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A. Purpurea / Can slings get stuck in their web?


So.. I have a few questions and also I’d love to hear from more opinions/tips from experienced Avic keepers.

I picked up my first itty bitty Purpurea sling on Sunday 9/12 at a local reptile expo in town from a great tarantula vendor. I was unbelievably excited for this one and snagged at a great deal. I heard a lot about them being fragile, very sensitive to air quality/flow, etc. Even an advanced keeper I know had their first sling pass away.. So with that in mind, I was very very nervous with this little one.

When I bought it, it came in those tiny sauce deli cups. The sling has webbed up the entirety of the lid, so whenever it’s opened, the webbing is manipulated. I had just bought a more arboreal-appropriate small deli cup and I was preparing to rehouse it. I’ve been checking on this sling probably 4-5 times throughout the day. Yesterday, I notice sporadic flailing movements and as I look closer, it almost appears to be stuck in its web. I didn’t do anything at this time but observe to see if that’s really what’s happening. About an hour or two later, I go back to check. Similar flailing movements of the legs. I noticed one back leg is fully stretched, foot in webbing, and the T still has the crazy movements as if its trying to run or escape. Because of these really fast and intense movements, this did not appear to be the molting process in my opinion (Correct me if I’m wrong.) I lightly brushed the webbing away from her foot with a paint brush and she sort of did a motion like slapping it away, but she did not move away from her spot despite seeming to be free now. I left her alone and did not continue the rehouse.
Hours have past now. I get home at midnight and go to check again. I now notice the sling is on the same webbing on top the lid, but now its back legs are just hanging there, dangling in the air while the top legs are still gripping to web. I had a bad feeling when I saw this.
I again use the paint brush and try to brush the web away. This time, no movement from the sling... I keep trying, and eventually she just falls on her back, completely limp onto the ground..

So there you have it. After only 9 days, my Purpurea has passed.... I’m genuinely heartbroken and sincerely hope I did not make the situation worse...
I would really like some answers regarding being stuck in the webbing. I have read that is possible, but to what extent? And could that seriously end up being fatal for a sling? My assumption is that with every time the lid was open and closed, it would pull and ruin the webbing and perhaps the last time it did so in a way that trapped her against it? I don’t know. I’m not sure how that would lead to death though. I would love some answers if available.. If anyone has advice or has experienced this before... Or any tips for when I eventually try this again? /:

Sorry for the sad picture... rip. You didn’t even have a name yet.


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Active Member
I won't be of any help, I just wanted to say I'm sorry for your loss. This is a very interesting subject. I am new to Tarantula Keeping and I have never heard of a Tarantula getting stuck in its own web. From what you describe what you did, I would have done the same thing. I hope someone can answer these questions for you, I'm curious myself! Again, I'm sorry for your loss.


Active Member
While I do not know if a tarantula can get stuck in its own web, A. purpruea slings are notoriously frail. What was the ventilation and moisture level like in the enclosure? They definitely need a lot of cross ventilation. It's very possible you did everything right, and it just did not make it.

Sorry for your loss.


Well-Known Member
Plymouth UK
but now its back legs are just hanging there, dangling in the air while the top legs are still gripping to web.
Sorry for your loss. :(

I would seriously doubt a T would get stuck in its own web, it would seem a very bad design for them to get stuck in something they are made to produce and use.

My a. avics sling seems to like to dangle. Sorry for the blurry pic, the plastic isn't very clear.

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