Juvenile Suntiger Overeating?

Oatmeal

Arachnopeon
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Apr 20, 2021
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6
This is going to sound like the stupidest thing, but it’s been about a week and a half after my 2.5” suntiger molted, so I decided to treat her with something a little more “tasty” and “meaty” than crickets. I love to give her something nice and different after every molt as a treat.

The shop was out of anything other than tiny crickets, so I thought I’d give her a fuzzy mouse (fuzzy as in just older than pinkie). Good, nutritious meat, right? Well, I don’t think I considered the size of the meal compared to her abdomen. The mouse is a good 3.5”, and I don’t know why I expected my T to stop when she looked more than full. Currently 8 hours into her meal, she’s eaten half the mouse, and it doesn’t look like she’s stopping any time soon. Her abdomen is already huge. I wish I could get a picture of her, but unfortunately she’s got a knack for making webs as dense as concrete.

I’m sorry for the lack of information, but should I be worried about her accidentally killing herself from eating too much?
 

LucN

Arachnosquire
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Jan 22, 2009
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As far as I know, they don't eat until they explode. Nothing truly wrong with veterbrate prey, except that many of us feels that it's unnecessary large. The other point is that you'll have a stinky mess to clean afterwards. Instead of a mouse, I would have opted for a superworm or two, but that's just me. Nowhere as large and no smelly mess to clean afterwards. She'll stop once she's satiated, but probably won't need another feeding for a month or two. Good luck in cleaning and enduring the stink, I hear it's pretty bad.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
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First please use the Latin names when referencing to a specific species of tarantula, so that would be Psalmopoeus spp. that’s as far as I know what it is by that common name.

and two you never need to feed a 3.5in mouse to a T, in reality they do not need ‘meaty nutritious’ meals, crickets and worms are fine, and if you are going to want to treat them to something hornworms are much better than a mouse and the mess and smell that goes with it. And third you need to learn to gauge prey size accordingly, after this it likely should not be fed again until after it molts judging by you saying it’s halfway through and give.
 

Oatmeal

Arachnopeon
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Apr 20, 2021
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As far as I know, they don't eat until they explode. Nothing truly wrong with veterbrate prey, except that many of us feels that it's unnecessary large. The other point is that you'll have a stinky mess to clean afterwards. Instead of a mouse, I would have opted for a superworm or two, but that's just me. Nowhere as large and no smelly mess to clean afterwards. She'll stop once she's satiated, but probably won't need another feeding for a month or two. Good luck in cleaning and enduring the stink, I hear it's pretty bad.
Thanks, I’m glad I don’t have to worry about her. Unfortunately there was nothing other than pinhead crickets and mice in the shop, and I opted for mice. I work with resin often so I have a lot of experience cleaning up super sticky and stinky messes, so I have no worries that I’ll be able to clean up a mouse.

First please use the Latin names when referencing to a specific species of tarantula, so that would be Psalmopoeus spp. that’s as far as I know what it is by that common name.

and two you never need to feed a 3.5in mouse to a T, in reality they do not need ‘meaty nutritious’ meals, crickets and worms are fine, and if you are going to want to treat them to something hornworms are much better than a mouse and the mess and smell that goes with it. And third you need to learn to gauge prey size accordingly, after this it likely should not be fed again until after it molts judging by you saying it’s halfway through and give.
I didn’t think that the lower classification would be relevant in this situation. I’m not sure how telling you she’s a P. Irminia is going to change anything about my question. 2.5” juvenile spider, 3.5” mouse.

I do sincerely appreciate the advice, and I have to admit I’ve never run into a problem like this so you’re definitely right about me having a lot to learn. I didn’t have any other options at that moment, unless I wanted to give her pinhead crickets smaller than her own fangs. Unfortunately I don’t get many chances to drive that far that often, and I buy in bulk when I can. I’m definitely going to try to breed my own crickets when I get the chance to avoid unconventional prey in the future.

And I’m not worried about the mouse or the mess. I’m quite experienced in cleaning up things like that, and luckily she left the mouse in a fairly accessible area. No harm done, she ate well, and I’m glad she’s satiated and not at risk of hurting herself. A small success with a lesson learned, I’d say. :)
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
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I didn’t think that the lower classification would be relevant in this situation. I’m not sure how telling you she’s a P. Irminia is going to change anything about my question. 2.5” juvenile spider, 3.5” mouse.
It’s not that it’s going to change much here but it’s about consistency and accuracy and members being able to know what you are referring to, some situations it matter greatly. Common names are commonly wrong, and here on AB we use the binomial nomenclature. And you should just get in the habit of using the Latin at all times 😁


I do sincerely appreciate the advice, and I have to admit I’ve never run into a problem like this so you’re definitely right about me having a lot to learn. I didn’t have any other options at that moment, unless I wanted to give her pinhead crickets smaller than her own fangs. Unfortunately I don’t get many chances to drive that far that often, and I buy in bulk when I can. I’m definitely going to try to breed my own crickets when I get the chance to avoid unconventional prey in the future.
I understand, but also if they are out of feeders one week, unless it’s dangerously thin, you don’t need to panic And buy a vertebrate feeder, it’s to be honest a little cringey, they can go very long times without food, and waiting a week or two or really three to get invertebrates isnt going to harm it just make sure it has water. This is where comes into knowing how to feed based off of abdomen size. You will learn and get the hang of it.
And I’m not worried about the mouse or the mess. I’m quite experienced in cleaning up things like that, and luckily she left the mouse in a fairly accessible area. No harm done, she ate well, and I’m glad she’s satiated and not at risk of hurting herself. A small success with a lesson learned, I’d say. :)
I’d really urge you just leave it as a one time thing and go back to feeding insects, a mouse is just not necessary and insects are much better suited for them and you. No need to feed them a living mouse especially a juvenile tarantula. If you want slightly larger prey adult Blaptica dubia (Dubia) and Blatta lateralis (red runner/Turkestan) roaches make great feeders and you can breed them yourself with a good colony and have prey of all sizes to feed once you are producing nymphs.
 

Oatmeal

Arachnopeon
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Apr 20, 2021
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It’s not that it’s going to change much here but it’s about consistency and accuracy and members being able to know what you are referring to, some situations it matter greatly. Common names are commonly wrong, and here on AB we use the binomial nomenclature. And you should just get in the habit of using the Latin at all times 😁
That makes sense, sorry. I just thought you were being pretentious, haha!

I understand, but also if they are out of feeders one week, unless it’s dangerously thin, you don’t need to panic And buy a vertebrate feeder, it’s to be honest a little cringey, they can go very long times without food, and waiting a week or two or really three to get invertebrates isnt going to harm it just make sure it has water. This is where comes into knowing how to feed based off of abdomen size. You will learn and get the hang of it.
It wasn’t quite a panic move, just a “good enough” move. I know she could go weeks without anything, but at the moment I thought it wasn’t preferable, but would do the job. I didn’t think ahead as much as I should have.

I’d really urge you just leave it as a one time thing and go back to feeding insects, a mouse is just not necessary and insects are much better suited for them and you. No need to feed them a living mouse especially a juvenile tarantula. If you want slightly larger prey adult Blaptica dubia (Dubia) and Blatta lateralis (red runner/Turkestan) roaches make great feeders and you can breed them yourself with a good colony and have prey of all sizes to feed once you are producing nymphs.
I’ll have to try to find a way to get other roaches, probably online. I’ve introduced her to B. Discoidalis and she won’t go for them, maybe it’s because they’re flat? For now I’m just going to let her finish her all-you-can-eat buffet of mouse, and then clean up and leave her be for quite a while. Thanks again, I really appreciate the advice. It’s always nice to learn how to make my little guys happy and healthy. :D
 

spideyspinneret78

Arachnobaron
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Yeah...I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with it, but it's very nutrient/ calorie dense so meals like this can plump them up really fast, especially if it's a smaller spider. It's possible that she may not need to eat for another few months! Sometimes I'll feed my AF T. stirmi a fuzzy mouse after a molt as a treat (she only molts once a year now) , but she's huge. Even then after a meal like that she doesn't need to eat for at least another month or so. As a post molt treat for medium- large tarantulas you can also try hornworms next time if they're available. They also have a lot of moisture, and tarantulas are in often in need of hydration after a molt.
 

The Grym Reaper

Arachnoreaper
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As already said, it's not going to eat until it bursts, you might find that it hides more and refuses to eat for ages but that's about it. Tbh, I've never seen the need to "plump them up" with a bumper meal after moulting, I just wait until they're fully hardened and then resume a normal feeding schedule, they plump up gradually over the course of the moult cycle with regular feeding anyway, the most important thing is to make sure they have water available.
 

cold blood

Moderator
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12,109
Vertebrates do not offer any special or additional or extra good nutrients...there is no advantage to feeding mice.

But an overly large meal is not going to harm the t by any means.
 

Edan bandoot

Arachnobaron
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Nothing wrong with it, but I wouldn't expect it to eat again anytime soon.
 

Oatmeal

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
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6
Good News: I got the mouse out in one piece! Huge props to my T for not being a messy eater!

And to all of you, thank you for the advice! Thankfully my T seemed to get a good meal out of it, but I now know that I won’t be buying any more mice. :rofl: Im definitely going to make sure to stock up and/or breed crickets in the future, so I don’t get stuck with something “okay enough” from the shop. I’m sure she enjoyed this much more than I did (as much as a spider can enjoy something, I suppose). I guess she’s just going to be fat and happy until her next molt. Thanks again!

Edit: And to the concerns of moisture, I’m proud to say that’s one of the things I do best with her enclosure. When I got her she was living on mulch and sand (with superworms burrowing, ugh!), and her molts were in pieces, but now she’s doing much better and having clean molts in her coconut/organic topsoil mix substrate enclosure that’s appropriately planted. She’s doing well. Fat, but well. :)
 
Last edited:

viper69

ArachnoGod
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13,204
This is going to sound like the stupidest thing, but it’s been about a week and a half after my 2.5” suntiger molted, so I decided to treat her with something a little more “tasty” and “meaty” than crickets. I love to give her something nice and different after every molt as a treat.

The shop was out of anything other than tiny crickets, so I thought I’d give her a fuzzy mouse (fuzzy as in just older than pinkie). Good, nutritious meat, right? Well, I don’t think I considered the size of the meal compared to her abdomen. The mouse is a good 3.5”, and I don’t know why I expected my T to stop when she looked more than full. Currently 8 hours into her meal, she’s eaten half the mouse, and it doesn’t look like she’s stopping any time soon. Her abdomen is already huge. I wish I could get a picture of her, but unfortunately she’s got a knack for making webs as dense as concrete.

I’m sorry for the lack of information, but should I be worried about her accidentally killing herself from eating too much?
No, they aren’t like humans
 

Sterls

Arachnobaron
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but now she’s doing much better and having clean molts in her coconut/organic topsoil mix substrate enclosure that’s appropriately planted
Good to hear she's doing better in your care.

What topsoil are you using exactly? "Organic" topsoil is generally not advisable, as it has "organic" fertilizers in it (poultry manure, bat guano, worm castings)

Only topsoil you should be using is the $2 stuff that's marketed for filling holes. No fertilizers, no nothing. Just dirt and maybe a stick or two. Organic =/= all natural and safe for everything.
 

Oatmeal

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 20, 2021
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Good to hear she's doing better in your care.

What topsoil are you using exactly? "Organic" topsoil is generally not advisable, as it has "organic" fertilizers in it (poultry manure, bat guano, worm castings)

Only topsoil you should be using is the $2 stuff that's marketed for filling holes. No fertilizers, no nothing. Just dirt and maybe a stick or two. Organic =/= all natural and safe for everything.
Thats a good point, and unfortunately I’m not too knowledgeable on which store-bought soil is safer than others. One of those $9 topsoil bags at Home Depot, advertised as “super organic natural with almost no fertilizers.” I call bs. I used to get this wonderful, plain, natural soil from a farm supply shop where I used to live, but I recently moved and haven’t found anywhere else to get something so basic. I’m always really worried about waste and rogue plant clippings bogging up the soil, so I’ve got a colony of Trichorhina tomentosa (dwarf white isopods) on duty. Not sure how much they assist with any potential organic waste brought in by the soil itself.

I’m trying to make my own substrate mix made of 10% thicker dry plants from old enclosures, 5% charcoal, 25% coconut, 20% sphagnum moss, 10% sand, and 25% old basic soil. The mix is currently home to my main white dwarf and powder orange isopod colonies.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
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I’m trying to make my own substrate mix made of 10% thicker dry plants from old enclosures, 5% charcoal, 25% coconut, 20% sphagnum moss, 10% sand, and 25% old basic soil. The mix is currently home to my main white dwarf and powder orange isopod colonies.
Why are you trying to make such a complicated mix and for what purpose its really not needed?, and judging from the fact that you do not know exactly what is in the soil bags you bought, you should ditch that, it can kill a tarantula if it has fertilizers, wetting agents, and other chemicals in it, buyer beware. You are more than welcome to make some special mix, but be careful, but its not going to do much for them, you may be better of just using 100% topsoil, or coco, or peat moss and call it a day. And be careful with isopods, you used a common name but not sure about the powder orange ones they may pose a risk to a molting tarantula. Springtails are a safer clean up crew. You can do as you wish just know the risks of your soil and isopods.
 

Oatmeal

Arachnopeon
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Apr 20, 2021
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Why are you trying to make such a complicated mix and for what purpose its really not needed?, and judging from the fact that you do not know exactly what is in the soil bags you bought, you should ditch that, it can kill a tarantula if it has fertilizers, wetting agents, and other chemicals in it, buyer beware. You are more than welcome to make some special mix, but be careful, but its not going to do much for them, you may be better of just using 100% topsoil, or coco, or peat moss and call it a day.
I’m making the mix based off of the substrate remnants that I know are safe from other enclosures because unlike store-bought, I know exactly what’s in it. And, of course, to save materials. :) I use that mix for primarily for some of my more fragile vertebrates, i.e. amphibians with very absorbent skin. I’ve already got lots of it, know that it’s 100% safe, and I’m very happy with its moisture retaining and draining, might as well use it for the T’s with plants and microfauna. Why didn’t I use it for the P. Irminia? I was saving it up for a bigger project, and thought I’d buy a topsoil I’ve seen people recommend on other T forums. But I think there’s a good chance I was taking advice from people as dumb as me. Recently scrapped the project due to time constraints, so there’s a good chance the P. Irminia is getting rehomed, along with a few other rapidly growing critters.

And the Porcellionides pruinosus (orange powder isopods) aren’t currently in any enclosures, just in the mix. They’re pretty big, so it’s not hard to remove them before I use the mix. Have yet to see one strolling around in an enclosure. I didn’t think they’d be a risk to a T though, but I suppose that makes a lot of sense.
 
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