R.I.P. Scarecrow *sigh*

MrsHaas

Arachnoangel
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
846
So, yesterday I finally did the deed. Well, actually I made my husband do it, lol. But either way, it is done. My AF P. subfusca (LL) - who was named "Scarecrow" by her previous owner - has finally ascended to pokie heaven.

If you don't know the background story to this thread, click the link below to enlighten yourself:

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/help-me-save-my-p-subfusca-and-e-murinus.285848/

Some questions still lie unsolved: was the sub caught in a molt? Or did she die from the heat levels in transit?

I'm hoping to try to figure this out, not only to satisfy the curiosity of those who have followed this story, but to settle my mind, and the previous owners,' as well.

Theoretically, if it was in fact the heat, we will have another small slice of hard evidence regarding possible reactions to and certain signs that a T has been harmed by high temperatures during transit. That way it is easier to diagnose the ailment.

I am in no way trying to falsify expertise... I am a super newb when it comes to this - never dealt w this before, nor did I ever think I would have to. And I certainly do not consider myself a scientist or professional tarantula "coroner." Yes, it would be nice to answer some questions, but I do not want you all to think I believe myself to be a pioneer of science (although some people on the boards have flattered me as such). I'm just an unlucky girl with an unlucky spider stuck in an unlucky situation. And, as I mentioned before, I am doing this crude "autopsy" at the request of some members - including myself - but mostly due to the curiosity of the previous owner, who hopes to find out the whys and hows.

This investigation may help people, or it may not. Either way, I honestly hope no one ever has to use this as a reference of facts due to a similar situation to my current one.

Now it's time for me to ask you all for some help ...

As I said, I am a complete novice when it comes to tarantula anatomy. I'm wondering what the best way to conduct this experiment. I was given the idea to use a scalpel to try and lift of the top carapace to reveal if there is another that had formed beneath it. However, I'm nervous bc I don't know where/how to cut the carapace without damaging things.

If anyone had done any sort of similar tarantula dismemberment (for lack of a better word), pretty please can you give me some words of wisdom? Also, if anyone out there has any knowledge of tarantula anatomy I would love to learn more before I conduct my investigation. Honestly, any factoids that any member has that can aid is graciously welcomed.

Now I will post this and wait to see if anyone replies with relevant info.

Thanks to all who have followed this story and given both advice and support. Love you all and thank goddess for the boards!!! Xo
 

Ran

Arachnoknight
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Messages
282
I'm truly sorry for the loss....I have 2 sister female regalis that are now both 7". One got real sick after a molt and ate only twice making it to the next molt...she then ate only once and miraculously made it to another molt and is now eating normally....very tough species so, I am saddened to hear yours passed on...my condolences.
 

KezyGLA

Arachnoking
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
3,033
Its sad to hear that she passed :(

It sounds like a good idea to perform autopsy to determine what the probable cause was for her passing.

I wish I knew about how to do such procedures and what to look for, so I will be followig this thread.

You did great keeping her going for so long and you should be proud of your efforts.

Very sad to hear that you lost such a beutiful species. I hope you can go so far and determine what caused this situation.
 

Octagon

Arachnoperson
Joined
Feb 15, 2016
Messages
39
So, yesterday I finally did the deed. Well, actually I made my husband do it, lol. But either way, it is done. My AF P. subfusca (LL) - who was named "Scarecrow" by her previous owner - has finally ascended to pokie heaven.

If you don't know the background story to this thread, click the link below to enlighten yourself:

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/help-me-save-my-p-subfusca-and-e-murinus.285848/

Some questions still lie unsolved: was the sub caught in a molt? Or did she die from the heat levels in transit?

I'm hoping to try to figure this out, not only to satisfy the curiosity of those who have followed this story, but to settle my mind, and the previous owners,' as well.

Theoretically, if it was in fact the heat, we will have another small slice of hard evidence regarding possible reactions to and certain signs that a T has been harmed by high temperatures during transit. That way it is easier to diagnose the ailment.

I am in no way trying to falsify expertise... I am a super newb when it comes to this - never dealt w this before, nor did I ever think I would have to. And I certainly do not consider myself a scientist or professional tarantula "coroner." Yes, it would be nice to answer some questions, but I do not want you all to think I believe myself to be a pioneer of science (although some people on the boards have flattered me as such). I'm just an unlucky girl with an unlucky spider stuck in an unlucky situation. And, as I mentioned before, I am doing this crude "autopsy" at the request of some members - including myself - but mostly due to the curiosity of the previous owner, who hopes to find out the whys and hows.

This investigation may help people, or it may not. Either way, I honestly hope no one ever has to use this as a reference of facts due to a similar situation to my current one.

Now it's time for me to ask you all for some help ...

As I said, I am a complete novice when it comes to tarantula anatomy. I'm wondering what the best way to conduct this experiment. I was given the idea to use a scalpel to try and lift of the top carapace to reveal if there is another that had formed beneath it. However, I'm nervous bc I don't know where/how to cut the carapace without damaging things.

If anyone had done any sort of similar tarantula dismemberment (for lack of a better word), pretty please can you give me some words of wisdom? Also, if anyone out there has any knowledge of tarantula anatomy I would love to learn more before I conduct my investigation. Honestly, any factoids that any member has that can aid is graciously welcomed.

Now I will post this and wait to see if anyone replies with relevant info.

Thanks to all who have followed this story and given both advice and support. Love you all and thank goddess for the boards!!! Xo
I am so sorry you lost "Scarecrow". NO ONE could have done more! I hope that the information you gain from the "autopsy" will shed light on what happened.

I did a lot of dissecting back in university, and would suggest to go slowly and take your time. In addition to the scalpel, a pair of fine pointed manicure scissors would probably also be useful.
 

MrsHaas

Arachnoangel
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
846
I am so sorry you lost "Scarecrow". NO ONE could have done more! I hope that the information you gain from the "autopsy" will shed light on what happened.

I did a lot of dissecting back in university, and would suggest to go slowly and take your time. In addition to the scalpel, a pair of fine pointed manicure scissors would probably also be useful.
@Octagon PM me, I'd like to ask you a few questions if you do not mind... Thx
 

Thistles

Arachnobroad
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
623
I've taxidermied tarantulas in the past, and it's relatively easy to cut around the edge of the carapace to remove it. Go in from the side and sort of stay parallel to the carapace. You just need to cut through tough connective tissue at the edge and it should lift off easily. It isn't attached firmly near the center.
 

MrsHaas

Arachnoangel
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
846
Very important question here:

She is currently frozen (in my freezer). Should I thaw her out to do the autopsy? If so, how and for how long?

I figured freezing her would keep her in the exact condition she was in when she died.
 

MrsHaas

Arachnoangel
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
846
Oh and many thanks to those who have been so helpful...
I feel more confident now about removing the carapace.
Again, I am very grateful for the boards!
 

Thistles

Arachnobroad
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
623
Yes, thaw her. She'll be more brittle if frozen and the carapace might adhere to soft tissue underneath.
 

MrsHaas

Arachnoangel
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
846
Yes, thaw her. She'll be more brittle if frozen and the carapace might adhere to soft tissue underneath.
What's the best way to thaw without harming anything that has been preserved in ice?

When I preserve/frame Ts I usually freeze them for two-three weeks and then put them under the heat of a household lamp for an hour or two until they are malleable again to position and frame.
 

Thistles

Arachnobroad
Joined
Mar 21, 2012
Messages
623
What's the best way to thaw without harming anything that has been preserved in ice?

When I preserve/frame Ts I usually freeze them for two-three weeks and then put them under the heat of a household lamp for an hour or two until they are malleable again to position and frame.
I don't know, but that method sounds reasonable.
 

ratluvr76

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jul 12, 2014
Messages
741
Aww Jenny. :( I'm so so sorry you got stuck with this situation. You may not be a pioneer of science as you put it but it feels like you are breaking new ground with a tarantula necropsy. I'm sure it's done, but we generally don't hear about it. Remember, necessity is the mother of invention. It's possibly one of the most true sayings, in my mind at least. Good luck, and keep us posted. Are you taking pictures as you go? That may be helpful from a reference point of view.
 

MrsHaas

Arachnoangel
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
846
Aww Jenny. :( I'm so so sorry you got stuck with this situation. You may not be a pioneer of science as you put it but it feels like you are breaking new ground with a tarantula necropsy. I'm sure it's done, but we generally don't hear about it. Remember, necessity is the mother of invention. It's possibly one of the most true sayings, in my mind at least. Good luck, and keep us posted. Are you taking pictures as you go? That may be helpful from a reference point of view.
Oh sweetie your post is exactly what I needed to hear this morning. U flatter me xo <3

I haven't started the autopsy yet - I will on the weekend, when I have more time to sit on my own and concentrate. Also, I need the tools - scalpel, q-tips (-anything else I need???) and I will be reporting my discoveries and updating you all as they happen. And I'll take as many pics as I can for documentation.

Please send me some good juju ppl! I will need it come Saturday!!

Also, anyone who hasn't responded and had any info, please please post before Saturday!!! Thank you!

<3 xo all!!
 

Sana

Arachnoprince
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
1,143
I agree about the manicure scissors. I would also include on the list a pair of tweezers since you're going to need to carefully manipulate small things (I think anyway). I was going to review the anatomy/physiology in TKG again. You might want to do that first since it's a decent source for simplified anatomical information. I'll try to take a quick look around before Saturday for some other sources of information that might help. Assuming that I ever finish moving... Sigh. Love you babe.
 

MrsHaas

Arachnoangel
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
846
image.jpeg This is the only tool I have so far besides the Tongs I use for feeding...
I feel like a mad scientist!!!
 

Praxibetelix

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
126
What about cuticle trimmers, like for manicures? Also, fine tip tweezers might be helpful. These things should be available at the local pharmacy shop like a Walgreens or CVS or whatever you have. Might want to pick up something smaller than the box cutter, I would suggest an Exacto knife, I think you can get those at someplace such as Walmart or Target.
 

Leonardo the Mage

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jan 9, 2016
Messages
81
What about cuticle trimmers, like for manicures? Also, fine tip tweezers might be helpful. These things should be available at the local pharmacy shop like a Walgreens or CVS or whatever you have. Might want to pick up something smaller than the box cutter, I would suggest an Exacto knife, I think you can get those at someplace such as Walmart or Target.
I second this. Picking up an exacto knife would help a lot! Perhaps you could get one of the packs with different shaped blades. Stan's TKG has a fairly detailed description of tarantula anatomy that you can use.
 
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