What is wrong with my tarantula?

ChrisR36

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Evening all, this is my first post here and I come seeking advice or assurance.

I'm not exactly new to the hobby, I started collecting T's about 4 years ago, in that time I've had two die on me, one from DKS and the other of old age, and I've given two away for mating purposes. I'm left with just my adult G.Porteri now. I know these T's can go an incredibly long time without eating, but after viewing many posts in other forums, a lot of experienced keepers are reassuring those that are new to the hobby who are concerned that their T hasn't eaten for a couple of months, that they can fast for over a year. Well, that may be normal, but is it normal for a T to go for 2 years and 3 months without eating? That's how long my Porteri hasn't eaten for, and aside from that, she hasn't moulted for 3 years either.

I've reached the point where I'm just waiting for her to starve herself to death. She used to eat a cricket every week, then all of a sudden she stopped eating in October 2014 and she's shown no interest in anything I've thrown at her since, crickets, hoppers, mealworms, roaches, she won't touch any of them, the money I've wasted on uneaten food! I think it's incredible that she still seems perfectly happy and healthy, her abdomen hasn't shrunk, not even slightly. She lives in a quiet home, never disturbed. Her habitat, including temperature and humidity are as close to ideal as I can make it for her, she has fresh spring water, she does drink thankfully. So I cannot understand how she can go this long without eating or moulting with no visible affects whatsoever. Should I be worried? Thanks for reading.
 

cold blood

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Ideal humidity? Enlighten us, what's that? What do you consider ideal temps?

Pics please!

I'm sure its just fine, healthy feeding schedules in captivity mean that these are typically over fed...3 years without a molt is normal, adults go 5-6 years between molts...so that's a lot of time to fatten.

Now 27 months is an unusually long time, but not unheard of.
 

ChrisR36

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Humidity is about 55% and temperature is a constant 70 degrees rising to about 76 in the summer. I don't use a heat mat, that's the room temperature. I never spray her enclosure either, the water dish is always full and she likes it dry in there anyway. I've attached the most recent photo I have of her
 

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Venom1080

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Don't try to measure humidity. It's useless and drives you crazy. Keep the dish full and your porteri will be good to go.
 

cold blood

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You don't need to measure humidity, especially with a t that has no moisture requirements, its as simple as keeping things dry, which you are already doing. Theyre also one of the most tolerant ts temp-wise, handling temps in the low 60's without issue...so basically anything between 60 and 95 is fine...lol. So you're again, good. Seems like you're doing everything fine and she looks just fine.

Watch for hunting posture...I suspect with this long of a fast though that it will end with a molt.
 

Belegnole

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Wow....27 months. But, like cold blood said everything looks good. My G. sp "Concepcion" has a similar look, is 7 years old, eats when she wants and just keeps on trucking.
 

ChrisR36

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I don't fuss over the humidity but I thought it was worth mentioning just in case it was factor. I don't have either a thermometer or hygrometer in her enclosure, but I do have a digital weather station in my room

Cold Blood, I'm curious about the hunting posture, is that when they look like they're standing on stilts? I'm not sure what to look for.
 

Anoplogaster

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Anyone know what the fasting record is for G. porteri? That's pretty impressive! Not many animals can do that.

Also, I'm curious about this "hunting posture" as well. What exactly is that?
 

cold blood

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Cold Blood, I'm curious about the hunting posture, is that when they look like they're standing on stilts? I'm not sure what to look for.
A hunting posture is all spread out with the rump ever so slightly raised. Pretty obvious when you know what you are looking at.
 

cold blood

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Anyone know what the fasting record is for G. porteri? That's pretty impressive! Not many animals can do that.

Also, I'm curious about this "hunting posture" as well. What exactly is that?
My understanding that the longest documented fast was just over 2 years...so this t is right there. It was the same species, too.
 

Anoplogaster

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A hunting posture is all spread out with the rump ever so slightly raised. Pretty obvious when you know what you are looking at.
Is that a species-specific behavior? Or something that generally all terrestrials do? I mostly keep arboreals, which will strike from pretty much any position I find them in. So this is new to me
 

Anoplogaster

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My understanding that the longest documented fast was just over 2 years...so this t is right there. It was the same species, too.
Go for the record!

This actually might be something worth documenting. Do you happen to have any records or evidence of the last time she ate? Perhaps a receipt from the last cricket purchase that was a successful feed? Because this is a question that no one seems to have a precise answer for, and I've always been dying to know! I think the problem is no one documents it because no one can predict when they'll decide to fast, and the owner just happens to notice that "Oh, she hasn't eaten in a while."
 

cold blood

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Is that a species-specific behavior? Or something that generally all terrestrials do?

Almost all ts fast at some point, the slower growing species with lower metabolisms and living in cooler temps, will naturally eat a lot less and be prone to fasting a lot more, especially in captivity where food supplies are consistent. With a 4-6 year moly cycle, the t has a long long time to fatten its self before molting again, so even meager feeding schedules are ahead of that long molt cycle...hence the fasting. Chilean species are known for slow growth and long fasting periods, any labeled as a "rose hair" are the master fasters in the t world.

There's many Aphonopelma that are very similar though, I've just never kept an Aphonopelma myself.o_O
I think the problem is no one documents it because no one can predict when they'll decide to fast, and the owner just happens to notice that "Oh, she hasn't eaten in a while."
Lots of people document every feeding and therefore fast...I do, heck, there's an app for it...fasts this long are just very unusual. Fasts of a mere year of so are quite common though with slow growers....well, at least they're not uncommon.

Also my here say of a record is in no way 100% fact, its just the longest I had heard and it was documented in a book, albeit, an old book by now. Could be some dude in Maine who had one go 4 years for all I know about peoples private collections:)
 

Ungoliant

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Lots of people document every feeding and therefore fast...I do, heck, there's an app for it...fasts this long are just very unusual.
What's the name of the app?

I've been using Excel to document important events like molts, rehousings, and fasts but not every feeding.
 

cold blood

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What's the name of the app?

I've been using Excel to document important events like molts, rehousings, and fasts but not every feeding.
Don't know, I use a pencil and paper.

But there was a lot of chatter about it a year or two ago...pretty sure there was a thread devoted to it.
 

Anoplogaster

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What's the name of the app?

I've been using Excel to document important events like molts, rehousings, and fasts but not every feeding.
Yeah, I definitely don't document feedings either. Not sure how many people actually do, but that sounds like a pain.
 

cold blood

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Yeah, I definitely don't document feedings either. Not sure how many people actually do, but that sounds like a pain.
Its just part of knowing your ts...and I don't mean personally, I mean where they are in molt cycles, how long are they.....for me its just part of t ownership.
 

darkness975

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My B. smithi was in hunting posture last night. I didn't feed her though. She's been acting weird lately, staying in her hide a lot instead of being out in the open like usual.
 
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