Sunday, February 19, 2012

Anthologies of Keric the Arachnid pt. 3: Our FIRST molt!!!

Hey ya'll 

I came back from Pahang today (more on that later) just in time to witness my first momentous milestone with my darling Keric: his first molt!!!  Tarantula enthusiasts are always talking about molting as one of the most exciting and best times to photograph their arachnid companions but they never do seem to tell you just how fast the process actually is. Truth be told, I missed the actual process of the molt because I pretty much figured he might take as long as some of the praying mantises I've raised before (some take a better part of one hour just to crawl out of their skins!) and left him alone to do, among other things, wash my clothes and charge up the camera for my phone. So you can imagine the disappointment I had when I got back to find him already out of his exuvia, in the corner of his cage looking quite satisfied with himself. Still, the disappointment was not enough to dampen the excitement and sense of accomplishment I felt at having raised him successfully past his first molt. 

Keric, looking much "brighter" and larger after his molt!!! Seems he's gotten slightly more cranky too! It was such a hassle, trying to remove the cast of skin (exuvia) as he would insist on raising his front legs in a "bad attitude" pose and, upon realizing that that still failed to deter me, would start trying to flick those urticating hairs at me! Poor baby, I think he's still feeling a little bit vulnerable since the exoskeleton is yet to harden. Still, this means no need for feeding for the next 4 days or so (they need the time for their fangs to strengthen) which will give me more time to settle things at work AND find those worms he's so fond of. 

In the meantime, I did also manage to retrieve the exuvia with as little stress to poor Keric as possible and I think I will hold  on to it, and other future exuvia, as a sort of marker of Keric's growth and progress! 

I am told, that you can tell the gender of Tarantulas from these cast-off things,  but I've yet to learn how. Either way I think this is a little too small an exuvia (and my camera a little too low-tech) for me to send a photograph of the molt's interior to a specialist for sexing.
I must say that this weekend has come to a rather exciting stop! I wonder how long it will be until Keric's next molt. From what I've read, the Chilean rose hair is a slow-growing and long-lived species. That being said, juveniles do tend to molt more frequently than the adults. Stay tuned!!!! 


1 comment:

Nath said...

my gf will sure freak out if I share the post to her LMAO