H. gigas feeding behaviors

galeogirl

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Once again my H. gigas sling has managed to impress me with its hunting style. A month or so ago I watched it rear up on its hindlegs to knock a moth to the floor of its cage, then pounce on it. Tonight I watched it dig up a waxworm that had burrowed down into the peat. The spider must have felt it move as it was walking around its enclosure because it stopped walking and started digging furiously until it came up with the waxworm in its jaws. I've kept these spiders for years and I am always impressed with their tenacity when it comes to bringing down prey.
 

Mojo Jojo

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Wow! There have been 667 views of this post and not a single reply. I shall go to birdspiders.com and take a look at this particular T and then make a comment...Ah, striking T indeed! I once had an A. avicularia that went apenuts for moths. The first time that I decided to toss a moth in with it, the dang T jumped and caught the moth in mid-air.

So what is this H. gigas like? I don't know too much about them. They do somewhat remind me visually of Acanthoscurria somethingoranother...

Big Dragonfly
 

galeogirl

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I'm really biased, I love this species. They're not as colorful as other species, usually a deep red to a coffee brown with a nice velvety look when they reach adulthood. They're easy to keep so long as you give them a lot of substrate and keep them moist. They get stressed if their humidity drops too low. I keep mine in a mixture of peat and sphagnum moss that I mist daily.

They're burrowers, but they do come out at night to hunt and prowl around their cages. I see mine several times a week. Absolutely voracious hunters. Once they hit about an inch in size, they'll take on fairly large prey with no problems.

The adults can get up to about an eight-inch legspan. They're pretty defensive even when they're young, but make up for it with tons of interesting behaviors. They can actually swim and the tunnels and chambered burrows that they construct are really cool. Not too hard to breed either, so they're not an expensive addition to a collection. I wish I had a few more.
 

Immortal_sin

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I don't have any of these...but I should get some!
I am just worried about keeping them moist enough...heard too many stories about their swampy moisture requirments, I'm nervous!
But I'd love to have one, I'd like to see one swimming too. The pics I've seen are just too cool :)
 

MrDeranged

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Keeping them moist hasn't really been a problem for me. As long as you start off with substrate at the moisture level you need and don't allow it to dry out, you should be fine. I got 20 slings from Tony a couple of months back and have so far kept 19 of them alive (one died due to molting complications). Galeogirl is right about their colors. They run the gamut of the colors she mentioned and all shades in between. So far I've moved 3 of them into 16 oz. deli cups as they were really outgrowing their vials. I'm gonna have to move the other 16 very soon. You wouldn't believe how a sling could make such elaborate tunnels in a 40 dram vial, but somehow they do it. The one's in the deli cups are even more amazing. I'll try to get a couple of pics of them tonight...

Scott
 

pamandron

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This is one of my favorites. We had one last winter that was about 6 inches, and she was a blast to watch. She used to swim in her water dish. But she is missing in action. So now we have a 1.5 inch girl. She also has elaborate tunnels and enjoys playing in her water dish. I named her Sybil. They tend to have many personalities. Pam:)
 

Gail

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I just got my first two last month and I, too, think they are so fascinating. Almost 2" now that they've both molted and they have such elaborate tunnels in their little homes. I wouldn't worry on the humidity Holley, so long as you do like Scott said. I made sure my peat moss was very damp, almost wet, when I put them in and I gave them each a milk cap for a water dish. Condensation actually forms on the lid and sides their housing. I wipe it off of the lid each time I feed them but don't worry about it otherwise as they seem to really like it damp.
Both of them have lined their burrows with silk, especially at the mouths of the many entrances that they have. I was worried that since they are supposed to be a high strung species that I would have problems with the housing I chose to put them in as the lids are a little tight and make a bit of a racket when removed. I haven't though - seems they are happy with their tunnels and feel safe because when I start to take off the lids they both come to the mouth of a hole and wait. I hand them a crix with tweezers and all you see are these long legs reach out and pull it in :D

Gail
 

MrDeranged

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A word to all,

When dealing with any of the T's kept in swamplike conditions and, especially, when using peat for a substrate, keep a careful eye open for signs of foot rot. The swampy conditions have been blamed for this. It has also been speculated that the high acidic content of peat, may be worse when wet.

Scott
 

Gail

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Scott, tell more about this foot rot. I have never seen it or heard of it.

Gail
 

MrDeranged

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Basically it's an artifact of being exposed to too much moisture. Think about how pruney (wrinkled) your fingers and toes get if you stay in the bath for too long. Now think about what would happen if you never got out of that bath...

That's about the gist of it.

Scott
 

galeogirl

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I've never seen that with any of my H. gigas, but I put a piece of corkbark in Mondo's cage after reading this so he/she has a dry spot to hang out on.
 
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