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Gorgyrella sp. - black pictures and observation

Discussion in 'Other Spiders & Arachnids' started by Ambly, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Ciphor

    Ciphor Arachnoprince

    I recommend 70/30 peat/vermiculite. The vermic really helps the tall soil stay hydrated. Pure peat would probably be fine too. I would not recommend sand but I don't see why it would cause a rejection.

    I personally would remove spider (its already stressed being out and about) and re-substrate with no sand. I would use a broom handle or something similar to make a deep burrow that the spider can just walk into and web up.

    Maybe someone already asked this, but have you checked the pedipalps to see if this is a mature male?
  2. spiderengineer

    spiderengineer Arachnoangel

    the pic the op posted doesn't appear to be mature male.
  3. Ciphor

    Ciphor Arachnoprince

    Ahh, probably externally hosted so I can't see it.
  4. The spider is not mature, and I agree it is time to rehome. I will do the peat/vermiculite mix - I have both on hand for my amblypygids as it is.

    Initially, I mixed a small bit of sand, maybe 1/15 cups, as suggestion of something I read keeping Gorgyrella, as well as some ground up dried leaves (very fine).

    I will let you all know how rehoming goes and the new susbstrate.
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  5. I rehomed my Gorgyrella 2 weeks ago in a peat, vermiculite mix with some dried, boiled, and baked live oak leaves. I was hoping it would naturally dig, but a week and a half went by with no digging. I added a cricket it hopes it would eat, as well as creating a manmade hole. It has been over a month and a half since it surfaced and left it's burrow - it has been in a dark space most of this time.

    I did all of this as minimally invasive as possible - though still fairly invasive. Yesterday, I removed the cricket for obvious reasons and sacrificed it to an amblypygi. Almost immediately after removing the cricket, the spider began moving more than I had ever seen it move - though not frantic movement. I watched for the next hour as the spider roved around a bit, went in and out of the burrow, and by late that evening it had taken to the burrow. This morning, the entrance has a good deal of webbing. I'll take some photographs of the build process if possible.

    This may be horribly uninteresting to you all - and let me know if it is. I have been keeping herps my whole life but am new to spiders. I have read no real observational accounts on these spiders other than "it's a pet hole." This may be uninteresting or common knowledge, therefore not discussed. I am soon receiving a cyclocosmia sling and am interested to see a life time observation of one of these spiders.
  6. freedumbdclxvi

    freedumbdclxvi Arachnoprince

    If we found it boring, we wouldn't be here. :) keep the updates coming.
  7. Alright so a real update - but prefaced with a question. Who here has watched their trapdoor making it's trap door, digging, or doing anything other than feeding (please elaborate)? I have never witnessed any of the construction process from any of these spiders, nor pursewebs (soon to come;) and figure that would be one of the most fascinating parts of keeping them. I don't know what people/scientific community/trade know about these spiders, and the information I have found is limited. I have read some lit. on geographic distribution and different species. Either way...

    I went home for lunch and my trapdoor had built a lid. The lid looked flimsy, mostly made of webbing and substrate, and a leaf loosely attached. 20 minutes later it had made some significant adjustments and I was able to capture some fairly decent video of the process. Excuse the short periods of poor focus and when the spider is in the hole.

    I suggest you do not enlarge the video for better quality.

    Video 1, the spider is moving it's spinnerets along the lid. (around 25 seconds is best)

    Video 2, the spider seems to be almost folding, or pressing down on the entrance in areas it had previously webbed. First it is adjusting the ground, then it is upsides down adjusting the lid. The video is too poor to show it's chelicerae moving and all.

    I find it interesting that all the time in the dark, it choose to build its door during the daylight. As seen in the video, it is next to one of my dart frog tanks.

    Thoughts? Enjoy
  8. spiderengineer

    spiderengineer Arachnoangel

    first Two videos of one mine digging its burrow. it was throwing dirt pretty hard



    This is another one of mine I caught making the lid and closing the lid at the end, I had to use my phone for this one so it not the best quality.

  9. Wow, I didn't know they could throw dirt like that! I couldn't help but laugh 'cause it almost seemed like it was throwing the dirt at you to get you to leave it alone. XD
  10. spiderengineer

    spiderengineer Arachnoangel

    I thought so to, but I could defenitly feel the impact of the dirt hitting me it was interesting to experience.
  11. That was awesome. I see your substrate is like a dense, moist humus. The brand of peat I have is verrry milled and fine, and I cut it with vermiculite! I think your substrate is more appropriate. I have never seen this spider burrow nor have I been able to find any literature on how it does dig/excavate. I can see that a substrate that is pliable to be made into little balls of dirt (peds? haha) may be much better. If my spider resurfaces, I will consider a different substrate. Absolutely awesome how it flicks the dirt away. Sweet video - this is the kinda stuff I wanted to see shared. I think videos, documentation - even in a rough, experimental way as mine posted in a thread - can be very helpful to those looking to keep these spiders healthy.

    Good to know for the incoming Cyclocosmia. I have contacted some folks keeping them but received no response regarding substrate or specific living conditions. My best bet would be to study the soils in their region. In contrast with Gorgyrella and others, I believe there is some good literature publicly available regarding biology, distribution and soil types of the spider. Probably because it is an interesting and potentially threatened species?

    Intrigued to hear more of your experiences. So far, I've had a lot more than pet dirt. It's been a pretty cool thing to observe and learn about - exciting enough for someone who only spends a few short hours in the house awake to enjoy.
  12. spiderengineer

    spiderengineer Arachnoangel

    I used 100% sphagnum peat moss that I get at my local nursery. so nothing fancy I think its a commercial brand so you should be able to find it. the key to making it good for them and for burrowers tarantula as well. Is to pack it down a lot and well and a saturate the soil. so that you that its like concrete before they are introduce into the enclosure. that's all I do and then just do what they naturally do.
  13. to make this thread more useful for folks in the future:

    I bought a Ctenolophus/Gorgyrella/Black Trapdoor Spider that is common in the trade after doing some reading. Take into account where you are getting your information, as little is available on trapdoors: where they are from, species, soil type, etc. and many folks just throw them into peat moss and their spider often rejects the hole or is a weak feeder. My spider built a trapdoor, fed only occasionally and eventually rejected the hole. After rehoming in a more soil like substrate, fit for digging, the spider built a hole and trapdoor. It now feeds like an absolute beast - but taking occasional breaks that last up to several weeks. It will show you when it is hungry by leaving the door cracked.

    My best advice: find out what type of trapdoor spider you have, research as much as you can (google scholar/literature helps with locale/soil type if you can get genera on your spider), and find out what environment they live in. Provide proper soil, slope if they use it, and leaf litter similar to native plants.

    My spiders are active, making adjustments to their surroundings every few nights at least. Some incorporate leaves into their lids, which they adjust frequently, and arrange them around the lid as feelers.

    While attempting to create realistic habitat can sometimes take away from the life of an animal in captivity, aiming for realistic habitat in trapdoors makes them much more enjoyable to keep.

    I'll soon take some high def videos of my native Virginia trapdoor, Cyclocosmia torreya, and Ctenolophus sp. Nothing like hearing the smack against the hard clay as the native one nails a cricket...
    • Like Like x 1
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