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Larry keeps faking me out

Discussion in 'Brachypelma' started by Smugleaf, Nov 24, 2016.

  1. Smugleaf

    Smugleaf Member

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    Hi guys,

    Larry, my curlyhair, keeps acting like he's going to molt, and then doesn't. And what I mean by this, is he will hide underground in his burrow that he has so generously dug a window into for me to observe him, and he will stay down there for days, or sometimes a couple weeks without coming up or eating, but he does not shed. He blocks off the opening to the burrow and everything. Sometimes it only lasts a few days and then he will reopen it, sometimes it's well over a week, but he does not molt.

    Is this behavior normal? I don't think anything is wrong with him, I was just curious of this was odd. I know they can go days or weeks without food or water, etc. but he's never plugged up his burrow and not molted before. He's done this four or five times since his last molt.

    For reference, I got him as between a dime and nickel-sized spiderling on June 22.
  2. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    As slings they do tend to spend all of their time underground, I never saw any of mine above ground and my new little one is just the same. Do you leave the food overnight because that is when they're most likely to eat?
  3. Smugleaf

    Smugleaf Member

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    No I know they burrow a lot, but he is closing the opening to his burrow off and not eating for long periods but does not molt during these periods. He also becomes less active during these periods; he typically is very active and excavating at night, but during the periods he does not dig/pile up his substrate like normal.

    I do leave some food overnight, but he typically senses it near his burrow opening and runs out to snatch the food, even during the day. However, during these "fake" molting periods, he does not eat.
  4. Enn49

    Enn49 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    I'll be honest that is puzzling, All of mine have never refused food even just before a moult
    IamKrush likes this.
  5. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    sounds like there's something in the enclosure they don't like and are hiding from it. How is the substrate? dry or moist? what do you use for substrate? no mites or flies or anything? pics of the enclosure would help.

    My 2 albo's would only burrow away and hide if they were hiding from something or premolt. Where yours just molted my guess would be something in the enclosure. I had a problem with those tiny little flies in one of their enclosures. They'd hide from them like you're describing. I cleaned out the enclosure, tossed the substrate and washed it down and added bone dry substrate and they came back. Hate those tiny flies, i turn off all the lights at night and read my kindle for a while before passing out, they bug the hell out of me coming to the light of the kindle.:mad:

    Finally had to hang a fly strip near the enclosures to draw them all out. Haven't seen one of those little @%#$@#$ since ;)
    Smugleaf and MassExodus like this.
  6. Smugleaf

    Smugleaf Member

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    I don't think it's mites or flies; I keep his substrate very dry with the exception of occasionally overflowing his water dish. His substrate is coconut husk.

    Could it be candles? I don't burn any in my room, but we do burn some in our home. Recently we have been burning a eucalyptus and mint scented candle. We have also burned balsam pine scents in the past. Could those fragrances be the issue? Are there particular scents to stay away from, like cedar scents?
  7. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    definitely stay away from cedar, it's a natural insect repellent. I don't think candles or incense will bother them. My son and i burn incense a few times a week and have not seen any ill effects.

    Personally, i'd swap out the coco husk with coco fiber. if they fall on a sharp edge of the husk it could cause injuries. I use a mix of peat moss and coco fiber in all of my enclosures. Light weight and does well with my terrestrials.
  8. Smugleaf

    Smugleaf Member

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    Sorry for the confusion; by coconut husk, I mean fiber. It's ground up coconut husk, the type in a compressed brick.

    I believe he now had a dark spot on his backside, so he should be shedding soon. But any ideas on the rest of the hiding in a closed burrow? Sometimes when it is closed I see him up in the entrance still, like he's waiting for food to walk by.
  9. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Both of my albos do that, they pretend they're tap door spiders
  10. Smugleaf

    Smugleaf Member

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    I've tried giving Larry food a few times and no luck, he's still holed up. He has not molted, but his entire hiney has slightly decreased in size and is now very dark/black. Is this normal? He's still very much alive, when I check on him he usually moves, but is this just an extra long molt process? He plugged up his burrow several weeks ago, and has not eaten or molted. I keep him right around 72 degrees and overflow his water bowl a little bit one or two times a week to help regulate humidity.
  11. kormath

    kormath Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    yep that's premolt for you. The very dark abdomen is a sure sign of molting soon. Another week or so i'd guess at that temp.
  12. Metalman2004

    Metalman2004 Active Member

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    Hang in there! You're getting closer!
  13. Smugleaf

    Smugleaf Member

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    Alright. So Larry finally molted. As we all know, I'm a worrier, and I know I probably shouldn't be because tarantulas are tough af.

    It's almost 12 days now since Larry molted. He hasn't eaten in several weeks; his fangs have been black for nearly a week now. He's alive, but he has yet to unplug his burrow. I've left food for him several times since he's hardened and he has not dug himself out. He's definitely alive, he usually moves when I go to look at him (his burrow is up against the enclosure wall so I can see inside). He does linger near the exit, but does not exit.

    He's never taken so long to leave and start hunting after a molt. He also has yet to clean up after his molt, it's still sitting in the middle of his burrow on the web he laid. Is this normal?
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  14. IamKrush

    IamKrush Well-Known Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    My LP is the only one who will eat right up to the molt. The others wont eat. Speaking of ifs buried itself again. Which it has done the past two molts.
  15. Smugleaf

    Smugleaf Member

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    Just as a general update, he still remains in his burrow and has not dug out since molting.
  16. The Man in Black

    The Man in Black New Member

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