• Are you a Tarantula hobbyist? If so, we invite you to join our community! Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your pets and enclosures and chat with other Tarantula enthusiasts. Sign up today!

B. smithi hasn't eaten for a year and a half

revoutdoors

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Washington, USA
As the title implies, my B. smithi hasn't eaten since June-ish of 2019 and while I know there's a limit to what I can do, I would love any ideas or suggestions. She (not sure, but that's what I call her) is about 10 years old, and I've had her for 9 years (since she was smaller than a quarter). She had a very consistent once-a-year molting schedule until August 2017, which was her last one. I've always fed her crickets and never had a problem until this fast. A couple of months ago I tried some roaches and superworms just in case it was the crickets that stopped her eating, but she didn't touch anything. I know tarantulas will go on fasts, which is why I haven't been concerned most of this time, but now it's been long enough I wanted to see what other people thought. She looks completely healthy, still drinks and moves around regularly, and if I didn't track her food intake, I probably wouldn't notice anything. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!
 

Attachments

  • 20210212_103456.jpg
    20210212_103456.jpg
    1.6 MB · Views: 24

Oursapoil

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Tarantula Club Member
Messages
1,738
Location
Queens, NY
Hello friend,
Starting yo read all the details I suspected that you had a mature male (no more molting, no interest in food...) but at 10 years old that would make him quite an unusual one as he would be very very old as they usually live about 5 years. Would it be possible to get a picture of the enclosure? At what temperature are you keeping her?
 

revoutdoors

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Washington, USA
Yeah that's why I assumed I had a female. It's about 72 degrees F most of the time but never below 68 or above 75. I have her in a low, plastic enclosure (probably been in there about 4 years) with coconut husk and a driftwood log.
 

Attachments

  • 20210212_115536.jpg
    20210212_115536.jpg
    2.1 MB · Views: 27
  • 20210212_115522.jpg
    20210212_115522.jpg
    2.8 MB · Views: 28

Oursapoil

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Tarantula Club Member
Messages
1,738
Location
Queens, NY
The setup seems fine although I would recommend something to allow her to hide when needed as the substrate is not deep enough for her to burrow. Just to be sure, does her pedipalps (the two legs lookalike closer to her mouth) look like they have boxing gloves at their ends?
What are the preys you have been offering?
 

revoutdoors

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Washington, USA
@Oursapoil I'll be the first to admit I don't have a lot of experience (at least in person) of distinguishing the pedipalps between a male and female, but it doesn't look like it (see attached pics). For the entire time I've had "her", I've fed crickets. And then like I said earlier, a few months ago I offered dubia roaches and superworms (at different times) with no success.

What kind of hides would you both recommend?
 

Attachments

  • 20210212_143629.jpg
    20210212_143629.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 33
  • 20210212_143435.jpg
    20210212_143435.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 33

Gizalba

Well-Known Member
Messages
365
Location
England
@Oursapoil I'll be the first to admit I don't have a lot of experience (at least in person) of distinguishing the pedipalps between a male and female, but it doesn't look like it (see attached pics). For the entire time I've had "her", I've fed crickets. And then like I said earlier, a few months ago I offered dubia roaches and superworms (at different times) with no success.

What kind of hides would you both recommend?


Beautiful tarantula :)

Regarding hides, I have heard people using half of a plant plot for bigger tarantulas, however I assume you have to sand down the edges or something so they are not sharp. I like using a coco-dome, although recently I have found it harder to get hold of a large enough one. For my Nymphadora I have therefore given her an option of the coco-dome or a large piece of cork bark I have buried half into the substrate, if you can see it. I have a similar enclosure to yours, with it being large but shallow, so I tried to build like more of a mound of substrate in the middle to give her slight digging space below the bark >

DSC00348 - Copy.JPG
DSC01620 - Copy.JPG
 

Arachnoclown

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
3 Year Member
Tarantula Club Member
Messages
6,148
Location
The Oregon rain forest
Definitely not a mature male, mature males are much larger then this speciem (6"-7"). Heres a photos of a mature male for reference
20210112_162003.jpg
20210112_161836.jpg
20201016_191232.jpg
20201016_191438.jpg
20201016_191218.jpg
 

revoutdoors

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Washington, USA
Thank you @Gizalba - that looks like a pretty sweet set-up! When I first did research on smithi's way back when, it sounded like they were pretty comfortable without hides, but that's good to know that maybe I do need one in there. Do you think that has anything to do with the lost interest in food or more just something to fix?

@Arachnoclown that is a gorgeous mature male. I can definitely see the blunted pedipalps on him and am pretty confident calling mine a female now. I just wish she would eat...
 

Gizalba

Well-Known Member
Messages
365
Location
England
Thank you @Gizalba - that looks like a pretty sweet set-up! When I first did research on smithi's way back when, it sounded like they were pretty comfortable without hides, but that's good to know that maybe I do need one in there. Do you think that has anything to do with the lost interest in food or more just something to fix?

@Arachnoclown that is a gorgeous mature male. I can definitely see the blunted pedipalps on him and am pretty confident calling mine a female now. I just wish she would eat...

Even if they don't use the hide much, I suspect it may make them feel more comfortable just to know it's there for safety in case something big and scary comes along :p I've no idea if that has anything to do with the fasting but I guess anything to make her feel more comfortable could help. I don't know much about that species but I did come across this video about a rose hair fasting for over a year and a half. Like you the owner went through different food types, they didn't seem to work at first but then one day she randomly started eating again. So it doesn't explain why she fasted, but might be reassurance that this length of time with no food could be common for some species? As long as the T continues to look healthy.

 

revoutdoors

New Member
Messages
7
Location
Washington, USA
I have heard that with rosehair's so I'm hoping that's what is going on with mine. She looks perfectly healthy so I guess I'll just keep offering food and see what happens. Thank you so much everyone!
 

Oursapoil

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Tarantula Club Member
Messages
1,738
Location
Queens, NY
Update: she molted yesterday! Last molt was August 2017...so I think it's a good sign? I'll wait maybe 5 days to a week and go back to trying food.
Awesome news!!!!
As she is a mature adult, I would wait a little bit longer before offering food, adults fangs seem to take longer to harden after a molt.
Please keep us updated.
 
Top