Vinegaroon Hibernation Question

Chancho1507

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I've had my vinegaroon, Lily, since Jan 2021. The first time she hibernated she was gone from Feb 2021- July 2021. She decided to bury herself again around mid-October 2021 and is still buried. During that time, the substrate dried out quite a bit (about a month or 2) before I rehydrated it by dumping water down all 4 corners of the tank. I understand I should trust she knows what she's doing, but at what point should I dig her up to confirm her passing? I had springtails in the tank that managed to survive the drought, but it's possible they survived by eating her dead body. The sub is about 5 inches deep and its a 10 gallon tank.
 

goonius

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I've had my vinegaroon, Lily, since Jan 2021. The first time she hibernated she was gone from Feb 2021- July 2021. She decided to bury herself again around mid-October 2021 and is still buried. During that time, the substrate dried out quite a bit (about a month or 2) before I rehydrated it by dumping water down all 4 corners of the tank. I understand I should trust she knows what she's doing, but at what point should I dig her up to confirm her passing? I had springtails in the tank that managed to survive the drought, but it's possible they survived by eating her dead body. The sub is about 5 inches deep and its a 10 gallon tank.
I have no real answers for you, just wanted to share that I have a similar situation. We’ve had our vinegaroon since mid-2020. Similar hibernation period the first year — about 6 months. This year he’s been buried since November 2021. I’m starting to wonder about him too. Maybe someone else will chime in.
 

darkness975

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Have you tried looking at the underside of the tank in case the tunnel goes right to the bottom?
 

Smotzer

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Well how dry did it get? The time frame isn’t concerning but the dryness is. If it was too dry and it tried molting it may not have made it.


I agree with @darkness975 do you have any windows you can look in underneath?

the time frame is totally normal just to give you some piece of mind my 10 were underground from beginning of October until end of March/beginning of April, all were fine for and some are back underground again after eating two meals. 5-6months has been average for me
 

goonius

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Have you tried looking at the underside of the tank in case the tunnel goes right to the bottom?
We looked underneath his enclosure and didn’t see him. Last year that tactic worked to reassure us, but this year we actually gave him a deeper tank with more substrate and he didn’t burrow all the way to the bottom. 🤦‍♀️

However, as I was writing this, my daughter informed me that he’s apparently following our Arachnoboards posts and responded to our concerns by opening a window to his burrow on one side.

So, I guess I can answer that question now: 7+ months hibernation is apparently in the realm of normal.
 

Smotzer

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Yes it is in the realm of normal from my experience!
 

CRX

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So these guys hibernate for 6 months of the year?? Thats crazy!
 

Smotzer

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So these guys hibernate for 6 months of the year?? Thats crazy!
They can!! my average is 4-5 months October-March ish, but I had one this year that never burrowed down, stayed hungry all winter. Apparently didn't follow the same seasonal cues as his brothers and sisters this year.
 

Chancho1507

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Well how dry did it get? The time frame isn’t concerning but the dryness is. If it was too dry and it tried molting it may not have made it.


I agree with @darkness975 do you have any windows you can look in underneath?

the time frame is totally normal just to give you some piece of mind my 10 were underground from beginning of October until end of March/beginning of April, all were fine for and some are back underground again after eating two meals. 5-6months has been average for me
It got pretty dry but I can't say for sure how dry it got deep in the middle of the tank. I just checked and I didn't see any windows so my game plan is to wait until July before I go confirm. July would be the 9 month mark, which I feel is reasonable given that everyones' are averaging about 6-7 months and that's how long it took mine last year.
 

msburgundy

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I had a similar situation, Chelsea went into hibernation about December 2021 and it was already about mid May 2022 and I still hadn't seen her, I was really trying to wait but I had some reason to be worried that she may have died since I moved in the winter and had trouble controlling temperatures at first so she got Cold Cold. Finally caved and dug her up, she was FURIOUS. She went back down for a few more weeks and now she's active and eating again. It seems with these guys the answer is always "just wait it out" 🤣
 

me and my Ts

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I’ve had a vinegaroon for almost 2 years now and mine had not molted, however they’re only about 3inches long, I’m certain they’re a female, they only went into hibernation the first winter, they seem to prefer moist substrate over dry, they really confuse me
 

msburgundy

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I’ve had a vinegaroon for almost 2 years now and mine had not molted, however they’re only about 3inches long, I’m certain they’re a female, they only went into hibernation the first winter, they seem to prefer moist substrate over dry, they really confuse me
I have actually had a very difficult time finding any information regarding molting for them, but as I understand it it seems once they reach their adult size they stop molting. I very well may be mistaken though

If anyone knows more about it I'd love to hear it. The most I've been able to find is that they molt for the first time at about a month after hatching, and then from that point they molt annually until reaching their adult size in 4 years

It just seems strange me that they could live 4+ years without ever molting again
 

Smotzer

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I’ve had a vinegaroon for almost 2 years now and mine had not molted, however they’re only about 3inches long, I’m certain they’re a female, they only went into hibernation the first winter, they seem to prefer moist substrate over dry, they really confuse me
Why do they confuse you? they need deep moist substrate as they are moisture dependent and obligate fossorial, so that should not be a point of contention.
 

me and my Ts

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Why do they confuse you? they need deep moist substrate as they are moisture dependent and obligate fossorial, so that should not be a point of contention.
I just mean the behavior of mine has not been what I’ve expected it to be, also it eats a lot all year round even though it’s really not very large, I have to give it about 2 medium crickets a week or it gets skinny and starts wondering the enclosure

I’m wondering if I have a species different from Mastigoproctus giganteus and something else
 

Smotzer

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I just mean the behavior of mine has not been what I’ve expected it to be, also it eats a lot all year round even though it’s really not very large, I have to give it about 2 medium crickets a week or it gets skinny and starts wondering the enclosure

I’m wondering if I have a species different from Mastigoproctus giganteus and something else
That’s not outside the realm of normal increased activity year round in captivity can certainly happen. Eating all year round isn’t abnormal. I have one that remained unburrowed all winter unlike its siblings. Yours could also be an adult I don’t know.

Well you certainly could have a different Mastigoproctus species Like M. floridanus which behavior is a little bit different IME due to environmental conditions. Mastigoproctus is only now becoming less of a mess. So species are ofren mislabeled and sold incorrectly as Mastigoproctus giganteus, despite there being at least 7, and in the future even more species, Mastigoproctus species all once known as M. giganteus.
 

Chancho1507

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I have actually had a very difficult time finding any information regarding molting for them, but as I understand it it seems once they reach their adult size they stop molting. I very well may be mistaken though

If anyone knows more about it I'd love to hear it. The most I've been able to find is that they molt for the first time at about a month after hatching, and then from that point they molt annually until reaching their adult size in 4 years

It just seems strange me that they could live 4+ years without ever molting again
Mine just molted with her recent return. This was the 2nd time she went into hibernation under my care and the 1st time she molted so maybe they can choose to skip a year depending on conditions.
 
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