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How often do you feed a brachypelma smithi

Discussion in 'Tarantula Feeding and Feeder Insects' started by ReeceJones, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. ReeceJones

    ReeceJones New Member

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    Unsure of its age but it isn’t a adult. Probably one more molt and then a sub adult so it is very smaller. Maybe around 4 inch leg span. I’ve been trying to feed her every other day or so but she will not feed and actually avoids the cricket. I’m unsure why. The crickets are perfect for her size. She hasn’t fed for nearly 3 weeks and there are no signs of pre molt. The temperature and humidity are pretty much perfect condition. Any advice would be great

    See photo below for a size comparison to a 50p and milk bottle cap (which is her water dish.

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  2. ALD

    ALD Active Member

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    I'm fairly new to the hobby but my understanding is they can be picky eaters and go a while without accepting prey. They like dry enclosures and room temp is fine. I would just keep trying every week. Ts can go a while without food. I wouldn't worry. But maybe someone else has better advice than I. Good luck.
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  3. ReeceJones

    ReeceJones New Member

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    thanks, I have a heat mat for her. I didn’t use it at first for a week but she was acting strange. She would have her legs scrunched up to her body (not curled (death curl)) as if to keep warm and ever since I’ve put the heat mat she has opened up and now walks around her enclosure confidantly. Maybe try different prey? Like roaches? And I know there nothing really to worry about unless she does start curling or seems more sluggish then usual. I keep her we’ll hydrated too..
  4. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 3 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    As long as the room is warm enough for you to sit in comfort then your T will be fine. If you need a heat mat then please make sure you have a thermostat on it and the mat is on the side/back of the container and not underneath.
    A T the size of yours will be happy on 1 feed per week.
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  5. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum, Brachypelma hamorii is my favorite species. A Tarantula the size of yours should eat only once every week or two. What can happen with this species is if you feed them too much too fast they will go into long periods of fast. They already fast on their own from time to time but power feeding them makes it much worse. Example, I feed my 4" every 2 weeks for months casually. She still fasted in premolt for nearly 160 days. Your T looks plenty fat so prepare for it not to eat for a while. Make sure its got a water dish at all times, all mine drink often. Hamoriis dont like humidity so make sure the substrate stays dry. I only overflow the water dish a tiny bit every week. Throw the heat pad away, they are for reptiles and roaches. Hamoriis hunt in the deserts at night when temperatures can dip down in the 40s. Room temperture is fine with them, just make sure they have a place to burrow. The scrunched up look is probably stress. It could be many things like, no hide(cave ,burrow), prey item left in enclosure, too much humidity, no cover to hide(plants) new surroundings and no water to drink.
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  6. ReeceJones

    ReeceJones New Member

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    Thanks for the message.

    I know most of what you said like the fasting etc. But the heat mat advice is something that I’ll take up. Unfortunately I live in a cold area in Britain so it can drop to like 30F at night 0
    - 1C and my room tends not to be warm so I thought I should keep the heat mat so she isn’t to cold. I also know about the pre molt and all the signs which she isn’t showing. She hasn’t been fed for nearly 3 weeks now. She doesn’t seem stressed, always has water which I change everyday so that it is clean and fresh (I don’t spray or wet her substrate (I do every other week)) she also has a hide and plant. She is very calm and docile.

    Thank you for your help!

    Here’s a photo of my beautiful B. Hamroii (smithi (also a photo I got 3 weeks ago of her with a cricket in her jaws))

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
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  7. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    Sounds great...shes beautiful!!! You picked a good spider to start with. I had a ice storm and power outage one winter and it got down into the low 50s in the house. All my Ts went into hiding except the Brachypelma's and a couple Aphonopelma's. Didn't lose a T that winter. Tarantulas arent as delicate as most people think...or as care sheets state.
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  8. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Every other day is to much & if a feeder is ignored for to long it might attack your tarantula. I have fast growing slings kept in the 80s & they only eat twice per week.

    Try twice a week. If the feeder is still there 24hrs later, once per week. The critical thing to do is to make sure that the water dish is at least half full. Those guys are a dry species. It's probably not necessary to pour water on the substrate or overflow the dish, BUT never let it run dry!!



    Probably once a week is just fine one like that. The feeder should be 0.75 the body size of the spider as measured between the fangs and spinnerets or so I've heard.

    Full disclosure: I don't own that species yet.
  9. tapkoote

    tapkoote Active Member

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    I got my B smithi a year ago last August- then they changed the name. He's on his final molt and hasn't eaten since Oct. 6th. I've found he would eat anything that was dropped in till then. (crickets/meal worms) How ever when I first got him he wouldn't eat because the substrate was too damp.
    I clean and refill the water dish once a week, that provides enough humidity, they come from arid regions. And I live in the pacific north west/USA, should be about the same climate as UK. I recently got a new B " hamorii" about 3+ inches after "my" first molt, and he can't get enough to eat either. He ate two meal worms two days before the molt. I'm new to this hobby but I'd say yours may be ready to molt, and you need to remove any critters in there with it.
    Or somethings amiss in the tank. I read horror stories about heat mats, remember the burrow keeps them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If the mat is under they can't escape the heat.
    I use a 25 watt bulb turned on during the day, touching the glass, when mine are cold they'll go right up to the glass for a while, get warm and back off. I have cheap temp gauges with remote bulbs inside the tank for temp, about 1 inch down from the top. The little one likes 28-29 C some where in the 80's F and will climb a walkway to hit that sweet spot. The big one doesn't seems to care much now. The tanks have gotten down to 15*C at night, they have burrows and come out when they sense heat lamps during the day. During the coldest weather the lamps stay on all night.
    My big one didn't like coconut fiber, so they have potting soil now, and later I'll just use dirt from the yard. The little one liked it fine, and doesn't seem as relaxed with the potting soil, too many sticks and twigs I think. Once you hit the sweet spot - they are eating and growing machines, ( they're like leopards)thats what they're born to do -eat and mate.
    And I've got lots of worms in the yard- glad to read they make good food, another forum I was on ,wouldn't hear of it I'm sure.
    . IMG_6641.jpg IMG_6627.jpg
  10. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    They didnt change the name...theres 2 recognized species now. Just because you had a B. Smithi before doesn't make it a B. Hamorri now...unless it was sold to with the wrong species information before the new documentation was released. Its better to say you have a B. Smithi because that was what you were sold then to just call it a Hamorri now....until someone with experience can I'd it for you.
  11. tapkoote

    tapkoote Active Member

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    I understand that, and as far as I can tell this is B Hamorri, can you identify it?

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  12. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to tell by photos...the best way to tell is by examination of both male and female reproductive parts. Color patterns on the legs and chelicerae suggest yours is B. Hamorri but this is not as reliable as observation of the reproductive parts.
  13. tapkoote

    tapkoote Active Member

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    Thats news to me, from what I read, the two are only divided by a valley and coloring.
  14. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    A valley??? Do you mean Balsas river? Mature males of the two species can be distinguished by the shape of the palpal bulb. The B. Smithi is straighter with a broad spoon shape. The female B. Smithi's baseplate of the spermatheca is divided and subtriangular, rather than elliptical as in B. Hamorri. Also the ventral face of the spermatheca is striated rather than smooth. If color was the determining factor there would never have been a problem with identifying the two species.
  15. tapkoote

    tapkoote Active Member

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    Arachnoclown
    This is fun because I'm learning
    this is Andy's last molt, can you show me the difference between these palpa bulb and another?
    The river always runs in a valley

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  16. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    It would have to be a living mature male...not a molt;)
    Mature female molt could work though...
  17. tapkoote

    tapkoote Active Member

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    Please explain that last statement further. I've got recent photos of my B (smith/hamorri) who is in final molt i believe.
  18. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    You can't inspect a molt because mature males never molt...they die. It has to be a current living or deceased mature male with hooks and mature pedipalps.
  19. tapkoote

    tapkoote Active Member

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    Now wait a minute, you're telling me the powers " above" need a mature male from each side of a valley / river to tell where they came from??? If you need DNA to prove it . call me when it's here. HAHA you sound like the folks who provide spider species to Wild Earth. All burrowing spiders are Baboon spiders they say. You were right in the beginning, these spiders are B Smithi's until proven different- seems like that can't be done .
  20. Arachnoclown

    Arachnoclown Well-Known Member

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    There is dna to separate the two species...but you wanted me to visually do it. Doing it by color is why were in this mess. Observation of sexually mature specimens is way more accurate then guessing the by inconsistent colors of both specimens.
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