Sudden P.Metallica death, looking for answers

SuzukiSwift

Arachnoprince
Joined
May 29, 2012
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Hey everyone, I haven't posted on Arachnoboards for a long time but I would really like some opinions on this for my peace of mind.

My second P.metallica died suddenly today, the first one passed away about 4-5 months ago. The first one was perfectly health at about 3-3.5", hadn't got round to sexing it yet but I will say 'her' for the time being. She had been eating and living quite comfortably in her enclosure for about 2-3 months after moulting, I'd had her for nearly a year. One day I come out and she is in a death curl on the ground, a place she never goes. I immediately put her in an ICU but to no avail, she was already dead ='(

Now just this morning, about 4-5 months later, her sibling (I purchased them together from the same sac) has suddenly died for no reason. He (I hadn't sexed him either yet) moulted to be about 3-3.5" about three weeks ago and I rehoused him to a larger enclosure. There was no problem with the enclosure (oldies on this forum will know my enclosure setups are sound). I found him on the ground in a death curl just like his sibling all those months earlier, although unlike her, he was still alive. I put him straight into an ICU but he never recovered. I tried dropping some water in his mouth but also no response. He had a strange blackish liquid around his mouth. Perhaps there are some answers there, I've attached pictures below. I'm thinking it may have been genetic seen as they came from the same sac and died around the same time, perhaps they were hybrids, I have no way to know. Any opinions on the mouth though? It is very sad to see two such beautiful specimens die for no apparent reason. None of the rest of my collection are sick in any way.

By the way, I opened the spiders legs to be able to see the mouth, he was in a death curl when he died

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Toxoderidae

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Nov 16, 2015
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Something looks very off on the underside of the abdomen... Could you post pictures of the enclosure? I'm wondering if there was a stagnant air/ventilation problem, injury, parasites, or possibly just dehydration.
 

WeightedAbyss75

Arachnoangel
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Feb 22, 2014
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921
Looks dehydration to me. Need pics of enclosure to be sure as well as your humidity schedule. Really is terrible, losing two beautiful spiders like that.
 

Trenor

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Take some photos in better lighting is possible and some of the enclosure as well.
 

Rocky

Arachnopeon
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Jul 10, 2016
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What makes you'll think dehydration I know a shriveled thorax is a sign of this but it doesn't look shriveled to me or maybe my eyes are deceiving me but I like learning and being prepared for the future ahead. Though I have an lp and keep a 2 water bowls in there and humidity around 70 it's still nice to know.
 

Toxoderidae

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What makes you'll think dehydration I know a shriveled thorax is a sign of this but it doesn't look shriveled to me or maybe my eyes are deceiving me but I like learning and being prepared for the future ahead. Though I have an lp and keep a 2 water bowls in there and humidity around 70 it's still nice to know.
That abdomen is so small, I'd only except it to be that small right after a molt.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Dec 8, 2006
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Something looks very off on the underside of the abdomen... Could you post pictures of the enclosure? I'm wondering if there was a stagnant air/ventilation problem, injury, parasites, or possibly just dehydration.
I've seen his enclosures from "way back", he's been using acrylics long before most as he resides in China, and thus gets those containers very cheaply compared to the USA.

I think it's odd they are both sacmates, could be coincidence of course.

I don't know what the blackish liquid could be from. I haven't seen that before.

@AphonopelmaTX Have you heard of Ts producing a blackish liquid, either in life or shortly after death?

Makes me think something they have in common has affected them.

Zuk, have any of your other Ts had issues these past couple years since you weren't around? Have you moved/lived in the same place?
 
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ratluvr76

Arachnodemon
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Jul 12, 2014
Messages
741
It doesn't look like dehydration to me... especially if the specimen in question IS in fact male, males usually do have smaller abdomens do they not? Plus, once a T dies it's abdomen shrivels pretty quickly so even if it was fat looking in life, death will make it appear shriveled pretty quickly. Suzuki is a long time member and has been keeping T's for a long long time I believe.

Suzuki, I'm sorry for your losses. :( It's sad to see such beautiful spiders die like this with no apparent cause. I hope you are able to solve the mystery! keep us posted if you find out.

*lurks in the background on this thread now*
 

Arachnomaniac19

Arachnolord
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Aug 23, 2014
Messages
654
It doesn't look like dehydration to me... especially if the specimen in question IS in fact male, males usually do have smaller abdomens do they not? Plus, once a T dies it's abdomen shrivels pretty quickly so even if it was fat looking in life, death will make it appear shriveled pretty quickly. Suzuki is a long time member and has been keeping T's for a long long time I believe.

Suzuki, I'm sorry for your losses. :( It's sad to see such beautiful spiders die like this with no apparent cause. I hope you are able to solve the mystery! keep us posted if you find out.

*lurks in the background on this thread now*
Mature males have a smaller abdomen, immatures do not. You are right about Ts getting a shrivelled abdomen after death, at least in my experience.
 

Rocky

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that liquid looks like its fangs might have not harden and it bit into something and hurt itself... the liquid looks like it might be bluish grey which is the color of their blood it could have bleed out possibly by being fed shortly after a molt? of course the older the T the longer you have to wait to feed again. that's just my guess. though the fangs look hardened in this pic he may have sustained the injury slightly before hand.
 
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REEFSPIDER

Arachnobaron
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May 6, 2016
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412
that liquid looks like its fangs might have not harden and it bit into something and hurt itself... the liquid looks like it might be bluish grey which is the color of their blood it could have bleed out possibly by being fed shortly after a molt? of course the older the T the longer you have to wait to feed again. that's just my guess. though the fangs look hardened in this pic he may have sustained the injury slightly before hand.
Tarantula blood is called hemolymph and it is a clear liquid.
 

SuzukiSwift

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May 29, 2012
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It was definitely not dehydration, as I live in Guangzhou the average humidity on a normal day is about 80-90%. I am a long time member and do not make mistakes in tarantula keeping, hence my confusion as to the sudden death of these two Ts.

Below is a picture of the enclosure with him inside it taken three days before he died, there is plenty of ventilation. To those of you alarmed by the lack of a water bowl, I give many of my arboreals water by spraying on the sides of the wall

That abdomen is so small, I'd only except it to be that small right after a molt.
This abdomen is not small for a 3.5" specimen of this species, perhaps it is made to appear smaller by the angle of the picture.

Zuk, have any of your other Ts had issues these past couple years since you weren't around? Have you moved/lived in the same place?
Nah Viper I've been in this apartment for one and a half years and these two metallicas are the only T deaths I've had (excluding MM's and a C.darlingi sling due to food poisoning >.<) This metallica ate a large roach about two weeks beforehand, all my other Ts eat the same ones and they are all fine

It doesn't look like dehydration to me... especially if the specimen in question IS in fact male, males usually do have smaller abdomens do they not? Plus, once a T dies it's abdomen shrivels pretty quickly so even if it was fat looking in life, death will make it appear shriveled pretty quickly. Suzuki is a long time member and has been keeping T's for a long long time I believe.

Suzuki, I'm sorry for your losses. :( It's sad to see such beautiful spiders die like this with no apparent cause. I hope you are able to solve the mystery! keep us posted if you find out.
If I would have to hazard I guess I would agree in thinking he was male, definitely more on the leggy side. Unfortunately I suck at sexing Pokies, perhaps someone can tell me from the pictures what sex he was.

Thank you :( I will sure keep everyone posted

that liquid looks like its fangs might have not harden and it bit into something and hurt itself... the liquid looks like it might be bluish grey which is the color of their blood it could have bleed out possibly by being fed shortly after a molt? of course the older the T the longer you have to wait to feed again. that's just my guess. though the fangs look hardened in this pic he may have sustained the injury slightly before hand.
Not a bad guess however he moulted 3 weeks ago, at this size it only took about 5 days for his fangs to harden. Also, as reefspider pointed out, T's don't have blood they have hemolymph. It is also very rare for a T to bleed from the mouth, usually only happens when they've sustained specific internal injuries.

Thanks again everyone for the feedback, I will keep thinking into the mystery

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Veribug

Arachnosquire
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Mar 14, 2016
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86
I don't know if this is a stupid suggestion as I don't know anything about arboreals but is it possible it could have taken a fall? I only say that because you say you found it on the ground and that enclosure does have a lot of bare acrylic... Not sure if it could have tried to climb the acrylic and fallen..?

I've never really thought about arboreals falling before.
 

Toxoderidae

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I don't know if this is a stupid suggestion as I don't know anything about arboreals but is it possible it could have taken a fall? I only say that because you say you found it on the ground and that enclosure does have a lot of bare acrylic... Not sure if it could have tried to climb the acrylic and fallen..?

I've never really thought about arboreals falling before.
I can't really see an arboreal, especially an OW like a Poecilotheria being damaged in a fall. They leap out of trees in nature, wouldn't that be detrimental to be killed when they do like a terrestrial?
 

14pokies

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Oct 25, 2014
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It was definitely not dehydration, as I live in Guangzhou the average humidity on a normal day is about 80-90%. I am a long time member and do not make mistakes in tarantula keeping, hence my confusion as to the sudden death of these two Ts.

Below is a picture of the enclosure with him inside it taken three days before he died, there is plenty of ventilation. To those of you alarmed by the lack of a water bowl, I give many of my arboreals water by spraying on the sides of the wall



This abdomen is not small for a 3.5" specimen of this species, perhaps it is made to appear smaller by the angle of the picture.



Nah Viper I've been in this apartment for one and a half years and these two metallicas are the only T deaths I've had (excluding MM's and a C.darlingi sling due to food poisoning >.<) This metallica ate a large roach about two weeks beforehand, all my other Ts eat the same ones and they are all fine



If I would have to hazard I guess I would agree in thinking he was male, definitely more on the leggy side. Unfortunately I suck at sexing Pokies, perhaps someone can tell me from the pictures what sex he was.

Thank you :( I will sure keep everyone posted



Not a bad guess however he moulted 3 weeks ago, at this size it only took about 5 days for his fangs to harden. Also, as reefspider pointed out, T's don't have blood they have hemolymph. It is also very rare for a T to bleed from the mouth, usually only happens when they've sustained specific internal injuries.

Thanks again everyone for the feedback, I will keep thinking into the mystery

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From what I'm seeing that T was a female.

I understand that you are a long time keeper but we all make mistakes. I do all the time.. I almost lost a Juvi versicolor a few weeks ago. It happens to all of us.

I'm not saying that it's deffinately dehydration but I'm leaning towards that even stronger than before now that I know there was no water dish. I also noticed that the sub was a little dry..

I have had pokies ( specially pokies) go down hill fast from dehydration.

I have no idea about this black goo being spoken of.. To me it looks like the mouth parts are just wet from you trying to rehydrate it..
 
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Rocky

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 10, 2016
Messages
40
I called it blood for refrence I know they don't have blood per say bUT anyhow was just trying to help and give suggestions I know you'll probably know more than me about Ts by far but I've studies arachnids for a very long time most of my life. Any ways my bad for the bad suggestion I'll hush now :p.
 

Moonohol

Two Legged Freak
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Aug 8, 2016
Messages
115
From what I'm seeing that T was a female.

I understand that you are a long time keeper but we all make mistakes. I do all the time.. I almost lost a Juvi versicolor a few weeks ago. It happens to all of us.

I'm not saying that it's deffinately dehydration but I'm leaning towards that even stronger than before now that I know there was no water dish. I also noticed that the sub was a little dry..

I have had pokies ( specially pokies) go down hill fast from dehydration.

I have no idea about his black goo being spoken of.. To me it looks like the mouth parts are just wet from you trying to rehydrate it..
I'd think that the water droplets would evaporate too quickly to provide any sort of significant moisture/hydration, especially in such a large enclosure. Do you think the dry substrate would matter as much if he had included a water bowl?
 

14pokies

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I'd think that the water droplets would evaporate too quickly to provide any sort of significant moisture/hydration, especially in such a large enclosure. Do you think the dry substrate would matter as much if he had included a water bowl?
Hard to say for sure.. I have had pokies with moist sub and a water dish crash.. They were brought back around by dropping water into the mouth parts.. I don't know why it happens but sometimes it does..

As far as misting the side yes it's almost useless.. Evaporation from moist sub lasts much longer.. If a keeper is worried that there T isn't visiting the water dish or if one isn't offered it's safer to use a straw or a eye dropper and put a few droplets of watwr on the web. IMO Water dishes should be provived for Ts regardless..
 
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