M. balfouri enclosure

HybridReplicate

Spectrostatic
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
107
I've read practically every thread on this and related topics, read multiple sources, surveyed the work of others. My working hypothesis based on all this is that M. balfouri is only an opportunistic burrower but an obligate webber (is there such a thing? o_O) and will weave themselves a den if unable to burrow.

For this, I have the (unoriginal) idea to exploit this tendency by providing a minimum of substrate but an intricate scaffolding of branches from which a den can be constructed. My working plan to use excavator clay in the construction & as a portion of the substrate, given that they're a xerix species I shouldn't have to worry about moisture making it goopy.

Thoughts? Experience? Construction starts soon... :anxious:
 

Chris LXXIX

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
5,689
Those are Theraphosidae that literally care for themselves once they have lots of inches of (bone dry) substrate for burrow and anchor points for 'play' with web. Water dish. Done :-s

I can't talk about excavator clay and else for that I would use normal substrate.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
Staff member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
3,290
I've read practically every thread on this and related topics, read multiple sources, surveyed the work of others. My working hypothesis based on all this is that M. balfouri is only an opportunistic burrower but an obligate webber (is there such a thing? o_O) and will weave themselves a den if unable to burrow.

For this, I have the (unoriginal) idea to exploit this tendency by providing a minimum of substrate but an intricate scaffolding of branches from which a den can be constructed. My working plan to use excavator clay in the construction & as a portion of the substrate, given that they're a xerix species I shouldn't have to worry about moisture making it goopy.

Thoughts? Experience? Construction starts soon... :anxious:
I've never done it with M. balfouri, but I have done it with several Chilobrachys species (C. huahini, C. andersoni, C. fimbriatus, and several specimens of each). It works like a charm. Most people would define almost all Chilobrachys spp. as obligate burrowers, but not a single one of mine burrow past the sling stage. And it's not from lack of substrate - I provide both deep substrate and plenty of anchor points. They never burrow even an inch, instead opting for webbing their own tubes. Another user, @viper69, hypothesized that webbing is much less labor intensive than burrowing, hence their choice. I can't come up with a better guess as to why they choose to do this. Note that they will absolutely burrow if they must, but they certainly prefer to web. Note that M. balfouri and Chilobrachys spp. are from different continents. Take everything with a grain of salt, but I felt my story was relevant!
 

mistertim

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 4, 2015
Messages
551
I think most tarantulas that web as well as burrow tend to be really adaptive and can make do with pretty much anything. I've seen (unfortunate) enclosures with hardly any sub and no anchor points that are covered in webbing. My guess is it would work just fine.
 

Bread

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 11, 2016
Messages
26
Mine don't burrow deep at all, I place flat cork bark pieces on the sub and some buried vertically and they tend to excavate a space just under the cork, making web tubes above.
 

HybridReplicate

Spectrostatic
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
107
I've never done it with M. balfouri, but I have done it with several Chilobrachys species (C. huahini, C. andersoni, C. fimbriatus, and several specimens of each). It works like a charm. Most people would define almost all Chilobrachys spp. as obligate burrowers, but not a single one of mine burrow past the sling stage. And it's not from lack of substrate - I provide both deep substrate and plenty of anchor points. They never burrow even an inch, instead opting for webbing their own tubes. Another user, @viper69, hypothesized that webbing is much less labor intensive than burrowing, hence their choice. I can't come up with a better guess as to why they choose to do this. Note that they will absolutely burrow if they must, but they certainly prefer to web. Note that M. balfouri and Chilobrachys spp. are from different continents. Take everything with a grain of salt, but I felt my story was relevant!
Very interesting, relative energy expenditure is a decent idea to explain the behavior. Definitely relevant!

Thanks to everyone for their input. I've seen multiple setups and read opinions which suggest it should be treated as a fossorial species. Needed to check my thinking/research before I went down this path lest it adversely effect the spider! :dead:

Stay tuned in terrariums, I'll make a thread for the enclosure & hopefully make periodic updates.



 
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