Weird situation with 3 T's

oldfatty

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
6
Hello All! I wanted to see what you thought about this strange situation. We currently have 12 T's. Recently, 3 of them began to get bald butts and none of the 3 had been seen "kicking". The T's affected were a T. Vagan (Mexican Red Rump), Tliltocatl Albophiosus (Curly Hair) and a Theraphosa Stirmi (Burgandy Goliath). Sometimes we feed superworms and the worms get away; scooting into the substrate before the T can eat them. They stay hidden for awhile and then morph into big black beetles. None of our T's eat the beetles. Anyhow, the other morning I noticed one of those beetles on the butt of the T. Vagan. I checked all enclosures and found that the 3 T's with balding butts all had the black beetles in their enclosures. None of the other enclosures had them. We rounded up all the black beetles and disposed of them. So, I'm wondering if you guys think that the beetles could have been gnawing on their butts? The uriticating hairs are still present, however the "hide" is gone. All 3 seem okay for the most part; they are eating and moving about. The T Stirmi looks the worst, her butt almost looks raw. Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
 

Jonathan6303

Arachnolord
Active Member
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
636
Hello All! I wanted to see what you thought about this strange situation. We currently have 12 T's. Recently, 3 of them began to get bald butts and none of the 3 had been seen "kicking". The T's affected were a T. Vagan (Mexican Red Rump), Tliltocatl Albophiosus (Curly Hair) and a Theraphosa Stirmi (Burgandy Goliath). Sometimes we feed superworms and the worms get away; scooting into the substrate before the T can eat them. They stay hidden for awhile and then morph into big black beetles. None of our T's eat the beetles. Anyhow, the other morning I noticed one of those beetles on the butt of the T. Vagan. I checked all enclosures and found that the 3 T's with balding butts all had the black beetles in their enclosures. None of the other enclosures had them. We rounded up all the black beetles and disposed of them. So, I'm wondering if you guys think that the beetles could have been gnawing on their butts? The uriticating hairs are still present, however the "hide" is gone. All 3 seem okay for the most part; they are eating and moving about. The T Stirmi looks the worst, her butt almost looks raw. Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
1. If the feeder you use often digs under ground you should probably prekill it before offering it to your t because it can easily harm your t while molting and so on.
2. If you have a intermediate species such as theraphosa you should know that ts will often kick hairs right before a molt or in premolt.
 

Egon

Arachnosquire
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
55
I have a 1/2-inch G. pulchripes sling kept completely solo that has a bald patch on its abdomen.
 

VaporRyder

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Messages
277
I don’t feed worms, but understand that the best practise is to crush the heads so that they can’t burrow.

I also agree with the above poster who mentioned the risk to the spider with live non-incapcitated feeders in the enclosure.
 

Arachnophobphile

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2018
Messages
428
Hello All! I wanted to see what you thought about this strange situation. We currently have 12 T's. Recently, 3 of them began to get bald butts and none of the 3 had been seen "kicking". The T's affected were a T. Vagan (Mexican Red Rump), Tliltocatl Albophiosus (Curly Hair) and a Theraphosa Stirmi (Burgandy Goliath). Sometimes we feed superworms and the worms get away; scooting into the substrate before the T can eat them. They stay hidden for awhile and then morph into big black beetles. None of our T's eat the beetles. Anyhow, the other morning I noticed one of those beetles on the butt of the T. Vagan. I checked all enclosures and found that the 3 T's with balding butts all had the black beetles in their enclosures. None of the other enclosures had them. We rounded up all the black beetles and disposed of them. So, I'm wondering if you guys think that the beetles could have been gnawing on their butts? The uriticating hairs are still present, however the "hide" is gone. All 3 seem okay for the most part; they are eating and moving about. The T Stirmi looks the worst, her butt almost looks raw. Thank you in advance for your thoughts!
Odd that your T's wouldn't eat the beetles.

I only had one superworm turn into a black beetle in the superworm enclosure and my T. vagans pounced on it as soon as I dropped it in.

Some advice on superworms.
1. Crush their heads and continue crushing about a 1/3 down stopping where the legs end on the body. Superworms have a strong bite and will bite your T.
2. If you keep your superworms in oatmeal or bran in their bin change it out at least once a week. If you don't you can and will have a mite infestation in the superworm bin. Then they will transfer to your tarantula enclosures. Something I have first hand knowledge of and why I do not use them anymore.
 

cold blood

Moderator
Staff member
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Jan 19, 2014
Messages
12,740

greeneyedelle

Arachnoknight
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
185
My experience has been to ALWAYS crush the heads of superworms because 1) their mouth are big enough to injure a t in worst case scenarios and 2) they burrow. None of my supers ever live long enough to become beetles, but if they're anything like the mealworm colonies, my t's won't touch those black beetles.
Here is an example of what can happen with these beetles.
Now THAT looks like a tarantula keeper's nightmare
 

oldfatty

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 10, 2021
Messages
6
You need to alter your feeding methods. Either crush the heads of the worms, or be sure you pick them out before they burrow. The beetles will ABSOLUTELY feed on your tarantulas, especially if one happens to molt.

Here is an example of what can happen with these beetles.

RIP Ms. GBB

Thank you all so much for responding! Your time is very much appreciated! :)
 

Stemmy101

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 12, 2020
Messages
80
It might be that the Ts have bald spots bc they are laying molt mats. Or maybe the beetles are causing the T stress, and that's what's causing their bald spots. Also, as others have said, crush the heads of prey to avoid the risk of your Ts being injured/killed during a molt. Or just watch until the T takes the worm to make sure it doesn't burrow.
 
Last edited:

kingshockey

Arachnobaron
Active Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2017
Messages
530
better to just cut the heads off they can and will survive a crushed head and molt into a beetle the ts probably kicked hairs at the beetles is my guess your lucky none of those ts happened to be mid molt
 

Smotzer

Arachnoemperor
Active Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2020
Messages
3,905
Well if they have bald stops then they are kicking setae off, for one reason or another. You just might not be seeing it happen, but it is.

crush head of meal worms and don’t allow any to burrow in the substrate. Feed more mindfully.
 
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