Kukulcania Refusing Food

Sluggo

Arachnopeon
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Hello! I am back once again with more Kukulcania hibernalis questions!
My Kuk has been a pretty feisty eater up until 2-3 weeks ago when all of a sudden she stopped coming out at night and hasn't been responding to any efforts to feed her. Even touching around the edges of her little funnel yields no results. I also haven't seen her at all in this time period.
Does anyone have any insight on this? I don't want to go ripping up her home just to check on her but at the same time I'm worried about the sudden appetite shift and lack of nightly appearances.
 

chanda

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My Kukulcania rarely comes out, and even when I get to see her take a cricket, usually all I see is a few legs emerging from her nest. It sounds like you've been really lucky with yours so far!

It is possible that her change in behavior is due to some sort of change for her. She may be preparing to molt, or perhaps - if she's mature - she has made an egg sac and is guarding it. (Even unmated spiders will make egg sacs, and will typically tend to them as if they were fertile, at least for a while, though they do eventually figure it out and abandon the sac.)

If you are worried about her, you can shine a flashlight into her nest and check on her. I do that with mine sometimes when I've gone a few months without seeing her, but I try not to do it too often.
 

Sluggo

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My Kukulcania rarely comes out, and even when I get to see her take a cricket, usually all I see is a few legs emerging from her nest. It sounds like you've been really lucky with yours so far!

It is possible that her change in behavior is due to some sort of change for her. She may be preparing to molt, or perhaps - if she's mature - she has made an egg sac and is guarding it. (Even unmated spiders will make egg sacs, and will typically tend to them as if they were fertile, at least for a while, though they do eventually figure it out and abandon the sac.)

If you are worried about her, you can shine a flashlight into her nest and check on her. I do that with mine sometimes when I've gone a few months without seeing her, but I try not to do it too often.
Oohh alright! She is a mature female! I do know that sometimes spiders will go on "hunger strikes" but I just got very worried at her very sudden change of behavior! Just before she hunkered down in her spidery bunker, she wrapped clumps of dirt up in silk and blocked off 95% of her exit hole, so now only a very small opening remains that she could probably still fit out of.
I have been really lucky so far and she's been a really active spider; coming out nearly every night and eating extremely well! The reason I worry about her is that she was fairly thin when I got her, and didn't eat for the first month and a half or so that I had her, so I have only recently gotten her to eat (within the past month or so) and she's only had 4 meals total with me, 3 of which were fairly small.

I just shined a light inside of her hidey hole and I did see 2 legs, so she seems fine! I hadn't done that yet in fear of disturbing her because I don't know the effects of light on molting/hiding/ect spiders. Thank you for the advice!!

I have been giving her a drop or two of water down into her little spider house every other day, should I continue doing this? (The way she made her "funnel" entrance is facing the sky, so she lives in a kind of Spider Volcano haha!)


I also should mention that her set up is less than ideal, I am upgrading it very soon in accordance to advice I got from some other folks around here! I worry that lack of anchor points is also a reason why she stopped coming out? I foolishly housed her on peat moss which I now realize is horrible for spiders who made large cascading webs like the Kuks do. I've been waiting for her new enclosure to arrive in the mail, but it got delayed due to everything happening in the world currently. It should be arriving anywhere between today and July 11th. Should I redo her current enclosure temporarily or wait for the new one to come? I feel bad destroying her current web, just to ruin it once again when the new enclosure arrives.
 

ReignofInvertebrates

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Kukulcania eat until they’re chubby and then they usually refuse food for months. I wouldn’t be too concerned.
 

chanda

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I just shined a light inside of her hidey hole and I did see 2 legs, so she seems fine! I hadn't done that yet in fear of disturbing her because I don't know the effects of light on molting/hiding/ect spiders. Thank you for the advice!!

I have been giving her a drop or two of water down into her little spider house every other day, should I continue doing this? (The way she made her "funnel" entrance is facing the sky, so she lives in a kind of Spider Volcano haha!)
Mine doesn't really seem to react to the flashlight when I shine it down her nest (she's claimed & webbed the inside of a cholla tube). She doesn't try to retreat from the light, so I don't think it really bothers her too much. (That said, I do try to keep potential disturbances to a minimum - only an occasional "proof of life" peek once in a while.)

I would not put the water directly into her funnel. Spiders generally do not like having water dripped or sprayed directly on them or into their "safe space." I think it would be better to leave a few droplets on the webbing around the entrance, where she can get to them if she wants to - but the inside of her web tube remains dry.
 

Sluggo

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Mine doesn't really seem to react to the flashlight when I shine it down her nest (she's claimed & webbed the inside of a cholla tube). She doesn't try to retreat from the light, so I don't think it really bothers her too much. (That said, I do try to keep potential disturbances to a minimum - only an occasional "proof of life" peek once in a while.)

I would not put the water directly into her funnel. Spiders generally do not like having water dripped or sprayed directly on them or into their "safe space." I think it would be better to leave a few droplets on the webbing around the entrance, where she can get to them if she wants to - but the inside of her web tube remains dry.
Oohh okay!! I'll be sure to just leave some drops around the edge then! Thank you!
And yeah I don't mind if she's hiding all the time, I don't really plan on flashing her with a light very often I just wanted to make sure she was alright!!
I get so worried over her so easily; she's just such a lovely little girl!
 

Sluggo

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Update!!!

It turns out she was molting! She is huge now although her abdomen looks fairly thin. Would she take food even if she molted recently? She's a very light brown color as opposed to black!
I just upgraded her to her new home with TONS of anchor points, so hopefully she will feel better when it comes to putting down webbing!
 

Ungoliant

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It turns out she was molting! She is huge now although her abdomen looks fairly thin. Would she take food even if she molted recently? She's a very light brown color as opposed to black!
I just upgraded her to her new home with TONS of anchor points, so hopefully she will feel better when it comes to putting down webbing!
Wait a few days and then feed her. (If she has not built a web in her new home, you may want to wait until she makes some webbing. They are more confident hunters with webbing.)
 

Sluggo

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Wait a few days and then feed her. (If she has not built a web in her new home, you may want to wait until she makes some webbing. They are more confident hunters with webbing.)
Ok! Do they darken up as their exoskeleton gets older? It's like a whole new spider!! :D. I feel bad disturbing her right after a molt with a whole new house. She hasn't started webbing anything up yet, I'm assuming she's still recouping from the molt?

Here's a pic of her after I had moved her and before she crawled into her new crevice! You can see how small her abdomen is :(
(Sorry it's so zoomed in, my camera wouldn't focus any other way!)
 

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Ungoliant

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Ok! Do they darken up as their exoskeleton gets older? It's like a whole new spider!! :D. I feel bad disturbing her right after a molt with a whole new house. She hasn't started webbing anything up yet, I'm assuming she's still recouping from the molt?
I'm not sure that they necessarily get darker with age, although a spider that is freshly molted looks pale. There is a lot of variation among individuals, and even the same individual may go through different color phases.

Normal colors include many shades of grey, black, and brown -- I've never seen a mature male that wasn't brown.


Here's a pic of her after I had moved her and before she crawled into her new crevice! You can see how small her abdomen is :(
Could your spider be a mature male? Can you get a shot of the palps? Are they folded over like this?


 

Sluggo

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I'm not sure that they necessarily get darker with age, although a spider that is freshly molted looks pale. There is a lot of variation among individuals, and even the same individual may go through different color phases.

Normal colors include many shades of grey, black, and brown -- I've never seen a mature male that wasn't brown.




Could your spider be a mature male? Can you get a shot of the palps? Are they folded over like this?


I don't wanna bug her too much as she's been hiding in her new home for only a few days by this point but she looked to be a mature female when I first got her unless immature males look this way! When I got her she was roughly an inch and a half from front leg to back leg and now she's probably around 2 inches. I shined a light up into her hide today and she looks MUCH darker than the picture I send of her previously (not black, but def. darker!)
Picture of her when I got her a few months ago:
 

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Ungoliant

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I don't wanna bug her too much as she's been hiding in her new home for only a few days by this point but she looked to be a mature female when I first got her unless immature males look this way! When I got her she was roughly an inch and a half from front leg to back leg and now she's probably around 2 inches. I shined a light up into her hide today and she looks MUCH darker than the picture I send of her previously (not black, but def. darker!)
Picture of her when I got her a few months ago:
The picture is not of a mature male.

Females and immature males look the same.

It's probably possible to molt sex them, but the abdomen is tiny and delicate, so I never bother. I just assume after 3 years or so that they're female, because males usually mature by then.
 

Sluggo

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The picture is not of a mature male.

Females and immature males look the same.

It's probably possible to molt sex them, but the abdomen is tiny and delicate, so I never bother. I just assume after a 3 years or so that they're female, because males usually mature by then.
I just poked her out today and it turns out she's a him :sad: Should I contact the seller? I ordered him from BugsInCyberSpace! I really thought I was getting a female because of the picture on their website otherwise I'm not sure I would have spent $80 on them.
How long do they live after males mature?
 
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Ungoliant

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I just poked her out today and it turns out she's a him :sad: Should I contact the seller? I ordered him from BugsInCyberSpace! I really thought I was getting a female because of the picture on their website otherwise I'm not sure I would have spent $80 on them.
How long do they live after males mature?
Were they advertised as female? How many did you get for $80?

I've never kept a mature male for long enough to see how long it lives. I always breed them with my females or release them to find "wild" females around my property, but I would guess not longer than 6 months with access to water. (They don't really eat.)
 

Sluggo

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Were they advertised as female? How many did you get for $80?

I've never kept a mature male for long enough to see how long it lives. I always breed them with my females or release them to find "wild" females around my property, but I would guess not longer than 6 months with access to water. (They don't really eat.)
I just got the one spider. The website doesn't say female, but I assumed it'd be female because of the picture on the website. Dang that's such a let down that he only has 6 months and I paid so much to get him here plus I've only had him for 2 months.
Is he going to eat now that he's matured or will he just refuse food and should I provide him with a water dish, or just mist his enclosure every few days? I wanna make sure I care for him properly!
Is there anyone who sells guaranteed females? I don't really want to take that gamble again with them.
 

Ungoliant

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Is he going to eat now that he's matured or will he just refuse food and should I provide him with a water dish, or just mist his enclosure every few days? I wanna make sure I care for him properly!
Mature males tend not to have much of an appetite, but I also don't try to keep the males once they mature. Kuks are native to where I live, so I often just release them where I know females are living.

I would drip water into the container for him.


Is there anyone who sells guaranteed females? I don't really want to take that gamble again with them.
It may be hard to get that as a guarantee, because large juveniles and mature females look so similar, and molt sexing is not practical due to the small size and delicacy of the abdomen. The only way I know for sure is if the female has produced a sac.

I generally assume they're female if I've had them for more than three years, and they still haven't turned into males, because males are usually mature by then. (That being said, I've never tried selling or shipping them.)
 

Sluggo

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Mature males tend not to have much of an appetite, but I also don't try to keep the males once they mature. Kuks are native to where I live, so I often just release them where I know females are living.

I would drip water into the container for him.




It may be hard to get that as a guarantee, because large juveniles and mature females look so similar, and molt sexing is not practical due to the small size and delicacy of the abdomen. The only way I know for sure is if the female has produced a sac.

I generally assume they're female if I've had them for more than three years, and they still haven't turned into males, because males are usually mature by then. (That being said, I've never tried selling or shipping them.)
Dang so I'll just have to keep trying to get my hands on a female and pray it doesn't molt into a male. They aren't native to my area, so it's quite expensive getting them here which is the biggest problem for me.
 

Sluggo

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I poked him out today, and he is indeed 100% male.

I hope he sticks around for a while, I've gotten really attached to him <3
Panso.jpg
 
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Ratmosphere

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Beautiful male! I see that's where the review came from for BIC lol.
 

Sluggo

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Beautiful male! I see that's where the review came from for BIC lol.
Yes he is gorgeous! I hope he lives for awhile because I really do like having him around.

And yes, I have never experienced a shop owner sending out aggressive emails after getting a review that they disagree with, especially after I tried to very calmly have a conversation with him about it to see if anything could be done about the situation.

I hope I can snag another Kukulcania from one of the lovely people on this site once he passes because I really have fallen in love with this species!!! :)
But for the time being I am going to enjoy the time that I have left with him!
 
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