Damon diadema pre molt and post molt info

Veribug

Arachnosquire
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Mar 14, 2016
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Hello everyone :)

So as a first time amblypygi keeper I actually struggled to find detailed info on D diadema pre/post molt care so I'm making this post to share my observations and also ask for help.

My observations of pre-molt:

- She stopped hunting aggressively at least 6 weeks before she molted.
- She would however pick up pre-killed crickets once every 2 weeks and half eat them. Possibly for moisture as she never drinks when I mist.
- In the last 1-2weeks before the molt she struggled to get around; her back legs lost their mobility and she stumbled around a bit on the polystyrene wall. When they say lethargic, she almost seemed unwell.

Now I have a question: Mine molted somewhere in the last 24-48hrs and although she's regained her dark colour, I don't know when is the appropriate time to try feeding her. Should I treat her similar to a T and wait a week? Or can it be sooner? I always find it hard to find this info so I'd love to hear from seasoned ambly owners :) thanks!
 

chanda

Arachnoprince
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Your observations are interesting. I've been keeping D. diadema for several years now, have bred them and raised the offspring to adulthood, but I've never noticed that sort of pre-molt behavior. Usually they just surprise me - I look in one morning and they mysteriously appear to have gained a roommate.

I only have cork bark in their cages, so maybe they can get a better grip on that than on the styro, so that may be why I've never noticed a loss of mobility.

I've also never really noticed them to stop feeding for any length of time, though they aren't terribly aggressive feeders. I drop in the crickets and eventually they disappear. It's possible they've stopped feeding, but their cricket roommates are good at keeping out of sight.

As far as post-molt feeding, I usually just give them a couple of days. They are much smaller than the Ts, with much smaller chelicerae, so it shouldn't take as long to sclerotize.
 

Veribug

Arachnosquire
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Mar 14, 2016
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Yes, I did think it was probably down to the styro. I was initially concerned and was close to posting as it had been such a long period of time but then she surprised me. I actually thought she'd died - I found the molt on the floor and I was initially so worried it was her ahaha.

I felt like her pre molt lasted way longer than I expected though. I was only expecting a couple of weeks of lethargic behaviour but it was much more than that. Either way I thought it would be a good idea to share it because she seems totally fine now that she's out of her old skin.

I can't leave crickets unattended in the tank though because they have a way of getting down the back of the styro and out of sight of my whip. I'm hoping to sort that soon but it has provided slight feeding problems - I'd sit with her to make absolutely sure she wasn't hungry before taking it out.

And thanks for the info on feeding!
 

Aquarimax

Arachnoprince
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- She stopped hunting aggressively at least 6 weeks before she molted.

- In the last 1-2weeks before the molt she struggled to get around; her back legs lost their mobility and she stumbled around a bit on the polystyrene wall. When they say lethargic, she almost seemed unwell.

Now I have a question: Mine molted somewhere in the last 24-48hrs and although she's regained her dark colour, I don't know when is the appropriate time to try feeding her. Should I treat her similar to a T and wait a week? Or can it be sooner?
I've been keeping 3 D. diadema for a little over a year, so I don't know if that counts as 'seasoned,' but I hope I can contribute to the conversation.

How old is your ambly? I wonder if age/size have on pre-molt and molt behavior. Mine were minuscule when I got them, so they're still my quite mature.

I have noticed that two of my D. diadema tend to go off of their food for a week or two during pre-molt, and the most aggressive feeder has eaten up until 24-48 hours before molting.

I have noticed sluggishness during premolt, but never compromised mobility. I have 2 of my Amblies on styrofoam backgrounds and one on cork bark.

I usually wait 3 days after a molt before offering food. If I observe stalking behavior, I assume--usually correctly--that the ambly will dispatch the cricket within a short time. If the ambly is disinterested, I remove the cricket and wait 3-4 more days before offering food again. By that time, the ambly attacks the cricket with gusto.
 

Veribug

Arachnosquire
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Mar 14, 2016
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I actually don't know her age. Her body length was an inch before her molt but that's all I know. I only purchased her about three/four months ago so it's difficult to pinpoint her behaviour but she was eating well for the first few weeks after she arrived.

I'm also wondering if temperature could be a factor. I'm in the UK so temperatures fluctuate a lot. Generally speaking it's on the cooler side.

I only noticed her back leg(s) having trouble about 1-2 days before a molt thinking about it so I guess it was just her hormones getting so close to that time? Sluggishness to the extreme...?
 

Aquarimax

Arachnoprince
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I actually don't know her age. Her body length was an inch before her molt but that's all I know. I only purchased her about three/four months ago so it's difficult to pinpoint her behaviour but she was eating well for the first few weeks after she arrived.

I'm also wondering if temperature could be a factor. I'm in the UK so temperatures fluctuate a lot. Generally speaking it's on the cooler side.

I only noticed her back leg(s) having trouble about 1-2 days before a molt thinking about it so I guess it was just her hormones getting so close to that time? Sluggishness to the extreme...?
It sounds like your ambly was fairly close to maturity when you got her then...and I agree, cooler temperatures could decrease appetite and might even influence the length of the molting process quite a bit.
 

Nick H

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Feb 12, 2016
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I only have one ambly. I got it back in early march as a 3rd or 4th instar and he's now a 6th or 7th instar, so not exactly an expert here, but I've observed a few molts. The first molt under my care, he didn't eat for about two weeks before molting. The second molt, he seemed to try to catch crickets right up until the molt, but either wasn't able to catch them or wasn't trying hard enough for a few days before the molt. The latest molt, he ate about a day and a half before he molted, but it took several, several attempts before he finally caught the cricket.

The main signal for me that a molt is imminent is when the abdomen balloons.

I have noticed something else that I've never heard anyone else mention. A week or two before the molt I notice that the exoskeleton on the prosthoma turns a little white, almost as if there's a thin layer of mold on it, or as if it gets really dried out or something. Maybe it's starting to come loose or something? Anyone else ever notice that? I keep humidity very high and every molt has gone on without a hitch, so I'm not worried I'm doing anything wrong. At first it freaked me out, but not anymore.
 

tetracerus

Arachnosquire
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May 16, 2016
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I have noticed something else that I've never heard anyone else mention. A week or two before the molt I notice that the exoskeleton on the prosthoma turns a little white, almost as if there's a thin layer of mold on it, or as if it gets really dried out or something. Maybe it's starting to come loose or something? Anyone else ever notice that? I keep humidity very high and every molt has gone on without a hitch, so I'm not worried I'm doing anything wrong. At first it freaked me out, but not anymore.
This photo is from before the molt. In retrospect, it does look a little loose.

image.jpeg

I didn't really notice any other strange behavior. I was actually surprised to find the molt one morning.
 

Veribug

Arachnosquire
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Mar 14, 2016
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This photo is from before the molt. In retrospect, it does look a little loose.

View attachment 218484

I didn't really notice any other strange behavior. I was actually surprised to find the molt one morning.
Wow! Not seen this but a nice addition to this thread. My ambly has been ravenous ever since the molt. I still don't know why it wouldn't take crickets properly for so long - it was incredibly lethargic and mostly showed a disinterest in food. I thought maybe size was the issue but it's been rugby tackling all sizes since the molt. At least it is fine now.
 
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