Random Tailless Whip Scorpion Death

Doris Mae

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
5
Hi, all. I think this is my first post after joining a year ago. I have had my first tarantula for over a year, and I have two more tarantulas and a scorpion as well. I had a vinegaroon, but he died from a terrible accident. Anyway, all four of those pets are doing fine. I have never had any issues with them.

Two weeks ago, I purchased a two-year old, captive bred, female tailless whip scorpion from a reptile show. Her name was Darcy. For the first time in my husbandry career, I tried to do a live tank with spring tails and a live plant in Darcy's aquarium. The man who sold her to me gave me recommendations of her substrate, aquarium size, what plant to use, etc. I attempted to feed her a few days ago, and she never did eat the cricket. I misted her cage twice a day because my room is very dry. She was doing fine yesterday. She was active and sometimes hid under her bark or climbed on it and sometimes roamed around the cage. A few moments ago, I went to mist her tank, and I noticed she was not moving. I touched her, and she is still not moving. She is not in a typical death curl; she looks like she is just sitting still. However, I know she would at least react to my touch if she were alive.

What could have gone wrong? I have never had an arachnid that required humidity, and I have never had a whip scorpion. Still, it seems odd that she randomly died with no signs beforehand. None of my other arachnids have died due to poor care, so I feel extremely bad that I might have done something wrong. I have attached a picture of her setup before I added a philodendron to her cage. She has been living in this same cage for two weeks. I just ask that someone give me a reason of why she could have died, and if I get another one, I would please like some advice on what I can do to prevent it from happening again. She is the third pet I have lost in 2017, and I was not expecting it. I know she was just a bug, but I give all my pets equal care. I feel absolutely devastated. Thank you so much for you help!
 

Attachments

Duriana

Arachnoknight
Joined
Apr 23, 2017
Messages
198
I'm not at all experienced with tailless whip scorpions, but were the plants sprayed with pesticides possibly? I'm very sorry for your loss.
 

tetracerus

Arachnosquire
Joined
May 16, 2016
Messages
65
What species or genus? I've had a male Damon sp for over a year, two molts in my care, and have never misted (and I live in a desert). Twice a day misting seems a little much? I just keep a full water dish at all times and sprinkle a little water on the substrate a few times a month.

On a more optimistic note, what position is she in? If she's hanging vertically or upside down she could be ready to molt which might explain unresponsiveness (in which case do not touch her anymore).
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,059
I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Even if she was "just a bug" it is still difficult to lose a pet that you care about. But - are you certain she is dead? Is she on the ground or on her bark? Is she right side up? While they are normally very skittish little creatures who dart about when approached, sometimes - if they feel trapped or cornered or just well-hidden - they will hold perfectly still instead. I have one that likes to spend the daylight hours in a little scrape she's dug in the substrate at the base of her cork bark. When she's wedged herself into it, she doesn't want to leave it for any reason, even if I do touch her or mist the cage. I've had others that would hang out on the back side of their cork bark and refuse to move even when prodded.

Twice daily misting does sound like a bit much. I live in Southern California where it's naturally hot and dry. I do keep a small humidifier running in my invert room, so the ambient humidity is usually around 50%-60%, then I mist the cages 2-3 times a week. I do not use water dishes for my whip spiders. I've kept Damon diadema for several years now and - except for a little cannibalism (particularly with the juveniles) - generally not had problems them. I did have one mature male inexplicably drop dead on me, but he was already a few years old. I'd put him in with one of the females and in the morning he was on the floor, dead - but there was not a mark on him, no visible injuries, no broken limbs, so I have no idea what happened to him.
 

schmiggle

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
1,922
I believe you can't usually go wrong with too much humidity for whipspiders, probably with the exception of desert species like Paraphrynus mexicanus. Damon diadema can tolerate less than many other species, being savannah adapted, but I think it's still happy to have more (they certainly live in caves in the wild, and humidity is usually high in caves, as long as they're deep enough). She never had signs of a fungal infection, did see? Also, are you absolutely positive she was really captive bred and really two years old? Every time I've seen captive bred whip spiders offered, they've been subadults. If she was wild-caught, it could just be age or disease. It might just be disease anyway--cordyceps comes to mind. If that is what it was, it should be obvious within 24 hours of death, I'm pretty sure.

All in all, I think there's a good chance that whatever happened is not your fault. Do make sure she isn't molting.
 

Doris Mae

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
5
I'm not at all experienced with tailless whip scorpions, but were the plants sprayed with pesticides possibly? I'm very sorry for your loss.
I doubt it had pesticides. The plant has been in my house for at least fifteen years. Thank you!
 

Doris Mae

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
5
What species or genus? I've had a male Damon sp for over a year, two molts in my care, and have never misted (and I live in a desert). Twice a day misting seems a little much? I just keep a full water dish at all times and sprinkle a little water on the substrate a few times a month.

On a more optimistic note, what position is she in? If she's hanging vertically or upside down she could be ready to molt which might explain unresponsiveness (in which case do not touch her anymore).
I believe mine was also a Damon sp. I misted lightly twice a day. I never drenched the cage. She was not hanging. She was just sitting on the substrate. I don't think she was getting ready to molt anyway.
 

Doris Mae

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
5
I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Even if she was "just a bug" it is still difficult to lose a pet that you care about. But - are you certain she is dead? Is she on the ground or on her bark? Is she right side up? While they are normally very skittish little creatures who dart about when approached, sometimes - if they feel trapped or cornered or just well-hidden - they will hold perfectly still instead. I have one that likes to spend the daylight hours in a little scrape she's dug in the substrate at the base of her cork bark. When she's wedged herself into it, she doesn't want to leave it for any reason, even if I do touch her or mist the cage. I've had others that would hang out on the back side of their cork bark and refuse to move even when prodded.

Twice daily misting does sound like a bit much. I live in Southern California where it's naturally hot and dry. I do keep a small humidifier running in my invert room, so the ambient humidity is usually around 50%-60%, then I mist the cages 2-3 times a week. I do not use water dishes for my whip spiders. I've kept Damon diadema for several years now and - except for a little cannibalism (particularly with the juveniles) - generally not had problems them. I did have one mature male inexplicably drop dead on me, but he was already a few years old. I'd put him in with one of the females and in the morning he was on the floor, dead - but there was not a mark on him, no visible injuries, no broken limbs, so I have no idea what happened to him.
I lightly misted her twice a day and never soaked the cage. Even so, would that kill her? What if she was living outside and it rained for a week straight? Mine was just sitting on top of the substrate. She also did not have any visual signs of injury or stress. She just... was not moving anymore. Very odd.
 

Doris Mae

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Messages
5
I believe you can't usually go wrong with too much humidity for whipspiders, probably with the exception of desert species like Paraphrynus mexicanus. Damon diadema can tolerate less than many other species, being savannah adapted, but I think it's still happy to have more (they certainly live in caves in the wild, and humidity is usually high in caves, as long as they're deep enough). She never had signs of a fungal infection, did see? Also, are you absolutely positive she was really captive bred and really two years old? Every time I've seen captive bred whip spiders offered, they've been subadults. If she was wild-caught, it could just be age or disease. It might just be disease anyway--cordyceps comes to mind. If that is what it was, it should be obvious within 24 hours of death, I'm pretty sure.

All in all, I think there's a good chance that whatever happened is not your fault. Do make sure she isn't molting.
I had been misting her twice a day for two weeks, and she was fine with it the whole time. I mean, maybe I didn't realize it was stressing her out. Anyway, the man said he breeds them as a hobby. He only breeds them once then sells them. So, Darcy was bred once. He did tell me it was rare to see a captive bred adult for sale. How would I know she had cordyceps?
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,059
I lightly misted her twice a day and never soaked the cage. Even so, would that kill her? What if she was living outside and it rained for a week straight? Mine was just sitting on top of the substrate. She also did not have any visual signs of injury or stress. She just... was not moving anymore. Very odd.
No, I don't think the misting killed her. My experience has been that whip spiders are generally pretty forgiving of variations in moisture and humidity as long as they have adequate ventilation. It's hard to say what happened to her.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,059
I had been misting her twice a day for two weeks, and she was fine with it the whole time. I mean, maybe I didn't realize it was stressing her out. Anyway, the man said he breeds them as a hobby. He only breeds them once then sells them. So, Darcy was bred once. He did tell me it was rare to see a captive bred adult for sale. How would I know she had cordyceps?
If she had cordyceps or another, similar fungus, you should see obvious signs of fungal growth/bloom. It would look like strange spikes, tentacles, or even tiny mushrooms sprouting out of her body.
 

schmiggle

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
1,922
If she had cordyceps or another, similar fungus, you should see obvious signs of fungal growth/bloom. It would look like strange spikes, tentacles, or even tiny mushrooms sprouting out of her body.
If she had cordyceps (or something similar, like ophiocordyceps) you would already know, assuming you kept the carcass. It's obvious, bizarre and alien-looking, and it comes out fast. If you didn't see anything like that then it's something else.
 
Top