Solifugid molting? Anybody have any advice?

chanda

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So last night I was feeding all my inverts and found my solifugid in what I'm assuming is a molt position. (I actually thought she was dead at first, but when I reached in, she started squirming around like a caterpillar so I backed off.) She looks exactly the same this morning. I did notice a little more of the caterpillar-like squirming this morning (without me touching her or doing anything to try to stimulate her. I'm leaving her alone and letting her do her thing - I hope!)

Has anyone else had any experience with these guys molting? Any particular needs, other than humidity? I'm keeping her on plain sand and I've misted a bit around her to increase the humidity in case it will help with a successful molt. The temperature in the room ranges from mid- to high-70's at night to mid-80's in the daytime. Is this adequate, or should it be warmer? Does she need rocks or other rough surfaces to rub against? How long does it typically take for a solifugid to molt? I don't know her species, but she was caught in Phoenix, AZ last spring.

I've only ever had one other solifugid molt in captivity - and he did so without my knowledge. I just looked in one day (to feed him) and thought he was dead. When I went to remove the "corpse" it turned out to be a molt. He was alive and well - and hungry!

The first picture was taken last night. The second was taken this morning.

Solifugid molting - 1.jpg Solifugid molting - 2.jpg
 

wizentrop

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While I have no experience with North American species, African species can spend up to 8 months in this state. In fact, they spend most of their life like this, and are active only for a couple of months each year. They usually assume this posture in an underground chamber they construct, or protected in a deep rock crevice.

My advice to you is to keep disturbance to the minimum, and DO NOT TOUCH. I know it is tempting. But don't. The animal will be fine. They can molt successfully even on sandy surfaces.
 

chanda

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While I have no experience with North American species, African species can spend up to 8 months in this state. In fact, they spend most of their life like this, and are active only for a couple of months each year. They usually assume this posture in an underground chamber they construct, or protected in a deep rock crevice.

My advice to you is to keep disturbance to the minimum, and DO NOT TOUCH. I know it is tempting. But don't. The animal will be fine. They can molt successfully even on sandy surfaces.
Yeah, that's what I'm doing with her. Aside from occasional misting (which I'm keeping at the opposite end of the cage to avoid spraying her directly) I'm just leaving her alone. I know better than to touch or disturb a molting animal. Unless I hear differently, I will continue to keep her at the same temperatures I've had her at (70's-80's) and keep the lid shut.
 

arachnoherp

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Yeah, that's what I'm doing with her. Aside from occasional misting (which I'm keeping at the opposite end of the cage to avoid spraying her directly) I'm just leaving her alone. I know better than to touch or disturb a molting animal. Unless I hear differently, I will continue to keep her at the same temperatures I've had her at (70's-80's) and keep the lid shut.
Did she survive the moult?
 

chanda

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Did she survive the moult?
She did survive the molt. She stayed in her pre-molt state for quite a while (I don't remember now exactly how long, but it was a number of weeks at least - maybe even a couple of months.) She molted clean - no lost limbs or visible problems or deformities - and ate afterward, but did not live much longer - maybe another month or so?
 

chanda

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That is WILD. I had no idea their molting habits were so far out.
Yeah, they're so completely vulnerable for such a long time when they're preparing for a molt - their limbs are completely useless and just sticking straight out at weird angles. I understand that in the wild they would be at the bottom of a burrow during the process. No way they'd survive very long on the surface like that!
 
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