In the last week, I have learned

Paiige

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...that Ts definitely do not know best.

I was concerned about my G. pulchripes about a week ago, and posted on here to see if people thought I should dig it out of the little barricade it had going on, or leave it alone. Got mixed responses, but something in me told me to just dig it out. I did, it looked painfully skinny and dehydrated (even though I've been filling the water dish for the past month+ it was barricaded in its hide) and didn't seem to have the strength to do much of anything. I've never been so worried about a T before. Well, lo and behold, it ate two crickets immediately, snatching them out of the air, ate another two days later and then took one last night. It's finally starting to look plump and healthy again and I've stopped worrying - it hasn't buried itself back in and I've seen it out and about a few times.

My B. albopilosum recently barricaded herself in as well - and after about a week, I decided to test it to see if she was hungry or preparing to molt. Well, she pounced immediately and is happily munching away.

Up until this point, I've believed that the Ts will know what's best for their own health and survival. I do believe that if I hadn't dug out and fed my G. pulchripes, it would probably be dead by now. This has made me seriously reconsider my approach as a keeper.

Now for the question - why would a T burrow itself away, limiting all access to food and water, when premolt isn't anywhere near? I can only think either temperature (I keep them a little cooler in the winter, about 73 F), light (only some of my Ts seem to be sensitive to light but digging yourself away is a little extreme), enclosure size/not feeling safe (2.5-3" pulchripes is in an 8x8 enclosure with a hide, water dish and leaves). They are not in a high-traffic area and I don't have any other pets that could be harassing them. The cat goes for the crickets and doesn't care about the Ts at all. Anything I'm missing?
 
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basin79

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...that Ts definitely do not know best.

I was concerned about my G. pulchripes about a week ago, and posted on here to see if people thought I should dig it out of the little barricade it had going on, or leave it alone. Got mixed responses, but something in me told me to just dig it out. I did, it looked painfully skinny and dehydrated (even though I've been filling the water dish for the past month+ it was barricaded in its hide) and didn't seem to have the strength to do much of anything. I've never been so worried about a T before. Well, lo and behold, it ate two crickets immediately, snatching them out of the air, ate another two days later and then took one last night. It's finally starting to look plump and healthy again and I've stopped worrying - it hasn't buried itself back in and I've seen it out and about a few times.

My B. albopilosum recently barricaded herself in as well - and after about a week, I decided to test it to see if she was hungry or preparing to molt. Well, she pounced immediately and is happily munching away.

Up until this point, I've believed that the Ts will know what's best for their own health and survival. I do believe that if I hadn't dug out and fed my G. pulchripes, it would probably be dead by now. This has seriously made me reconsider my approach as a keeper.

Now for the question - why would a T burrow itself away, limiting all access to food and water, when premolt isn't anywhere near? I can only think either temperature (I keep them a little cooler in the winter, about 73 F), light (only some of my Ts seem to be sensitive to light but digging yourself away is a little extreme), enclosure size/not feeling safe (2.5-3" pulchripes is in an 8x8 enclosure with a hide, water dish and leaves). They are not in a high-traffic area and I don't have any other pets that could be harassing them. The cat goes for the crickets and doesn't care about the Ts at all. Anything I'm missing?
T's don't always know best. I used to own a King baboon and I'm sure she'd have starved to death if I didn't drop the occasion roach down her tunnel.
 

EulersK

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I love this thread! It exemplifies a huge part of moving away from being a beginner keeper. The best we can do here is give generalized advice, but only you know your circumstances. Good job digging them up, your gut was right :) I've had an adult do something similar with me, and I know @viper69 had an Avicularia sp. unintentionally close itself up in a web tube.

As for why... who knows. Could be an accident, could be a disturbance, could be temperature. There's really no telling. My AF A. chalcodes barricaded her hide... with her on the outside. She eventually made a tunnel on the side of her hide, but she shouldn't fit through it. Some wires definitely got crossed there. The point of that story is that we'll never know what their primitive little brains are thinking :D

20150430_092949.jpg
 

Paiige

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T's don't always know best. I used to own a King baboon and I'm sure she'd have starved to death if I didn't drop the occasion roach down her tunnel.
This is my first example of this. They've always been very good about letting me know what they need in their own ways, but everything I've ever read says sealing off burrow=premolt. If I had a burrower, I'd expect them to disappear forever and it wouldn't seem unusual but with terrestrials (that aren't slings) I was not prepared for this.

The point of that story is that we'll never know what their primitive little brains are thinking :D
Ah jeez. They're lucky they're cute. :D
 

Kendricks

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Great, this kinda freaks me out since my G. pulchra sealed herself off a week ago. Not that long, I know, but now I'm worried and unsure what to do or rather: when.

Glad yours is ok again though. Guess your motherly instincts kicked in at the right time.

Out if curiosity, how often do people find dead T's in a sealed burrow? I never read anything about it, so maybe what happened to you is more a kind of freak exception?

Input needed!
 

basin79

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I've got a Poecilotheria Tigrinawesseli that's sealed off. It's been around a month now maybe more. I do trust her though. Just hoping I see her soon.
 

nicodimus22

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I do believe that if I hadn't dug out and fed my G. pulchripes, it would probably be dead by now.
Mine didn't eat for 8 months...they can last a really long time without food. I'm not saying that finding them dead because of self-burial can't happen, but I've never heard of it. It's entirely possible that it would have come out on its own to eat and drink. We don't really know.
 
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Andrea82

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:troll:I've had something similar happen to my Gbb. I am still not sure if it would have made it to the waterdish in time if I didn't coax it to the waterdish.
That will always be the question, intervene with the risk of disturbing a molting fragile T, or leave them be, with the risk that they somehow don't care for themselves like they should.
I think you made a good call on yours, and I am glad you followed your gut feeling. :)

Edit: for reference, my thread about the Gbb:http://arachnoboards.com/threads/c-cyaneopubescens-gbb-bad-molt.290683/

Edit 2: I don't know why that trollface is there, I can't seem to remove it either :shifty:
 

gypsy cola

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I've experimented with albos. If you are a substrate scrooge, they will hole themselves off. If you have deep substrate they will have an intricate tunnel system. I think some spiders just want to dig as slings and just "get lost".

This is my experience. Might be different with others.

I have a dedicated room for my T's, the temps are never lower than 80. Species that don't burrow, will burrow for me.
 

Paiige

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Mine didn't eat for 8 months...they can last a really long time without food. I'm not saying that finding them dead because of self-burial can't happen, but I've never heard of it. It's entirely possible that it would have come out on its own to eat and drink. We don't really know.
My porteri has fasted for over a year and I wasn't concerned because she's always quite plump. The G pulchripes, I only had for three days (and fed once) before it sealed itself off. I didn't know gender/how frequently it had been fed before coming into my care/if these guys get tubby before molting like the rest of my babes etc.

With your pulchra, at a week I wouldn't worry and I would also take into account its behavior and size before doing anything. I didn't know my pulchripes at all and didn't have much time to observe it before it decided to try to commit suicide :arghh:

This is my experience. Might be different with others.
.
My girl is in a 5 gal aquarium and has a good 6" (at least) of substrate. I can tell she's got a neat tunnel system going on, she's quite the little excavator. :D
 

Paiige

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I've had something similar happen to my Gbb. I am still not sure if it would have made it to the waterdish in time if I didn't coax it to the waterdish.
That will always be the question, intervene with the risk of disturbing a molting fragile T, or leave them be, with the risk that they somehow don't care for themselves like they should.
I think you made a good call on yours, and I am glad you followed your gut feeling. :)

Edit: for reference, my thread about the Gbb:http://arachnoboards.com/threads/c-cyaneopubescens-gbb-bad-molt.290683/

Edit 2: I don't know why that trollface is there, I can't seem to remove it either :shifty:
There, I removed it for you in the quote :D Reading your thread now!
 

Venom1080

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I had a similar experience with my P muticus, wasn't very skinny but def wasn't in premolt.
 

Chris LXXIX

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I've experimented with albos. If you are a substrate scrooge, they will hole themselves off. If you have deep substrate they will have an intricate tunnel system. I think some spiders just want to dig as slings and just "get lost".

This is my experience. Might be different with others.

I have a dedicated room for my T's, the temps are never lower than 80. Species that don't burrow, will burrow for me.

Eh eh, 10/10 :-s
 

Chris LXXIX

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I have to say, I've used that statement a lot (T's know best) & I'm a huge fan of that :-s
 

Ungoliant

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Up until this point, I've believed that the Ts will know what's best for their own health and survival. I do believe that if I hadn't dug out and fed my G. pulchripes, it would probably be dead by now. This has made me seriously reconsider my approach as a keeper.
Ts know best -- most of the time. (When they seal themselves in, you should leave them alone -- within reason.) As you become more experienced, you get a better sense of what's normal and what's not. A few weeks is no big deal, but if a terrestrial is sealed in for months, you might want to take a look.

My smaller pulchra sealed herself in for a couple of months last time she went into pre-molt. I left her alone and kept her water dish full. But after a couple of months, I decided to lift up the hide a bit to check on her. She had molted (and hardened), and she was looking rather skinny and dehydrated, so I dug her out and fed her. Maybe she would have dug herself out eventually, but I don't feel bad about intervening in that case.

The same pulchra is in pre-molt now, and she has already been sealed in for a month. I suspect I may end up checking on her again if I don't see any activity within a few weeks.


Now for the question - why would a T burrow itself away, limiting all access to food and water, when premolt isn't anywhere near?
Mine are already refusing food when they seal themselves in, which indicates that they're already in pre-molt, even if the actual molt is a while off.

Perhaps they just instinctively feel vulnerable during this stage. During pre-molt, the nervous system begins to disconnect from the old exoskeleton. You may notice that your tarantula's temperament changes during this time. Not only do they refuse food, but they are much more skittish. And movement may look a little awkward as well. (With my Avics, I've noticed that they don't seem to have as good a grip on the glass while in pre-molt.)

They can fast for a long time (and some species can go a long time without water too), so limiting access to food (which they may no longer be able to eat anyway) and water isn't really a big deal to them.

But if they stay in too long, they may end up too weak and dehydrated to dig themselves out and get water.
 

Paiige

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Ts know best -- most of the time. (When they seal themselves in, you should leave them alone -- within reason.) As you become more experienced, you get a better sense of what's normal and what's not. A few weeks is no big deal, but if a terrestrial is sealed in for months, you might want to take a look.
Mine are already refusing food when they seal themselves in, which indicates that they're already in pre-molt, even if the actual molt is a while off.
Perhaps they just instinctively feel vulnerable during this stage. During pre-molt, the nervous system begins to disconnect from the old exoskeleton. You may notice that your tarantula's temperament changes during this time. Not only do they refuse food, but they are much more skittish. And movement may look a little awkward as well. (With my Avics, I've noticed that they don't seem to have as good a grip on the glass while in pre-molt.)
They can fast for a long time (and some species can go a long time without water too), so limiting access to food (which they may no longer be able to eat anyway) and water isn't really a big deal to them.
But if they stay in too long, they may end up too weak and dehydrated to dig themselves out and get water.
I'm not concerned about fasting, I'm quite used to that as I've had Grammostola for many years now. My concern is that these Ts are clearly not in premolt, nor have they acquired as much food/water as they need to be able to seal themselves off for long periods of time - my G pulchripes was literally wasting away in her burrow. I understand the behavior in relation to premolt. My question was more about why they would seal themselves off when they clearly do still need food and water and are nowhere near that premolt stage.
 

Ungoliant

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My question was more about why they would seal themselves off when they clearly do still need food and water and are nowhere near that premolt stage.
Whenever I don't know the answer, it's always "Tarantula's gonna do what tarantula's gonna do."
 

Andrea82

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That's the conclusion I'm coming to as well - hence "tarantulas don't always know best"
Not to go offtopic, but to give an example of inverts not always knowing best. I had a mantis, T.sinensis molting from a branch that was way to close to the floor, and ending up al crinkled and weird. This can happen when there are no higher points available to molt from.
But. The spot she molted from was literally the ONLY spot that was too low! She had like, four or five ide spots to molt from. And she chose the wrong one. I was in shock. Why the hell did she molt there??
I had to put her in the freezer.
So i agree, while they normally function best without us interfering....there are also cases where that is not true.
 
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