Death process in MM?

KristinaMG

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Hello all. I used to post semi-regularly here but have been busy the last number of months. I've been in the hobby for about 2 years. I have three MF tarantulas, but most of the rest are juveniles (having been growing them from itty bitty slings). I have an OBT named Sunny. I have never been able to sex him because he would keep all his molts deep in his web tunnel for ages so I only ever see them when it's time to rehouse and they are too crunchy to take a look at.

I'm wondering if he's a MM and if he's dying (of old age). For a while he was climbing all over, especially on the lid of the enclosure, which he'd bang on. I'm guessing he had the urge to mate? But for about 2 months now he's been listless, doesn't web, rarely eats, very sedentary. His appearance has drastically deteriorated. From gorgeous vibrant orange to now losing most of his hairs and what remains has no luster. He also looks..sickly? I don't know. I've attached pics, one taken 18 months ago when he looked incredible, and one taken this morning showing how he looks now.

Is this what it looks like when a T is dying of old age? Or is he sick?



 

Toxoderidae

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Can you post a picture of the full enclosure? Looks too bright to be a MM, and in your first image the substrate is moist, like Haploplema moist. I'd say not MM, but improperly cared for female.
 

KristinaMG

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Can you post a picture of the full enclosure? Looks too bright to be a MM, and in your first image the substrate is moist, like Haploplema moist. I'd say not MM, but improperly cared for female.
Ugh the issue with posting on AB, you get to waste time explaining enclosure. The first pic was when we got home from the reptile shop where I bought him. I agreed that sub was too moist. He was rehoused into dry sub with a water dish. Has been in bone dry sub with a water dish ever since. Current enclosure much larger than the one he came in also.
 

KristinaMG

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This is him exactly a year ago (6 months after I had acquired him). It wasn't until about 4-5 months ago that I noticed him beginning to decline like this. Care-wise, nothing had changed.

 

Toxoderidae

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This is him exactly a year ago (6 months after I had acquired him). It wasn't until about 4-5 months ago that I noticed him beginning to decline like this. Care-wise, nothing had changed.

I still would like an image of the full enclosure, because with a well-housed pet tarantula, it should NEVER lose hairs like that. Asking for full images of the enclosure is just to ensure it is being cared for properly, not to be annoying. Its far from a waste of time, as its saved many spiders.
 

viper69

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What kind of container and lid is that? Haven't seen that based on the pic.
 

14pokies

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it should NEVER lose hairs like that.
MMs will lose hair like that sometimes.. I've seen it with so many species it's not worth writing a list.. Old and new world..

@KristinaMG I would guess from his appearance and the behavior you have described that he is infact a MM close to the end of his life.. Seeing the palps is the only way to know for sure though..
 

Andrea82

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My MM P.cambridgei also has bald areas on his legs. He is over one and a half years mature and looks just as shabby. I think the difference in appearance is less with P.cambridgei already drab colors to shabby, than a MM P.murinus. it is way more obvious on a vibrant coloured T of course.

It may be nearing its time, but don't be fooled by appearances...my P.cam still lashes out pretty quick when he wants to :p
 

Toxoderidae

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MMs will lose hair like that sometimes.. I've seen it with so many species it's not worth writing a list.. Old and new world..

@KristinaMG I would guess from his appearance and the behavior you have described that he is infact a MM close to the end of his life.. Seeing the palps is the only way to know for sure though..
Did not know this! Only had one MM, and he was WC so I just chalked his lack of hairs to being from n a t u r e
 

louise f

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@KristinaMG This looks very much a MM, but to know 100% sure you will have to take a pic of the pedipalps. Looks like this

tumblr_mb3d3nKPGP1qgxyxw.png

Now If it is a MM you have it will have boxing gloves. On the pedipalps.
 

KristinaMG

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I still would like an image of the full enclosure, because with a well-housed pet tarantula, it should NEVER lose hairs like that. Asking for full images of the enclosure is just to ensure it is being cared for properly, not to be annoying. Its far from a waste of time, as its saved many spiders.
Yeah when I get a chance I can take a pic of enclosure.. but I'm pretty confident in my husbandry, so I had hoped to focus on the issue at hand.
 

KristinaMG

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Thanks to all who confirmed that this can be normal for an aging MM. That makes me feel a bit better, as I'd hate to learn that he might be sick or something. He's one of my favorites and I will miss him when he's gone.
 

Teal

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Maybe it's just me, but my heart breaks when people don't even attempt to trade/sell MMs if they don't have AFs of the same species. Hearing a MM drum on his enclosure is just about the saddest thing ever.

I agree that his behaviour sounds spot on for a mature male nearing the end of his life, and his apperance matches that theory.
 

EulersK

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Maybe it's just me, but my heart breaks when people don't even attempt to trade/sell MMs if they don't have AFs of the same species. Hearing a MM drum on his enclosure is just about the saddest thing ever.

I agree that his behaviour sounds spot on for a mature male nearing the end of his life, and his apperance matches that theory.
I let one male die of old age after nearly two years - a C. andersoni. I won't be doing that again. I always ship off my males or attempt a pairing myself. I've got a MM E. truculentus that I've already successfully paired with my female, but he's still drumming and wandering like mad every night. I can't find anyone who could make use of him, so I'm very much considering pairing them again even with the increased risk of her tagging him.
 

Teal

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I let one male die of old age after nearly two years - a C. andersoni. I won't be doing that again. I always ship off my males or attempt a pairing myself. I've got a MM E. truculentus that I've already successfully paired with my female, but he's still drumming and wandering like mad every night. I can't find anyone who could make use of him, so I'm very much considering pairing them again even with the increased risk of her tagging him.
Were I in that situation, I would pair them again. I prefer males getting munched to dying of old age, honestly. If I ever have a MM that no one can make use of, I'll likely euthanize him before it gets too bad. I cannot explain why it bothers me so deeply, except that it reminds me of that frog who was the last of his species and eventually stopped calling for a mate *sniffles*
 

EulersK

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Were I in that situation, I would pair them again. I prefer males getting munched to dying of old age, honestly. If I ever have a MM that no one can make use of, I'll likely euthanize him before it gets too bad. I cannot explain why it bothers me so deeply, except that it reminds me of that frog who was the last of his species and eventually stopped calling for a mate *sniffles*
While it definitely decreased in frequency over time, my C. andersoni was drumming until the day he died. At that point, had I put him with a female, he certainly would have been lunch. He didn't care, he wanted to try. Gotta give them credit.
 

Andrea82

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I put him up for trade, but there wasn't a keeper/breeder interested sadly. Apparently there were enough P.cambridgei MM around.
My L.parahybana male will also not be paired due to the over abundance of this species. And then we have my surprise
male B.albopilosum who was supposed to be female, but hooked out a few months ago.
So now I have a 'bachelor apartment building', consisting of the three males stacked up :)
 

cold blood

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Personally I'd go to the bathtub, pull it out and put it in a deli cup so I could be sure....until you are sure, advice is really just a bunch of random guesses.

I've also had MMs lose hair and end up with shiny black limbs....but with this, the skin shouldn't be black unless its heavy pre-molt. Not only was it bright, but it doesn't have that classic small abdomen you generally see in a MM (although its not too far off)....could just be about to molt.

I remember you from a while back, and I also trust that this isn't a husbandry issue.....If we could be sure its not a MM, it would make help a lot more, well, helpful.
 

KristinaMG

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Personally I'd go to the bathtub, pull it out and put it in a deli cup so I could be sure....until you are sure, advice is really just a bunch of random guesses.

I've also had MMs lose hair and end up with shiny black limbs....but with this, the skin shouldn't be black unless its heavy pre-molt. Not only was it bright, but it doesn't have that classic small abdomen you generally see in a MM (although its not too far off)....could just be about to molt.

I remember you from a while back, and I also trust that this isn't a husbandry issue.....If we could be sure its not a MM, it would make help a lot more, well, helpful.
Thanks, that's a good idea. Will update when I do. Just had sinus surgery yesterday so I would ask all to excuse my slow replies/lack of providing immediate pics.
 
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