Tarantula turning colors and losing hair

AriaFaline

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So I have an A. avicularia that is about 3 years old. He molted this March after I moved with him and from the molt I am fairly sure he's a male. When he fully hardened his carapace was this pretty teal color and his abdomen had a bit of red hair but was mostly black. However I noticed a couple of weeks ago that he's been darkening and losing that color. He also has less hair around his patella and a massive bald spot on his abdomen.
He is in my bedroom since it is the most climate controlled and least traveled area in the house. There is a cat but it hasn't bothered him before and I have sticky paws around his enclosure to ensure it doesn't get anywhere near his enclosure. There has been a huge heat wave that has hit my area lately and I have a ceiling fan going all day and a window fan that goes at night. He doesn't really tuck his legs in the stress pose unless I do maintenance around his enclosure, and I've never seen him try to kick hairs or go into a threat posture. He is very rarely handled and never for more than a few minutes while I move him. Last week I did a deep clean of his cage and when I put him back he immediately starting webbing near the door. He has a water dish that I overfill a bit once every few days and I use a spray bottle just to put a few small drops on the walls for him to drink every few days as well (I don't fully spray his enclosure). He gets one medium cricket a week for feeding and he's been eating pretty consistently. His enclosure is an exo terra nano with eco earth for substrate and a cork bark log with fake plants for decoration and hiding spots.
I've included a few pictures for comparison. The first picture is one taken at the end of april showing his coloring, the second picture is one taken tonight even though he scrunched at the camera, and the third is an enclosure picture also taken tonight. It kind of seems like a premolt but it's weird since he's eating still and just molted in March. Let me know if I left out any details
 

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BobBarley

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Most likely premolt, they lose color and hair (generally) when they approach a molt. Some t's will still eat in premolt, though I'd keep an eye on her. Never heard of them losing hair on the patella though... You may also notice it's harder for her to grip the sides. You shouldn't need to take her out to clean her enclosure unless there is an infestation of something or other. Just spot clean bolus and maybe feces every now and then. It seems you're using an exo-terra enclosure? There is some debate over whether it's an ok enclosure for an Avic and I'll let other's chime in on that.
 
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WeightedAbyss75

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The Exoterra could be sketchy. That screen top loses a lot of humidity, and the cross ventilation on those isn't the best. As long as he gets good humidity (and your cage does look to be good for an Avic, especially with the waterbowl overflow +misting) then he sould be good. Also, he may be losing hair because he is spreading it around the enclosure. I hear T's with urticatimg hairs will spread them across their web and surrounding area. Not sure if this applies to Avics (or the patella balding thing), but it's the best answer I could think of. Your spider looks really healthy though! He recently molted and his colors are amazing. With the color, most T's will go back to their "normal" more mute colors once they harden, so it's not anything to worry about when a T gets less colorful after a molt. It may have just taken a long time with him, or as Bob said, he's probably just in a really early premolt. Some T's will show signs of it WAY before they stop eating and actually molt. Just be glad you saw it in it's prime ;). As long as the T eats, drinks, and molts without a problem, then there should be nothing to worry about. :D You look like you have a perfectly happy little male! Just be careful though. As he's a male, they die about a year after maturing give or take a few months. I hear they mature after about 4-5 years, so just be weary of that too. Hope he is alright though, great looking T! :D
 

Toxoderidae

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Also, never deep clean a tarantula enclosure unless there is a mold issue or something along those lines. It does nothing but stress the spider out, as they dont need the enclosure to be cleaned, just spot clean poop/bolus
 

AriaFaline

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Also, never deep clean a tarantula enclosure unless there is a mold issue or something along those lines. It does nothing but stress the spider out, as they dont need the enclosure to be cleaned, just spot clean poop/bolus
That is the only time I've done it since I got him, and it was mostly because he likes to poop in the most unreachable corners of his enclosure, but I'll definitely keep that in mind. Any advice on spot cleaning the tough corners?
 

Toxoderidae

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That is the only time I've done it since I got him, and it was mostly because he likes to poop in the most unreachable corners of his enclosure, but I'll definitely keep that in mind. Any advice on spot cleaning the tough corners?
If its somewhere like the back of the enclosure behind a hide, I wouldnt worry. Its an avic, they spray poop at it hardens like cement.
 

Vanessa

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That is the only time I've done it since I got him, and it was mostly because he likes to poop in the most unreachable corners of his enclosure, but I'll definitely keep that in mind. Any advice on spot cleaning the tough corners?
I just use a piece of balled up wet paper towel and tongs to get into the tough places.
 

cold blood

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It looks like the screen was replaced with a solid piece of glass...am I seeing that right? Or was the top removed for the pic?


The top should be replaced with a piece of drilled acrylic or plexi.
 

Abyss

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No one is gonna correct the "urticating hairs comment" as a possible cause of his bald spot???

Ok i will ;)

Avicularias dont have urticating hairs so the bald spots are not from spreading urticating hairs around the enclosure. Just FYI
 

viper69

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and the cross ventilation on those isn't the best
This isn't true for Avic needs. ExoTerra's are modeled off of popular European glass cubes @Chris LXXIX have a nice pic of those cubes you use from Germany, I saw one you put up not long ago. Exo's made by the German company Hagen.. People in Europe have been raising Avics in glass cubes for "eons". These glass cubes have ventilation similar to the Exo's. In fact, on the top they have less ventilation typically, usually as strip in the middle for ventilation, and the sides don't have drilled holes.

I know serious Avic breeders that raise/breed Avics in ExoTerra's w/out an issue. A screen top is not the greatest. My A. metallica lived fine in an ExoTerra.

I think the most important feature is NOT to have stagnant air, that will certainly kill any Avic. Most people achieve that by keeping a water bowl and increased ventilation via drilled holes.

It certainly isn't humidity that kills them otherwise they'd be dropping out of trees in the jungles :rofl:
 

Abyss

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@Abyss Where did you learn this and from whom? This is FLAT out SCIENTIFICALLY FALSE!
I have never heard of any avics that kicked urticating hair.
If they do have and kick urticating hair then i 100% apologize for sure!!!!!
None of my versicolors have ever kicked hair or gotten bald patches nor have i haver had any itching or heard if anyone have any itching from avics.

Again, if they do then my apologies. Learn something new everyday haha
 

cold blood

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I have never heard of any avics that kicked urticating hair.
If they do have and kick urticating hair then i 100% apologize for sure!!!!!
None of my versicolors have ever kicked hair or gotten bald patches nor have i haver had any itching or heard if anyone have any itching from avics.

Again, if they do then my apologies. Learn something new everyday haha
My worst reactions are from Avicularia's urticating hairs.

Psalms, Taps, and N. incei (not sure of the rest of the genus) are the NW's I know of without urticating hairs.
 

viper69

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I have never heard of any avics that kicked urticating hair.
If they do have and kick urticating hair then i 100% apologize for sure!!!!!
None of my versicolors have ever kicked hair or gotten bald patches nor have i haver had any itching or heard if anyone have any itching from avics.

Again, if they do then my apologies. Learn something new everyday haha
You were wrong; there's no "if". You should read the primary literature. Even the TKG would have informed you of this knowledge. What are we going to do w/you :rofl:

I'm feeling generous, I'll spoon feed you some knowledge, READ IT!

http://www.scielo.br/pdf/zool/v30n4/v30n4a06.pdf

Many of my Avics have gotten bald patches, it's not uncommon. ;)
 

Venom1080

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that set up looks perfect. Avics tend to change their colors as they grow. my A avic was blue last molt and now more of a black/dark blue on the legs. same with the abdomen, much more black than blue now.
 

viper69

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My worst reactions are from Avicularia's urticating hairs.

Psalms, Taps, and N. incei (not sure of the rest of the genus) are the NW's I know of without urticating hairs.
There's a few others, here's a dated list I had in my archive. Notice Oligo has a new genus name, but they don't have urticating setae. There might be some other taxon changes other than Holothele's. I'm not the best taxonomist record keeper.

Following genera belong to the Subfamily ISCHNOCOLINAE (New World):

ACANTHOPELMA Cambridge, 1897 (contra Smith, 1994: Acanthopelminae Smith, 1994)

CATUMIRI Guadanucci, 2004

HOLOTHELE Karsch, 1879

ISCHNOCOLUS Ausserer, 1871

OLIGOXYSTRE Vellard, 1924 (Pseudoligoxystre Vol, 2001 synonymized with Oligoxystre by Guadanucci, 2007)

REICHLINGIA Rudloff, 2001 (transferred from Barychelidae by Guadanucci, 2014)

TRICHOPELMA Simon, 1888 (transferred from Barychelidae by Guadanucci, 2014)
 

WeightedAbyss75

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This isn't true for Avic needs. ExoTerra's are modeled off of popular European glass cubes @Chris LXXIX have a nice pic of those cubes you use from Germany, I saw one you put up not long ago. Exo's made by the German company Hagen.. People in Europe have been raising Avics in glass cubes for "eons". These glass cubes have ventilation similar to the Exo's. In fact, on the top they have less ventilation typically, usually as strip in the middle for ventilation, and the sides don't have drilled holes.

I know serious Avic breeders that raise/breed Avics in ExoTerra's w/out an issue. A screen top is not the greatest. My A. metallica lived fine in an ExoTerra.

I think the most important feature is NOT to have stagnant air, that will certainly kill any Avic. Most people achieve that by keeping a water bowl and increased ventilation via drilled holes.

It certainly isn't humidity that kills them otherwise they'd be dropping out of trees in the jungles :rofl:
That makes sense. Imwas just saying that the cross ventilation isn't in a very good spot (newr the bottom at th font and then through the top). Most have ventilation on only the sides so you can get a nice crossbreeze. It looks good for an avic though, wouldn't even think off replacing it just for weak cross ventilation. Just food for thought. Also, I've never kept an Avic, so I'm not an expert in any way. The cage looks fine as it is :D
 

Abyss

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You were wrong; there's no "if". You should read the primary literature. Even the TKG would have informed you of this knowledge. What are we going to do w/you :rofl:

I'm feeling generous, I'll spoon feed you some knowledge, READ IT!

http://www.scielo.br/pdf/zool/v30n4/v30n4a06.pdf

Many of my Avics have gotten bald patches, it's not uncommon. ;)
Very very interestng, i honestly had no idea and like i said, my experience with avicularia (versacolor in specific) led me to think they dont.
I was wrong haha thnx for the enlightenment!!!!!
 

viper69

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That makes sense. Imwas just saying that the cross ventilation isn't in a very good spot (newr the bottom at th font and then through the top). Most have ventilation on only the sides so you can get a nice crossbreeze. It looks good for an avic though, wouldn't even think off replacing it just for weak cross ventilation. Just food for thought. Also, I've never kept an Avic, so I'm not an expert in any way. The cage looks fine as it is :D
I was only providing info. It's a topic and info that is much discussed regarding Avics and ventilation. There's a big difference between Euro and USA husbandry, esp cage design. While the USA hobby touts "a lot of ventilation" (myself included in the recent past), I honestly believe that was a knee jerk response to so many care sheets in the USA giving specific humidity numbers, and people ending up w/dead Avics. There's more to it than that, in another post of mine, but that's a summation.

As Europe is more advanced than the USA in some ways regarding T husbandry, and certainly more advanced in vivariums than the USA, they must be doing something right or their Ts would be dead. I truly believe it's really stagnant air that is the killer. People read a caresheet, unaware that stagnant moist air ends up killing their Avic. Unaware the jungle is equally as humid BUT always has air movement to keep the jungle fresh.

I've been to a rainforest, and it was wet, but it never smelled at all. ;)
 

viper69

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Very very interestng, i honestly had no idea and like i said, my experience with avicularia (versacolor in specific) led me to think they dont.
I was wrong haha thnx for the enlightenment!!!!!
No prob. Man, if you go free-diving with a Great White Shark, and things go great, all I can say, is I won't trust your advice "to go do it yourself" :D
 
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