Spiders living on deserts.

Cockroach_PL

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One question, I really couldn't find answer to, came into my mind. How do tarantulas living on the deserts breathe? You might say - normally like the rest of spiders, but this is not what I mean.
I was always taught, that it is not recommended to use a clean sand as a ground for a spider, because the dust may get into breathing tubes (is ti correct name? I don't know how do you call spiders' breathing organs, sorry ;) ) and the spider can die. Now tell me, if anyone knows, how do spiders living on deserts cope with this problem.
Thank You! :)
 

Johnny_27

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because the deserts they generally live in dont have fine, loose sand like that stuff u get for leopard geckos. They live in drier areas where the soil is nice and compact and they can build good burrows, not those discovery channel sand dunes.
 

Mushroom Spore

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because the deserts they generally live in dont have fine, loose sand like that stuff u get for leopard geckos. They live in drier areas where the soil is nice and compact and they can build good burrows, not those discovery channel sand dunes.
Exactly what this guy said. I don't think ANY tarantula lives in what we traditionally think of when we think deserts. More like extremely dry scrubland like this, I think: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deserts_and_xeric_shrublands

Incidentally, that "fine, loose sand" isn't good for leopard geckos either. They have a tendency to eat it, get their guts clogged up, and die horribly. Calci-sand is even worse, the fact that it's still being sold as a good idea is a crime. :(
 

cheetah13mo

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Dirt can come in finer grains than sand can and can just as easily become airborn so the problem can still present itself. Since there are no working muscles forceing air in and out of the book lungs, the only problem would be dust settleing on the pages of the book lungs hindering air flow. That also means it would be just as easy for the dust to unsettle and fall off the lungs. So unless the tarantula got it's lungs wet and then got them dirty, I don't think they would have a breathing problem.
 

spider_fan

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I was told that you shouldn't keep T.'s on sand because it can easily cake around the spider's mouth and make feeding very difficult. Wild desert Tarantula's wouldn't have this problem because they are in a burrow when they eat, and they always keep loose dirt and sand out of the burrow. Because the sand sold for pet terrariums doesn't pack down firm enough for the T. to dig a burrow, or firm enough to make it a pretty much solid mass like potting soil, it's just not a good idea to use sand as substrate.
 

Cockroach_PL

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Thanks for answers :)

You know, I've started thinking about it after a friend of mine told me he saw a programme on Discovery Channel, showing wild animals living on deserts. One of them was tarantula (unfortunatelly he doesn't remember the species).

@ Johnny_27 & Mushroom Spore
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Distribution.theraphosidae.1.png
The map suggested to me that tarantulas live on deserts, but it might be wrong.

@ cheetah13mo This might be an answer!

spider_fan said:
they always keep loose dirt and sand out of the burrow
And what is more they lines their burrows with silk webbing.
 

cheetah13mo

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@ Johnny_27 & Mushroom Spore
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Distribution.theraphosidae.1.png
The map suggested to me that tarantulas live on deserts, but it might be wrong.

@ cheetah13mo This might be an answer!


And what is more they lines their burrows with silk webbing.
That map is way too general to assume where tarantulas live. All that map does is show the range of inhabitence.

Your right. They tend to be pretty tidy by cleaning and removeing unwanted items from the burrow.
 

Mushroom Spore

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@ Johnny_27 & Mushroom Spore
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Distribution.theraphosidae.1.png
The map suggested to me that tarantulas live on deserts, but it might be wrong.
That map appears to have been done by some random wikipedia user. And like cheetah said, it's terrible. Way too general and vague.

I still stand by my statement that I have never heard of any tarantula that lives on pure desert sand. DRY soil, scrubland, brush, sure. But the only things I've ever heard about Ts living on pure sand is that they DON'T. :)
 

cheetah13mo

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I'll add that there are a couple of species of arachnid that do live in "sand" but there are no tarantulas that live on sand only. The meaning of desert is not limited to areas of sand alone. Most true deserts harber a load of plant life and other vegitation along with dirt, rock and sand.
 

Johnny_27

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Incidentally, that "fine, loose sand" isn't good for leopard geckos either. They have a tendency to eat it, get their guts clogged up, and die horribly. Calci-sand is even worse, the fact that it's still being sold as a good idea is a crime. :(
Tell me about it, I learned that the hard way. I just figured it'd be a good example cause there's a picture of a leopard gecko on the bag.
 

cacoseraph

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a couple of thoughts

super small particles of just about anything are subject to weird like, static electricity effects which might keep them out of the book lungs sometimes

maybe the gas exchange would foster conditions that would push particles away from the openings

the lining of the book lungs is shed, so any particles that accumulate will be lost each shed
 

titus

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If you would like to create a natural enviorment for dry loving T's I would suggest using a mix of 2/3 fine sand and 1/3 Clay powder. This creates a very hard and stable substrate if exposed to water and then let dry. I've used this for years with Leopardgeckos and other desert burrowing herps. I do recoment spraying the substrate mix monthy to harden any losened substrate from burrowing and sweep the top layer from time to time to remove waste.
 
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