Which tarantulas would you classify as fossorial?

petkokc

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After being "attacked" on one of my videos for not mentioning that tarantulas can aslo be fossorial, beside terrestrial and arboreal, I really found myself wonder which tarantulas can really be classified as fossorial. As far as I know, great majority of terrestrial tarantulas live in the burrows they made, and just by that fact alone, they should all be considered fossorial?

My point of view is standard, tarantulas that lives on the ground are terrestrial, the ones that are on the trees are arboreal. The video is for complete beginners so I didn't mention fossorial since I would only classify obligated burrowers like C. lividum or that African tarantula (or should I say Theraphosidae?) that only @Chris LXXIX can name, as fossorial, and beginners shouldn't be considering them for quite some time anyway.

What do you think?
 
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Moonohol

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There is a blur of the line between terrestrial and fossorial. The way I differentiate them is that terrestrials will take to a pre-made hide in favor of a full-on burrow. Think of a GBB: even if you give them a hide, they're not likely going to dig around much and are more inclined to just web up the rest of the enclosure. In comparison, fossorials don't need a hide at all. I give my Harpactira spp. slings a deli cup full of dried coco bark and a water dish and that's it; they have no need for a hide because they're just gonna tunnel down and do their own thing regardless. Fossorials will often take to a hide and incorporate it in to their burrow but they don't NEED a hide in order to feel secure. I think there are also species that are really right in the middle, like A. seemani for example. Just my two cents on the subject.
 

Moakmeister

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Fossorial is the same thing as terrestrial, it just means they stay in their deep burrows at basically all times. I never thought there was a need to actually consider them to be different classes.
 

Bugmom

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After being "attacked" on one of my videos for not mentioning that tarantulas can aslo be fossorial, beside terrestrial and arboreal, I really found myself wonder which tarantulas can really be classified as fossorial. As far as I know, great majority of terrestrial tarantulas live in the burrows they made, and just by that fact alone, they should all be considered fossorial?

My point of view is standard, tarantulas that lives on the ground are terrestrial, the ones that are on the trees are arboreal. The video is for complete beginners so I didn't mention fossorial since I would only classify obligated burrowers like C. lividum or that African tarantula (or should I say Theraphosidae?) that only @Chris LXXIX can name, as fossorial, and beginners shouldn't be considering them for quite some time anyway.

What do you think?
Oh good grief. "Does it live on or in the ground, or not?" That's the only question I bother asking myself.

There's plenty of tarantulas that will make burrows if you give them an option. C. lividum, A. ezendami, C. darlingi, A. seemanni, A. hentzi, E. murinus, E. cyanognathus, I. mira. Without substrate to burrow, they just web more, or make use of a hide. I have ones that I have allowed to burrow in 10+" of substrate, and they've now stopped eating. Gotta dig them up. They ate like champs when they had shallow burrows/tunnel sysytems. I don't believe that 100% of the time, allowing a T to burrow is 100% a good idea. I'm looking at you, ezendami. And yeah that's not really the topic here but that's been bugging me.
 

EulersK

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I only call a tarantula fossorial if they burrow deep throughout their life and never require a hide because of it. All of Ceratogyrus is a great example.

But really... it's terrestrial and arboreal. There's nothing else in my opinion, just subforms (top dwelling arboreals, dirt curtain arboreals, fossorials, heavy webbing terrestrials, etc.)
 

Chris LXXIX

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O.B (Obligate Burrowers) Theraphosidae (sometimes called fossorials) will prevail one day :-s
 

Chris LXXIX

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I only call a tarantula fossorial if they burrow deep throughout their life and never require a hide because of it.
I completely agree with the first part. I understand why people views 'terrestrials' and 'fossorials' in the same league because, unlike arboreals, they live on the ground and not high on trees, but there's IMO a huge difference.

The average terrestrial Theraphosidae can burrow in captivity, yes. That's why I stand against the 'substrate Scrooges'... you never know if a Theraphosidae feels the need for burrow, or dig a bit, that's why I suggest to offer a good dose of substrate, but still, if the set up is ok, mostly those will happy-opportunistic their life.

On the other hand, as we know, 'OB' Theraphosidae require lots of inches of substrate for survive: no enough substrate for a decent burrow? Stressed T's, death in the long run. We can house, humidity issue apart, a G.pulchripes like a H.hainanum, but we can't do the opposite.

Where I don't agree is that they never require a hide only for that. Why? All of my O.B that I have, and the Asians I've had prior, always had a piece of cork bark for hide: they always love/d to dig near, or under, their mighty tunnels :-s
 

EulersK

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Where I don't agree is that they never require a hide only for that. Why? All of my O.B that I have, and the Asians I've had prior, always had a piece of cork bark for hide: they always love/d to dig near, or under, their mighty tunnels :-s
I've had the same experience with NW fossorials, they use a cork slab almost like a roof for the entrance to their burrow. But the likes of Ceratogyrus and P. murinus either ignore it outright or just happen to use it in my experience. I even ran a little experiment once with a C. darlingi - offered a cork slab on one end of the enclosure, and a starter burrow on the other. He went for the starter burrow. When it comes to a hide with fossorials, I actually worry that they excavate so much that they run the risk of a cave-in from the slab.
 

Chris LXXIX

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When it comes to a hide with fossorials, I actually worry that they excavate so much that they run the risk of a cave-in from the slab.
Uhm, I understand but IMO there's not that much of risks: those are amazing engineers, that web is like reinforced concrete. My 'OBT' and C.marshalli did the opposite, they accepted the cork bark as 'roof' for their burrow-home. However this vary, still IMO is always better to offer one :-s
 

EulersK

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Uhm, I understand but IMO there's not that much of risks: those are amazing engineers, that web is like reinforced concrete. My 'OBT' and C.marshalli did the opposite, they accepted the cork bark as 'roof' for their burrow-home. However this vary, still IMO is always better to offer one :-s
La varietà piace :kiss:
 

Rob1985

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What I consider fossorial probably doesn't mean jack compared to what scientists think.

Personally though, fossorial is definitely broken down into obligated and opportunistic. In terms of the hobby, anything that is known to burrow in captivity and remain there most of the time, is considered obligated and a pet hole. I would classify anything that "might" dig a couple of inches or so into the substrate with or without a hide as opportunistic.
 

YagerManJennsen

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I would only call a T fossorial if I never ever see it. For this reason, My E. murinus is not "fossorial" because I see her out and about regularly event-hough they are a burrowing species. Same goes for my A. seemani, it has a tunnel system under the sub but because I see her all the time she is not "fossorial".
 

petkokc

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the feedback! I see that generally we are on the same page ^^
 

user 666

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Oh good grief. "Does it live on or in the ground, or not?" That's the only question I bother asking myself.

There's plenty of tarantulas that will make burrows if you give them an option. C. lividum, A. ezendami, C. darlingi, A. seemanni, A. hentzi, E. murinus, E. cyanognathus, I. mira. Without substrate to burrow, they just web more, or make use of a hide. I have ones that I have allowed to burrow in 10+" of substrate, and they've now stopped eating. Gotta dig them up. They ate like champs when they had shallow burrows/tunnel sysytems. I don't believe that 100% of the time, allowing a T to burrow is 100% a good idea. I'm looking at you, ezendami. And yeah that's not really the topic here but that's been bugging me.
I am going to have to disagree on A hentzi. it is not just an opportunistic burrower; it is a fossorial.

I just had to rehouse mine because it dug out from under the hide in two different directions. The hide was more than big enough, and yet it kept digging.

This is a fossorial tarantula.
 

Venom1080

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I am going to have to disagree on A hentzi. it is not just an opportunistic burrower; it is a fossorial.

I just had to rehouse mine because it dug out from under the hide in two different directions. The hide was more than big enough, and yet it kept digging.

This is a fossorial tarantula.
tarantulas commonly burrow when young. wait till its bigger.
 

user 666

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Venom1080

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My A hentzi sling is about a half inch in size. It burrows just like you would expect.

And so does my recently acquired sub-adult A hentzi. It is 2.5" to 3".

There are also papers which describe A hentzi as a fossorial:
https://library.tulane.edu/journals/index.php/TSZB/article/download/3/35
http://britishspiders.org.uk/bulletin/110403.pdf
thats not sub adult... :rolleyes:
practically every tarantula we call terrestrial, live in burrows in the wild. captivity brings out different behaviors.
 
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