Molting Trick - Spread 'em!

Shaka

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
17
Hi Everyone!

I recently posted this in South Africa, and it seems no-one down here has done it yet, but this is a nice way to get your T exuviums to spread out easily for sexing or taking pics for sexing. And it goes a lil something like this...

"--->

I don't know if anyone has tried this yet, but I have never seen it until I did it. During December my Chaco Golden Knee (G.Pulchripes) moulted, and I was very keen to find a way to get the moult moistened so that I could try and stretch it all out in order to try and sex it.

So I watched the T until it had just climbed completely out of it's old exuvium so it's legs were free and I grabbed the exuvium with the forceps to dunk it in a large deli dish of water to keep it moist until I found a better solution, but I had a fail moment and dropped the exuvium into the water on it's own, it landed on it's back and vwhalla! The exuvium immediately parachuted open into full stretch and remained in one single piece!

I tried this again with the exuvium of a Brazilian Red & White (N.Chromatus) but the exuvium was a few hours old and had dried a bit, so it didn't work.

So I tried it again today with my Mexican Red Knee (B.Smithi) and again grabbed the moult when it's legs were just free, and the moult was still slightly moist - and BOOM! it happenned again. Now I took it one step further, I used some fish tank air tubing and siphoned the water out of the deli dish so that it lowers the exuvium at full stretch onto the plastic when the water is gone, and I let it dry like that. it then comes off in one single complete piece, starting from the carapace all the way to the main body. Nice

Here's a pic I took.



So, if you want to do this, just do your best to grab a moult as soon as you can get hold of it after a moult while it's still slightly moist from it's own moisture, and drop in some water on it's back. put a torch under it, and you can tell sex pretty well. I am still learning, but I am sure the trained eye would sex it in a flash.

<----"

I asked another member of the forum to try it as he had an T moulting at the time and it worked like a charm. So please anyone else that has T's moulting (SA Spelling), please attempt this in order to verify if it's a successful method.

PS to Mods: Not sure if this should have gone in the sexing section as this is more of a general tip for everyone? :worship:

Shaka
 

killy

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 20, 2009
Messages
249
Very cool. Thanks for sharing this.

Trying to save my Ts' molts (U.S. spelling ;)) and positioning them before it's too late has been an enduring struggle for me - with mixed success. I will definitely give your method a try (when circumstances permit) and get back to you. I read somewhere that mineral oil works on rigor-mortised molts, but that's another method I have not yet tried. Have you?

p.s. and I LOVE the S.A. spelling of "voila"! ;);)
 

Shaka

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
17
LOL! Vwhalla is our own little poetic license... well, mine anyways :). Nope haven't tried the mineral oil method, but will do some reading on it.

When it comes to saving exuviums, there are a few people down here that are preserving their T's molts in resin, they basically use a square tray (don't know what it's made of) that is big enough to fit the T's molt into, and then they pour in the resin, and then removing the whole thing once it's set. You are basically left with a pretty nifty looking coaster to place your drinks on. Personally I would have thought that the resin would somehow destroy the delicate exuvium, but it doesn't.

:)
 

Londoner

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
846
It's a bit risky to grab the exuvium while it's still moist in my opinion. There's a very real danger of injury or death if the T decides to freak out at the disturbance whilst it's new exoskeleton is still super-soft. It's unnecessary IMO since even very old or dry exuvia will rehydrate and become pliable again if you just spritz them with water (even ones that are years old). I know it can be frustrating if a T decides to destroy or shred it's exuvium before you can retrieve it, but I prefer to err on the side of caution personally. Just my opinion :).

Casting in resin also works well with dead specimens and makes for great wall hangings or display pieces. If anyone is interested in giving it a go, here's a great step by step guide xhexdx made a while back:

http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=144968&highlight=resin+casting
 

Shaka

Arachnopeon
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
17
Thanks Londoner. I see your point, and do my very best not to disturb the T. Will check out Xhexdx's resin guide.
 

codykrr

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
3,113
Helpful hint.

When rehydrating a molt. Use a mix of water a dish soap(not much) but just enough to see a few bubbles.

Hydrates much better.

Also, get a piece of glass, or clear plastic, spread the molt out on the and shine a flashlight from underneath. if a spermathacea is present it will show pretty easily. If there are bubbles on your molt spray them away with water.

here is a picture using the above method.

as you can see, pretty noticeable.;)

 

Bosing

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
893
I use alcohol to rehydrate the shed skins. The old skin absorbs the alcohol quickly making it easy to spread out for checking.
 
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