Starts Molting and Then Stops

SmoglessPrune

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Hello, I have a Lasiodora Parahybana that I have taken over the care of from my friend who has joined the military. This is both my friend's first as well as my first T, so I am still pretty new to all of this. My friend says that the last time the T molted was somewhere around June 2016, and I got the spider from him in September. Since then it has made a molting mat and crawled onto its back twice, once sometime in the winter and again yesterday. Each time, after 20-30 minutes, it will flip itself back upright and act like nothing has happened. The T is moving around like normal, it's coloration hasn't changed, no bald spot on it's abdomen, and it's still eating, so I don't see any obvious signs of pre-molt. Anyone know why it is doing this?
 

chanda

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Umm... any chance your spider is a mature male? Perhaps it's not making a molting mat but a sperm web? If so, he may be going underneath the web (like a blanket) rather than lying on top of it.

See comparison picture of a sperm web here: http://arachnoboards.com/threads/caught-my-l-p-making-a-sperm-web-video.142358/ and video here:

Also pictures of tibial hooks and male pedipalps/emboli here: http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r86/TakiT_photos/Malehook_9589.jpg and here: http://milehighbugclub.com/Methods for Sexing Tarantulas_files/image026.jpg (those of your Lp may look slightly different because it's a different species, but at least it shows the general idea) Here's a picture of the tibial hook of a mature male Lp: http://arachnoboards.com/gallery/lasiodora-parahybana-mature-male.18981/

Pictures of both the spider (particularly the underside of the front legs, to check for tibial hooks, and the ends of the pedipalps) and of the webs/mats it's making, would be very helpful.
 
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SmoglessPrune

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Umm... any chance your spider is a mature male? Perhaps it's not making a molting mat but a sperm web? If so, he may be going underneath the web (like a blanket) rather than lying on top of it. See http://arachnoboards.com/threads/caught-my-l-p-making-a-sperm-web-video.142358/ for comparison

Pictures of both the spider (particularly the underside of the front legs, to check for tibial hooks, and the ends of the pedipalps) and of the webs/mats it's making, would be very helpful.
That post you linked looks almost exactly like what my spider was doing.

My friend said that he was sold a female, but I know that pet shops can be very untrustworthy. I Googled some stuff about sexes of spiders and happened to find a comparison of male and female Lasiodora Parahybana, and mine most definitely looks like the male. It also looks like my spider has tibial hooks on its front legs (I would post pictures, but it's in the back of the cage right now so I can't get a clear shot of its legs. I can post some later if it decides to climb the cage tonight like it does occasionally).

If my T is a male and is making sperm webs, does that mean it is a mature male and wont be molting anymore?
 

chanda

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If my T is a male and is making sperm webs, does that mean it is a mature male and wont be molting anymore?
Yep. Once the tibial hooks and emboli show up and they start making sperm webs, they are definitely mature. Male tarantulas do not typically molt again, once they've matured - and on the rare occasions when they do attempt a post-ultimate molt, they frequently don't survive it. If he matured last June, the clock is seriously ticking on him. After a male has matured, he usually has a year or so left to live. I've heard of some males making it to two years post-molt, but I believe that's uncommon.
 

The Grym Reaper

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If my T is a male and is making sperm webs, does that mean it is a mature male and wont be molting anymore?
Yeah, it's a mature male.

It might attempt to moult once more but, being an ultimate male, it probably won't survive the process.

I've heard of some males making it to two years post-molt, but I believe that's uncommon.
I've heard of some going up to 4 years once maturing but that's only in slow-growing desert species and it's extremely rare.
 

SmoglessPrune

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Yep. Male tarantulas do not typically molt again, once they've matured - and when they do attempt a post-ultimate molt, they frequently don't survive it. If he matured last June, the clock is seriously ticking on him. After a male has matured, he usually has a year or so left to live. I've heard of some males making it to two years post-molt, but I believe that's uncommon.
That sucks to hear, I was really looking forward to watching it grow :(

At least I wont be completely surprised now if it doesn't live out the summer. Thanks for your help!
 

cold blood

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Pet stores lie...why? Because females command a significantly higher price and most who shop for ts at a pet store arent the wiser....its a common scam and sadly a lot of new keepers fall victim.

Welcome to the boards, always nice to see other Wisconsonites here on the forums.
 

SmoglessPrune

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Pet stores lie...why? Because females command a significantly higher price and most who shop for ts at a pet store arent the wiser....its a common scam and sadly a lot of new keepers fall victim.

Welcome to the boards, always nice to see other Wisconsonites here on the forums.
Haha, thanks! Is that a largemouth in your profile pic?
 

chanda

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That sucks to hear, I was really looking forward to watching it grow :(

At least I wont be completely surprised now if it doesn't live out the summer. Thanks for your help!
Yeah, it's always disappointing to lose a spider - but on the bright side, you will soon have an empty cage to fill! I try to focus on that when one of my males hooks out. (I also usually trade them away to somebody who wants to breed them. While it has been a while since yours molted, if he's actively making sperm webs, he could still produce viable offspring, so that might be an option for you, too.)

Meanwhile, start researching tarantula species (if you don't have a wish list already) so when the time comes, you're ready to select a new occupant for the cage!
 

SmoglessPrune

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(I also usually trade them away to somebody who wants to breed them. While it has been a while since yours molted, if he's actively making sperm webs, he could still produce viable offspring, so that might be an option for you, too.)
How exactly would I go about trying to do something like that? If my spider could still be useful for somebody, I'd rather do that instead of just watch it walk around it's cage for just a few more months. I do have a small (about 1.5") Grammostola pulchra that I also got from my friend, so I wont be left spiderless.
 

cold blood

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nice area...but a little far from me, or i would offer my shipping assistance and maybe a replacement. hit me up if you have any questions. you can go to the classifieds and invertonals (t dating) to see if anyone is looking for a MM LP...unfortunately you may have difficulty as they have crazy large sacs and the slings hold little value as a result...it doesnt take many LP sacs to flood the market.
 
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SmoglessPrune

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but a little far from me, or i would offer my shipping assistance and maybe a replacement.
It's still a decent drive, but I'll be in Appleton all summer for a job if you're interested.

I'll definitely check out the classifieds to see if I can find anything, thanks for the tip!
 

sasker

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That sucks to hear, I was really looking forward to watching it grow :(
If you are enjoying your L. parahybana so much, it may indeed be a nice idea to purchase a new one to replace your aging male spider as @chanda suggested. It is indeed great to watch them grow! Lasiodaras are particularly fun as they are growing so fast after each molt it is like you have an entire new spider each time :D

You have a G. pulchra, a beautiful species, but they...grow...slowly.

A new L. parahybana is very cheap as a sling and your friend will have a new one waiting for him after he finished his tour. Another great spider in this regard is an Acanthoscurria geniculata. They are beautiful, interesting, fast growing, cheap, readily available and ideal for owners with not much experience yet.
 
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