Pre moult advice

Dylan Bruce

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Hey guys,

I'm a first time keeper with a juvinile B.smithi. I received the T on Tuesday the 10th. I know it's not unusual for them not to eat for around a month due to settling in to their new enclosure, I've tried feeding it twice with no luck but I'm now beginning to think it may be in pre moult. It has a small bald patch and it looks a little dark. Any advice on where to go from here would be appreciated.

- Dylan
 

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KezyGLA

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could be. time will tell. The abdomen is nice and plump anyway so nothing to worry about
 

Anoplogaster

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Agreed. If he/she is in premolt, it might be early stages. Bald patches could also be the result of hair kicking. The hairs don't come back until after a molt.

Not really anything you can actively do, other than making sure your spider has what it needs (water, a place to hide, etc).
 

Walker253

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Premolt...imo. Hopefully you get a good look at the molt and "it" becomes a "she"
 

EulersK

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@Dylan Bruce
Here's some information for you. Feel free to ask if you've got further questions.

What to expect from a molt and your role as a keeper:

What a molt actually looks like, so you don't freak out. It's a pretty... gruesome act.
 

darkness975

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Any advice on where to go from here would be appreciated.
Do nothing.
When I first got my B. smithi she did not eat at all. The abdomen was plenty plump though, like yours, so I did not worry about it. Eventually she molted and after her fangs hardened she showed me how a Tarantula turns into an intergalactic space ship when it is post-molt hungry and ready to eat again.

Given the color of the bald patch I would say the molt is quickly approaching, although it could still be a while. The molt will also correct that so she will have a complete abdominal covering without the bald spot.
 

Dylan Bruce

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Thanks for the advice. I'll keep an eye on it to see if the bald patch gets any larger or darker. Should I try feeding in a weeks time if I don't notice the bald patch changing or is it better to hold off with food as long as the abdomen looks plump and healthy?
 

ledzeppelin

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Thanks for the advice. I'll keep an eye on it to see if the bald patch gets any larger or darker. Should I try feeding in a weeks time if I don't notice the bald patch changing or is it better to hold off with food as long as the abdomen looks plump and healthy?
If it refuses in a week it probably will molt.. But it may take quite a while for the abdomen to darken.. My smithi is in premolt for a few months and is size-wise maybe one molt ahead of yours.
 

Anoplogaster

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If you try feeding again, and you're using crickets, be sure to remove the food if the spider doesn't take it. Stray crickets can be pretty stressful for a T if it's not being eaten, because crickets will chew on spiders. If the spider happens to flip over and go into a molt with a cricket around, that could be a bad situation.
 

Dylan Bruce

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Yeah I have locusts at the minute and I take them out after about an hour or two if it doesn't take it. I all ways keep a close eye on it when I'm feeding I've heard too many bad stories especially involving burrowing mealworms and molting spiders.
 

Dylan Bruce

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Hey guys,

A little update on my b. Smithi, it seems to be getting closer to a moult as you will see in the attached picture but I've come across another problem. I picked up some mealworms today and tried to give it a feed, I crushed the head of the mealworm and dropped it in the enclosure and the spider didn't seem to be interested at first but the mealworm was still wriggling a little so i thought I would leave it for a while to see if it would take it. 10 minutes later the mealworm is nowhere to be seen so I'm positive it burrowed. I'm sure since I crushed the head even though it has burrowed it should die in no time but I don't want to risk it coming back as a beetle and hurting the spider especially since it looks to be due a molt soon.

What do you guys think, clear the enclosure or just leave it?
 

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Walker253

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If you crushed the head and it had it in it to burrow, it likely will die and dry up. Frankly, the odds on it terrorizing your smithi are very remote. The stress you would cause by tearing up the enclosure looking for this thing is much worse on your T.
 

Dylan Bruce

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If you crushed the head and it had it in it to burrow, it likely will die and dry up.
Yeah that's what I thought but I've heard a few bad stories of mealworms or beetles harming a T which is the last thing I want. But since it seems to be due a molt soon I think I'll just leave it. Thanks for the advice
 

Walker253

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I think a lot of people only speak about the one time it happened and not the many times it doesn't. Then you have a person who preaches the fear because their brother's friend's cousin's roommate's sister had an issue that could never be tracked down to see if it was even real.
I know I'm getting a dislike or a disagree for that. I'll still stand by what I originally put. Heck, most of my tarantula enclosures have at least one roach who set up residence and nothing has ever happened. On the burrowing T's I have, you rarely know when they're molting anyway.
 

Anoplogaster

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I wouldn't worry. After crushing the head, I don't really feel it's likely that it would survive long enough to become a beetle. Besides, even if it does, it'll pop out of the substrate and you would see it.
 

cold blood

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IMG_2483.jpg
counter-point.

Had the head been actually crushed (its easy to not crunch it all the way), it wouldn't have been able to burrow. I would worry about it.

This is a freshly molted mature female GBB that had some surprise visitors use her as a buffet.
 

darkness975

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View attachment 230308
counter-point.

Had the head been actually crushed (its easy to not crunch it all the way), it wouldn't have been able to burrow. I would worry about it.

This is a freshly molted mature female GBB that had some surprise visitors use her as a buffet.
That made me sad :(

But it is a good indication to people that stray prey items are no joke.
 
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