Fang RIP--What happened

cwhittington

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 15, 2002
Messages
2
My rose-haired tarantula, Fang, went to his reward after we had had him for about 10 months. He was a male and had molted once after we got him. He seemed to become frantic, running wildly around the cage, for several weeks, then seemed to lose weight and kind of fade away. He was an enchanting animal and I would love to have another tarantula at some point, but I am worried that we might have done something wrong. We gave him pet store crickets, kept his water dish full, his substrate moist, and had a heater on the bottom of his cage. We used the cage and substrate that came from Carolina Biological, the company from which we ordered him.

I would appreciate any advice about what might have happened and whether we ought to try again.
 

Joy

Priestess of Pulchra-tude
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 12, 2002
Messages
903
Chances are you did nothing wrong. Male tarantulas simply don't live very long as a rule, and according to some sources 10 months is actually longer than the average. I hope you won't let it dissuade you from getting another tarantula. They are charming creatures, as you say, and if you are careful to get a female this time there is no reason why it should not be with you for many years.

Joy
 

MrDeranged

He Who Rules
Staff member
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Jul 16, 2002
Messages
1,941
Hi and welcome to the Arachnoboards,

There is likely nothing you could have done for him, nor anything done wrong on your part. When a male tarantula has it's maturing molt, the clock starts ticking. Once mature, male T's have one biological need and that is the need to breed. The pacing around the enclosure your encountered was likely this T trying to get out to search for a mate.

While nothing in the way you cared for your T probably had anything to do with his demise, there are a few things you might want to change if you try again.

Rosehair tarantulas are a dryland species and do not need a moist substrate. In fact, most of them do not like any moisture in the substrate at all and many will pace the side of the enclosure if you give them one until it drys out.

Heater on the bottom of the enclosure is a bad idea. A t's natural instinct to escaping heat is to go down. If the T went to escape the heat in a situation where the heat source is underneath the tank, it would effectively be cooking itself by actually going closer to the heat source it was trying to escape in the first place. It is much better to place a heat source on the side or back of the enclosure if you're going to use one. On another note, if the room temperature where you're keeping the T is between 70 and 80 degrees F, there is no need for a secondary heating source as this temperature range is fine for them.

Once again, I'm sorry to hear about your losing your pet, but he was unfortunately at the end of his life span. Nothing you could have done.

Scott
 

betelgeuse

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 7, 2002
Messages
12
I agree with Joy. It sounds as though your male matured. You can tell when a male is mature because the ends of the pedipalps become "stumpy" like boxing gloves and, in a lot of species, the two front legs have hooks on them. The spider will lose weight and will often drastically reduce its appetite. The only thing that the spider wants to do is to find a mate, which is why it will run about the tank trying to get out and find a female. Joy is correct in that, once mature, they do not live for long and it is extremely rare (although I think that Joy once managed it, but with complications) for a mature male to moult again once mature. In the wild of course a mature male will live for even less as his constant wanderings will make him prone to predation. Take a close look the next time you see a house spider scuttling across the living room floor as it is probably a wandering male.
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
Carolina Biological! Yikes! They're a great company for equipment and supplies, but their live animal prices are absurd...Last time I looked, they were selling chillean rose's for $45! This is about 4 times the average pet store price, and about 8 times the average dealer price.

Wade
 

cwhittington

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 15, 2002
Messages
2
Regarding Carolina Biological--at the time we acquired Fang we were living in Maine and Maine regulations are such that tarantulas need to come from a company that breeds and sells them for educational purposes. At least that's what I was advised to do by an entomologist who keeps tarantulas as pets. So I ordered him from Carolina Biological and he came in the mail, causing quite a stir in the library where I worked. Of course, I didn't know he was a "he" until his last molt. He did have the "boxing glove" pedipalps and the spurs described below.

Now that I live in NC, which is more tarantula-friendly than Maine, I welcome suggestions as so how to acquire a female rosy hair. (The reason I specify rosy hair is that I understand them to be easier for the novice).

Thanks for your patience with the questions from the new arachnophile.

Chris
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
The rose (Latin name: Grammostola rosea) is probably the most comonly sold tarantula in the US, so you should have no problem finding one at a pet store, but the employees are often missinformed and probably will not be able to sex one for you. Of course, you already know how to recognize a mature male, you can pick out the biggest one you can find w/o spurs and hope for the best.

The other route to take would be to order the spider from a specialist dealer, check the "Dealer Reviews" here on arachnopets to learn abut some of them. A GOOD dealer will have the ability to sex the spider in advance of shipping it. The vast majority of G. rosea available are wild-caught imports, including those sold by Carolina, but some dealers may have captive bred spiderlings as well.

Anyway, good luck!

Wade
 

mebebraz

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 27, 2002
Messages
551
Hi Chris, sorry to hear about your loss, I have a few females and I am more than willing to give you one, free of charge, you just pay shipping. I didnt want to post this but I have yet to figure out how to e-mail someone from a thread.:8o


Email me at
mebebraz@netzero.net
 

MrDeranged

He Who Rules
Staff member
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Messages
1,941
Originally posted by mebebraz
I have yet to figure out how to e-mail someone from a thread.:8o
If the person is set up to accept emails from board users, you should see a little button at the bottom of the users post that says email. By clicking on that, it will take you to a form where you can send the user an email. If you don't see that icon, it means they have email access turned off. At that point, you can use the PM button which will send them a Private Message. If neither button is there, you can always ask me to foward the person an email and I'd be happy to.

Any Questions, just ask :)

Scott
 
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