Singapore blue question - hasn't been thriving, any experts on their care?

LisaD

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
53
Hi everyone,

My collection of about 20 Ts is thriving, for the most part. However, I'm a bit concerned about my Singapore blue, Lampropelma violaceopes. I've had it since January, received it as a 2.75" sling. It's about doubled in size since then.

I'm hoping someone with experience with these Ts can answer my questions. My other spiders are mostly New World, with the exceptions of the Singapore blue, an OBT, H mac and P miranda. So I don't have experience with any other Lampropelma.

I have the T in a terrarium in my office, 12 x 12 x 24" ZooMed enclosure. Fluorescent fixture is on during my work hours, and I have a window, so there is some natural light. (I do know these are nocturnal.) About 1 inch potting soil in the tank. I mist every couple days to keep humidity up, and have a water dish for the T. I have not blocked off the screen top, so humidity is not super-high. Temperatures are in the 70s most of the time. In the terrarium, I have some branches, a bromeliad in a pot and half coconut shell. When the T was smaller, it hid in the leaves of the bromelian. Now it spends most of its time in the coconut shell.

Please read below and let me know what you think:

The spider seems stressed - what is normal behavior for this species? I don't mess with the T often, but if I pick up the coconut shell to look at it, it has that stressed looking hunch. And it moves slow. No defensive posture at all. Abdomen was looking a bit small. Recently, however, it killed and ate an adult female hissing roach. Looked better, abdomen fuller. It rolled up the remains of the roach into a ball with webbing and moved it to the far end (front) of the terrrarium. The remains look like an owl pellet and seem to have waste mixed in(??). Now it has blocked off the entrance to the coconut shell with soil and webbing. I won't open up the shell, and assume maybe a molt is coming?

Do you think the lethargic behavior was a long pre-molt?
What's with the bolus of dead roach?
Should I add a heating pad to the back of the terrarium?
Should I increase humidity by blocking off part or all of the screen top?
What might provide a better hide/home than the half-coconut shell?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Lisa
 

Sleazoid

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
241
Do you think the lethargic behavior was a long pre-molt? - Possibility, or you have it in your office right? Is this office at work or at home? I'm guessing home since I can't think of a work place that would let you have a Tarantula. :)

What's with the bolus of dead roach? - No idea.

Should I add a heating pad to the back of the terrarium? - I wouldn't. What are the temps in your office?

Should I increase humidity by blocking off part or all of the screen top? - That could work. I would just block off part of it? Are their any openings besides the screen top?

What might provide a better hide/home than the half-coconut shell? - Cork bark slab would be best I think. I have PCP pipe cut in half for most of my arboreals. I never see them so I guess they love it.

I have never owned this species so all of this is just speculation on what could be done. It could be premolt though. When was the last time it molted?
 

Poxicator

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 16, 2007
Messages
354
I'd suggest you may be stressing it out but it could be just a hunched up tarantula which many seem to do when they lack appropriate housing - I often see them do this prior to posting whilst in cricket tubs.
L. violaceopes is an arboreal species so a coconut shell doesnt seem the most appropriate hide. Your tank hopefully is 24" high? Set up your enclosure with a deep substrate, curved cork or tube or in one corner and substrate built up around it. Plenty of substrate with lots of sphagnum moss, kept moist but not swampy, and half fill your tube with this substrate - they'll dig down into it and, if you've allowed it, may go past the cork and have a come out on top of the substrate, in an L or U shape.
They are a little shy and will avoid light, so I'd certainly remove the fluorescent tube - perhaps replace with a night light or no light.
These are usually quite defensive tarantula, capable of inflicting quite a bite, I certainly wouldnt handle the coconut tube in the way you suggest, I know exactly what would happen!
I find they're very good eaters.

Perhaps if you provide a pic we might see some other issues.
Good luck

---------- Post added at 02:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:36 PM ----------

ooops forgot to answer some issues.
The bolus is perfectly normal, its what can't be digested. You should remove these or get tropical woodlice and springtails to do that for you.
Temps of 75+ are good for this species but you want it warmer if you intend breeding. I'd certainly put the heatmat on the side as opposed to the bottom but you might not need a heatmat if temps are around 75F.

PS: I'd suggest your H. mac and P. miranda are kept similar but with just off-dry substrate.
 

LisaD

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
53
Hi, guys, thanks for the quick response and comments.

@ Sleazoid:

Do you think the lethargic behavior was a long pre-molt?
- Possibility, or you have it in your office right? Is this office at work or at home? I'm guessing home since I can't think of a work place that would let you have a Tarantula.
It actually IS at work, but no one seems to mind. Temps in my office are around 75 degrees. A little cooler at night, but still comfortable.

Should I increase humidity by blocking off part or all of the screen top?
- That could work. I would just block off part of it? Are their any openings besides the screen top?
There is a ventilated strip right under the door. I'll try blocking off part of the screen top. If you google images of ZooMed terrariums, you'll see what I mean.

What might provide a better hide/home than the half-coconut shell?
- Cork bark slab would be best I think. I have PCP pipe cut in half for most of my arboreals. I never see them so I guess they love it.

I have never owned this species so all of this is just speculation on what could be done. It could be premolt though. When was the last time it molted?
I have cork slab and large sections of whole and split bamboo I will put in. I may also black off the back and one side with dark paper taped to the outside. I have large branches, crossed in the enclosure. My other arboreals tend to make web tunnels among the branches, but this spider seemed more interested in a snug hide.

@Poxicator

I'd suggest you may be stressing it out but it could be just a hunched up tarantula which many seem to do when they lack appropriate housing - I often see them do this prior to posting whilst in cricket tubs.
I don't touch it or disturb it often, but have checked it. I will try to improve housing, but will leave the coconut shell in the enclosure as well.

L. violaceopes is an arboreal species so a coconut shell doesnt seem the most appropriate hide. Your tank hopefully is 24" high?
As a youngster, it burrowed. Given the chance, it has never shown arboreal tendencies. The tank is 24" high.

Set up your enclosure with a deep substrate, curved cork or tube or in one corner and substrate built up around it. Plenty of substrate with lots of sphagnum moss, kept moist but not swampy, and half fill your tube with this substrate - they'll dig down into it and, if you've allowed it, may go past the cork and have a come out on top of the substrate, in an L or U shape.
I will do this, great suggestion. I have P. irminia and P. cambridgei in set-ups like this, and the irminia does just as you suggest. I have offered similar to the Singapore blue in the past, and it has not used it, just burrowed. Now that it is more mature, I will set up as the others.

They are a little shy and will avoid light, so I'd certainly remove the fluorescent tube - perhaps replace with a night light or no light.
I have the tube on during the day for the plant, but will redo the enclosure to provide more dark, sheltered areas.

These are usually quite defensive tarantula, capable of inflicting quite a bite, I certainly wouldnt handle the coconut tube in the way you suggest, I know exactly what would happen!
One of the reasons I wrote is because this spider exhibits zero defensive behavior. I'm concerned about its health. I am careful handling. If it ran out of the coconut shell and up my arm, I would NEVER do that again!

I find they're very good eaters.
Do you find that they only hunt/eat at night? All my other spiders will eat food when offered, I have never seen this one eat, though crickets rarely last 24 hours... (eaten at night)

Perhaps if you provide a pic we might see some other issues.
Since it's blocked itself in the coconut shell, I'm not going to disturb it, but can take a picture later.

The bolus is perfectly normal, its what can't be digested. You should remove these or get tropical woodlice and springtails to do that for you.
I know boluses are normal, just never had a spider eat such a large food item, and the appearance of the bolus was unusual. It looks like the T dismantled the roach, then webbed up the pieces into a shere, then shat on the whole thing. :)
Temps of 75+ are good for this species but you want it warmer if you intend breeding. I'd certainly put the heatmat on the side as opposed to the bottom but you might not need a heatmat if temps are around 75F.

PS: I'd suggest your H. mac and P. miranda are kept similar but with just off-dry substrate.
H mac and miranda are smaller, but are in containers with medium deep substrate and crossed branches they have webbed. H mac is acting terrestrial at this time. When I rehouse each in bigger enclosures, I'll set up as you suggest.

Thanks again for the useful comments.
 

Poxicator

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 16, 2007
Messages
354
Singapore Blue's are notorious for night feeding, but once it reaches adult hood you should see it more often. They're reportedly found 40' up trees so they are definitely arboreal.
With these species (L.v, H. m, Pokies, Stromatopelma, etc) I believe its important to provide a very dark area for them to retreat, that way they're far more likely to retreat to their hide than up your arm :)
I really believe your light to be a stress, so if things don't improve you should ask yourself what's more important the plants or the T.
 

LisaD

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
53
Well, the T is definitely more important than the plant. I'll try it without the light, though I'm not convinced that the 13-watt compact PC is a stressor.

It's not quite an adult yet, will be interested in seeing if the behavior changes with addition of cork bark slabs, bamboo tubes and blacking the back and one side.

Thanks for the input.
 

Sleazoid

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
241
Singapore Blue's are notorious for night feeding, but once it reaches adult hood you should see it more often. They're reportedly found 40' up trees so they are definitely arboreal.
With these species (L.v, H. m, Pokies, Stromatopelma, etc) I believe its important to provide a very dark area for them to retreat, that way they're far more likely to retreat to their hide than up your arm :)
I really believe your light to be a stress, so if things don't improve you should ask yourself what's more important the plants or the T.
Why would you think light to be the a stress? As long as it isn't putting out any serious heat and is just there for lighting purposes then there is nothing wrong with having a light. It isn't needed, but I wouldn't think it would be harming the T.
 

Poxicator

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 16, 2007
Messages
354
Because tarantula, by and large, are nocturnal
Because L.v are very nocturnal and shy of the light,
Because this L.v is showing signs of stress (according to the OP)
 

Sleazoid

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
241
Because tarantula, by and large, are nocturnal
Because L.v are very nocturnal and shy of the light,
Because this L.v is showing signs of stress (according to the OP)
A lot of people use lights on their T cages get a better view of their tarantulas, and to show off their colors with no ill effects that I know of. Rob being one I can think of right of the top of my head. My lights are on almost all the time due to my odd sleeping patterns and they show no signs of stress what so ever. I would look for more than just the light. I think we all know Tarantulas are nocturnal there is no "very" nocturnal, but to just name L. violaceopes as shy of light? I would think most Tarantulas are, but it doesn't mean that would be the cause of stress here. I think OP should just provide a better hiding place.
 
Last edited:

Bengal21

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
42
Because tarantula, by and large, are nocturnal
Because L.v are very nocturnal and shy of the light,
Because this L.v is showing signs of stress (according to the OP)
I believe he said the light is on during the day only. If not, this should be the case. They may be nocturnal yes, but they're not vampires and hurt by sunlight. Its daylight for 12+ hours a day in their natural habitat. All nocturnal means is more active when its dark. As long as the t has a few places to hide I think that isn't the problem. It sounds like its going to molt soon to me especially since it sealed the entrance to the hide.

To the OP: Is there a chance it's a MM who its slowing down and nearing its end? How long have you had it? Do you know the sex?
 

Royal_T's

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
187
Check out this link it has reliable information on Lampropelma violaceopes.
http://sites.google.com/site/asianarboreals/lampropelmaviolaceopes

I've been raising a female for the past 2 years and have referenced this to accomodate my own. She eats well and is very active at night when not in pre-molt... get a nice piece of cork bark and give it slightly more substrate. Although they are arboreal they tend to stay closer to the ground as juveniles and sub-adults.
 

LisaD

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
53
@ Bengal21:

I'm a she. :)

I don't think it's a MM. I've had it since January, it's getting some size to it, but it doesn't have that all over brown, spindly look of a MM. It shows some purple in the legs, but also has an olive cast and striping on the abdomen. I'd say it's still sub-adult.

As I posted, light is 13-watt fluorescent, only on from around 8:30 to 4:30, doesn't throw heat. No light at night. It has a hide it stays in during the day, so it's not forced into light.

I believe he said the light is on during the day only. If not, this should be the case. They may be nocturnal yes, but they're not vampires and hurt by sunlight. Its daylight for 12+ hours a day in their natural habitat. All nocturnal means is more active when its dark. As long as the t has a few places to hide I think that isn't the problem. It sounds like its going to molt soon to me especially since it sealed the entrance to the hide.

To the OP: Is there a chance it's a MM who its slowing down and nearing its end? How long have you had it? Do you know the sex?
Royal_T's,

Thanks for the link. I've seen it before. Do you think my temps are too cool, in the mid 70s? In the link, day temp is around 30 degrees C, which is pretty warm, around 86 F. Maybe day temps in my office are too cool? Will also provide more hides/shelter and will deepen the substrate.
 

Royal_T's

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
187
It sounds like the temp is right on or just about... sounds like pre-molt possibly make sure your humidity level is good (80-90%) I keep mine fairly high. I would wait to change its enclosure until after it molts to keep from stressing it out prior to molting.

---------- Post added at 10:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:49 PM ----------

Also here are the molt records of mine:

12-05-08 1.25"
1-01-09 1.5"
2-19-09 2"
3-24-09 2.75"
5-21-09 3.5"
8-11-09 4.5"
11-10-09 5.5"
3-07-10 6.5"
8-14-10 7.5"

This might help you predict upcoming molts.
 

Bigboy

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
1,234
You are making things more complicated for yourself by having it in such a big enclosure at that size. It will help a lot with the feeling of security to put it into something closer to the size of a deli cup. All you need is an inch or so of substrate and a leaning piece of cork bark. I've never had a problem with this set-up.

This will also allow you to monitor the spiders food intake much easier than in a large enclosure. Add enough moisture to keep the substrate slightly damp, keep it in the 70's and you really shouldn't have a problem. These guys are a really easy spider to care for. And get to be a large and colorful enough to be a very rewarding display animal.
 

Poxicator

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 16, 2007
Messages
354
BigBoy, are you suggesting an adult L. v should be kept in a delicup?
This species requires large spaces, if you do some research you'll find that's what is suggested by long standing hobbyists.

Ive spoken to some people who explored L. v habitat, they suggested they were found high up in trees, and despite what their captive environment might be they were not found at ground level, strange considering their common name of earth tiger which is also attributed to Haplopelma species.
It was also reported that they were never seen during the day. Check out Ray Hale and Mark Pennell for more information but Thomas Froik's site is good too. You should remember when quoting daylight hours that these live in the canopy of woodland, not sitting out sunbathing.
I recently spoke to Andrew Smith about issues with light and whether UV could be a factor considered of benefit to tarantula after someone provided me a draft report on their opinions. He suggested light can damage their eyes but he also suggested there might be an argument for further study.

Tarantulas are nocturnal there is no "very" nocturnal, but to just name L. violaceopes as shy of light? I would think most Tarantulas are, but it doesn't mean that would be the cause of stress here. I think OP should just provide a better hiding place.
Of course more than just L.v are shy of light, I didn't think there was a need to quantify this. Please tell me, how you would measure stress, how would you deem light not to be an issue. And where are you basing your opinions on, when you say you don't have experience of these. Just curious if its an opinion or something more solid.
I currently have 3, and Ive had 3 others, the reason I said "very" is because as slings and juveniles if you see them during daylight hours its almost a clue somethings not right.

Here's how I keep some of my arboreals:
 

Sleazoid

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jul 18, 2010
Messages
241
I'm not going to quote your whole post Poxicator but...

That enclosure you have is overkill, no Tarantula needs something that elaborate. If going by Lisa's size estimation then it is very probable to keep her T in container of a deli cup or something similar, not some enclosure like yours.

The light shouldn't be an issue as I stated many hobbyists use light above the cages to view their tarantulas better.

It was also reported that they were never seen during the day.
No way? You know why? It's because they are nocturnal. It doesn't mean light isn't good for them. I don't think hardly any Tarantual's are seen during the day. It just means they are nocturnal and are back in the homes in the day time. Would you sleep out in the middle of no where in day time where predators could get you? No. At night is when they thrive yes, but light from something would have nothing to do with stress I would think. When the lights are on in my room, my Pokies just run into their pvc pipes and stay there until my lights go back off, not because they are harmed.
 
Last edited:

Poxicator

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 16, 2007
Messages
354
That enclosure you have is overkill, no Tarantula needs something that elaborate. If going by Lisa's size estimation then it is very probable to keep her T in container of a deli cup or something similar, not some enclosure like yours.
Well, it did my 3 x P. rufilata very well indeed, I now have males maturing from the resulting sac which I'm breeding with an unrelated female. I currently have 2 x P. subfusca AF in there, doing rather well I might add. Its not the enclosure I provide for all my pokies but it is what I consider to be my display tank.


Not sure I understand your reply to lighting considering what's been posted before. But, if you look at the title of this thread the OP is asking why her T isnt thriving. Your tube, and my tubes, are not in her enclosure, all that's available is a half coconut tube. That doesnt reflect their needs IMO hence I suggest a tube hide with deeper substrate. The lighting doesn't reflect their needs either but there are ways to provide lighting (outside the tarantula spectrum) that lights the enclosure and fools the T to believe its night time. It doesnt make sense to me to be providing both artificial light AND natural light for a T that shies away from light, and its my belief that's why she's having issues and has therefore created this thread.
You and I can argue all we like (actually I don't care to argue it any more) that won't address the issues she's having. So, perhaps, considering you don't believe the light to be an issue, you have some other thoughts to why its showing signs of stress. It can't solely be answered by a moult as it was showing signs of this prior to webbing itself in.
 

Royal_T's

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 9, 2008
Messages
187
How big is this L.V? If it's 5+" which was my understanding, the enclosure is just fine. Also I see mine all the time (posted up on her cork bark) day and night.
 
Last edited:

LisaD

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 21, 2010
Messages
53
It's at least 5", probably a bit more. I don't think the size of my enclosure is a problem, but I agree it needs more shelter. I am out of town this weekend, but will add cork bark and a bamboo tube as well as deeper substrate on my return. The enclosure is not bare other than the coconut half. There are large, overlapping lichen covered branches that do offer shelter and a place to web. The spider clearly doesn't find it attractive, and no longer rests in the bromeliad leaves (large, smooth, cupped and overlapping).

I don't believe the light is a stressor, but I have cut it off, for now, in case it is contributing to the problem. At this time, the T has walled off the opening to its hide with thick webbing and soil, so I will leave it alone until it comes out.

I'll post again on this topic next week. Thanks to everyone for all the comments and input.

BTW, I think Poxicator has a very nice looking enclosure. Not at all overkill for a display. This setup is somewhat similar to what I have for my P cambridgei.
 

micheldied

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 25, 2009
Messages
1,328
Lampropelma Violaceopes come from a place where the temperature rarely every goes below 75 farenheit at night.
During the day, temperatures can get to 87 farenheit, and it is extremely humid all year round, sometimes humidity can get to 100%.
I would know this, being in the country from which they originate.
Try a deeper substrate, with a large tube like hide partially burried in the substrate and it should take to that.
 
Top