When a tarantula/scorpion closes off its hide

Moakmeister

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I realize that this is normal and nothing’s wrong with them when they do this, but when they do, I’m not really sure… what to do? Currently ive got a T. albopilosus sling and a juvenile P. imperator buried deep in the substrate, all the way at the bottom on the plastic floor, with the tunnel blocked, and neither of them wants to eat at all. They could just not be hungry, but the P. imperator just molted and should be sclerotized by now. The albo doesn’t react to mealworms at the surface and doesn’t come up to eat prekilled ones, so should I just wait/keep attempting feedings every few days? If I should wait, how long? Until they come outside?
 

Benjaminn

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It's all normal behavior.
Your T. albopilosus is more than likely in premolt and may take a few months to come up. Your P. imperator may just be looking for moisture especially since it just molted. I find my imperators dig more the drier it is
 

sasker

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but the P. imperator just molted and should be sclerotized by now.
I noticed that my Heterometrus took ages to harden. It took a lot longer until it started eating again than with any of my tarantulas post molt.

Has you T. albopilosus moulted recently? How big is the abdomen? Could be just waiting to moult.
 

jc55

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I would have to agree with what has already been said that if the entrance is sealed leave them alone.They know what they are doing and will come out when they are ready.
 

Moakmeister

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I noticed that my Heterometrus took ages to harden. It took a lot longer until it started eating again than with any of my tarantulas post molt.

Has you T. albopilosus moulted recently? How big is the abdomen? Could be just waiting to moult.
The albo (Stuffy) molted a little bit before I put it in its current enclosure, about a month ago. It’s eaten once and then dug.
 

sasker

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The albo (Stuffy) molted a little bit before I put it in its current enclosure, about a month ago. It’s eaten once and then dug.
You mentioned it's a sling. Depending on how small it is, one meal could be enough for it to go into premoult again.
 

Moakmeister

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You mentioned it's a sling. Depending on how small it is, one meal could be enough for it to go into premoult again.
I can see the sling, its abdomen is pretty normal. But like I said, I know this is normal and it doesn’t really matter what the cause is, I just wanted to know what to do while it’s down there.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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I can see the sling, its abdomen is pretty normal. But like I said, I know this is normal and it doesn’t really matter what the cause is, I just wanted to know what to do while it’s down there.
All you need to do is make sure the bottom is kept damp, or if you can manage it, drip a few water droplets inside of the closed off burrow every once in a while. When a tarantula spiderling closes off its burrow, you can't expect it to leave to drink from water from the outside of the burrow.
 

Moakmeister

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All you need to do is make sure the bottom is kept damp, or if you can manage it, drip a few water droplets inside of the closed off burrow every once in a while. When a tarantula spiderling closes off its burrow, you can't expect it to leave to drink from water from the outside of the burrow.
Thanks for that. I’ve just been filling up its water dish. I’ll need to moisten the substrate instead.
 

YungRasputin

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i’ve been having this issue with my Hadrurus Arizonesis (Giant Desert Hairy scorpion) and I've tried switching substrates from an all sand mixture to an arid soil mixture which is more dirt based however this did not mitigate the behavior - i have tried providing ample hides and starter burrows but they seem committed to doing their own thing

so basically my position now is to only intervene when it seems like they might get injured or when they soil the water dish from digging - other than that I’m leaving them be

they’ve covered the majority of their log hide with substrate but have allowed for a small section to pop in and out of - they just love digging really
 

YungRasputin

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Aren't they known to dig? If so, it's not an 'issue' but natural behaviour.
yes and no; yes they are known to dig but no, furiously digging all night to the point where you’re so exhausted you lay out in the open, “exposed” during the day time, lethargic and have to be checked to see if you’re not dead seems to be crossing the line between normal and abby (but I could be wrong)

i haven’t observed this specific behavior in any of the other burrowing scorp species that I’ve owned
 
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sasker

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I meant that in nature they tunnel quite deep and have their burrows deep under the ground. Maybe your specimen requires deeper substrate to dig. If it tries all night to find a place to dig through that annoying barrier (the bottom of the terrarium, that is) it may indeed be exhausted after failing to do so. It is impossible to copy the same conditions as in the wild, but my best guess is that it is simply not happy with the way it is being kept. I don't know much about this species (or scorpions in general), but I believe they have not been bred in captivity. Maybe your specimen was quite large when it was caught. It could have difficulties adjusting to captivity.
 

YungRasputin

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I meant that in nature they tunnel quite deep and have their burrows deep under the ground. Maybe your specimen requires deeper substrate to dig. If it tries all night to find a place to dig through that annoying barrier (the bottom of the terrarium, that is) it may indeed be exhausted after failing to do so. It is impossible to copy the same conditions as in the wild, but my best guess is that it is simply not happy with the way it is being kept. I don't know much about this species (or scorpions in general), but I believe they have not been bred in captivity. Maybe your specimen was quite large when it was caught. It could have difficulties adjusting to captivity.
substrate could be an issue, I’m thinking about trying excavator clay next however unlike spiders, scorpions can’t create web tunnels to support their deep burrowing

for this specimen I started out with a deep sand substrate and created a deep starter burrow using a cave like structure - which is what I’ve done for all of my desert scorpions

then when I rehoused it I provided an even deeper substrate and an even deeper starter burrow using a longish half log - the current substrate level is about 5-6” and the enclosure itself was originally designed for a Opistophthalmus glabrifrons or Rough Burrower scorpion specimen that I had an opportunity to acquire but fell through

it has yet to dig past 2-3 inches of the substrate and it still isn’t close to the bottom - so I don’t think it’s a depth issue

it’s also been kept in optimal conditions (temp/humidity ranges, ample access to food/water, etc) per its species - i honestly think it might just be a particular quirk with this specific individual but I could be wrong and am open to criticism

it’s current size is around 3-3.5 inches and the enclosure size is 12”x12”x12”
 

sasker

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i honestly think it might just be a particular quirk with this specific individual but I could be wrong and am open to criticism
I think you should open a new thread in the scorpion sub forum. I wish I could help, but I keep only one scorpion.
 

Dorifto

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substrate could be an issue, I’m thinking about trying excavator clay next however unlike spiders, scorpions can’t create web tunnels to support their deep burrowing
Topsoil+clay mix much cheaper and better looking option imo.

Topsoil alone keeps very good the shape of the burrows, but adding clay it will hold it forever.
 
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