Really hope I did the right thing...

TeaandTs

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
31
I posted a week or so ago that I had found a MM Dysdera crocata in a death curl on my doorstep and taken him into my home. I received some good advice on how to care for him, and then set about doing my best. Which I hope was enough.

Since these are spiders that hunt for their food, and also since this was a mature male, I put him in a larger container than I usually would for such a tiny spider. I put in plenty of flat rocks and fake leaves, and I made it moist in there. Basically I set it up the way I would set up a woodlouse enclosure, assuming they must like the same environment as their prey. He immediately burrowed when I put him in there, and I didn't see him for a day or two.

Then he came out and started wandering around. From that time on, he stayed in the open. I wanted to feed him, but woodlice just couldn't be found. I offered a mini mealworm, which was pretty big for him but the smallest thing I had. He killed it and I guess it's possible he could have consumed some of it, but it didn't appear so. I felt bad. Unable to supply appropriate prey or a mate, which was all the poor thing wanted, I felt I should let him go. But it's snowing heavily here, so that wouldn't be good for him either.

After another day or so (wish I had logged him as diligently as my more permanent specimens; sorry I'm so inexact on this timeline) I found him flipped over on his back. Was he going to attempt a moult? But he was certainly a mature male! He was moving almost imperceptibly, so I left him alone. I didn't disturb him for maybe 3 days. Then, I figured it had to be a lost cause. Maybe I still should have left it alone, but I very gently touched the tip of one of his legs with a pin. He didn't move at all. So I left him for another night, then threw him out the next day.

I am trying to tell myself that I gave him a handful of nice, warm, cared-for days that he wouldn't have had if I had left him on the step. But I still feel really badly over the whole thing. Does anyone have any input? Could I have done something differently? Should I have waited longer before throwing him out? Would it be possible for a mature male to moult one more time anyway? (To my knowledge, no, but I'm no arachnologist).

I really wish I had had a working camera at the time. He was so beautiful. I'd never seen one of those in person before.
 

Cassiusstein

Arachnosquire
Joined
Dec 9, 2016
Messages
102
If I had the "heart" rating available yet I would've used it. Sorry that happened to you but it definitely sounds like you tried your best, which is what matters. Good on you, people like you belong in the hobby.
 

TeaandTs

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
31
If I had the "heart" rating available yet I would've used it. Sorry that happened to you but it definitely sounds like you tried your best, which is what matters. Good on you, people like you belong in the hobby.
Thank you so much for your reassuring words. Really makes me feel a little better.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,060
I'm sorry he didn't live longer for you. You certainly did everything you could for him - it was just his time. They are not a terribly long lived species, plus it sounds like he was in pretty bad shape when you found him. At least you tried!
 

TeaandTs

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
31
I'm sorry he didn't live longer for you. You certainly did everything you could for him - it was just his time. They are not a terribly long lived species, plus it sounds like he was in pretty bad shape when you found him. At least you tried!
Thank you. I know it was his time to go, and I kind of figured that he wouldn't live long, being a mature male in pretty bad shape. But that's what's weighing on me so much. Part of me wants to believe I kept him comfortable in a kind of spider-hospice, but the other part of me worries that it would have been more merciful not to prolong the inevitable. I guess you're right about trying, though. If I had just left him there, I would have felt guilty about it, wondering if I could have saved him. At least now I know.

Anyway, thank you so much for your kind words.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
8,318
We find ourselves upon this planet amongst a vast sea of souls, to interact with each other for a myriad of purposes. One purpose stands out above all else; to further awaken within oneself, and in others, the most noble of all qualities, compassion. As this spider obviously did for you.
 

TeaandTs

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
31
We find ourselves upon this planet amongst a vast sea of souls, to interact with each other for a myriad of purposes. One purpose stands out above all else; to further awaken within oneself, and in others, the most noble of all qualities, compassion. As this spider obviously did for you.
Thank you. This is a very nice response.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
5,096
I'm not sure on what capabilities a spider can feel or appreciate. But whether he could feel it or not you give him a comfortable send off.

Well done for trying.
 
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