okay, i'll bite (spiderling care question)

krystal

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i now have two spiderlings, an l. parahybana and an l. cristata. i've had a difficult time locating suitable food for them—none of the pet stores around me have pinhead crickets, which leaves me at a loss as to what to feed them. i don't have experience with flightless fruit flies, and even if i did, i still couldn't get any around here. the smallest crickets i can find are a tad bit smaller than 1/2 inch. my l. parahybana sling is around 1 inch, and my l. cristata is about 1/4 inch. what are the chances my slings will eat a bigger cricket if it is already dead? and what other food alternatives do i have that are normally available in pet stores?

also, i was wondering if anyone has ever tried using a cotton t-shirt, as opposed to a lid with holes in it, to cover the top of their sling jars. i have mine set up in this manner, and at least thrice a day i re-wet the cotton t-shirt square in order to up the humidity. they are kept in my closet (around 80 degrees) and i check on them often. as they get bigger, though, i am going to replace the cotton t-shirt with a real lid, but for the time being, i thought i might be able to pull off the shirt bit.

and lastly—do not buy "lizard litter" by the makers of the "jungle mix" substrate. i purchased a bag thinking it would be all right for the tarantulas (the bag claimed it was ideal for arachnids), however, the stuff started molding after the first day. it was quite messy.
 

MrDeranged

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Hey Krystal,

Congrats on the new slings. There are two things you can try that have worked successfully for me with feeding the tiny ones.

1. Try ripping off the hind legs of large crickets. I've found slings will eat them readily

2. Get the smallest crickets you can find and pre kill them. Just rip off the head or something and throw it in. The slings will eat them. There will probably be alot of leftovers though. Make sure to clean them out quickly as in a high humidity sling environment, they'll mold quickly.

As for the T-shirt idea, it sounds very interesting. I've never heard that one before. I would however worry about them chewing through it once they get a little bigger. I have told some people to use a wet towel across enclosure tops to help increase humidity in large tanks, your T-shirt idea is just smaller scale. Good for you :)

If the lizard litter is what I'm thinking it is, that stuff is horrible. Looks like little white/greyish pellets right? Gets all mushy and nasty if it gets wet. It might work with a terrestrial with no moisture, but I wouldn't use it anyway. Any time you dropped some water in there, it would get unusable. It's just as bad as that corn cob bedding crap.

Scott
 

krystal

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what's the best way to remove a cricket's hind legs (or head)? should i just bite them off? :)

you're right about the lizard litter stuff—the bag boasted about how it was perfect for high humidity, as the plant it is made out of gradually releases water into the air or something like that. whatever the colorful advertising on the package said, it was good enough to sucker me into shelling out $30 for the bag.
 

MrDeranged

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For the legs, just pull them off. Whether by tweezers or by hand, it's up to you :) As for the head, just smoosh it. As for how you do that, it's up to you too :)

Scott
 

Valael

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If you're not too crazy about ripping the legs off, I found that (with a tweasers) if you squeeze the upper portion of the leg (the big femur type thing closest to the body) they fall off with no problem.


Then you don't have to worry about ripping the cricket's butt off and killing it -- Good way to save crickets for larger T's
 

Code Monkey

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I've got a pair of small dissection scissors that I use for dismembering my spider food. You can feed a lot of slings on just one medium cricket with some creative body modification :D
 

SkyeSpider

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I had a 1/4" L. parahybana (he got out and was lost recently) and I did just fine feeding him 1/2" crickets that were prekilled. He'd quite literally rip them apart!! :)

-Bryan
 

krystal

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all right, i solved the leg prob—i trapped a defenseless cricket in a plastic sandwich baggie and smooshed the bag together so as to trap the cricket between the plastic layers. i then proceeded to take the butt of a paint brush and break its legs. i felt like i could cameo on the sopranos as my paint brush edged closer and closer to breaking the leg. i think i like the mobster way of breaking legs. maybe one day i can get into the "jack the ripper way" that co_mo speaks so highly of!
 

BertWright

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Spiderling care question

Have you tried termites for your spiderlings? There should be termites in Virginia (assuming that's where you're living). Here in Alabama, the population density is about 13 colonies per acre - a spiderling will pounce on a termite.

Without knowing what kind of s'lings you have, I was going to mention the forest-floor substrate for the s'lings. Forest-floor is the stuff that comes in a brick. You put the brick in a 2 gallon pail, add about a half a gallon of water, and hours later you have a pail bulging with semi-moist (nearly dry believe it or not) substrate. Try this and add about an inch deep in your container. The point being, just as a house plant will attract little gnats, forest-floor also attracts the gnats. No one likes the notion of gnats living with their tarantula, but it's nature. It happens. Sometimes I could almost be willing to bet that the substrate comes with the gnats. At any rate, spiderlings will eat these gnats. You can change this small amount of substrate anytime you feel the gnats are stressing the tarantula. You will never have an uncontrollable infestation with these little gnats. They are barely visible to the unaided eye. If you feel the subtrate has too many - change the substrate. This may disgust some folks, but it is necessary in some instances.

For the record, adult tarantulas seem to adapt well to coconut bark - other don't. A nice balance of forest-floor, sterile decorative moss and , for some, coconut bark seems to work best.
It's one of these things you have to experiment with I suppose.

For tearing crickets heads off and pre-kills and the like, this too has worked for my s'lings in the past. A hungry spiderling WILL feed on a freshly killed cricket. I'm not sure what all of the plastic baggy is about, but a tarantula keeper shouldn't have any reservations about preparing a meal for the babies. (I'm teasing;) ;) ;)
 

Mendi

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Hey Krystal! you could just freeze you a few hundred little crickets and thaw them before feeding them to your slings. The will eat the readily from my experience and you also freeze any mites so you don't have to worry about an infestation from the ones that come with the crix. Plus being dead already, you don't have to worry about them getting lose, and just grab them with you tweezers, no contact at all... And the termites are also good tasty feeders for your little ones to have
 

N8Legged

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will a sling eat a cricket the same size as it. I just got my first 1/2 inch sling i've never had one this small. the pet store only had small crickets no pinheads.
 

Vezon

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Holy necro, Batman.

To answer your question though, they will eat smalls just fine IME.
 

cold blood

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will a sling eat a cricket the same size as it. I just got my first 1/2 inch sling i've never had one this small. the pet store only had small crickets no pinheads.
If the cricket is too big, either chop it in half, give it a leg or just kill it first.
 

EulersK

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If you prekill, they'll eat prey several times their size. A tiny sling has no qualms with munching on a massive mealworm... just don't expect them to finish it ;)
 

N8Legged

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ok it is eating the little cricket i put in there for it. though i don't know how i'm going to clean out the carcas i've only had this guy since thursday and it's escaped 3 times. it's an A. versicolor sling if anyone is curious.
 

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EulersK

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ok it is eating the little cricket i put in there for it. though i don't know how i'm going to clean out the carcas i've only had this guy since thursday and it's escaped 3 times. it's an A. versicolor sling if anyone is curious.
It's escaping because it wants out of that enclosure. This is an arboreal species and you have nothing for it to climb on.

Since this is one of your first T's, space isn't an issue. Get yourself a larger enclosure and throw in some webbing anchor points (e.g. plastic plants) along with a vertical hide - a cork slab resting against the side of the enclosure, for instance. A spider that feels safe and at home is one that will not dart out of the enclosure. Their "safe place" should be inside the enclosure, so that's where they should scurry when they're scared.

This is only the most basic advice, arboreals aren't my forte. Get @viper69 to weigh in on it, he's one of the best with avics. Cold blood is already in this thread, so I won't tag him, but he's also one of the best.

By the way, it's not a carcass, it's a bolus ;)
 

cold blood

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That vial is a veritable deathtrap for an avic. Move it to a 16oz deli cup. Ventilate with a couple rings of holes in the top half, put in a piece of wood to climb on, surround it with plants, add a water dish and keep the sub predominantly dry.
 

Andrea82

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Just curious, I see a tub with what seems to be several spiders in it in the background...are those tarantula as well? Most species don't do well together.
 

Venom1080

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Just curious, I see a tub with what seems to be several spiders in it in the background...are those tarantula as well? Most species don't do well together.
pretty positive those are crickets. Ts dont look like that.
 
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