Couple more newbie questions

Case

Arachnosquire
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Hey all. I'd like to run a couple of probably silly questions by you.

1. What does my T want? She is a g. rosea, about 4-4.5". When she is active and moving around in the cage, she often paces the outer edge and appears to want to climb the sides. I'm not worried about her falling and hurting herself, because it's a very shallow container with the substrate in it, but this makes wonder if something is wrong. The substrate is completely dry (I understand that is the way to do it with a desert species?). Her abdomen seems to be slowly shrinking in size over the past week. She hasn't been eating since I got her, either. I have had a jar lid full of water in there, and keep it full of fresh water. It is about 3" in diamter and maybe 1/2" deep. I haven't ever seen her drink from it, but I have found bits of substrate in it sometimes, and I have seen her legs step in it when she is walking around, so I reckon she knows it's there. I have another rose that I have seen drinking from a water dish the same size, and he's a bit smaller than she is. Anyway, I read somewhere that a shrinking opisthosoma is an indication of dehydration so I put a much smaller jar lid in there just now in hopes that that is the problem. Should I be concerned? Any advice?

2. I have often seen it mentioned that in sexing tarantulas, some indications can be found by examining the underside of the spider. Just how does one go about that? Wait until it is climbing on the side of the cage and look through the plastic/glass?

Thanks!
Scott
 
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Botar

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As for #1... I have no idea. G. rosea exhibits a wide array of bizarre activity from what I've experienced and heard from others on this site.

#2. G. rosea is fairly easy to sex once mature. I did it, so it must be easy. I should say, the male is easy to sex... the female is by process of elimination. In the male, the ends of the palps will be quite bulbous. They'll look like small boxing gloves. On the underside of the first pair of legs you will see small hooks or spurs. These are tibial spurs... also absent in the female. For me, this was the most obvious sign.

Good luck.

Botar
 

Immortal_sin

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Case,
I don't know the answer to #1 either, unfortunately. It sounds like all conditions are right, but the shrinking abdomen doesn't sound good.
Is this new behaviour in the same container? Has anything changed before she started this behaviour, and most importantly...are you sure it's not a mature male?!
If so, then that explains the behavior much better.
Check to see like Botar said, if it has a pair of hooks on the underside of the front pair of legs. They should be quite obvious if he is a male. Also, the palps will be swollen on the ends.
Hope that helps
Holley
 

Case

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Nope, no tibial spurs, and the pedipalps look just like the legs do - not really swollen at the ends at all. It could be an immature male, but the store that sold it to me said they were certain it was female. It's been doing this pretty much every since I got it, although for the first couple of days it was just hiding and not pacing around. I guess it was getting used to the new enclosure. FWIW, she's very docile, and has never shown any "angry" signs toward me. I dunno, I guess I'll just keep an eye on things and hope for the best.
On #2, what I was wondering was how exactly does one get a good look at the underside of a tarantula? It seems like even a docile one might get a little upset if you grabbed it and tried to turn it over on it's back for an examination, much less a skittish or angry one.

Thanks Botar and Immortal_sin!

Scott
 

MrDeranged

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How long have you had her for? When T's are first placed into a new container or their surroundings have changed, there is generally a period of time for them to acclimate themselves. It may just be that she's getting used to her home.

A shrinking abdomen is generally not a good sign. What temperature are you keeping her at? Personally, I would put the bigger water dish back in. By doing that, it will also up the humdity a bit.

As for the not eating, do you know when she last molted? It could be a molt coming on or it could just be normal rosie quirkiness.

If the abdomen is shrinking though, I'd keep a careful eye on her....


Scott
 

Immortal_sin

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Case,
Scott is right, if she has been doing that since you got her, she may just be getting used to the enclosure.
As for sexing, it's hard to explain, and I'm not that good at it myself. When she is up against the side, you should be albe to see underneath her. You will see 4 book lungs, one pair on top, and the other on bottom. Between the first set on top, there will be a slit, and depending on whether it's a male or female, it will look different.
I'll see if I can find a drawing that's on my hard drive and post it
 

Immortal_sin

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sexing drawing

ok..I don't remember where I got this, so I can't give proper credit.
Hope the person doesn't mind...may have been the ATS site
Edit: Looks like it's Rosemary's drawing, and I'm sure it was the ATS site...
 
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Case

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I have had her for 8 days, counting today. Temperature is generally around 80 degrees F.
She still has the larger water dish - I just put a smaller one in there in addition to the larger one.
I'm not sure when she last molted. She does not have any sort of bald area on her abdomen, though, if that is any help.
Too bad she can't talk. :)
Mrderanged - Thanks for your advice!
Immortal_sin - Thanks for your advice and for posting that drawing! I've saved it on my own hard drive and will compare it to her underside next time she starts climbing.

I guess I'll just continue to offer her food and hope she's okay.

Thanks!
Scott Case
 

Immortal_sin

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you're welcome! I am hoping that since you've had her for such a short time, she is still adjusting. My rosies will do that if I change their substrate, or anything in their enclosures. keep an eye on her abdomen though.
Good luck!
Holley
 

Kenny

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Aug 7, 2002
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Hi,,about # 1

Hi..:)

When I got my Chaco she did the same, walking around the edges of the tank and allways trying to go "upwards".
This was when the ground-level in the tank was higher than herself,what she could reach.

When I raised the "grounddlevel" substrate i.e. so she could make contact with her legs at bottom-level at the same time as she made contact with the ceiling,she did one lap only, I watched her, and then she just suddenly stopped doing any walking around "upwards" and she started a walkaround of the tank "bottom-level. Not even trying to climb.

Now she's very comfortable and waiting in her fav position at one side of the tank for prey and when it's dark she walk all over the tank, with no climbing attempts.

Well..I don't know but my Chaco really changed behavior after I raised groundlevel.

Kenny
 

Case

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Now that is interesting. I'll give that a try and see if it seems to make her any more comfortable. Thanks Kenny!

Scott Case
 
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