Help! My spider is scared of food!

pidgequill

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
7
Hi all, this is my first post on Arachnoboards but I’m so desperate at the moment I thought I’d consult you guys for help.

I’ve owned a little Tegenaria domestica (Barn Funnel Weaver or common house spider, as we call them in the UK) who I call Skitt for nearly six months now. I found her crawling around in my barn this summer and decided to keep her! Up until recently, she was doing absolutely fine, happily eating flies I found for her in the house, webbing up rapidly. I keep her in a large transparent yoghurt tub that seems to fit her well, with air holes in the lid, and she’s got a teeny tiny bottle lid with water in it. I’ve changed her container three times — the first was too big and the second got mould in it.

However, as it’s now winter, I could no longer find flies for her, so I bought a tub of crickets. I have a baby giant house spider who loves them, but Skitt was perturbed by it to the extent that she abandoned her web and no longer even wanted to be in the container. I also tried to breed her this autumn with a male I found, and he too scared her.

Now she won’t eat anything. I’ve tried everything from tiny fruit flies (which I’m a bit peed off about, because I paid a lot of money for them ) to bluebottles. No crickets though, obviously. I wondered at first if
Tegenaria domestica fast over winter but my little giant house is devouring crickets by the dozen.
Have I traumatised her? I know it sounds stupid but I do wonder. She hasn’t shed once since I’ve had her either — is that normal?
She hasn’t eaten for nearly a month now and she looks so thin and gangly — I just want to do what I can for her because I love her (damn, I love a spider!) and I do care an awful lot for her.
Anyone know why she’s doing this and have any suggestions for what I can do with her? Have I done something wrong? I can post pictures of my setup if that helps at all.

Thank you!
 

NYAN

Arachnoking
Active Member
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Dec 23, 2017
Messages
2,283
How do you know it’s a female? Do you have pics?
 

pidgequill

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
7
90B3762D-7413-4107-ABB1-3C0A6698F766.jpeg
How do you know it’s a female? Do you have pics?
I assume she’s female because she’s webbed and she’s not got enlarged palps. I also compared her with pictures somebody had taken of both a male and female and she looked a lot more like the female.
I’ve only got one picture of her — looking a lot healthier on this one. She doesn’t even look like the same spider now.
 

Vanisher

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Oct 2, 2004
Messages
2,320
View attachment 328507

I assume she’s female because she’s webbed and she’s not got enlarged palps. I also compared her with pictures somebody had taken of both a male and female and she looked a lot more like the female.
I’ve only got one picture of her — looking a lot healthier on this one. She doesn’t even look like the same spider now.
Looks lika an adult male, based on the legs. Can you post a pic of the pedipalps
 

pidgequill

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
7
Looks lika an adult male, based on the legs. Can you post a pic of the pedipalps
Oh gosh. And I was convinced it was a female.

But yeah, now that I’m getting a better look at the thing, it is definitely an adult male. I think I must have matured while I had it because I don’t really recall it looking like this...

Where do I go from here?
 

Attachments

Vanisher

Arachnoking
Old Timer
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Oct 2, 2004
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2,320
Yes, an adult male! I would release it so it can find some females. Here in Sweden the matingseason is a little bit earlier in the fall
 

Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
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Mar 7, 2012
Messages
3,643
But yeah, now that I’m getting a better look at the thing, it is definitely an adult male. I think I must have matured while I had it because I don’t really recall it looking like this...

Where do I go from here?
Since the species is native to your area, you could release him back in your barn (to find a female).

If you want to keep him alive for a while, hydration is very important.
 

pidgequill

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
7
Yes, an adult male! I would release it so it can find some females. Here in Sweden the matingseason is a little bit earlier in the fall
Our mating season has long passed and the temperature in the barn is in the minuses at the moment — the spiders look pretty dead in there to me.

I have got an attic though which is usually home to a spiders so that might be the best option. Really hope he’s able to find a female!

Since the species is native to your area, you could release him back in your barn (to find a female).

If you want to keep him alive for a while, hydration is very important.
His water bowl has always been kept full since I got him.

I’ll release him today and hope for the best he finds a mate.
 
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Ungoliant

Malleus Aranearum
Staff member
Joined
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3,643
Our mating season has long passed and the temperature in the barn is in the minuses at the moment — the spiders look pretty dead in there to me.
When do temperatures start getting above freezing in your area? With proper care, you may be able to keep him going until spring, when his prospects might be better.

Of course, if there are no adult females available until fall, he might not live long enough to mate anyway.
 

pidgequill

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 14, 2019
Messages
7
When do temperatures start getting above freezing in your area? With proper care, you may be able to keep him going until spring, when his prospects might be better.

Of course, if there are no adult females available until fall, he might not live long enough to mate anyway.
That’s what I thought. I released him the attic which is a lot less colder than outdoors. There are still spiders living indoors in many places I’ve been recently so I have hopes he’ll find a mate.

Temperatures rise again in spring.
 
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