Bad Molt

Grimlock

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
131
Hey guys.

Hope you all doing well. I've actually seen better days, but that's why I'm here. I hope you can offer me some advice to make me feel better. My 2 year old B. smithi had a bad molt this evening, and lost his two front pedipalps. He didn't lose the whole appendage's, but the feet on the ends of the peds' are both gone. The molt took over 8 hours, which had me scared, because he's usually very fast about getting out of his old skin.

(not actual pic) These are the sections missing. About half gone. :(


I would of taken pics of the actual injury, but I have decided to leave him alone for the night. He looks exhausted and should be left alone.

Anyhow, getting back to my questions. Is there anything I need to start doing differently for him, until his next molt? Are there any other dangers I should be watching for when this happens? Should I be killing his food prior to feeding? Because I know he uses those legs to capture and hold his food.

This is his first bad molt, and I don't want to lose him and a little stressed. Has anyone else had this happen? If so, how were the end results? Should I be particularly worried?

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

P.S. Sorry for not backreading too much for the answers. I did a quick search and didn't find what I needed.
 

Brandon

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
415
if you have a current picture there is a good chance that it molted into a mature male, does it have hooks on its front legs?

-Brandon-
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
8,662
At two years old there is no way its mature.
As long as there is not bleeding from anywhere he should be fine. After he hardens up and its feeding time feed him like normal. He may look a bit funny for a while but he should be able to feed and drink just fine.

All oh his other legs are ok?
 

Brandon

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
415
yeah with B smithi two years is younge (should have read the post better ;) )

-Brandon-
 

Grimlock

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
131
That is one of the first things I thought of, Brandon. But, I too thought it was too early. TBH, I really don't know too much about how they change once becoming a mature adult. Do they loose their peds and become hooks? If so, I never knew that. I always thought the spurs are underneath the peds.

To answer your question, yes they do kinda hook down. But, It looks more like his front peds broke off, and he's curling them under as a injury reaction. Although, it is weird they broke off at the same point on both.

They don't appear to be bleeding. Just looks white at the ends and curled under.

I'll let him be for tonight and watch him closely to make sure they don't start bothering him. If I can snap a pic tomorrow, I'll post it. Next time I feed, I'll see how he reacts. If he has a hard time eating, I'll pull the legs of the crix, I guess.

The other legs are fine. That's actually the first thing I do after a molt. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 ... 8. Then .. 1-2 short ones. WHEW!
But this time was different. I didn't like what I saw. Because they get so twisted and pulsating when they molt, it's hard to tell at first.

Either way, I appreciate the responses. Thank you very much.
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
8,662
Have you had the T since it was a sling? Cause if not then maybe you dont know the true age of the T and it is mature.
Look for hooks on the 1st pair of legs on the underside of the leg. They are hard to miss with Smithi.
Better yet take a picture. Camera phone ghetto camera it does not matter. As long as we can get an image to go off of we can better answer what to do from here on out.
 

Grimlock

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
131
Uh Oh. I think I have myself a mature male. The more comfortable he gets with them, the more I realize it may be normal. Here's some pics I just took, despite his efforts to rid me of his environment.

Click for large ...




I'm shaking my head now. What are your thoughts? I'm thinking for sure mature male. but, I still don't know. I bought this B. smithi March 2005. Here is the thread I started when I first got him ...

http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=41809

I was told he was like 4-5 months when I bought him. So, by that rational; he would be 2 1/2 years + some change. I was guesstimating when I said 2 years. I think it's possible he may be older than I realize.

At what age is the standard maturity of a B. smithi, and at how much longer does he have to live?

(to save me some googling) :)
 
Last edited:

Cirith Ungol

Ministry of Fluffy Bunnies
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
3,889
They don't come more mature than that.
Age... the ever elusive question - depending on feeding and temp it's very hard to pin down with Ts.
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
8,662
Yep you have a mature male. I have never had a male mature in under 3.5 years with Smithi. But hey maybe with perfect conditions.................
Oh and in your picture thread of when you got him, he had to have been 1.5-2.5 years old already. Most males mature between the 4-5 year mark, sometimes a bit sooner depending on everything else such as feeding and temps.
 

Grimlock

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
131
Thank you for the reassurance, Cirith and Talken. I was thinking mature, also; once I snapped the pics. And yes, you can't miss those spurs. They're larger than his fangs!! I'll probably have to try him out for some T-porn since he's so proportioned. hah.

Anyhow, I'm a bit embarassed. But, I'm glad he's ok. That's the most important part. You have to admit, the first time you saw a mature molt; you had to be a bit frazzled. It looks like thier paws fell off!! I even went so far as to disect the post molt exo to verify the feet were "stuck" in there. :( They were. And I was to the point of almost crying because I didn't want my little fella to die. Sorry, I get emotional over my T. He's a good buddy of mine.

The question still remains .. how much longer, post mature molt; does he have to live? I'm a bit concerned, because from what I read is once they become mature males ... it's downhill. (much like us, I suppose. *snorts*) I'm told that the males live upwards of 7 years, and females 25+. Does that seem realistic? Would you say that he's half-way thru his life cycle?

I keep his enclosure at 76-78 degrees & 68% humidity. I feed him regularly 4-6 crix every 3-4 weeks as needed. I can usually tell when he's hungry. Pre-molt = none. Post-molt = also none; until his fangs become dark. He seems pretty happy with that so far. I tried meal worms once, but the bastards burrowed and were really hard to remove, so I didn't do that again. Crickets seem to be the best.

talkenlate ... You seem to be Brachy blessed. What are your findings on the topic? Have you had a Brachy male live more than 2-3 years past mature molt?

I'd be curious.
 

Grimlock

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
131
Oh and in your picture thread of when you got him, he had to have been 1.5-2.5 years old already.
Yeah, I have a feeling that the guy that sold me the T, had no idea what he was talking about. He told me 4-5 months. Not to mention he promised me a female. Heh. It's hard to find people in local shops that know much about T's. (in cali, anyway) Kinda sad that I know more about the species than they do, and I'm a novice (at best).

Oh well.

I want to give you guys a big thanks again. You're attention and help is greatly appreciated.

Arachnoboards FTW!!!
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
8,662
What are your findings on the topic? Have you had a Brachy male live more than 2-3 years past mature molt?
I have never had a male make it past a year and a half or so after maturity. And with Smithi never had one attempt a post mature molt. Smithis have tons and tons of energy when they are in their prime. At around 10 months you will see that energy decline big time. They start to ignore food, and just sit and start to look well pathetic.
I am sure there are cases where a male makes it longer then most but Id say a year maybe a bit more is a decent average.
 

Lorgakor

Arachnomom
Staff member
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
2,368
I think it is very possible to have a mature B. smithi in two years. My very first tarantula was a smithi, it was a small sling and it's growth rate was extremely quick. It was quick because I was a first time owner and I fed it almost every day and kept it nice and warm. If I had kept up that pace I have no doubt that it would have matured in two years or so.
 

Grimlock

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
131
Update.

I think my b. Smithi is on his way out. I came home tonight to find him with his front legs curled up and motionless in a corner. I thought, DAMMIT! He's gone. I opened his cage and touched hig back leg with no avail. Blew a little air on him. Nothing.

I teared up a bit as I went to remove his remains from the cage, and he started moving when I picked him up. OMG! He's alive! But barely, I think. He's very sluggish and weak looking.

He's hasn't been eating at all really. And I've tried, trust me. He's just not eating. I've wasted at least 2 dozen crix on trying. I've been worried about him, because his abdomen has been shrinking into nothing (starting to wrinkle). It doesn't look good for my 8 legged friend. I fear that his nights of wandering up to the glass to say hi to me are over. I have a feeling that it's going to be in the next couple days. If not, tonight.

It's amazing how attached I feel to my T. I never really thought about it, until I started pondering his death. My wife and I treat him as a regular pet. And it makes us sad. :(

So, I came here and see when the date was when he molted into maturity (forum timestamp). And thought I'd give an update. Couldn't hurt.

His mature molt was approx 5 1/2 months ago.

Is this really the end? :( :( :(

Sorry for post. This is the first time I've ever lost a T. Not sure what to think, right now.

Thanks for being the best Tarantula site out there.
 
Last edited:

penny'smom

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 14, 2007
Messages
489
First I want to say thank-you. I have found this thread very interesting, as I have a 1.5" smithi sling recently ID'd as male. Never having had a male T at all before, I've been curious as to what to expect.

On that note, I am sorry to hear you are losing your buddy. :( Though it may sound cruel, if you think he is suffering, a freezer is a VERY humane way to help him through the last part of the process.
 

Lorgakor

Arachnomom
Staff member
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
2,368
I'm sorry to hear that Grimlock, it's very sad to watch your pet go through that. I'm surprised though, I would have thought a B. smithi would have at least a year after maturity before slowing down.
 

Grimlock

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 15, 2005
Messages
131
Thanks for the kind words. :( I guess halloween is an appropriate day.

Personally, I think I may of sped his growth up a bit too quickly. I kept him well fed and his environment was always nice and warm. He molted quite frequently.

Do you think I could of changed his lifespan by changing these factors? Just curious for my future T endeavors.
 

The_Thunderer

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
463
Do you think I could of changed his lifespan by changing these factors? Just curious for my future T endeavors.
Never done it before, but "They" say that if you keep a T warm and feed him often, it'll grow faster... and therefore reach maturity and die off quicker.

"They" = numerous posts on the subject. Search "powerfeeding & warm temps".

Again, I have never experienced this before nor have I done this before, but I do know (and have done this) that with snakes, you can powerfeed them to maturity. While there are worlds of difference between the two, I don't see why it would be any different.

Did he actually pass today? Again, my condolences...
 
Top