Shiny Crystals on T

Tranz

Arachnobaron
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My 1 1/4" G. Pulchra sling has refused crickets for 3 days. I figure it may be gettng ready to molt. It seems to have put down thin wisps of webbing here and there, but nothing looking like a "bed".

Today I noticed in the back portion of his burrow, and also on the underside of his rump, which is situated in the back portion of the burrow, what appears to be fine, shiny, almost silver slivers or particles, almost like silvery white ice crystals. There is webbing in that part of the burrow. Is it moisture particles on the webbing? The particles have not moved or jumped - but it looks strange, and my T seems more stationary than usual and is not eating, though he seems all right other than that.
 

Henry Kane

Arachnoprince
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That's a new one on me. A pic would be very helpful if you can get one.

Atrax
 

Tranz

Arachnobaron
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Originally posted by Atrax
That's a new one on me. A pic would be very helpful if you can get one.

Atrax
I took some, but the macro had trouble focusing, and it's always hard to take pictures through curved plastic. I'll upload them tomorrow because the PC I'm at now doesn't have camera file transfer capabilities.

Maybe it's just the extremely fine webbing holding tiny droplets of moisture interacting with the light shining on it - it almost looks like frost in the morning.
 

Tranz

Arachnobaron
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They were not moving, but they were all over my T's underside and all over the back of its burrow. They looked like little glistening grains. I dug the T out, washed the keeper out with bleach and soap and water, and have the T back in the keeper with only a third of an inch of substrate, with no water, no misting. When I got the soil out of the keeper it was almost wet. When I put the T back in the keeper from a tupperware type container it was in, it dropped about 4 inches onto the 1/3 inch substrate with a thud, but the keeper was sitting on a towel, and I don't think it hurt the T. The glistening grains don't seem to be on the T anymore. They had to have been mites, I don't know what else they could have been. Cricket eggs?

Have you ever seen a large number of mites? What do they look like?
 

Mendi

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It could also be vermiculite, as it is lighter in color than the soil and is a bit shiny, more so when damp. Or it could be the combination of both or just mites. You can also test by placing a dead cricket on your substrate and looking to see if there is a congregation of shiny things when you remove it 2-3 hours later.
And just to be on the safe side, I would work on keeping the substrate drier, as if it stays too wet you will likely get a mite problem.
 

Kugellager

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Could it also be some of its own excrement that dried on your tarantula? I suppose it could crystalize under the right conditions?

John
];')
 

kosh

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so, have you ruled out DEW??
has anyone ever gotten up early in the morning and seen how the dew collects on spider webs out in the yard.....it kinda glistens a sparkly silvery color...
but, i have yet to see mites so i dont know how similar they look to dew....
would mites just fall off of a spider after a 4 inch drop?......im sure dew would....the dew also might disappear if it came into contact with anything to break the surface tension...say....the spider resting its abdomen on the bottom of the container or falling with a sudden stop, like when you hit a windows screen that is soaked with water...?
you did say the substrate was quite damp...
 

Tranz

Arachnobaron
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Mysterious Crystals, Particles 1

When I noticed them, it was quite warm in the room, around 80 degrees. I noticed they were gone from the T not after "the fall", but after it was moved to the holding container.

Perhaps they're nothing but water beads caught in fine webbing -but I've never seen anything that looked like that except those shiny particles in metallic paint - with the naked eye they looked like fine particles and even elongated crystals.
 

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Tranz

Arachnobaron
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Pic 4

After transferred to the cleaned container, with only 1/3" of substrate, and a 4" fall - Krunch seems OK.
 

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Mendi

Arachnowolf
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It looks just like vermiculite now that you've posted the picture of the Ts rear. Looks like it just wasn't mixed with the substrate real well and the T just happened to dig down to it. If you want later I can post you a picture of vermiculite in the bag I have so you can see the resemblance
 

Tranz

Arachnobaron
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Originally posted by Mendi
It looks just like vermiculite now that you've posted the picture of the Ts rear. Looks like it just wasn't mixed with the substrate real well and the T just happened to dig down to it. If you want later I can post you a picture of vermiculite in the bag I have so you can see the resemblance
The substrate is Jungle Mix. According to the package, there is vermiculite in it, but this is the first time I'd noticed anything unusual, after having this setup for a month. Looking back, there was a confluence of events: 80-degree heat, damp substrate, and increasing webbing by the spider. I had not seen anything in there like that before. It literally showed up in one day, and was only in the back of the burrow, and seemed like it was trying to envelop the spider.
 

kosh

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do you mist with tap water or distilled water or what?....sometimes tap water contains calcium or lime and will form white deposits when the water evaporates....
i guess it could be vermiculite but i dont think ive seen any particles im the verm i use that resembled that....especially not that small....
the way it covered the webbing and the spider, i would think it was water....or some sort of liquid .....
if you look at the pics where the light isnt overpowering the pic....you can see round droplets that look like water....the crystals look like the pattern is from contaminated water evaporating....
 
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Tranz

Arachnobaron
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Originally posted by kosh
do you mist with tap water or distilled water or what?....sometimes tap water contains calcium or lime and will form white deposits when the water evaporates....
i guess it could be vermiculite but i dont think ive seen any particles im the verm i use that resembled that....especially not that small....
the way it covered the webbing and the spider, i would think it was water....or some sort of liquid .....
if you look at the pics where the light isnt overpowering the pic....you can see round droplets that look like water....the crystals look like the pattern is from contaminated water evaporating....
I noticed the small droplets, but they looked like shiny particles with the naked eye. I might have saved myself some grief by using a magnifying glass, but I didn't even think about it. I went online, did a look up, and came across a site that warned about mites killing your T, describing them as looking like sugar, which this stuff sort of did.

I use Aquafina water left at room temperature from a plant sprayer. I think the critical thing here is the webbing that the spider has started to put down. If it's water, which I now think it was, then the webbing has the ability to trap it almost in a mistlike form. I'd really never seen anything like it - it was quite beautiful in a way.
 

kosh

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im no meteorology expert....but under the right conditions dew will form on stuff out of thin air.....thats kinda what this looks like unless you misted directly on the spider and webbing....(i worked in a place that had a test lab with environmental test chambers....if we got the conditions just right clouds would form and it would even snow inside the small test chamber)...
anyway check out these pics...


 
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