Friday, August 17, 2012

Hibernation in Tarantulas

Hey ya'll

I've been noticing some weird behavior with our spiders lately and that is a sudden increase in lethargic behavior. Normally this wouldn't be so alarming with tarantulas but it has gone on for several months now. They appear to exhibit all signs of pre-molting behavior (not eating, curling up in the corner etc.) but nothing, not even a quick misting of the cage seems to prompt any molt whatsoever. What's even more alarming is that this behavior seems to be afflicting only two out of my three spiders, the Honduran Curly Hair and the Mexican Red-Knee. My first spider, Keric (Grammastolosa rosea) appears to be in extremely good condition, is eating on a regular basis and has molted once in the same time it has been since the other two exhibited such behavior. Indeed, though it started off as one of the smaller in size, it has quickly grown to surpass even the Honduran Curly Hair (which is often touted by enthusiasts as a "fast-growing" species). Needless to say, this has gotten my quite worried although, a "talk" with some online friends of mine allayed my fears somewhat by offering the possibility that they may

  1. Be going through a period of fasting, a behavior that is typical to most tarantula species
  2. In a state of torpor (temporary hibernation) due to the low temperature of my room. 

I have since moved the spiders out and into a warmer location so I suppose only time will tell how they are really doing. In the meantime, a more recent measurement of Keric's body length has revealed her/him to be almost an inch long! Although, quite regrettably, she/he seems to be loosing much of that brilliant red coloration she/she had as a baby. This, however, I'm taking as a sign that Keric is in fact a female. (females tend to be duller in color compared to males). 

In the meantime, I'm still looking for possibly explanations regarding my other two babies' strange behavior. Just some information on each, the Mexican Red-Knee is about 1cm in length, while the Honduran Curly Hair is just a little above half an inch. Once again, I put my faith in the intellectual capabilities of the online community. Hope to hear from you soon!


1 comment:

Itimbiri Tatsu said...

I rescued a Chilean Rose Hair approximately 18m ago. She has molted three times in that period, the most recent ~5 weeks ago. The past 7 days she has imbedded herself in a small, pre-existing hole, on her back and has stopped eating or being active in any manner. If she is disturbed all of her legs twitch... almost seizure-like.
About twenty-four hours ago she righted herself but is still twitchy when disturbed. She will continuously brush her legs over the top of her face until she feels that she is no longer.... disturbed. It is just now Autumn here, her humidity is typically kepted at 30-40% and her terrarium temperature at 90 degrees F during the day (50-60 F overnight). I do not have experience with tarantulas.