Rose Hair in premolt?

Satan265

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I know there are a ton of post about this, I've read through them. I also know this species is famous for their long fasts out of the blue. However, I thought I would post to see what the consensus is as to whether my tarantula is in premolt.

I've only had it a few months, but the abdomen has swollen quite a bit and you can see the dark spot where it's stretched. I made some adjustments in photoshop to make this more apparent as you couldn't see it as well in the photo as you can with your own two eyes.

Behavior: a month ago my T started laying web and covering more and more of it's area. Then one day it grabbed a bunch of it and used it to block off the back entrance to it's log. After blocking off the entrance with coconut fiber and web, my T went inside and started "digging". It was really something to watch, but since then it has stayed out of its hide and hangs out on the side of the tank. It has refused food for the last 4 weeks.

One thing I haven't seen is how long the premolt period typically is. I've read lots on what to expect and some of the behaviors, but I haven't seen much regarding timeframe. I'm sure this varies by age and species. If anyone wants to weigh in, I would appreciate the feedback.
 

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shining

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It is highly likely. I have a G. pulchra that was seemingly going to molt for months. It had a dubia a few days ago then molted the next night. It's just a waiting game you're playing with these slow growers at times.
 

Satan265

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Right on, I'm not too worried about it. But I'm definitely curious if it is indeed premolt. I threw crickets that went uneaten off the balcony two weeks in a row, so I've waited a couple of weeks before trying to offer again. I meant to get out and pick up a couple of crickets today to try again but didn't get around to it. Will try tomorrow and see what happens.
 

TownesVanZandt

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From your description, it´s clear that the T in question is getting ready to moult. I cannot tell how long the premoult period will be. It varies greatly from moult to moult, even with the same specimen. Remember to take out crickets that are not eaten. They might harm a moulting T if allowed to roam about.
 

viper69

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I know there are a ton of post about this, I've read through them.
Based on your research, what makes you unsure? Your post reads identical to all the other well thought and well described posts on this question.
 

EulersK

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Yeah, look at that abdomen. It's definitely in premolt. Stop any feeding, and just keep a full, clean water dish at all times.

Premolt can last anywhere from a few days to months. I had an A. chalcodes that stopped eating 6 months before it finally molted. Other users have reported over a year. Nothing you can do but wait.
 
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Satan265

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I guess I was just curious to have more experienced keepers weigh in on my thoughts. I'm in Arizona so it's pretty dry here, I top off the water every other day.

I do have a few questions though. Is there any way to estimate the age of my T by size? Some of the information I've found seems to be all over the place. I am also wondering whether it's ok to handle my T while it's in premolt. A lot of times when I top off the water I pick up my T and then he'll sit on my jeans while I watch TV on the couch.
 

Estein

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My G. porteri has so far had premolts ranging from three weeks to three months while in my care. Sounds like a waiting game! I never handle my Ts while in premolt as I don't want them to get injured in their fragile state. (I have definitely been known to watch TV with my girl at other times though .)

I'd also love to hear a more experienced take on estimating age by size.
 

Vanessa

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Not only is pre-moult behaviour and timing different for species - it is different for each individual spider. I wouldn't bother buying any more crickets because it looks as though they are in pre-moult to me and you're wasting your money. Their abdomen is nice and plump, so all you need to supply is water and patience. They will moult eventually. Unfortunately, nobody will be able to even guess when that might be.
It is a huge risk to the welfare of your tarantula to be handled and it is even more of a risk to their welfare to be handled during pre-moult. The risks to your well being also increase significantly because pre-moult sometimes results in behaviour that you would consider uncharacteristic, but is completely normal for a wild animal who is unpredictable at best.
Your tarantula honestly doesn't want to be handled and it often results in tragedy. This species is also known to experience vast mood swings, especially after moults, that result in them being some of the most challenging species in some member's collections.
Please consider not handling them in the future. It really doesn't provide any enrichment for the spider and can result in injury and death.
 

EulersK

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A lot of times when I top off the water I pick up my T and then he'll sit on my jeans while I watch TV on the couch.
Just to piggyback off of what VanessaS said, here's a quick biology lesson.

A tarantula doesn't exactly have a brain in the same way you or I do. They have a series of what are called ganglia, which are clusters of nerve cells specialized to perform a specific task. You have a ganglia in your knee as well, and it's responsible for the kicking reflex right under your kneecap. You have no control over that, do you? That is the extent of a tarantula's cognitive ability. They have a ganglia for feeding, one for mating, one for walking, so on and so on and so on. It's a very effective system, but this results in them having no cognition whatsoever - it is even debated if they possess the ability to remember at all.

Unlike mammals or reptiles who have the ability to recognize and bond with you, this spider does not and will never know that you exist. If you wish to handle your tarantula, so be it, just understand that it is for your benefit and your benefit alone. If done responsibly and very infrequently, then likely no harm will come from it. Just don't handle in premolt or postmolt.

Tarantulas are susceptible to ruptured abdomens from even a short fall. Another user on here recently had an Avic (a spider that lives in trees) fall, and it resulted in the spider being put down. A ruptured abdomen will almost always result in a death. If you're going to handle, do it no more than a foot above a bed, pillow, thick carpet, or something else soft. A fall from a few feet high onto tile will have you cleaning up that spider with a towel!
 

Satan265

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Unlike mammals or reptiles who have the ability to recognize and bond with you, this spider does not and will never know that you exist.
I'm aware that these animals are not aware of their owner in the sense that most other pets are, that they are more similar in this regard to say a fish. However, even the fish I have in my office recognize when it is time to be fed, etc. I've read that T's that are handled become "acclimated" to it, whereas a T that is never handled is less amenable to handling. Are you saying there is no credence to this?

I'm aware of the risks of handling my T and how fragile they are, especially with a drop for a terrestrial species. To be frank, I'll say that there is 0 chance of considering not handling my T in the future. I do enjoy watching and I do not constantly handle my T, but it is somewhat frequent. The only reason I haven't handled my T recently is I imagined it starting its molt on my jeans while watching TV, then what would I do?

With that said, I purchased this animal because I've been fascinated with spiders since I was a kid. Pretty much everything with my T is ultimately for my enjoyment. I'm not running a shelter for T's here lol. I am reminded of a trip a couple months ago to my LFS when I was purchasing some new equipment for the fish tank at my office. The salesman tried to get me to spends thousands of dollars on a setup that was to be more like the ocean. I recall saying, "If I wanted it to be that natural, I would leave them in the ocean instead of my office."

What I would be interested to hear is a way to estimate age by size of this species.
 

EulersK

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I'm aware that these animals are not aware of their owner in the sense that most other pets are, that they are more similar in this regard to say a fish. However, even the fish I have in my office recognize when it is time to be fed, etc. I've read that T's that are handled become "acclimated" to it, whereas a T that is never handled is less amenable to handling. Are you saying there is no credence to this?
Modern day fish are just as far removed from tarantulas as a dog is. They've evolved separately for hundreds of millions of years, so we can't really talk about them in the same sentence. Even a fish has a brain, no matter how 'unevolved' it may be. There are a lot of debates to tarantulas getting acclimated to handling, and there hasn't been any great research done on it that I'm aware of. In my personal experience, though, tarantulas don't seem to get used to anything they deem unnatural.

I'm aware of the risks of handling my T and how fragile they are, especially with a drop for a terrestrial species. To be frank, I'll say that there is 0 chance of considering not handling my T in the future. I do enjoy watching and I do not constantly handle my T, but it is somewhat frequent. The only reason I haven't handled my T recently is I imagined it starting its molt on my jeans while watching TV, then what would I do?
Them molting isn't like a sneeze - they prepare for it. If you continue to handle, just be careful... and again, understand that it is only for your benefit.

What I would be interested to hear is a way to estimate age by size of this species.
Short answer: No possible way. You can get ball park answers, but that's about it. Even individuals from the same sac grow at tremendously different rates. I've got two B. vagans slings right now from the same sac. One is nearly 2", the other is still under 1". They've obviously been kept identically since they passed the 2i mark, so there's no other explanation other than individual variances. On top of that, there are variables such as food availability and temperature that drastically affect the growth speed, either slowing it down or speeding it up.

Look at it this way. I'm quite a bit older than my nephew, but he's about a foot taller than me.
 

EulersK

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Somewhat unrelated note: Can we get a picture of your entire setup? There is a lot of terrible information on husbandry out there. If you want the best life for your spider, you may want us to critique your setup.
 

Vanessa

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I've read that T's that are handled become "acclimated" to it, whereas a T that is never handled is less amenable to handling. Are you saying there is no credence to this?
Some people would mistakenly make the same claim about tigers... right up until they kill them. And tigers have a much higher functioning brain than an arachnid. The only thing that is predictable about a wild animal is that they are completely unpredictable. They do not become tame or acclimated to interacting with us - they are tolerant of us right up until they aren't tolerant anymore.
What that means with a tiger is that someone is killed. What that means with a tarantula is that you could suffer a nasty bite with a fair amount of mechanical damage, or they die. There are certain types of body language that they might display, but sometimes they don't or the signs are subtle enough to miss.
It's up to you what you do with your animal, but understand that they do not have the ability to become tame or acclimated to being handled. They tolerate it until they don't.
 

Satan265

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This forum is ridiculous, everything is such an extreme. Comparing a tarantula to a tiger? Really?

I'll be deleting my account.
 

Vanessa

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I think that the policy on handling of tarantulas, at a forum level, is very clear that it is not advocated. I'm sorry that you think that the policy on handling is extreme, but it is there due to very good reason.
Like I said, you are entitled to do whatever you please, but if you came here to find someone who supports you handling your tarantulas, then you were in the wrong place from the start. If you came here to learn how to have your tarantula thrive in captivity, then you have come to the right place.
I hope you reconsider because there is a lot of things to learn on this forum.
 

Satan265

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First of all, thank you for the unsolicited information, this misinformation, and anecdotal advice. I can get into specifics, but I won't. Account deletion will suffice.

Also, I don't need your permission to do as I please.
 

cold blood

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I do have a few questions though. Is there any way to estimate the age of my T by size? Some of the information I've found seems to be all over the place. I am also wondering whether it's ok to handle my T while it's in premolt. A lot of times when I top off the water I pick up my T and then he'll sit on my jeans while I watch TV on the couch.
By size, no, but once you have gone through multiple molt periods, you can get a better idea, albeit, only an idea. A young AF porteri might molt yearly, while an old one, like mine, molts on a 4-5 year schedule..

My G. porteri has so far had premolts ranging from three weeks to three months while in my care. Sounds like a waiting game! I never handle my Ts while in premolt as I don't want them to get injured in their fragile state. (I have definitely been known to watch TV with my girl at other times though .)

I'd also love to hear a more experienced take on estimating age by size.
The shortest pre-molt fast I think I have ever had with mine, was about 6 months, but as I mentioned, mine is pretty old...the longest was just over 13 months.

This forum is ridiculous, everything is such an extreme. Comparing a tarantula to a tiger? Really?

I'll be deleting my account.
And with that attitude, I'm sure you will be missed by many.:meh:
 
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