G. pulchra - What are the chances....

Poolnymph

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
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My pulchra (female), after her last molt, is now approximately 15cm (L Leg I to R Leg IV).

Although she is docile and I have handled her before, her fangs are HUGE! Which to be honest, makes me a tad nervous to handle her now.

As a rule, I don't do any scooping or cupping techniques to pick her up, I usually just guide her onto a plastic lid and from there she calmly walks onto my hand - so she doesn't feel restricted and can move easily. I always keep my thumbs tucked against my hand to prevent them from brushing against her fangs, but my thumbs do bend backwards a bit.

She's recently started feeding on superworms, as an addition and variety to her diet, and she loves them and attacks them with great relish!

What I want to know (and this will sound stupid, I'm sure), is what are the chances of her mistaking my little finger or thumb as a superworm / snack!?

Also, I stopped handling her when she stopped eating (I suspected the upcoming molt) and she did molt on 11 Jan 2007 - I haven't handled her since, as initially I wanted to give her time to "relax", start eating and de-stress after the molt....now I'm just nervous, also partially because I hear some T's can change temperament after a molt (and she's always been a sweetie)

Am I being nervous for nothing (I'm an ex-arachnaphobe) or am I right to be quacking in my pants!?{D {D

Here's a pic of Muerta about a month before her molt...

 

Windchaser

Arachnoking
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Dec 13, 2004
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Virtually zero. Tarantulas senses are quite keen and can easily distinguish your finger from a superworm. You will not get bitten because it confuses your finger with food. That is not to say that she couldn't still bite you, but not because it mistook you for food.
 

cheetah13mo

Arachnoking
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Oct 10, 2006
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They have an excellent sense of touch and can easily tell the difference between food and a finger. If she ever bites you, she did it on purpose.
 

Katronmaster

Arachnoknight
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Aug 21, 2005
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I've yet to have a T mistake a finger for a pinky mouse or super worm (Or any manner of food) , I think they probably notice we're a bit warmer or have some way of knowing.

If you want to be sure if she's gotten nasty or not, lightly guide her around her tank with a soft paint brush or similar. If she goes threat or kicks hairs or even bolts too fast, it's best to not use her for handling. If she's good with it, I say try it when you are feeling fairly calm, and even then keep it to a couch or on the floor just in case.

Though I've only even heard of a handful of G. Pulchra with 'attitudes' to begin with.

Good luck with her! She's lovely.
 

Poolnymph

Arachnopeon
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Sep 18, 2006
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Virtually zero. Tarantulas senses are quite keen and can easily distinguish your finger from a superworm. You will not get bitten because it confuses your finger with food. That is not to say that she couldn't still bite you, but not because it mistook you for food.
Thanks a mil Windchaser!:D Now I feel more settled...maybe I should do myself a favour and NOT watch her eat!{D
I know there's always a risk of being bitten by any of my T's, but she's my first really "big" one (my other T's I got as slings/juvies, so we've "grown" together, or are OW, so I don't handle them), which adds to my nervousness and like I said earlier I give her room to move and I avoid sudden movements, so as not to scare her or make her nervous.

I really enjoy handling her from time to time and she really epitomises the "gentle giant" idea of Tarantulas, she's always been amazing to feel moving from one hand to the other, or just resting on my leg.

Thanks Again!:D *Poolnymph skips off into the distance singing "I'm not a superworm, I'm not a superworm!*
 

Mina

Arachnoking
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You are right to be cautious, some of my T's have changed attitudes after moulting. My male A. genic, my biggest female G. rosea, and my female E. campestratus all changed attitudes after moulting. The genic went from walking over my hand while I was doing maintenance to going into kicking threat pose if I even fill his water. Both of the girls do the same thing now, if I approach them from behind and try to get them to walk onto the opposite hand, they will slap at my hand with their front legs. The campestratus has actually pushed my hand away from her. Be careful and feel out your T's temperment before trying to handle, give her plenty of time and room to make it clear what she wants.
 

Poolnymph

Arachnopeon
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Sep 18, 2006
Messages
48
Cheetah, Katronmaster and Mina - Thank You too for your advise!

Katronmaster, thanks for the compliment...to my knowledge she is only one of 4 pulchra's in South Africa at the moment (yes, she's captive bred:D ) So, I'm truely lucky to have her.

Yesterday I went to check on her (which I do everyday:D ) and she was lying so quietly half on the peat and half against the glass, I was concerned and she never budged. I used a long artists paintbrush (one I use to guide my Baboon T) and gently touched the tip of of RII, she spun around and half "charged", well I don't know who got the bigger fright...me or her!
I've just used another even softer artists brush now and she was fine...in fact she tried to climb it (her fangs never extended though) and walked around the tank, gently touching the bristles with her pedipals and RI & RII...she did however, leave a "web trail" behind her as she went....is there any relvance in all this.

It's also been alot hotter here than usual (averaging 35 - 37 degrees celcius), but her peat is moist and she has a full fresh water dish, which she can climb into without drowning. Also she's been digging in the front right corner (downwards) of her tank...she's almost reached the bottom! She's now also started on the left back corner.

Is this normal behaviour? or could the heat be irritating her?:?
 

Windchaser

Arachnoking
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Dec 13, 2004
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Now if you really want to see intimidating fangs take a look at a large T. blondi or T. apophysis. The fangs on the last molt of my female T. apophysis measured a little longer than 3/4 of an inch. It addition to the rather large fangs, she has an attitude to boot.
 

Poolnymph

Arachnopeon
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Sep 18, 2006
Messages
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Now if you really want to see intimidating fangs take a look at a large T. blondi or T. apophysis. The fangs on the last molt of my female T. apophysis measured a little longer than 3/4 of an inch. It addition to the rather large fangs, she has an attitude to boot.
{D I'll take your word for it Windchaser! My L. parahybana (Havana) I've has since a sling, about 1.5cm and is now nearing 5cm (they weren't kidding when they said "fast growing") and I will probably only handle Havana for a little while longer...for her sake and mine!{D

3/4 of an inch.....Hmmm, definately a T you just smile and wave at!:D

I think my "thing" with fangs stems from my arachnaphobe days...fangs and eyes were a particularly "delicate" areas for me.
 
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