Will Amblypygids become less shy with handling? Should I handle it?

CABIV

Arachnosquire
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Aug 6, 2014
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94
Hi,

My Damon diadema lost both its whips way back in the spring. It appears to still be healthy, and in fact, it has become recently fairly active (it hasn't been hiding in the shadows the past few days).

However, I offered it a cricket for the first time in a while, and it seems like while the whipspider was stalking it, but I never saw it get close. I've been living with a week long cricket solo, and it drove me nuts.

In particular, this cricket species my pet shop is selling (Banded Cricket/Tropical House Cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus)) seem to be smarter and faster than the average house cricket feeder I find at petsmart. I've watched them do a good job of eluding even my more aggressive pets.

I am curious then, if it is hungry enough, would it take food if I tried to "hand it" to the whipspider? Its usually fairly shy. It will stay very still until I am just an inch away, then dart around the other side of the log hid it likes to sit on.

If I handle it enough, will it loose this fear? Or is that just this creature's personality? Some seem to think tarantulas become less fearful with exposure, and so I wonder if this is also true for whipspiders.

Of course, it seems just fine on its own right now, so maybe I am worrying too much. I just want to make sure its well fed so that its whips can grow back sooner. I've had it since around March, so I guess if these molt yearly, its probably going to be a while until it molts and so maybe I should just hang tight.

Any advice?
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
Active Member
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Sep 14, 2013
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5,898
You could try offering a cricket to it via tweezers. It might very well take it. Or pre killed crickets left where it wanders at night.


Handling it often will just stress it out not make it tame.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
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Jun 27, 2010
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They don't like to be handled. Handling them more often won't change that - it just increases the chance of the whipspider getting injured while trying to get away. If you are concerned about it being unable to locate or catch prey without its whips, you could offer the cricket in tweezers or just rip off the cricket's back legs to make it easier to catch.
 

tonyiscool65

Arachnopeon
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Jun 3, 2016
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Wouldn't recommend handling because 1.they are already so fragile to begin with
2. You can't bond with them like dogs or cats. there only instincts are breed, eat, poop lol
 

jaredc

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Nov 5, 2014
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While I wouldn't recommend handling most amlypigids because of their skittish nature, I do have one male individual who is extremely slow and docile. I rescued him from a pet store where he was being housed on dry sand with no bark or hide exposed to the light 24/7. After some fattening up he got to the point where I could pick him up and carry him around and he doesn't move or just stands up on his tarsal hooks. I've watched TV with him in my hand for half an hour and he just sat idly moving his whips.

The way I pick him up is by making a diamond shape with both hands and place it around him and wait for him to crawl onto my skin. I don't handle that often (about every 2-4 weeks), but I've never had an ambly lose a whip or leg because of mishandling. As long as you're gentle with them and you know their temperament you should be ok. The worst that will happen is it will scamper across your body in which case you should have another person present to safely remove it.
 

pannaking22

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D. diadema will take tweezer fed crickets without too much hassle, which makes feeding pretty easy.
 

tetracerus

Arachnosquire
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May 16, 2016
Messages
65
Don't handle it. They can almost teleport when startled. Like an above poster mentioned, ripping both back legs off the cricket will make the cricket much easier to catch. I do this for one of my other inverts.
 

sschind

Arachnobaron
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May 27, 2005
Messages
344
I've also had some luck with them taking mealworms out of a dish when I was trying to keep a batch communally. I just put the worms in a dish under an angled piece of bark and that's where most of them hung out.
 

darkness975

Latrodectus
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Aug 31, 2012
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I rescued him from a pet store where he was being housed on dry sand with no bark or hide exposed to the light 24/7.
I did not realize pet stores sold these amlypigids. What store was this??
 

CABIV

Arachnosquire
Joined
Aug 6, 2014
Messages
94
I also got mine through a pet store, but to be fair, I did ask for one for months :p. They are apparently used to odd invertebrate requests.

In any event, I held a cricket out to it with long tongs, and while the whipspider didn't run away, it appeared more agitated then hungry, almost seeming to slap it away. It is still out patrolling the enclosure though, right now its near the bottom. Hopefully, it is stalking a cricket there. I plan to try the meal worm in a dish strategy the next time I hit the pet shop.
 

tetracerus

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Joined
May 16, 2016
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I did not realize pet stores sold these amlypigids. What store was this??
In my (anecdotal) experience, many reptile stores that carry a large selection of tarantulas have also carried amblypygids at some point. Unfortunately, none of them seem to have them consistently.
 

micheldied

Arachnoprince
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Jan 25, 2009
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None of mine have gotten calmer with handling.

They will take pre-killed crickets. Leave one at the base of the cork or whatever your D. diadema hangs out on. I had a D. medius baby that had only 3 of its walking legs left and I fed it only pre-killed. I've tried pre-killed with other species and they all seem to take it as well.
 
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