G. porteri: Quick molting turnaround?

Estein

Arachnoknight
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Feb 11, 2016
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154
Hey all! My adult female G. porteri is behaving in some ways like she's in premolt though it seems to me to be a fairly quick turnaround--I was hoping to get some of y'all's thoughts on the matter.

She has been refusing food for a couple of weeks now, which, despite the species' propensity for fasting, she has only ever done while in premolt. She also hasn't been her usual chill self lately--yesterday I touched her with a paintbrush and she immediately put up a threat display, which she has never done before. On the other hand, she just molted this past October, so to me it seems like a quick succession of molts for an adult. Her abdomen is looking a little larger, but doesn't have that stretched shiny appearance yet.

Otherwise, she seems perfectly healthy, so I'm wondering if anyone has any insights as to whether this could be premolt or just a cranky bout of fasting. If there are any questions about temperature, the house usually fluctuates with the outside temperature: around 80F midday and 70F overnight.

Thanks, everybody!
 

Vanessa

Grammostola Groupie
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She could be in pre-moult or a cranky bout of fasting. Sorry, but they're individuals and trying to guess what is going through her little arachnid brain is not something that I pretend to know.
You could post a photo and people might be able to tell if she is in pre-moult from it. However, my experience with adults of this species (anything beyond about 8 years) is that they moult once a year at best.
Also, two weeks without food is not a fast. She could just be full and not hungry. Try leaving her off the feeding schedule for a couple of weeks, or a month, and see if she takes food then. Please make sure she always has water.
This is a species infamous for changing character on a dime without reason. Her attitude might be permanent, so take the necessary precautions.
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
154
She could be in pre-moult or a cranky bout of fasting. Sorry, but they're individuals and trying to guess what is going through her little arachnid brain is not something that I pretend to know.
You could post a photo and people might be able to tell if she is in pre-moult from it. However, my experience with adults of this species (anything beyond about 8 years) is that they moult once a year at best.
Also, two weeks without food is not a fast. She could just be full and not hungry. Try leaving her off the feeding schedule for a couple of weeks, or a month, and see if she takes food then. Please make sure she always has water.
This is a species infamous for changing character on a dime without reason. Her attitude might be permanent, so take the necessary precautions.
Thanks for your thoughts. And as you're correct in pointing out that they are individuals, I should also add that for this particular spider, refusing food for two weeks on top of her regular feeding schedule is fasting for her. And she does always have water--thanks for checking! I should add that although I assume she is an adult because of her size and reproductive maturity (unless there's another measure of adulthood besides reproductive maturity--thoughts?), I don't actually know her age--she's a PetCo gal--and I assume somewhere between five and ten years. I suppose I'll have to wait and see what happens. Thank you again for your input!
 

Vanessa

Grammostola Groupie
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I lived with a G. porteri, Evelyn, for almost 17 years and she was an adult when I got her. She would moult yearly, usually around November, at best, but often went two years and then three years.
Evelyn ate like clockwork for years with me. I would feed her weekly, sometimes skipping a week, and she never turned down a meal. I remember thinking 'What is all this fasting that I am reading about when my girl can't get enough food?'.
Then, out of the blue, Evelyn stopped eating. At first it was for a few weeks and then she would go back to normal and eat everything in sight. Then, a few months later she would fast again, but this time for much longer. I finally understood what people were saying. It isn't that they don't have an appetite when they are eating - they just up and fast for no logical reason whatsoever. I just kept on trying to feed her once every couple of weeks and kept taking the food back out again. It was easy when I had other spiders, but got to be horrible when I didn't. I would go in and buy two large crickets or one large hornworm. I'm sure they laughed at me.
There truly is no rhyme or reason to their fasting. You just have to roll with it. Keep trying to feed her and be patient. She will start eating again at some point. Keep an eye on her abdomen and start getting concerned when it gets small.
I am only partially kidding when I say that their purpose on this planet is to teach us patience.
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
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Feb 11, 2016
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154
I see what you mean about having the fasting get stressful with only having the spider to feed--my only other T is a sling so I can't really buy food that will work equally well for the both of them. As for learning patience from the Ts, I wholeheartedly agree--my first few weeks as a keeper were riddled with stress because I hadn't considered what it might be like to keep an animal that doesn't even noticeably breathe! Thanks again to you (and Evelyn) for your experience and encouraging words--makes me glad to be part of such a knowledgeable community. :)
 

Estein

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
154
An update: She did molt! I was surprised by the quick turnaround, but happy to have a healthy girl with a beautiful new suit!
 
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