Solifugid Help

MoranDisciple

Arachnosquire
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Mar 21, 2019
Messages
102
I purchased a solifugid labeled "sun spider" from the hamburg show Dec. 7. The vendor told me he easily kept them alive for several years in a dry desert setup at around 90. He didnt actually know the species, which is suspicious and one of the reasons I'm posting this here. Does anyone know what species this is? The vendor told me they could reach 2" in length. Right now it is a pretty little creature at around .75". I've been keeping half of its deli cup enclosure over a 2 watt heat pad, maintaining a 90 degree heat. It is very active and always moving its substrate, a mixture of sand and topsoil, around. However, it absolutely refuses to eat. I've tried with dubias, turks, chopped mealworm pupa, and live cooled spiders (many solifugid are specialists in hunting other arachnids). It will nibble on the food, especially if I have chopped it up, but will quickly lose interest and push it away. Any help with species ID, feeding tips, whether this species has a dormancy period, or really anything you know about these poorly understood alien arachnids is much appreciated. 20191210_170137.jpg 20191210_001541.jpg
 

Poonjab

Arachnobaron
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Nov 4, 2019
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336
Looks like the same ones we have here in the high desert of central Oregon, eremobatidae solifugae. I wouldn’t worry about keeping the heat so high. I would imagine they can handle a varying degree of temperature. During the summer the temps can get as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit and in the winter far into the negatives. Obviously I’ve only seen them during the summer months, so they could have a period of dormancy. I’ve never owned one, but just trying to give you an idea of the environment that they come from. I also have only ever seen them at night. You’ll see them out on the concrete walk hunting. If it was me personally, I’d ditch the pad and keep the heat at a comfortable level. If it’s not eating, there is a good chance it’s just stressed from all the moving and trying to adjust. I’ve brought T’s home and it’s taken them time to acclimate before the would show interest in eating. I’m sure someone who is more of an expert on these will come along and be able to answer your questions better. Just trying to help you narrow down what species it might be.
 

MoranDisciple

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
102
Looks like the same ones we have here in the high desert of central Oregon, eremobatidae solifugae. I wouldn’t worry about keeping the heat so high. I would imagine they can handle a varying degree of temperature. During the summer the temps can get as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit and in the winter far into the negatives. Obviously I’ve only seen them during the summer months, so they could have a period of dormancy. I’ve never owned one, but just trying to give you an idea of the environment that they come from. I also have only ever seen them at night. You’ll see them out on the concrete walk hunting. If it was me personally, I’d ditch the pad and keep the heat at a comfortable level. If it’s not eating, there is a good chance it’s just stressed from all the moving and trying to adjust. I’ve brought T’s home and it’s taken them time to acclimate before the would show interest in eating. I’m sure someone who is more of an expert on these will come along and be able to answer your questions better. Just trying to help you narrow down what species it might be.
Thanks for the tips but I think my specimen is more likely some kind of Paragaleodes. If the one tweet I read was correct about all Paragaleodes species, apparently they can live almost a decade but do require a dormancy period lasting most of the year:drunk:. I dont want to keep my specimen on the pad permanently but its abdomen is rather shrunken and I'd like to see it eat before I cool it down and potentially trigger a dormancy period. The vendor at the show really didnt know what he was talking about.
 

wizentrop

to the rescue!
Old Timer
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Apr 20, 2005
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317
I agree that it looks more like paragaleodes. If this animal is restless and refuses to eat I suggest to AVOID feeding at all costs. Solifugids are active only 2-3 months of the year and spend the rest of the time in an immobilized state underground. It sounds like this animal is trying to find a shelter or burrow to construct a chamber. It should be provided an adequate space with suitable "dig-able" yet dry substrate with clay, and must not be disturbed. If it cannot burrow before the dormancy period kicks in, it will die of exhaustion.
 
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mantisfan101

Arachnoprince
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Dec 26, 2018
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1,151
Definitely paragaleodes. No food whatsoever. I keep both of mine in 2 oz deli cups and they haven't eaten at all since september, and they're still alive. Its abdomen looks fine; your main concern should be about just leaving it alone. I tried feeding mine but all they've done is just tear apart roaches and mealworms and ignore the mess. Also, @wizentrop , how does one tell if it's an adult? One of mine looks smaller than the other but has a much larger abdomen, and I'm not entirely sure if they'll molt or not in captivity.
 

wizentrop

to the rescue!
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Apr 20, 2005
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It's hard for me to describe what the adults look like, but it's not easy to determine. Males have the flagellum of course, while in females the change in appearance is very subtle. Something about the head proportions (slightly longer chelicerae) and color (dull red, almost maroon). The Paragaleodes above looks like a juvenile female to me.
 

MoranDisciple

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Mar 21, 2019
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It's hard for me to describe what the adults look like, but it's not easy to determine. Males have the flagellum of course, while in females the change in appearance is very subtle. Something about the head proportions (slightly longer chelicerae) and color (dull red, almost maroon). The Paragaleodes above looks like a juvenile female to me.
Thanks for the info; hopefully the females have a longer lifespan. I made a much larger container filled with a mixture of sand and clay that I'm now waiting on so it can dry. The substrate is 2 inches at its deepest point. Will this work for hibernation? And how cold should I keep it for the 9 months it stays buried? This is my first solifugid and the information on them is extremely spotty, even on the famous arachnoboards thread about them.
 

MoranDisciple

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 21, 2019
Messages
102
Update: it seems I was too late. The solifugid has assumed the weird hibernation position and now will not move or respond to any stimuli in any way. Interestingly, its abdomen seems to have elongated and become more noodle shaped. Maybe it's just me, but I would love some input on whether it actually has changed shape, since I've never heard of that happening before and it might be new and helpful information about these little known arachnids. I just have to hope it has enough stored nutrients to last the next 9 months. The new habitat I was preparing still hasn't dried completely despite being placed in front of a hot woodstove for a day. I have started gradually moving the solifugid's "temporary" enclosure off of the heat pad. Should I add any moisture to simulate the conditions of a deep desert burrow or keep it bone dry? Anyway, wish the little guy luck. 20191216_175213.jpg 20191216_175229.jpg
 

wizentrop

to the rescue!
Old Timer
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Apr 20, 2005
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317
This is good news. Leave it like this and do not touch the box at all costs. No humidity or temperature control required. Just leave it alone undisturbed, it will be fine. They can take a few months to molt, so be patient. After molting they just rest for a few more weeks/months, and then they go back to their frantic activity behavior.
 
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