Long pre molt?

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May 13, 2017
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I have a Mexican red knee tarantula who is about a year old. She's the first tarantula I've had, and I inherited her so that she wouldn't have to be given up to a pet store, so I still don't know everything. She has successfully molted twice before, without me even noticing she was in pre molt, so she went through it fairly quickly. The past times she only refused food for maybe a couple weeks before. This time around, she is showing all of the "signs" of pre molt: very dull color, swollen and shiny bum with bald patches, sluggish and moody, and refusing food. However, this time she has refused food for about 3-4 months. I tried to feed her about a month ago and she got aggressive towards me, which she had never done before (so I assumed she really didn't want to be bothered). I'm keeping her water dish the same as always, filled every two days with a sponge in it for her to drink from and to soak up the excess water. Is there something I'm doing that could be keeping her from molting, or is this normal? The conditions are the same as the last times she molted successfully.
 

ledzeppelin

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3-4 months can be pretty normal. You say that it is about a year old? how big is the spider though? this species growth rate is very low. For a juvie id say that this is completely normal, but for a tiny sling it is unusual. There is probably nothing wrong at all, and size would probably confirm it. Bald patches and sluggishness are normal for premolt and so is defensiveness. Keep the water dish full and youll be fine.
 

ledzeppelin

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For reference I've had a B. vagans that is about 2" LS in premolt for about 2 months recently.
 

ledzeppelin

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also get rid of the sponge in a water dish. They are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. I cant stress that enough. Have just water in there


Also Id like to apologize to other users for not using the edit option. Im a lazy piece of poop.
 
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also get rid of the sponge in a water dish. They are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. I cant stress that enough. Have just water in there


Also Id like to apologize to other users for not using the edit option. Im a lazy piece of poop.
She's about 2, maybe 2 1/2" . And I didn't know that, I'll trash the sponge! Thanks!
 

darkness975

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@ericalikesspidersandpigs Please post some images of the Spider in question.

Also, an abdomen with a bald patch is not a sign of an upcoming molt. It is a sign that it has been kicking urticating setae and thus developed that bald patch over time. The next molt will correct it.

Like @ledzeppelin said, remove the sponge.
 

ledzeppelin

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@ericalikesspidersandpigs Please post some images of the Spider in question.

Also, an abdomen with a bald patch is not a sign of an upcoming molt. It is a sign that it has been kicking urticating setae and thus developed that bald patch over time
I have noticed tho that all my brachies kick heavily prior to a molt. It may well be coincidence though. I dont disturbe my Ts at all so I doubt it is. o_O
 

darkness975

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I have noticed tho that all my brachies kick heavily prior to a molt. It may well be coincidence though. I dont disturbe my Ts at all so I doubt it is. o_O
Mine have not displayed it, at least not yet. I hope they don't, I am honestly not much of a fan of the bald look.
 

ledzeppelin

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Mine have not displayed it, at least not yet. I hope they don't, I am honestly not much of a fan of the bald look.
Yeah me neither. I might have exaggerated. I don't mean a full bald look. I only have that on my N. chromatus. I should have said that I have noticed kicking only prior to a molt. They usually lack hairs just so much that I can see the colour of the abdomen that's all. Nothing too baldy.
 

Andrea82

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My B.smithi's demeanor is already skittish, but when she enters premolt, she's a demon. Kicking just for the fun of it, chasing tongs/water, anything. And then she molts, and she justs kicks. :D
Pics please!
 

Ellenantula

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OP -- that was one thing disappointing to me after I got slings -- the bigger they got -- the longer the time between moults.
I am used to it now -- my slings grew up -- and I rarely get a moult anymore.
But I sometimes miss those days when nearly every couple weeks brought me some fresh new moult!

Re: bald rumps (in general) -- my A seemanni did this. She was bald-rumped upon arrival (ordered her online), she moulted maybe 18 months ago -- and was bald rumped again within a few months. Never has she flicked at me -- but her enclosure must be Fort-Knox-secured with hairs. And she looks so awful all bald rumped. But, whatcha gonna do? :)
 
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sasker

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Same here. I always count myself lucky that I happen to have a B. smithi/hamorii that is not a kicker. I was very surprised to see bald spots. She then refused food and the bald spots became black. I think the premolt stage is not the most pleasant time for a T and perhaps they are more irritable during this time. Just a theory.
 

cold blood

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Definitely pre molt...and it might be a while as her skin isnt quite blackened yet. Im guessing she has a heavier feeding schedule....not that its bad, just that it leads to looooong pre molt fasts.
 
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Definitely pre molt...and it might be a while as her skin isnt quite blackened yet. Im guessing she has a heavier feeding schedule....not that its bad, just that it leads to looooong pre molt fasts.
Well that's good to hear! And I guess she does have a "heavy" feeding schedule; I gave (or offered) her a super worm about once every two weeks. 90% of the time she was super aggressive towards it and acted like she hadn't eaten in ages, so I kept that up pretty consistently. She was less excited when I would offer a cricket, so I tended to stick to worms especially since they're easier to handle.
 

Andrea82

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Lol, she has enough resources in that abdomen to last her two molts :D

Oh and by the way...B.hamorii never kicks 'just a few hairs', trust me ;)
I don't agree with the handling in this video, but it shows really well how much she actually kicks.
 

bryverine

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My smithi regularly fasts 4-8 months just because. Your tarantula looks super fat, so even if it wasn't premolt, I'd probably just not feed until the next molt and keep a full water dish available.
 

viper69

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I have a Mexican red knee tarantula who is about a year old. She's the first tarantula I've had, and I inherited her so that she wouldn't have to be given up to a pet store, so I still don't know everything. She has successfully molted twice before, without me even noticing she was in pre molt, so she went through it fairly quickly. The past times she only refused food for maybe a couple weeks before. This time around, she is showing all of the "signs" of pre molt: very dull color, swollen and shiny bum with bald patches, sluggish and moody, and refusing food. However, this time she has refused food for about 3-4 months. I tried to feed her about a month ago and she got aggressive towards me, which she had never done before (so I assumed she really didn't want to be bothered). I'm keeping her water dish the same as always, filled every two days with a sponge in it for her to drink from and to soak up the excess water. Is there something I'm doing that could be keeping her from molting, or is this normal? The conditions are the same as the last times she molted successfully.
All normal, I'd remove that sponge, tend to be great places for bacteria to latch on and grow. There is a member on here however that has always used sponges and never had an issue. There's an exception to almost everything.
 
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