Very nervous G Pulchra + Very nervous Owner = Very interesting situation

PolarisTR

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Here's the video for this thread: (You can watch or read first, doesn't matter)


So I've only been in the hobby for a year, I've been raising a B Smithi sling and have recently purchased a (Sub adult??) G Pulchra who as I found out loves to climb out of her enclosure.

I went to replace her water today and she began to climb out so I gently brushed her legs. She climbed back in but then BOLTED to the other end, up the side and onto my bed.

I'm not scared of Tarantulas or Spiders but I am very scared of being bitten. I didn't know what to do!

I was worried sick she would bolt off the side and *gulp*.

I eventually got her back in by getting her to walk on a piece of plastic although she calmly rested on my thumb. I really didn't know what to do at this point as I thought she might mistake it for a nice fat cricket if I were to take it away.

I love Tarantulas and the whole hobby in general, I wouldn't handle them for fun as their welfare is my main concern but I'm simply too scared to deal with situations like this (which threatens their safety). I have no experience in general spider temperament and even though I know the basic signs of defence/aggression I tend to treat every situation as though they were about to tag me (just in case *wink*)

Do you have any tips on keeping calm in a situation like this?

Was I at risk of being bitten (I know that there is ALWAYS a risk, I mean was there anything I was doing wrong that would have aggravated her?)

What do you do in these situations? (If this or something similar has ever happen?)

I also noticed while in her enclosure, she is constantly moving around and pushing herself up on the side, would this mean her substrate is too dry and she needs a bit more humidity?

Here's a video of the G. Pulchra bolting: (It was a similar situation when she escaped)


Like with all my other posts, I apologise for any ignorance in advance!

Cheers
P

Edit: Regarding the size of the enclosure, I am looking at making some larger, taller ones. No need for advice on that although very much appreciated :)
 
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darkness975

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@PolarisTR That enclosure does not appear to give much room for anything. The top of it is basically right on the same level as where the spider lives. I tend to give them a bit deeper of an enclosure (obviously while still being within the safe distance from the substrate to the lid).
I personally would give it a bit larger/deeper enclosure and a larger water dish.

You should always have catch cups readily available when doing any kind of movement/rehousing/maintenance/etc. that will involve the removal of the lid. It is much easier to just cup it if needed than to end up stuck.

The "bolting" video is nothing. You should see my B. smithi. She can legit teleport, makes me think of a P. murinus. I cannot tell for sure from the video but your G. pulchra appears to be on the heavier side, probably going to molt at some point in the not so distant future. Post molt, expect a ten fold increase in speed.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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I'm not scared of Tarantulas or Spiders but I am very scared of being bitten. I didn't know what to do!
Do you have any tips on keeping calm in a situation like this?
If you are scared of being bitten, your chances of being bitten rise. It is one of those seemingly contradictory statements, but fear translates to involuntary reactions and movements that are transferred to another animal which in turn make it nervous and fearful itself. Fortunately, you have a species of tarantula that is very reluctant to bite and as you found out prefers to run away instead of standing its ground and biting. The best way to get used to your tarantula and relieve that fear of being bitten is to work with it regularly. Once a week, few times a month, whatever you are comfortable with. Open the cage up and let it walk out and around in a controlled area and keep practicing your method of recapture. You need to get used to how it moves and reacts to various situations so you will see yourself that it will not bite you. Over time you will become more confident that your tarantula will not bite and that fear should eventually subside. In theory anyway. :)
 

AphonopelmaTX

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@AphonopelmaTX

Thank you that was very helpful :)
You're welcome. I can relate to your situation because I went through it with black widows many years ago. Latrodectus species always fascinated me and although I was never afraid of the spider itself, I had a fear of being bitten for obvious reasons. No matter how much I read about how reluctant widow spiders are to bite, it wasn't until I worked with them regularly myself in captivity to understand how they move and how they react to being manipulated that I understood it. Over time I became more confident, without becoming complacent of course, that I really wasn't going to be bitten unless I touched it with my bare hands. The fear of being bitten eventually went away. I'm confident that as long as you regularly work with your Grammostola pulchra they same will happen for you.
 

mack1855

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Just to let you know,she was very patient and tolerant of you.
Gave you a lot of slack.I was concerned more for her safety,getting close
to the edge of your bed.
You did good.And never do anything with heavy bodied T,s off the floor.
Falling,falling,falling....never ends well.
And shes a gem by the way.
 

PolarisTR

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To all who advise having a catch cup ready. I did have one ready. I wasn't unprepared. I was simply too scared to do anything. The thread is more to do with fear and the chances of being bitten as from experience I do not know.

Thanks
P

And never do anything with heavy bodied T,s off the floor.
Falling,falling,falling....never ends well.
Thank you, I will do any future openings on the floor, I don't know why I didn't think of that in the first place *facepalm*
 
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Jeff23

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As mentioned previously practice will get you comfortable. This is a good tarantula for learning but treat her gently while enforcing to yourself that biting you is her last likely possibility.

Get a bigger enclosure as previously mentioned. Enclosure width should be at least 2X tarantula DLS. Enclosure length should be 2X enclosure width. I recommend a distance from substrate to lid somewhere between her DLS and twice her DLS.

You need an open area on the floor where you put her enclosure inside a large plastic tub. Working on a bed gives ledges for falls in all directions with part of the directions putting you at risk of a permanent escape as well.

If your catch cup scares you because your hand is near the spider, get a bigger catch cup. I have found that use of a thin piece of cardboard works better in conjunction with a catch cup rather than the included lid (office supply index cards work great).

Best of luck and enjoy.
 

Venom1080

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i hate the idea of being bitten as well. dont let it stop you from doing what you need to do though.
an easy fix would of been to simply prod her into an open catch cup and than transfer her back into her cage, hesitating and letting her run about was probably the worst thing you could do.
 

viper69

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First I took the time to watch both videos, my volume was low, didn't hear too much. So investing that time in your animal entitles me to be picky.

Species names are not capitalized, it's G. pulchra. I won't even go into italics, don't want to be TOO critical, esp about something I don't do myself hah.

I'm not scared of Tarantulas or Spiders but I am very scared of being bitten. I didn't know what to do!
I haven't foggiest idea why you are doing this on your bed. When you should be doing it on the floor to avoid potential falls. She's a gorgeous T, if she falls, she'll likely die w/that fat abdomen.

Also, I CANNOT for the life of me figure out why you didn't just grab that deli cup in the beginning of video and use that as your catch cup. Personally I'd use something w/a larger diameter to minimize legs getting broken. Why did you reach for the lid? That doesn't isolate the T from anything. They have 8 legs and can walk upside down haha. You are lucky she didn't quickly scoot around the lid and go off the bed! ;)

I was worried sick she would bolt off the side and *gulp*.
And go splat and die...given your fear, lack of experience you need to be doing this on the floor.

Was I at risk of being bitten
You always are, they are wild animals.

If you are really this afraid and worried etc, you are owning the wrong animal, get a snake or a kitten. There's nothing wrong recognizing a different pet is more suited to you, esp before you get any more Ts.

I completely agree w/ Apho, you need to have your T out in a controlled environment and observe them, interact with them.

You MAY think your T was fast, that was very slow, even for a NW.
 

Ungoliant

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Grammostola pulchra is a great species for observing/working with. It's generally slow and fairly docile, especially as it gets bigger. (My smaller sling is skittish, but she always bolts into one of her hides.)

In addition to what's already been said about the enclosure, I would get something with a lid that can be opened without removing the whole lid. A feeding hatch is a plus.

I have a pulchra that is about the same size as yours, and I keep her in a small Exo Terra Breeding Box (8" x 8" x 5.5"). They also make larger ones that are the same height.

The plastic is nice and clear, and it's easy to open and do most maintenance/feeding without having to remove the entire lid.
 

Chris LXXIX

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I hear you man... when I needed to move the Goddess 0.1 Pelinobius muticus PBUH (Peace Be Upon Her) I used this for prevent Her "bites first, hissing later" berserk mode :-s

 

Walker253

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The G pulchra is normally a good natured and easy to manage tarantula. The just don't bite as they are passing by. Watch some YouTube videos with threat postures and angry tarantulas. Learn what it looks like if your tarantula is "not in the mood" per se. All tarantulas have there "leave me alone" times. Fortunately your G pulchra will most likely rarely show this behavior. Once you learn what to look for, getting over the fear of randomly getting bitten subsides.
 

BrockiePelma

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As stated by other,being accustomed w/ the Ts would really help you out.and IME(with docile and calmer species anyway) they tend to do the threat posture first before even attempting to bite.so maybe you could use this as an indication if it's likely going to bite. If it doesnt pose,then u're all good,unless your hand is all twitchy and acts like a prey(lots of movement with little force/weight) then ur hand might be mistaken as a prey and be pounced on without hesitation.

remind you that this is purely IME,so its not a total guarantee.and if all else fails,wear thick gloves.
 
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DPetsche

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Man I wish my "bolters" moved that slowly. I was moving a P. ornata sling the other day, man. Even as just a sling, they sure can move. One second all was well and I was halfway through the transfer, I blinked for ever so slightly longer than I should've and she disappeared.
 

BrockiePelma

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Man I wish my "bolters" moved that slowly. I was moving a P. ornata sling the other day, man. Even as just a sling, they sure can move. One second all was well and I was halfway through the transfer, I blinked for ever so slightly longer than I should've and she disappeared.
IKR?!,thats why i always put a towel around my balls when i rehouse my P.murinus,cuz i know that they'll be sweatin'.LOLOL.
 

DPetsche

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IKR?!,thats why i always put a towel around my balls when i rehouse my P.murinus,cuz i know that they'll be sweatin'.LOLOL.
Man I was wondering where you were going with that comment, didn't end where I thought it would. LOL
 

Andrea82

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I think your G.pulchra will kick hairs and/or threatposture first before biting, which is another reason to not do maintenance on your bed ;)
+1 to all above.
Exposure exposure. Or buy the enclosure @Ungoliant suggests and minimize interactions. I'd go with the exposure though, since that prepares you more for unexpected situations. But I can imagine you might need some stress-free interactions first to calm down around your spiders.
 
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