molt on the way?

stu

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2003
Messages
263
Hello all,

First off - sorry again if I asking daft questions, but im new to keeping tarantulas.

My curly hair has not eaten for 4-5 days, before that he ate a LOT, he is also very still most days, but he used to be quite active, he also seems to be in a real bad mood and kicks hairs at every opportunity.

He has a bald spot on his abdomen which is still pink though - I thought this would darken when he was due to moult?

Has he been eating a lot to make up for not much food? when i got him his abdomen was quite small and it looked like he had been underfed?

He is about a year old and I was told he moulted maybe 4 - 5 weeks ago - is he due for a moult? is that why he will not eat?

Thanks,

Stu.
 

Lostkat

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 18, 2003
Messages
342
Don't fret :)

First rule of tarantula keeping - they will eat as and when they damn well want to, without a thought to your nerves :)

He's either just not hungry, or he's gone into premoult. Tarantulas can survive months and even years without food so don't worry. Just keep an eye his humidity, because it's the most crucial element. Without sufficient humidity a tarantula will die. They usually fast for about 2ish weeks at that age before a moult, and yes his pink patch will darken significantly. Just keep offering food every other day and remove if not eaten within 24 hours. You'll soon get used to the strange ways of T's :)

When I got my first T, a baby Brachypelma emilia, she didn't eat for a week. I was climbing up the walls with worry, but she just needed some time to settle. I recently got a very small Avicularia geroldi spiderling who didn't eat for a week... I was really worried until my boyfriend called me over one morning and said 'babe, Zico's moulted' :) I find the best way is to leave them to their own devices... you can't force feed a T.


p.s. It's very rare for T's to be underfed! Us keepers usually feed them FAR too much. Tarantulas in the wild are skinny little runts :) A cricket or two per week is usually more than enough to keep your T well nourished
 

RugbyDave

Arachnoprince
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Apr 5, 2003
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1,428
if you give the T some food, just make sure you keep an eye on it. I don't know if you know or not, but sometimes the prey can turn on the predator (hell, sometimes the prey rides the predator)...

in case you don't know, dont just leave food running / laying around the cage... there's many horror stories and old threads involving "a cricket ate my avic's face as it molted" -- itshorrible!

good luck!
peace,
dave
 

stu

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2003
Messages
263
well it looks like he is due to moult, I checked on him tonight and the bald pink bit on his abdomen has turned dark :)

Anyone have a rough idea of how long it may take before he starts the moult? As i said he is about 1 year old.

He doesnt seem to move around at all so I placed a small water dish near to him so he can find it if needed, this will also raise the humidity slightly. Is this a wise thing to do?

Getting nervous/excited now :) this will be my first T moult.

Hopefully when its over I can post some pics with him showing off his nice new skin :)

cheers,

Stu.
 

partsman

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 23, 2003
Messages
24
I'm learning too , i've learned alot from spidertwin , don't let it dry out! good luck.
 

stu

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Apr 16, 2003
Messages
263
cool, he molted fine :)

He spent the past few days just sitting there, this morning he had spun some 'molting mat' type thing.

Plus - I MISSED IT :( - I just popped out for a quick pint and when i got back I had 2 T's in the tank :)

He seems fine, looks like he has grown a lot too, looking forward till he hardens up and starts eating again.

I been checking out his shed skin, its still hard to belive they manage to get out of that - its amazing.

This was my first T moult - im so glad it went well - i will hopefully post some pics of the fella when i can - i bet he looks sweet now

cheers

stu
 

Joy

Priestess of Pulchra-tude
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 12, 2002
Messages
903
Originally posted by stu
well it looks like he is due to moult, I checked on him tonight and the bald pink bit on his abdomen has turned dark :)

Anyone have a rough idea of how long it may take before he starts the moult? As i said he is about 1 year old.

Stu.
IME, a molt usually takes place between one and two weeks after the abdomen darkens. Please regard this as a general rule, however, rather than an immutable law :)

Joy
 

MrT

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 13, 2002
Messages
2,174
Stu,
You keep calling your T "him". Pull the skincast and sex it. You may have a "her".;)


EWT
 

stu

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Apr 16, 2003
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263
Well I got the skincast but the abdomen is pretty wrinkled and screwed up so I cant tell what sex the T is.

Guess refering to the T as 'him' will have to do till the next molt now.

He's looking cool now - quite a bit bigger :) I guessing about a week before I offer him food again? Or should I put some in and see what he does?

Stu.
 

Lopez

Arachnoking
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Feb 18, 2003
Messages
2,040
Originally posted by RugbyDave

in case you don't know, dont just leave food running / laying around the cage... there's many horror stories and old threads involving "a cricket ate my avic's face as it molted" -- itshorrible!
I know that only too well :(



My Curly is an eating machine who virtually doubles in size every time he sheds - he has quite the appetite.
If I pour 5 or 6 cricks into his tank he will enthusiastically shovel all of them into his fat gob at once.

He goes off food for a week or so before a moult and is VERY inactive and a bit bad-tempered.

"He" is called Miguel, but on closer inspection after the last moult I reckon we might have to change that to Miguella or something. ;)

PS Nice to see another UK T keeper :)
 

extrovertinvert

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 19, 2003
Messages
31
i usually coax mine next to the glass and look at the fangs.. when they turn black its probably safe to throw a few crickets in.. it takes mine about four days before itll eat. but there babies and they go from premolt to molt to eating in usually two weeks.
 

Professor T

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 11, 2003
Messages
724
Originally posted by stu
Well I got the skincast but the abdomen is pretty wrinkled and screwed up so I cant tell what sex the T is.

Guess refering to the T as 'him' will have to do till the next molt now.

He's looking cool now - quite a bit bigger :) I guessing about a week before I offer him food again? Or should I put some in and see what he does?

Stu.
Stu,

The answer will vary. I have a G. pulchra that will eat the day after she sheds. I have a B. smithi that won't eat until 5 days after her shed. You can test this by throwing in a cricket and if it isn't eaten in 10 minutes take it out.

When my T's are ready to eat after a shed, it usually takes them 30 seconds IF the cricket goes the wrong way. Less if the cricket walks toward the T.
 

stu

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2003
Messages
263
well I just put a coupla criks in the tank - ack - I never seen the little guy move so fast... He was out of his hide and dancing around with his supper before I even put the lid back on.

He also stayed in the open to eat so I got a good look at how big hes got. I got a coupla pics so ill post em when I get them developed :)

Stu.
 
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