D. diadema Premolt and Winter Preparations?

CABIV

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
94
I have a fairly large male Damon diadema. Despite having lost both whips, he seems healthy, and in the last month or so it seems like he might be going into premolt (bulking up despite not eating much if at all).

This would be my first time trying to get through a molt with one of these creatures, and I suppose I just want to double check that everything is "normal". I have the Orin McMonigle book, and I have reviewed the pages on molting, but I am not sure I feel satisfied.

Because it seems to be doing just fine, I plan to leave the animal alone, but I want to make sure I'm not missing anything.

So, what is "normal" for a whipspider such as this? what should I expect? What is the "time-line" on average (premolt sluggishness -> hanging -> Molting -> post molt)?

Some Further details-

- I am not sure he has eaten anything in months. The last time it may have eaten was late November, but only because I could not account for all the prey in the enclosure (at this point, there were several that had escaped predation, but I knew there should have been more in there).
- I first observed the "bloatedness" and some green highlights I hadn't noticed before on December 21.
- He has moved out of view and all I can see is his right pedipalp and legs. He has not changed location or direction since then. His limbs are often posed differently, and he responds to the door being opened and closed, but only minor shifting. He doesn't seem to be hanging, just sitting.
- Because it is winter, it is very dry. I've been keeping the water dish full and I have a large damp patch beneath where he is hiding. The screen lid is covered 80-90% or so with plastic wrap. It has never dried out in there, so I think this is good.


I have photos uploading but they are taking time.
 

pannaking22

Arachnoemperor
Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Messages
4,155
What temp is he at? He could have a molt coming, though whips will occasionally go quite a while without eating anything. As long as you keep decent humidity in there he should be alright. Once he hangs and begins to molt, it will only take a few hours to complete.
 

Nick H

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
215
It's possible he's in pre-molt. It's also possible that he's not eating because he is having a hard time hunting without his whips. Did you injure the feeders before giving them to him?
 

CABIV

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
94
I apologize for never posting the pictures. Tonight when I got home (2 AM), I looked over at my whipspider's enclosure, and my heart sank. I saw him hanging limply....

Until I turned on my flashlight. He did it! I took a few bad photos because I didn't want to disturb him too much, but he has his whips back, and looks an awesome black/blue/green! His exuvia was in the light, and his new dark skin blended in with the shadows.

It really did give me a jump scare, because he normally wouldn't "hang around" like that, but it was just his empty skin. I wish I could have seen it happen. He would have been in broad view if I were around for it (but then, maybe he was waiting for a quiet period when I wasn't around!) I would love to know how those whips unfurled from the stumps he had!

It probably tells me in the books, but how long should I wait before I give him food or anything? the usual week as applies to tarantulas good? I'm just glad he is OK, and I'm super hyped. I'm not sure he grew much bigger, but then he was pretty big when I got him so he is probably beyond that growth stage.

I will post them tomorrow, as its now getting to be 2:30 and I need to sleep! Thanks for the advice!
 
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