I've actually thought about that. Or maybe a few humid hides around the house. One time a few years back, we actually found a wild A. hentzi in our towel bin, so yeah, T's love towels for some reason. Go figure.

    General Update:

    Still no sightings of her. I've moved at least half of the items in the room and checked behind all the bigger ones. Remaining optimistic though. I still have half a room to tear apart after all.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2019
  19. When I do rehouses I do everything in a bin bin, and I crumple up some paper towel and cardboard in case anybody escapes. It's worked pretty well so far. Really hope you can find your T, OP.
  20. mantisfan101

    mantisfan101 Arachnoangel Active Member

    I had the same exact species escape 2 years ago. Same size too. Unfortunately my dad found it in his bathroom strolling across the floor at 10 pm. Check every room and look in everybpossible floor surface. These wander quite a bit.
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