My 1" Grammostola pulchra won't eat or molt-help!

Sageweast

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
8
Hi guys! I got my beautiful little Brazilian black about three months ago. I bought her (assuming gender just to make it simple) from Jamie's tarantulas as a 1 inch unsexed. I held her about 1 week after I got her and I could tell immediately that she was stressed and did not enjoy being held very much. I put her back in her cage and haven't tried to hold her again out of fear of stressing her out too much!! She has been fed very small crickets and a bunch of flightless fruit flies and hasn't eaten anything in the 3 months(that I have seen). She also lives exclusively under her clear water dish and has been burrowed under it for probably 2 months. I'm worried that something is wrong since she never really comes out and doesn't eat and hasn't moulted. Does anyone have an idea of what might be going on?? Thanks so much for the help.. Her name is Zenobia FYI
 

Ranitomeya

Arachnoknight
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
250
This is pretty normal behavior for a terrestrial, burrowing tarantula. Burrowing tarantulas are not going to come out of their burrows unless there's something wrong with their burrow or if they're extremely thirsty or hungry. Is the entrance to its burrow open or is it lightly or heavily webbed up? If it's open, you can pre-kill prey and put it either just into the burrow or near the entrance. It won't come out of its burrow to actively hunt around the enclosure. If it's webbed up, leave it alone as it may be preparing to molt.

Was it very well-fed the last time you saw it? If you feed spiderlings very, very well, they will cease accepting prey and wait until they molt before hunting again. If a tarantula extremely well-fed right after a molt, it may be quite some time before a tarantula completes assimilating the nutrients and undergoes the development required to successfully molt again. It is rather unusual for a spiderling of that size to go so long without food without molting. Have you verified whether or not it's alive and looking well?
 

Sageweast

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
8
This is pretty normal behavior for a terrestrial, burrowing tarantula. Burrowing tarantulas are not going to come out of their burrows unless there's something wrong with their burrow or if they're extremely thirsty or hungry. Is the entrance to its burrow open or is it lightly or heavily webbed up? If it's open, you can pre-kill prey and put it either just into the burrow or near the entrance. It won't come out of its burrow to actively hunt around the enclosure. If it's webbed up, leave it alone as it may be preparing to molt.

Was it very well-fed the last time you saw it? If you feed spiderlings very, very well, they will cease accepting prey and wait until they molt before hunting again. If a tarantula extremely well-fed right after a molt, it may be quite some time before a tarantula completes assimilating the nutrients and undergoes the development required to successfully molt again. It is rather unusual for a spiderling of that size to go so long without food without molting. Have you verified whether or not it's alive and looking well?
Thank you for your comment!! I don't see any entrance so she might have pushed it shut a little bit.. But there is definitely no webbing... There's none in her entire cage, actually! And I have seen her move around a little bit so I know she is alive but that's about all that I know.. And I don't know if she was well fed before.. All I know is that she hasn't eaten since I purchased her. I appreciate your comment very much, thank you!
 

Thistles

Arachnobroad
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
623
If the entrance is completely sealed with dirt, she is probably in premolt. You might also try increasing the size of prey offered. Fruit flies are too small for her at 1". Bump her up to crickets about the size of her carapace.
 

Hydrazine

Arachnobaron
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
393
Shiro, my cca 4-5cm old G.pulchra, hadn't molted for about 2 years and a bit, until recently. Sometimes didn't eat for a month or more, still no molt. Just accept that amongst slow growers, G.pulchra is second to none (ooookay, maybe E.sp.red/yellow), and with that come some peculiar food habits. Relax, you're in for a long run with this one.

Shiro says hi
 

DragonizedGlory

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
52
@Hydrazine, speaking of food habits I've seen that when my G. Rosea stops eating for a long time as this species is known for doing, giving it a different food item like a small lizard or frog instead of the usual cricket brings him right out of that habit of his.
 

Sageweast

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
8
If the entrance is completely sealed with dirt, she is probably in premolt. You might also try increasing the size of prey offered. Fruit flies are too small for her at 1". Bump her up to crickets about the size of her carapace.
Oh wow.. Thank you very much! I'll run to the store today!!!!
 

Sageweast

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
8
Shiro, my cca 4-5cm old G.pulchra, hadn't molted for about 2 years and a bit, until recently. Sometimes didn't eat for a month or more, still no molt. Just accept that amongst slow growers, G.pulchra is second to none (ooookay, maybe E.sp.red/yellow), and with that come some peculiar food habits. Relax, you're in for a long run with this one.

Shiro says hi
Thank you very much!! I definitely feel better knowing I'm not the only one.. And love the name! I'll tell Zenobia that Shiro said hi lol
 

Sageweast

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
8
@Hydrazine, speaking of food habits I've seen that when my G. Rosea stops eating for a long time as this species is known for doing, giving it a different food item like a small lizard or frog instead of the usual cricket brings him right out of that habit of his.
Hmm... Interesting.. Thank you!!! I'll try switching it up!
 

DeanK

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 16, 2016
Messages
81
I'd advise against trying any vertebrates for a T at any size but especially as a 1" sling, the risk is high that they could injure the T
 

johnny quango

Arachnoknight
Joined
May 17, 2013
Messages
262
Just leave the tarantula to its own devices as @Thistles said it's more than likely in premolt if not it will reappear if it's hungry.
A little advice it isn't just G rosea/porteri that are notorious for fasting for long periods G pulchra also does it my adult female as gone as long as 10 months without eating so I wouldn't worry too much. Great spider btw
 

Ranitomeya

Arachnoknight
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
250
Some tarantulas have habits that are dictated very strictly by both the seasonal cycling and environmental conditions. I'm sure if you were able to provide a very natural cycle, you'd see a more normal range of behaviors under normal time frames, but in captivitiy, our conditions are usually so stable that it tricks tarantulas that are adapted to fluctuating environmental stimuli into becoming dormant for significant periods of time as they wait for things to change.
 
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