Mites ate my blue fang

Dexter

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
19
Well the tiny white bugs that loved my water dishes have captured their first victim. My blue fang was trying to molt and they seem to have attacked. I had begun swapping all my slings to new cases and got threw like 25 of them and left her because she was heavy heavy premolt and i didn't see many of the white mites in her cage. I woke up this morning to her being munched on.

So anyone who thinks these are harmless should move any spider that is about to molt. Apparently they are mostly harmless except if the spider decided to molt out in the open and not web himself up to keep the bugs out.

This is a lesson learned for me. I should have moved the spider pre molt or not. The mites dont seem to care about the spiders at all until molt time. I think it's the moisture of the spider that would make them attack. This is my first spider death that I contribute to my lack of skill and is my fault.

My blue fang was 1.5 inches atleast. The mites were like microscopic.
 

joshuai

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
821
are you sure the spider did not die in molt and then the mites got it? i have never had a problem and i had them bad before! they never bother the Ts till they are dead then they scavenge them!
 

AudreyElizabeth

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 10, 2003
Messages
744
are you sure the spider did not die in molt and then the mites got it? i have never had a problem and i had them bad before! they never bother the Ts till they are dead then they scavenge them!
That is a great possibility.
Either way, I'm sorry you lost your tarantula. Don't beat yourself up about it. :(
 

Scorpionking20

Arachnoknight
Joined
May 31, 2010
Messages
158
Sorry to hear your' loss! What a fun spider too...that's a bummer! I had those white things in my A metallica tank. Almost threw up cleaning them out of the dish with a towel. I let the tank dry out for a few weeks, then put water back in the water dish. You know what? Two days later they are infesting the water dish again! I don't know what they are, but they gross me out.

Thanks for alerting us to possible things to look out for.
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,426
Are you sure they were mites? If they are that abundant, it should be easy to capture a few and put them under a microscope. My bet is that you've got Collembola, and they were opportunistically feeding on a dead tarantula.

There are many thousands of different kinds of mites, but I've never heard of any that cooperatively hunt and kill large prey, which is what you're accusing these "mites" of doing.
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,426
I had those white things in my A metallica tank. I let the tank dry out for a few weeks, then put water back in the water dish. You know what? Two days later they are infesting the water dish again! I don't know what they are, but they gross me out.
Collembola. Harmless to tarantulas. I know some people who raise them as food for very tiny arachnids.
 

Dexter

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
19
I'm not saying they hunted him down and killed him. But I found them feeding on him. He was upright and deffinately in a really heave pre molt I had expected him to molt that day. So you think it's more likely he just died for some other reason and then the mites attacked?

I have been told the mites will start attacking during a molt cycle because the T has no tough skin at that point. But he hadn't molted yet so i am not sure what to think.
 

flamesbane

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
529
So the tarantula didn't actually molt? Sounds like it had a molting problem then.
 

joshuai

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 10, 2008
Messages
821
Are you sure they were mites? If they are that abundant, it should be easy to capture a few and put them under a microscope. My bet is that you've got Collembola, and they were opportunistically feeding on a dead tarantula.

There are many thousands of different kinds of mites, but I've never heard of any that cooperatively hunt and kill large prey, which is what you're accusing these "mites" of doing.
The ones that i had were mites i got a springtail culture going now for my pygmy chameleon tank im setting up! the ones i had in my T tanks were a lot smaller and cylindrical and moved relatively fast no jumping. definitely mites! looked nothing like collembola ,Not saying thats what the op has but springtails are long and skinny not round well there actually teardrop looking under a mic!
 

Dexter

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
19
these are for sure mites. probably from some crappy crickets i got from the smelly pet store near my house. I try to avoid using them because the plae just smells terrible but i was lazy and didn't want to drive the 15 min to my other LPS. That's the only place i can think of that would have created mites out of thin air.I have ordered up some isopods to try to keep things more under control in terms of waste clean up.
 

Ingar

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 13, 2010
Messages
46
And for knowing guys..
If you see in your enclosure white mites - those are scavengers - are qute conditionally unharmles, but if you see red or orange ones - start to pay your attention - because those usually are parasitic.
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 2, 2006
Messages
1,426
And for knowing guys..
If you see in your enclosure white mites - those are scavengers - are qute conditionally unharmles, but if you see red or orange ones - start to pay your attention - because those usually are parasitic.
Don't get too wrapped up in the color of the mites - there are no real rules about which kinds of mites are which colors. And there are a lot more kinds than scavengers and parasites. For an example I've included a picture my wife took of an Olios spider with mites on it. Many people would take one look at the picture and jump to the conclusion that they are parasites. But they aren't. They're phoretic mites - completely harmless to the spider, but they use the spider as a means of transportation during one stage of their life.

(My wife works with spiders and with mites. I share her interest in spiders, but generating enthusiasm for the mites is proving a bit more difficult.)
 
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