Tarantulas smell while molting

Ungweliante

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 24, 2006
Messages
96
Hello, everyone!

I just thought of posting something that I haven't noticed being discussed here in the forums - every time one of my tarantulas molt, I can smell a very specific sharp smell coming from the terrarium in question. The smell is actually very similar to what was coming from my C. cyaneopubescens's terrarium when it sadly passed away about half a year ago.

Have you noticed this same thing too? That smell being present there while they molt or pass away? I have been thinking that the smell could come from some kinds of bodily fluids they have...anyone have better knowledge? :)
 

julesaussies

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 15, 2007
Messages
577
Very interesting. i have been fortunate enough to watch several of my larger T's molt and have never noticed a particular odor or smell. i also have a really sensitive nose and tend to smell more than i want to. However, i will make a point to check it out next time.
 

z32upgrader

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
366
Old thread I know.
I myself have noticed a distinctive smell given off by my A. chalcodes female who was very old. None of my younger Ts have ever smelled like anything. She died of old age a few months ago. Could this be a way to differentiate an old adult from a much younger one?
It's well documented that humans and other animals give off an odor as they become older. Animals in the wild use their sense of smell to determine a potential mate's age and health in suitability for breeding.
People of the forums, give your spiders a sniff! Safely of course. Don't let your spider get you on the nose!
 

GG80

Arachnoknight
Joined
Nov 26, 2013
Messages
268
When my adult rosie molted it was a perfect molt so I kept it to show my friends and instantly noticed a not so pleasant smell coming from it.
 

chokyspider

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 22, 2024
Messages
4
When my c marshalli was molting it smelt like cold left over spaghetti. I know its random but that's how it smelled like and I do not know how a dead t smells like I am new
 

MariaLewisia

Arachnoknight
Joined
Aug 28, 2022
Messages
185
My P. irminia male died right after moulting to a mature male and he smelled intensively sweet. A very odd, decay sort of sweet. If you've ever smelled death or decaying matter before you'll know what I mean when I say there's a sweet tang to it, mixed with the foul. This male smelled of that sort of sweetness and only that, even after me keeping him for more than a week (in case he wasn't dead, but he most definitely was). I've had other MMs die and they smelled like normal, funky death, not just the sweet part. Very odd.
 

spideyspinneret78

Arachnoprince
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
1,271
My P. irminia male died right after moulting to a mature male and he smelled intensively sweet. A very odd, decay sort of sweet. If you've ever smelled death or decaying matter before you'll know what I mean when I say there's a sweet tang to it, mixed with the foul. This male smelled of that sort of sweetness and only that, even after me keeping him for more than a week (in case he wasn't dead, but he most definitely was). I've had other MMs die and they smelled like normal, funky death, not just the sweet part. Very odd.
That cloyingly sweet smell can sometimes be caused by Pseudomonas bacteria, among others. I wonder if the spider in question had a bacterial infection brewing. Wouldn't surprise me after the spider went through a molt, which in itself is stressful.
 

Kada

Arachnobaron
Arachnosupporter
Joined
May 17, 2023
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406
That cloyingly sweet smell can sometimes be caused by Pseudomonas bacteria, among others. I wonder if the spider in question had a bacterial infection brewing. Wouldn't surprise me after the spider went through a molt, which in itself is stressful.
Also curious. It would be somewhat logical if various organisms were brewing in such closed and moist conditions such as molting. Haven't noticed a smell personally, but now that it is mentioned it is something to pay attention to and take note :) might also be environmental conditions. Not so unlike people that get fungal infections on their skin. I keep my spiders with more ventilation and thus drier conditions because my climate is warm and wet. Perhaps stinky sock syndrome is at play ?
 
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MariaLewisia

Arachnoknight
Joined
Aug 28, 2022
Messages
185
That cloyingly sweet smell can sometimes be caused by Pseudomonas bacteria, among others. I wonder if the spider in question had a bacterial infection brewing. Wouldn't surprise me after the spider went through a molt, which in itself is stressful.
Very interesting theory! I think you're on to something. If it had happened a few years back when I was still doing clinical work, I could've asked my lab colleagues to try and make a culture. Would've been extremely interesting to see what sort of stuff we could've isolated, if anything.

Also curious. It would be somewhat logical if various organisms were brewing in such closed and moist conditions such as molting. Haven't noticed a smell personally, but now that it is mentioned it is something to pay attention to and take note :) might also be environmental conditions. Not so unlike people that get fungal infections on their skin. I keep my spiders with more ventilation and thus drier conditions because my climate is warm and wet. Perhaps stinky sock syndrome is at play ?
Sweden is exceedingly dry in winter, so if anything, his enclosure was drier than before due to the colder temps leeching all the moisture. Really sucks that we will never know for sure what happened, but if it happens to anyone else we might be on to something.
 
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