Is my spider dying?

WarriorNun

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
8
He's a little Chilean Rosehair adult male, and I've owned him for about two years. For as long as I've had him, he's been the most docile and chill spider... but lately, for the past month or so, I've noticed some strange behaviors on his part. For one, he hasn't been seeming to eat the crickets I've been feeding him periodically, but that usually isn't such a big concern with him. However, on occasion I would notice that even when completely alone in his enclosure, he would rear up and buck back in a very strange and frantic way. One moment he would be sunning himself under his lamp, and the next he would be very frantically running to the other side of his cage, stand in one place and seem to spasm.

I wasn't sure what I was looking at. I began to wonder if he had contracted something like a parasite, or disease. I'm not sure where he would have gotten it from, but it's the only thing I could think of.

Now, when I woke up this morning, I did it to the shock of seeing my little guy, Phobia, resting sideways in his water dish. It isn't a deep dish, and keeps about a centimeter and a half of fresh water in it. He's drank from it before, by dipping his head low and his rump into the air, and he's also stood in it from time to time, or sat by it with a leg inside when he was relaxed.

What I saw today was different. I woke up and he was there, and it's about five thirty in the evening, and he is still in the water. This morning my boyfriend and I thought he was dead, so we opened the cage and gently prodded him. He moved, but sluggishly. We managed to get him out of his water dish, but when I came back into the room a while later, I found that he had crawled back in. His legs are drawn up tight to his body, and when I tap on the glass, (which is something I don't normally do, but I did once to see if he would react,) he barely moves, when normally even a loud noise in the room would have him running, even on his best days.

What is going on? Has anyone here ever experienced this kind of thing before? He isn't sideways anymore, but he's still hunkered down as deep in his waterdish as he can go. Has he contracted a parasite that is making him try to kill himself? Does something itch, and he's half drowning himself to relief the pain? Do I need to take the waterdish out? I haven't yet, because I don't feel right about taking away my spider's water, and I'm not sure what would happen if I do, in case this is a natural reaction to something very horrible. I've moved him from it once again but he has crawled right back in it, is VERY lethargic, and is hardly moving.

Any help is appreciated... I tried to get a picture of him in his dish, but the lighting isn't the best and you can hardly see him, so it wouldn't do anything to post it. Please help, Pho and I have been through the best and the worst of it together, I would be heartbroken if he were to die.
 
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KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
420
Is he a mature male (meaning he has bulbs and hooks)? If so, it's possible that he's just dying of old age. It's sad, but it does happen.
 

Embers To Ashes

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
270
If he is a male and is six years old, I would be lucky you have had him this long. Males do not live that long and Im afraid that it is his time. Raise the humidity alittle bit and try to make him comftable. Im very sorry

And for future reffrence, tarantulas should not be kept under lights.
 

gmrpnk21

Arachnobaron
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
319
He's an adult male? Are you sure about this? He may be coming up on his final molt (that he may not finish)
 

KoriTamashii

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 21, 2009
Messages
420
If he is a male and is six years old, I would be lucky you have had him this long. Males do not live that long and Im afraid that it is his time. Raise the humidity alittle bit and try to make him comftable. Im very sorry

And for future reffrence, tarantulas should not be kept under lights.
Actually, they can be kept under light, as long as the light isn't right over the enclosure and the wattage isn't too high. It's an efficient method of heating, in cases where the keeper feels it necessary.
 

WarriorNun

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
8
Thank you for the responses, I will check his legs in a moment to see if he has hooks. He molted not to long ago, I still have the shedded exo, but if he is an old man then it would make sense if this is his last molt.

I am very sorry, I wrote the wrong number of years I have owned him down, and edited it. I have owned him for a little over two years.

He does have a heating lamp, set to the side of his enclosure in case he feels like sunning or not, which he used to do all of the time-He would sit at the very highest, lamplit place in his enclosure and press against the warm glass for hours, it was sweet to watch.

Thank you all very much. His legs are drawn up, so it might be hard to check his legs, but I will attempt to.
 

Chris_Skeleton

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 31, 2010
Messages
1,310
Are his pedipalps balled up? Do they look like he's wearing boxing gloves?

Has he been making webs and punching at them with his pedipalps?
 

WarriorNun

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
8
I've checked his pedi's, or at least as well as I can-Every leg is drawn up tight to his body, I can't even see his carapace, because all his legs are drawn up to the joint. But he is still moving when I touch him, he just does NOT want to get out of the water.

Because his legs are drawn up and the lighting is dark, I can't see his pedis very well. However, as they're not sticking out as per normal and I can't see them, I'm guessing they are tight to his body like the rest of them.

He has made quite a large new layer of webbing on the ground around his hide, where he usually suns himself, but I hadn't noticed him boxing it with his pedis. It is, however, quite an expansive new web.
 

Versi*JP*Color

Arachnoknight
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
204
I've checked his pedi's, or at least as well as I can-Every leg is drawn up tight to his body, I can't even see his carapace, because all his legs are drawn up to the joint. But he is still moving when I touch him, he just does NOT want to get out of the water.

Because his legs are drawn up and the lighting is dark, I can't see his pedis very well. However, as they're not sticking out as per normal and I can't see them, I'm guessing they are tight to his body like the rest of them.

He has made quite a large new layer of webbing on the ground around his hide, where he usually suns himself, but I hadn't noticed him boxing it with his pedis. It is, however, quite an expansive new web.
Moult web?
 

WarriorNun

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
8
It's possible, it's just baffling me that he would be preparing to moult again so soon. He molted succesfully and beautifully about two months ago, his second molt since I've had him. (It was a good 9-12 months difference between his last molt and this recent one.)

If he weren't acting so funny and sitting steadfastly in his water dish, I would say that he's preparing for a molt for some reason, even though he just did.... but he's never, ever sat in the water like this, so curled and so unwilling to leave the water, and so weak. I can't see why he would be so dehydrated as to sit in it for hours, but as of right now I'm leaving him be to do as he naturally feels.
 

Spidershane1

Arachnoknight
Joined
Apr 11, 2010
Messages
170
When a T pulls all its legs tight under its body, its commonly refered to as the "death curl". It typically means he's dying. Unless he is molting rightside up, which is rare, but does happen. If he is mature as others have stated by checking for the boxing gloves(embolus), then he could pretty much naturally die at any point. By naturally, I mean without any parasites, environmental problems, etc. Pretty much he's just old and its his time.
Its sad, but its perfectly normal and nothing can be done but to let it take its course.
 

LadySharon

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
201
He molted just two months ago? I have a red phase G. rosea that molted out mature Augest 2009. I have anotehr normal phase male that I recently relized was mature (I moved him to another cage and noticed) And he molted sometime this past summer.

So it seems weird to me that this spider would be dieing of old age only 2 months after an ultimate molt - if that is what indeed is happening.

Also - in a death curl you should be able to see the carapace. when they are scared though they will pull their legs tight to the body OVER the carapace.

Is there anyway you can get a picture?

- Sharon
 

patrick86

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
163
I'm thinking along the same lines as LadySharon, two months post ultimate molt and already dying doesn't seem right. I know of one G. rosea mature male that made it five years beyond his ultimate molt. I personally have a Grammostola pulchra male that is on his third year of maturity.

A molt so soon after the last one is possible as T's will bring on a molt out of rhythm if there is something physically wrong with them.

Good luck to you and your boy.
 

phily1579

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 6, 2010
Messages
32
Dude get a pic so we can make a betta assesment. It sounds to me like its dying. Sorry bro. But heathly ts would not be doin that. Also neva use lights. Ts hate lights n it drives them crazy! The darker the room the happier the t.:)
 

WarriorNun

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
8
You know, I thought it was strange that he wasn't curling in the death curl people described... he was curling upwards, completely covering his body with his joints, as though he were scared.

When I left for work this morning he was still sitting in the water, but my boyfriend called me halfway through my shift to tell me he had gotten out, and was under his log. Then when I came home, I found him upside-down in the water.

I quickly fished him out, but he was so lethargic... and when I drew him out, I noticed a gooey white substance flowing in the water from his backside. I couldn't tell if it was 'chalky' or not, and there was no goo coming from his mouth, but I'm guessing it was some kind of backup-I've read about that on this site before.

Anyway, I would have had some home for him... but when I picked him up, he started spasming terribly. He was flailing all legs, and then freezing, and bucking his entire body frontwards and back slowly. I couldn't stand it, he was laying web all over my palm, and continuing to leak goo from his abdomen. And then, he curled.

My little Phobia's gone, and I thank you all so much for your responses. I feel awful, because I had noticed his strange spasms a good month or so ago, but there was no discharge from his abdomen whatsoever. I wonder if he had been sitting in the water in an attempt to flush himself out... and then simply flipped when he tried to crawl out because he was so weak. I feel sick thinking about that... but at least the pain's gone, and he finally passed.

I wish so badly it could have been more peaceful, but at least I could be there when it happened. He left behind a web on my palm, and a hole in my heart.

Thank you all again so, so much for your concern and questions. As for the light issue, I tried using it and not using it off and on for a while to see if he acted differently one way or the other, and one thing I used to LOVE about him was that when the light was on the side of his tank, he would press up against it in the funniest way. First he would press all his front legs up against the glass, warm up, and then turn around and stick his butt against the glass and just sit there for hours. He loved his light, and sunning and being warm. Maybe that makes him a freak of nature, I dunno, he loved it and usually sulked around inside his hide until it came out.

Sorry for the rambling, just a last passing memory of my first ever tarantula. I have another, but I have never experienced a death of one before... thank you all for your support and thoughts.
 

Londoner

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
846
sorry for your loss. With regards to the light issue, although Ts are classed as nocturnal animals, that does not mean they are all averse to light (artificial or sunlight). There's plenty of anecdotal evidence to back this up. It only becomes a problem if your light source is generating too much heat (which doesn't seem to be the case with your set-up). I can't say why your T died, but it doesn't sound like you did anything wrong. Crap happens. Again, my condolences for your loss.
 

WarriorNun

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
8
Thanks very much, I had a feeling I might be saying goodbye soon when I realized he was acting strange. He was fighting whatever this was for a very long time, I only wish the final moment hadn't been so awful for him. At least I could be there when it happened.
 
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