Camel spider "babies"

Andy00

Arachnoknight
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Feb 4, 2016
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So, long story short, my gravid WC camel spider (Eremobates Pallipes) recently died after laying 4 clutches of eggs in the ~3 months I had her. I think one of the clutches hatched into first instar and I saw her eating some of the other eggs before she died. Right now I have what I think is 50 spiderlings in a vial with the same topsoil and peat moss that they were laid in. I would like to know how to care for these little ones. If anyone has any idea that'd be awesome. I know this is a VERY rare topic to be discussed, but I feel that this is the best place to get advice.
image.jpeg image.jpeg
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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Holy Cripes. Talking about ultra obscure niche animals. You might just end up writing the book for others. Could you do us the favor of keeping us posted on events and info?
 

Andy00

Arachnoknight
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I know haha, this doesn't happen often and it's funny asking for help when nobody can tell me anything. I'll keep you posted. Not quite sure what else to do lol.

image.jpeg
This picture is of the mom just a day after dying. I think mites got to her, but I'm not sure if it was before or after she died. She was acting strange a week before she stopped moving, and then I noticed what I think are mites just this afternoon. You can also see her alive on Instagram: tarantulas_n_stuff
 

The Snark

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I know haha, this doesn't happen often and it's funny asking for help when nobody can tell me anything. I'll keep you posted. Not quite sure what else to do lol.

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This picture is of the mom just a day after dying. I think mites got to her, but I'm not sure if it was before or after she died. She was acting strange a week before she stopped moving, and then I noticed what I think are mites just this afternoon. You can also see her alive on Instagram: tarantulas_n_stuff
You never know until you try. Have you done anything about the mites?
 

Andy00

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I cleaned my tarantula room. Other than that, my other tarantula enclosures look fine. They're substrates are all peat moss which seams to keep away mites.
 

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Arachnopeon
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From the book I'm reading right now:
"Females dig a burrow and lay 40-200 eggs in a pile, but these rarely hatch in captivity and rarely continue past a few instars if they do. [...] They have developed setae and appendages, are capable of movement, but are sedentary and do not feed until they molt to 2nd instar."
- McMonigle, Orin A. Breeding the World's Largest Living Arachnid.

The book is mainly about Amblypygi, but has a section discussing other arachnids. Sadly, it doesn't mention any suspected causes of failure to thrive in captivity, so I can't give any more insight there.
I can tell you (also from photos and info in the same book) that their legs will take on a pinkish cast as they get close to their first molt. I'm not sure how much that helps, but at least you'll know when the molt's approaching. (Probably sometime in the 10-14 day range, I think, but I only have a single data point.)

Congratulations on the clutch! As evidenced from the quote above, it's very rare for these to even hatch in captivity, so you already seem to be well ahead in that regard. Best of luck with the little ones. And if I come across any more potentially useful information, I'll definitely come back and share. As others have said, please keep us updated on how this goes for you! Very exciting!
 

Andy00

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From the book I'm reading right now:
"Females dig a burrow and lay 40-200 eggs in a pile, but these rarely hatch in captivity and rarely continue past a few instars if they do. [...] They have developed setae and appendages, are capable of movement, but are sedentary and do not feed until they molt to 2nd instar."
- McMonigle, Orin A. Breeding the World's Largest Living Arachnid.

The book is mainly about Amblypygi, but has a section discussing other arachnids. Sadly, it doesn't mention any suspected causes of failure to thrive in captivity, so I can't give any more insight there.
I can tell you (also from photos and info in the same book) that their legs will take on a pinkish cast as they get close to their first molt. I'm not sure how much that helps, but at least you'll know when the molt's approaching. (Probably sometime in the 10-14 day range, I think, but I only have a single data point.)

Congratulations on the clutch! As evidenced from the quote above, it's very rare for these to even hatch in captivity, so you already seem to be well ahead in that regard. Best of luck with the little ones. And if I come across any more potentially useful information, I'll definitely come back and share. As others have said, please keep us updated on how this goes for you! Very exciting!
Wow thanks so much! Very, very helpful. Let's just hope they make it past the next few molts. I'll try the cutting up mealworms method of they go through the next molt.
 

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Arachnopeon
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Okay, I've done a bit more poking around. I don't have much more to offer, unfortunately, but I'll share what I've got.

So, my book states that Solifugae don't have a post-embryo stage and that they hatch directly into first instar and then don't start eating until after they've molted into second instar. However, I've found another source now that states that they do have a post-embryo stage and then go through some number (seems to be somewhere between 5 and 10 for most species) of nymphal instars after that. So I'm not sure what's going on there. Clarification/confirmation needed.

It also looks like several Eremobates spp. demonstrate a preference for termites as prey and that for at least some species, the young will feed almost exclusively on termites. I don't know how important that is to their health, but it may be worth trying to get your hands on some termites in case they're somehow nutritionally significant. (Ref.: http://www.solpugid.com/Prey.htm )

It may also be worth trying to contact some of the researchers listed on that site ( http://www.solpugid.com/Present Researchers.htm ) to see if they have any advice for captive rearing of Solifugae. They're likely to have more up-to-date, detailed, and accurate information than my book. Might be worth a shot anyway, since there aren't a lot of resources out there for this kind of thing.
 

The Snark

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That sounds like a really bad idea. Termite nests contain quite a few different kinds. These kinds vary depending on the season. During mating season an exit defense version is produced as one example. Anyway, some of the combat capable termites can lay an invading swarm of the meanest ants on the planet to waste. We are talking professional mayhem bringing soldiers armed with WMDs. Get to wrong kind and oops, one less spork.
 

Widowman10

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Wow, I agree with Snark's first post - please keep us updated on this process! very cool stuff. I may have missed it in the last 10 years, but I do not recall ever seeing someone successfully hatch solpugid eggs like that. Freakin cool.
 

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Arachnopeon
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That sounds like a really bad idea. Termite nests contain quite a few different kinds. These kinds vary depending on the season. During mating season an exit defense version is produced as one example. Anyway, some of the combat capable termites can lay an invading swarm of the meanest ants on the planet to waste. We are talking professional mayhem bringing soldiers armed with WMDs. Get to wrong kind and oops, one less spork.
Ah, thanks for the additional info on the termites, Snark. And sorry for the bad suggestion. I should've looked into the details more before I made a recommendation. Glad you caught it before disaster struck.

Edit: Although, there is some anecdotal evidence that Solifugids will occasionally scavenge, so pre-killed prey could potentially be used to skirt the Invasion of the Killer Termites issue. That said, I don't know enough about termites to know whether there could be other potential problems.
 
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The Snark

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It's such a big unknown with Solufugae. Dependent on a particular detritus layer habitat that in turn is only conducive to the animals under certain circumstances. The correct material, which depends on the presence of the correct micro-organisms and fungi, the correct temperature, the correct humidity and gads knows what else.
When I think about it, the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the termite that can make it's home under the most adverse circumstances imaginable, synthesizing what the environment may lack. Recalling the termite mounds outside Darwin where no terrestrial insect can survive without shelter and the termites thriving, constructing gigantic cities from barren scorching hot desert to our place here where 6 months out of the year they live in swamps and eat fallen leaves.
 

WeightedAbyss75

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It's such a big unknown with Solufugae. Dependent on a particular detritus layer habitat that in turn is only conducive to the animals under certain circumstances. The correct material, which depends on the presence of the correct micro-organisms and fungi, the correct temperature, the correct humidity and gads knows what else.
When I think about it, the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the termite that can make it's home under the most adverse circumstances imaginable, synthesizing what the environment may lack. Recalling the termite mounds outside Darwin where no terrestrial insect can survive without shelter and the termites thriving, constructing gigantic cities from barren scorching hot desert to our place here where 6 months out of the year they live in swamps and eat fallen leaves.
I think this is awesome! A possible first ever on arachnoboards. Also, they do require a lot of care. As a side note, @Andy00 should dub these a name. Never heard an actual term, but T's have slings and centipedes have plings, so I think they should have an easier name. Love to see stuff like this, hope they can all survive to adulthood and you could have the breeding project of the century ;)
 

Andy00

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I think this is awesome! A possible first ever on arachnoboards. Also, they do require a lot of care. As a side note, @Andy00 should dub these a name. Never heard an actual term, but T's have slings and centipedes have plings, so I think they should have an easier name. Love to see stuff like this, hope they can all survive to adulthood and you could have the breeding project of the century ;)

Solifulings. ......... ?


Anyways, I think I'm seeing some progress in which the 'solifulings' are gaining a pinkish color on their legs and chelicerae. From the info I've heard, that means they're getting closer to their molt. I really hope they can make it through this molt :) it would be AWESOME! Then I can finally start feeding them. I'll keep you guys updated if anything happens, they're growth sure seems slow at this stage.

Edit:
Some of the solifulings are almost completely pink and some are still mostly white. They all seem a little more active than usual, moving their legs slightly, it looks like yoga stretching especially when they stretch their abdomens. I gave them some water and raised the temps. They're looking good!

Edit #2:
Looking really close now, I just noticed a few have actually molted!!! Wowwwww they're soooo cute! I'll try to post pictures in the afternoon. I'm so surprised this actually worked :) :) :)
Lol their heads look proportionally way bigger than the rest of their bodies, they look like bobble heads no joke
 
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Andy00

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IMG_8061.JPG Here's one of the whitest ones chillin' at the top of the substrate for some reason. This one hasn't molted nor is it showing much progress, but the ones at the bottom of the vial are molted, molting, or preparing to molt.
 
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Dovey

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Wow thanks so much! Very, very helpful. Let's just hope they make it past the next few molts. I'll try the cutting up mealworms method of they go through the next molt.
I know my WC adults attack pre-killed small dubias with gusto. Possibly young scorplings might, also?
 

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Arachnopeon
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Wow, that's incredible! Thanks for sharing the photos. Glad they've been molting for you. Definitely keep us posted! So cool that you got them to hatch!
 

Andy00

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I've tried feeding them roach legs and crushed up mealworm but they seem to ignore it and won't even go near it. I've separated a few into another small enclosure and I want to know what I should try feeding them. So far I have seen no acts of canibalism. Would they be able to make it through their next molt without food, or do they have to eat between every molt even at this stage? I think I'm going to try to feed them flightless fruit flies and see what happens. Any suggestions?
 
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