Avic Versicolor - Molting and Enclosure Problem

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
I think my 2.5 inch Avic. Versicolor is getting close to a molt because she is moving fairly slow even though she is still eating well.

I got home last night to find a weird situation. At first I thought she was entering molt up on the side near the top of her AMAC enclosure (Jamie's Enclosure size 4x4x8 inch size). But she looked like she was defying gravity since there wasn't a lot of web in that area. She was hanging upside down. I was worried that she was going to fall and had decided to tilt her enclosure very slowly. But before I could do anything she started to move back up into the cork bark area. at some point she came to an abrupt halt in the other direction and that is when I realized she had somehow got a piece of sphagnum moss tied around her between the carapace and abdomen. It looked fairly tight and she obviously didn't know how to solve the problem. At some point I started using pointed cutters to expand an air hole and ruined her enclosure (+1 for the deli cup). I finally was able to get pointed cutters in there from the top to cut the material that was wrapped around her. So I got her free and now I hope she is okay. But she was definitely stressed from all the activity.

I have now realized that gluing a section of sphagnum moss on the side of a cork bark can create the scenario that happened to me. So I will make sure there are no glued loops in the future.

Do I wait until she molts and heals or should I coax her into a new enclosure immediately? I currently have a section of tape over the hole (in the top) in addition to an object with some weight that is bigger than the hole. I don't like leaving it that way for long because she could probably fit through it (or get injured trying). She is probably borderline large enough to put in a larger enclosure anyway.

As always thanks for any advice and I am open for constructive criticism.
 

kooky

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
91
I think my 2.5 inch Avic. Versicolor is getting close to a molt because she is moving fairly slow even though she is still eating well.

I got home last night to find a weird situation. At first I thought she was entering molt up on the side near the top of her AMAC enclosure (Jamie's Enclosure size 4x4x8 inch size). But she looked like she was defying gravity since there wasn't a lot of web in that area. She was hanging upside down. I was worried that she was going to fall and had decided to tilt her enclosure very slowly. But before I could do anything she started to move back up into the cork bark area. at some point she came to an abrupt halt in the other direction and that is when I realized she had somehow got a piece of sphagnum moss tied around her between the carapace and abdomen. It looked fairly tight and she obviously didn't know how to solve the problem. At some point I started using pointed cutters to expand an air hole and ruined her enclosure (+1 for the deli cup). I finally was able to get pointed cutters in there from the top to cut the material that was wrapped around her. So I got her free and now I hope she is okay. But she was definitely stressed from all the activity.

I have now realized that gluing a section of sphagnum moss on the side of a cork bark can create the scenario that happened to me. So I will make sure there are no glued loops in the future.

Do I wait until she molts and heals or should I coax her into a new enclosure immediately? I currently have a section of tape over the hole (in the top) in addition to an object with some weight that is bigger than the hole. I don't like leaving it that way for long because she could probably fit through it (or get injured trying). She is probably borderline large enough to put in a larger enclosure anyway.

As always thanks for any advice and I am open for constructive criticism.
i would move her just because its better to be safe than sorry. She will always grow into a new enclosure and there will be less risk of her escaping. id wait for more experienced people to pitch in though :)
 

bryverine

Arachnoangel
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Messages
894
I think my 2.5 inch Avic. Versicolor is getting close to a molt because she is moving fairly slow even though she is still eating well.

I got home last night to find a weird situation. At first I thought she was entering molt up on the side near the top of her AMAC enclosure (Jamie's Enclosure size 4x4x8 inch size). But she looked like she was defying gravity since there wasn't a lot of web in that area. She was hanging upside down. I was worried that she was going to fall and had decided to tilt her enclosure very slowly. But before I could do anything she started to move back up into the cork bark area. at some point she came to an abrupt halt in the other direction and that is when I realized she had somehow got a piece of sphagnum moss tied around her between the carapace and abdomen. It looked fairly tight and she obviously didn't know how to solve the problem. At some point I started using pointed cutters to expand an air hole and ruined her enclosure (+1 for the deli cup). I finally was able to get pointed cutters in there from the top to cut the material that was wrapped around her. So I got her free and now I hope she is okay. But she was definitely stressed from all the activity.

I have now realized that gluing a section of sphagnum moss on the side of a cork bark can create the scenario that happened to me. So I will make sure there are no glued loops in the future.

Do I wait until she molts and heals or should I coax her into a new enclosure immediately? I currently have a section of tape over the hole (in the top) in addition to an object with some weight that is bigger than the hole. I don't like leaving it that way for long because she could probably fit through it (or get injured trying). She is probably borderline large enough to put in a larger enclosure anyway.

As always thanks for any advice and I am open for constructive criticism.
I'm confused, did you injure the tarantula or do you mean to let it heal 'emotionally'? :confused:

If the enclosure is ruined, I'd just switch it out. Unless it's freshly molted or heavy premolt then I'm pretty sure it will be fine. I've only made two moves during premolt (they had stopped eating and molted a few weeks/month later), but I think it may actually helped reduce their speed a bit. Maybe they just wanted to run less, who knows? :p

Also, I'd say it's probably not premolt if it's still eating - though this isn't always black and white.
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
I'm confused, did you injure the tarantula or do you mean to let it heal 'emotionally'? :confused:

If the enclosure is ruined, I'd just switch it out. Unless it's freshly molted or heavy premolt then I'm pretty sure it will be fine. I've only made two moves during premolt (they had stopped eating and molted a few weeks/month later), but I think it may actually helped reduce their speed a bit. Maybe they just wanted to run less, who knows? :p

Also, I'd say it's probably not premolt if it's still eating thigh this isn't always black and white.
Thanks for the reply. How do you know if it is in heavy premolt versus premolt?

I don't know if the tarantula is injured, but I suspect not from the moss fiber. I can't tell much because it is moving really slow on the rare occasions I see it move this week. My concern is over the molt. Can it cause damage to the spider's molt process making it move an excess amount and then getting stressed from the new environment after a move to a new enclosure?

The move to the new enclosure will happen. I just thought I might seek advice on whether I should wait a couple days after the spider heals from a molt if it is about to molt. I already own a new larger enclosure that I will be setting up today.

EDIT* Corrected wording in last paragraph
 
Last edited:

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Dec 8, 2006
Messages
12,447
I wouldn't have tilted your Ts home due to the description provided. Primarily because Ts know better what their capabilities are than me. I have a small A. sp. Kwitara River with a large abdomen that hangs upside down frequently. Its abdomen sometimes hangs downward a bit as opposed to being 180 degrees with respect to the horizontal. It looks odd, but I never worry or adjust anything.

If you think your T can escape, move it. They are constantly exploring over the course of time. The Avic above constantly puts its legs through the ventilation holes I drilled into the AMAC box, just like a person would do.


What is all this "healing" your T has to do that has @bryverine and I puzzled?
 

Jeff23

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
I wouldn't have tilted your Ts home due to the description provided. Primarily because Ts know better what their capabilities are than me. I have a small A. sp. Kwitara River with a large abdomen that hangs upside down frequently. Its abdomen sometimes hangs downward a bit as opposed to being 180 degrees with respect to the horizontal. It looks odd, but I never worry or adjust anything.

If you think your T can escape, move it. They are constantly exploring over the course of time. The Avic above constantly puts its legs through the ventilation holes I drilled into the AMAC box, just like a person would do.


What is all this "healing" your T has to do that has @bryverine and I puzzled?
I actually did not tilt the enclosure. I was about to tilt it though because I was misjudging the possibility that she was actually in the middle of molt and going to fall since the T loses all control during that time period.

Healing was a wrong word to use. I meant the part where the hardening occurs after the molt. I haven't got to go through the molt process yet so I am seeing confusing indicators on whether she is actually about to molt or not. She is acting slow. Her abdomen isn't shiny like some of the example pictures I see. I don't think her abdomen is large enough in comparison to the rest of her to be ready for molt either. I guess it was a false panic.

Thanks for the advice.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Dec 8, 2006
Messages
12,447
I actually did not tilt the enclosure. I was about to tilt it though because I was misjudging the possibility that she was actually in the middle of molt and going to fall since the T loses all control during that time period.

Healing was a wrong word to use. I meant the part where the hardening occurs after the molt. I haven't got to go through the molt process yet so I am seeing confusing indicators on whether she is actually about to molt or not. She is acting slow. Her abdomen isn't shiny like some of the example pictures I see. I don't think her abdomen is large enough in comparison to the rest of her to be ready for molt either. I guess it was a false panic.

Thanks for the advice.
Ah, thanks for the correction, not sure why that stuck in my end, despite reading the entire post! o_O

They tend to web a lot, ie make a web hammock to prep for molting on. I don't concern myself with activity, the more important indicators are abdomen size/color (dark to black) and eating. I feed my Avic slings and juvie daily if they will eat, w/juvies tends to be every day to every couple of days. However once they slow down in eating and then stop, you know they are going to molt "soon".

Also, if you don't already, to help w/the above, would be wise to keep a record of the date and how many prey items they ate. If you do this, you'll easily see how Ts ramp up in eating post-molt and gradually decrease over time.
 

Jeff23

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Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
Ah, thanks for the correction, not sure why that stuck in my end, despite reading the entire post! o_O

They tend to web a lot, ie make a web hammock to prep for molting on. I don't concern myself with activity, the more important indicators are abdomen size/color (dark to black) and eating. I feed my Avic slings and juvie daily if they will eat, w/juvies tends to be every day to every couple of days. However once they slow down in eating and then stop, you know they are going to molt "soon".

Also, if you don't already, to help w/the above, would be wise to keep a record of the date and how many prey items they ate. If you do this, you'll easily see how Ts ramp up in eating post-molt and gradually decrease over time.
Ah, thanks for the correction, not sure why that stuck in my end, despite reading the entire post! o_O

They tend to web a lot, ie make a web hammock to prep for molting on. I don't concern myself with activity, the more important indicators are abdomen size/color (dark to black) and eating. I feed my Avic slings and juvie daily if they will eat, w/juvies tends to be every day to every couple of days. However once they slow down in eating and then stop, you know they are going to molt "soon".

Also, if you don't already, to help w/the above, would be wise to keep a record of the date and how many prey items they ate. If you do this, you'll easily see how Ts ramp up in eating post-molt and gradually decrease over time.
I bet she is preparing for molt then which explains how she got caught in the moss. She is doing a lot of web. I didn't want to stress her out more since she is not moving much at all right now so I left her in her current container. I have got it covered so that she can't escape. 3M blue tape to make a smooth surface with a fairly heavy smooth metal object on top that won't go anywhere unless I move it. She has been eating every other day so maybe it is a little early right now. Thanks for the great information.
 

kooky

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 4, 2016
Messages
91
I bet she is preparing for molt then which explains how she got caught in the moss. She is doing a lot of web. I didn't want to stress her out more since she is not moving much at all right now so I left her in her current container. I have got it covered so that she can't escape. 3M blue tape to make a smooth surface with a fairly heavy smooth metal object on top that won't go anywhere unless I move it. She has been eating every other day so maybe it is a little early right now. Thanks for the great information.
if she is eating every other day she probably isn't going to moult for a while. I got an a.versi that hasn't eaten for over a week now with a big bum, and hasn't moved much at all from its web tunnel. Thats a sign to me that mine is in premoult. Altho sometimes you get the odd one that eats until it moults, you never know xD
 

RMJ

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Joined
May 9, 2016
Messages
98
My Juvi Versi is luckily one of the hungry types! she eats 3-4 times a week and when she refuses its Molt time :)
 

Andrea82

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Jan 12, 2016
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@Jeff23
You don't notice the abdomen getting bigger in comparison to other species. Is the avic your only arboreal?
Reason why I ask is because arboreals don't bulk up like terestrials do. Their bodyframe is much more lithe then terrestrial to accommodate better movement high up.
Maybe this is the reason you can't see a difference yet, if you are used to terrestrial T's.
 

Jeff23

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Joined
Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
@Jeff23
You don't notice the abdomen getting bigger in comparison to other species. Is the avic your only arboreal?
Reason why I ask is because arboreals don't bulk up like terestrials do. Their bodyframe is much more lithe then terrestrial to accommodate better movement high up.
Maybe this is the reason you can't see a difference yet, if you are used to terrestrial T's.
I have several avic's but almost all of my T's are smaller than 1 inch / 25 mm. I actually had two other Avic's molt but it occurred really soon after I received them. So I wasn't paying a lot of attention to their eating habits at that point. And all of my terrestrial slings are hiding their molts from me by burrowing. I have one larger G. pulchripes terrestrial sling that isn't burrowing and is currently looking really fat and dark on the abdomen, but it is never skipping a meal so maybe I'll learn something from it too.
 
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