Nasty Nematodes

Gail

Arachnopixie
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Aug 16, 2002
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521
OK, has anyone else had these vile things turn up in their T enclosures? They are just about clear, up to 3/8" long, tiny round worm-like things with no discernable head or tail and whose populations seem to explode practically overnight. Last time I got them was about 5 years ago in an A. avic enclosure that I had planted live pothos in and it was rather moist. Haven't seen them since - until last night when I was checking the larger of my four H. gigas - two 2.5" specimens. They had a peat / vermiculite mix and a piece of cork bark - all quite moist as the species needs it (especially when smaller) - but no darn live plants to bring any nematodes with them. The soil was crawling with the little monsters! I had to dig up the T's (they both had very elaborate tunnel systems and were surprizingly docile about being dug up), sterilize the petpals and give them all new substrate - pure peat this time in hopes the acidic nature will deter the nemetodes in the future and no cork bark, just in case the nematods may have come from it. Just wondering how dangerous these nematodes can be, what they were eating (I keep the prey remains cleaned up), where they come from, etc. Both T's seem to be in good health - one already dug a new burrow but the other is in pre-molt, hasn't dug and is rather unhappy looking. I plan to give it a "start" on it's burrow tonight, just so it feels it has a hidey hole - it doesn't seem to like the half of a yogurt cup I gave it to hide under.

Gail
 

Weapon-X

Arachnodemon
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Jul 19, 2002
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774
re

i had decided to change the soil in my malaysian earth tiger vials because there was remains of a cricket i could'nt reach so i figured i would change them all, in one the vials in the peat i seen one crawling i was like what the hell is this? i think they come from crickets, but i always keep an eye on them and never seen them before actualy was disturbing glad i caught it before anything bad could happen--Jeff
 

jezzy607

Arachnobaron
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Dec 29, 2002
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Do they jump? if so they are collembolans or "springtails" I get infestations of them in my termite cultures at the lab I work at. they don't seem to harm the termites at all, even when there is thousands of them. But termites are not tarantulas. they seem to prefer eating decaying plant materials.

but if they are not springtails, then sorry I can't help you.
 

Tranz

Arachnobaron
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Sep 18, 2002
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Originally posted by Gail
- pure peat this time in hopes the acidic nature will deter the nemetodes in the future and no cork bark, just in case the nematods may have come from it.
Gail
Try baking your cork bark in the oven for 45 minutes at 200 F. A bonus is that it sure smells better than that awful baking bread stuff.
 

Immortal_sin

Arachnotemptress
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Jul 17, 2002
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Gail,
nematodes, (if that'swhat they are) are BAD news. I don't know if you are a member of ATS Enthusiast Yahoo group, but awhile back someone (can't remember who) got a terrible infestation, and it killed ALOT of his Ts. There was an ongoing discussion on HOW they entered the body (via anus, mouth, booklungs?) and whether they could even be killed once inside a T without killing the T too.
Maybe someone here can recall the entire discussion better than I can? I only hope it's not nematodes...
 

Code Monkey

Arachnoemperor
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Actually, Holley, nematodes of some variety are just about everywhere - iirc, I believe that collectively they weigh more than all the other animals put together. The vast majority are free living but there are parasitic ones. They can encyst and are able to travel by air currents, clinging to insects, etc. Some regularly inhabit the gut of gnats and scuttle flies and can come in that way. Bottom line is that any soil that is kept moist for any length of time will have nematodes in it of some variety so odds are there is nothing wrong or dangerous to the Ts.

I know the discussion you're referring to and the problem was the infected Ts (with the dreaded buttplug of doom) had masses of nematodes clustered at their mouths. The best guess was that the nematodes themselves were carriers of pathogenic bacteria that was infecting the Ts and these nematodes were coming in via fungus gnats.

So, at any rate, odds are that Gail's tank already has more nematodes living in it but that they're most likely harmless ones. The bloom may or may not have indicated cause for concern so no harm was done by cleaning the tank but it was also very likely futile.
 

Gail

Arachnopixie
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Aug 16, 2002
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Do they jump? if so they are collembolans or "springtails"
No, they are definately soil nematodes, I've attached a pic I found on the web.

nematodes, (if that'swhat they are) are BAD news. I don't know if you are a member of ATS Enthusiast Yahoo group, but awhile back someone (can't remember who) got a terrible infestation, and it killed ALOT of his Ts. There was an ongoing discussion on HOW they entered the body (via anus, mouth, booklungs?) and whether they could even be killed once inside a T without killing the T too.
I was really worried at first too but the T's themselves seem just fine - clean butts and lung cases and the one that shed recently is eating like a pig.

So, at any rate, odds are that Gail's tank already has more nematodes living in it but that they're most likely harmless ones. The bloom may or may not have indicated cause for concern so no harm was done by cleaning the tank but it was also very likely futile.
I'm also quite certain they will be back because of how moist the H.gigas are kept, if they bloom out of control again, I will switch out again just to be on the safe side, but I too think they are harmless (but icky) common soil nematodes now that I have done some major web researching :D

Gail
 

xgrafcorex

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Aug 16, 2005
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i figured theres already a handfull of these threads, so why start a new one? a p murinus of mine died and i took this photo....is this a case of nematodes? :(

 
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