Problems With B. emilias Moulting

PDX_Tarantulas

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
44
I have 4 B emilia young'ns. One of them had a problem moulting at about 1 1/2", one of the hind legs didn't come all the way out of the old skin so he lost that leg. He has moulted twice since then and the missing leg is coming back very nicely with no other problems moulting.

I dismissed this as a fluke until a different B emilia had the same problem, with 2 legs not coming out of the old skin. This time, he lost one leg (right side 2nd from the front) but another (right side front) was still attached to the old skin. By the time I saw what was happening, the new skin had already hardened and the leg with the skin on it appeared to be a pretty useless 'pegleg' from dragging the skin around and was sticking straight out and towards the back of the spider. I 'helped' the spider detach the leg from the old skin and it has loosened up a little since that happened and the spider seems to have some use of it and is eating crickets just fine. I don't think there is going to be any lasting problem with it, but is it normal for this to happen with such frequency? Seems the moulting should be really smooth but I've had 2 of my 4 B emilia's have this problem in a couple months. Am I doing something wrong? I have 4 B Emilias and 1 B Smithi and each has moulted 3 times for a total of 15 moults since I've had them with two of the moults occurring with the problems described.

Thanks! CDB
 

cheetah13mo

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 10, 2006
Messages
2,153
Are you makeing sure they have plenty to drink around molt time? Their internal moisture is very important to help loosen the old skin from the new. Container humidity is debatable (?) but I up the humidity in the tanks just in case. I can't see how it would hurt. Internal moisture intake is the key.
 

Alice

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
976
i agree with cheetah on moisture - just mnake sure they always have access to water.

there is another debate about food and molting difficulties, but i havn't got enough data to confirm my suspicion - so i'll just tell my story;):

a friend of mine lives in the same town as i do, and he keeps many of the species i keep. so the conditions are very similar.

the difference is, i feed my slings only once a week with one bigger or two small prey items. sometimes, they go hungry for more than a week, especially avis or slings with large abdomens. i have a gbb sling that i only feed every two to three weeks as it tends to gorge itself.

my friend, on the other hand, feeds his slings as much as they will eat and feed them about 2-3 times a week at least.

in the last year i've lost one sling out of about 3 dozen to molting difficulties (very shortly after i purchased it), and he has lost about 8-10 out of 50.

maybe it would be too early to draw conclusions, and i don't have the money or the time to raise two groups of slings on different diets to prove my point, but i think i'll continue to feed rather sparingly ;)
 

bonesmama

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
1,019
I tend to go with the hydration theory. Alice- how do you keep your crickets compared to your friend? If your crix are well fed and well hydrated, and your friends aren't, that could be the problem. I've fed in varying amounts over the years, and haven't had any problems regardless. There are just so many variables, you may never figure it out.
 

Alice

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Messages
976
yeah, that's true. but as a hobbyist, you just cannot keep track of everything :?

i get crix from the same store as he does (actually i get his as well, as he often has to work saturdays and the store closes early during the week). i don't know what he feeds them - mine get water gel, an occasional piece of fruit or vegetable and an all-inclusive fish diet with a lot of protein. they do very well on that stuff, probably because it contains grain as well a animal protein, plus a lot of vitams and minerals.

i'll be sure to ask him about what he feeds his feeders.
 

bonesmama

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
1,019
You should compare the conditions in the deli cups or whatever you are keeping them in- could be his substrate,humidity,mold.....the list goes on!
 

PDX_Tarantulas

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
44
Here's a follow up to this story:

The spider eventually lost the "pegleg" so it was missing the two front legs on the right side. Kind of walked funny and did not eat or molt for about 2 months after molting about every 30-35 days prior to this. I really thought it was the end for the little critter, but it has finally molted and the missing legs are back, albeit a bit smaller than the rest, but I think they will be back to normal after the next couple molts. Problem is, since he did not eat for two months before molting, the abdomen was pretty shrunken, then after the molt, the abdomen is between the size of a BB and a small pea. Looks freakishly small in comparison to the rest of the body, about 2 inches long.

I'm hoping his appetite will return with a vengeance and he will fatten up real quick.

I would appreciate any comments or advice. I'll update as significant things happen.

Thanks!

PDX
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
8,662
Just for future it normally does not matter what the species is, from slings to about 1.5-2" I keep them all the same. Moist. Not soaking, just moist. I drip water in there as needed and I have never had an issue.
 

PDX_Tarantulas

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
44
YEEHAA! My little spider is eating like a crazy man. The BB sized abdomen is now the size of a pinto bean and he's still stuffing his face. Making up for the 2 month fast. Cool! CDB
 
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