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katgrogan
01-01-2012, 03:53 AM
Finally got a better look at the bald spot on my new rescue T. When I was trying not to mess with him it just looked like dark skin beneath the hairs. Now I can see the skin is still light, but there is a disturbing dark patch. Is this an injury of some kind?

I know crickets when left in with an animal can start to do damage--the pet store left this guy with around 60 roaches in his little tank, so I wonder--is this a problem from roaches biting?

I've never had a tarantula before, so I can't tell what's going on here.

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k22/purple_muffin/IMG_2864.jpg?t=1325407842

Ultum4Spiderz
01-01-2012, 04:06 AM
looks to be in pre-molt.. is this your first T?? It should be perfectly healthy
Roaches .. will not attack Ts , crickets will attack ts though..

katgrogan
01-01-2012, 04:18 AM
So that big black splotch is normal? It just contrasts so greatly with the skin it worried me. It is my first T, saved it from a pet store owner who was planning on squishing it.

I figured roaches wouldn't attack, but I just wasn't sure, wanted to check.

Hobo
01-01-2012, 04:25 AM
Those are the urticating hairs, and it's completely normal.

katgrogan
01-01-2012, 04:37 AM
Okay, thank you. Sorry for such a newb question! I just wanted to be 100% sure everything is alright with this guy. He didn't recieve the best care..the whole sponge instead of water type situation. When I took the sponge out it was moldy too..so, you know--who knows how many other things could have been wrong with his previous care! Wouldn't want to let any possible issue go unnoticed. Guess I'm just being a paranoid spider mom. :)

About the premolt--how soon does it look like this guy or gal will molt? That's sort of exciting that a molt could be coming up, would help to sex the spider! I just hope everything goes well!

Ultum4Spiderz
01-01-2012, 04:42 AM
Okay, thank you. Sorry for such a newb question! I just wanted to be 100% sure everything is alright with this guy. He didn't recieve the best care..the whole sponge instead of water type situation. When I took the sponge out it was moldy too..so, you know--who knows how many other things could have been wrong with his previous care! Wouldn't want to let any possible issue go unnoticed. Guess I'm just being a paranoid spider mom. :)

About the premolt--how soon does it look like this guy or gal will molt? That's sort of exciting that a molt could be coming up, would help to sex the spider! I just hope everything goes well!
id give it anywere from a week - to two months... just be pateint :)
sorry pet store employees are raher Ignorant on Tarantulas....:mad: people like that should be fired on spot

katgrogan
01-01-2012, 04:45 AM
Okay! So could you answer one question? Does the color of the skin have other reasons for darkening other than the molt? Cause some of the bald patch is pink..some is black..that's what got me confused!

MMAFogg
01-01-2012, 05:10 AM
I wouldent worry too much, all sounds like premolt to me, your lucky your going to get to see a molt so soon after owning your first T!!!

katgrogan
01-01-2012, 05:20 AM
Hehe, especially with such a slow growing species as I'm now finding out! :)

Anyway, thanks for the answers! Just trying to wrap my head around all this tarantula business. They seem pretty easy to care for, once you figure out the right from wrong information that's all thrown at you in the beginning. :)

TheTarantulaKid
01-01-2012, 06:44 AM
It looks like premolt to me. Although if part of it is pink, it may be exposed flesh. Jon3800 had a T, I think it was a Haplopelma vonwirthi, that had that and it was fine, and he currently has a T. stirmi that has pink on its carapace. And congrats on your first T! What species is it?

katgrogan
01-01-2012, 06:57 AM
It was labeled "Texas Brown" at the petstore, so I'm guessing A. hentzi? But I am honestly having trouble distinguishing a lot of that species anyway... It's still really small too, and I know this species is a slow grower so it will be a while before it looks like a big adult.

Right below the black is the pinkish color I was mentioning. All of that is pretty barren as far as hair goes, must have been flicking a lot of hairs (maybe since it was in that tank with 60+ roaches for who knows how long?)


We actually are giving this guy to a friend of ours at the end of january. We weren't quite ready for a new pet, but this guy needed someone to save his(or her) life and I was there. We do want more in the future though. Our favorites right now are Grammostola pulchra, Lasiodora parahybana, and Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens... And honestly, these guys too. I like how ridiculously cute aphonopelma hentzi are, and the slow growth is actually quite appealing to me. Even males get long lives, I like that. And honestly the spiderlings of these are ridiculously adorable--maybe it's the lack of ANY threatening colors at all, hahaha!

But of course, I also love some of the more aggressive ones, never to hold or touch, but boy are they cool. The boyfriend is much more nervous about that though, so we'll probably stick to the species a little more known to be docile and cool. :)

Wow, I'm so excited about the molt. I hope it's in good condition and I can get a good idea of the sex. I'm absolutely fascinated owning a tarantula. I've never had any sort of insect or arachnid pet before, so seeing the webbing appearing around the enclosure is REALLY exciting to see. They are definitely cool.

The pet store owner said he was annoyed with it, he wanted a molt to display or something like that, and had been annoyed that it wouldn't let him powerfeed and that despite it being in the store for months and months it had not molted yet. I guess that's why he was so quick to want to kill it when he had an excuse. Sounds like I got lucky and he did all that waiting for a molt me, lol!

Formerphobe
01-01-2012, 07:46 AM
So that big black splotch is normal?
Yes. As Hobo said, that is the urticating hair patch.
This spider does not appear to be anywhere near pre-molt, though the picture could be deceptive. Neither a bald patch nor a dark patch are indicative of impending molt. When the entire abdomen starts darkening, that is a pre-molt indicator. The blacker the entire abdomen gets, the closer the molt.
Generally, the smaller/younger the spider, the quicker the entire molt process. So, this one could turn black and molt practically overnight, or it could be a few months.

---------- Post added 01-01-2012 at 08:00 AM ----------

Here is a pic of a different Aphonopelma species taken a couple of weeks after a molt. This one has never kicked hairs so it's normal dark patch of urticating hairs is more symmetrical. The dark stripe you can see running from the pedicle to the dark patch is the heart. In heavy pre-molt, the rest of the abdomen will be so dark as to make it difficult to pick out heart and urticating hair patch by color.
http://i653.photobucket.com/albums/uu258/Gone2Dogs4/26_Dec_11017.jpg

jayefbe
01-01-2012, 05:09 PM
This spider does not appear to be anywhere near pre-molt, though the picture could be deceptive. Neither a bald patch nor a dark patch are indicative of impending molt. When the entire abdomen starts darkening, that is a pre-molt indicator. The blacker the entire abdomen gets, the closer the molt.

I agree and I'm glad someone said something. There's been a lot of advice about the signs of pre-molt lately that are entirely wrong (and I'm not surprised who got this particular example along this train of thought).

Chris_Skeleton
01-01-2012, 07:17 PM
+1 to Formerphobe. That does not appear to be in premolt to me either and that patch is urticaring hairs. Kat, you said there was so much contrast between that patch and the coloration of the abdomen. Well, when that spider goes into premolt, there will be less and less contrast up to the point that they will be the same color, all black.


I agree and I'm glad someone said something. There's been a lot of advice about the signs of pre-molt lately that are entirely wrong (and I'm not surprised who got this particular example along this train of thought).

I've also noticed this trend. There are a select few users here that need to do some research on premolt. They have posted, in many threads, that certain spiders were in premolt... with no signs showing.

katgrogan
01-01-2012, 10:33 PM
I had been reading that a dark abdomen meant molt--originally I didn't see much of the spider--didn't want to stress "him" out while he settled in. So seeing a full view of the guy surprised me.

That's totally fine. :) I'm just here to learn! I'm glad things are fine, so embarrassed about asking such a beginner question, but we all have to start somewhere! I'll just keep learning and researching as time goes on.

Bosing
01-01-2012, 10:40 PM
To the TS, I think your pet is just fine.


looks to be in pre-molt.. is this your first T?? It should be perfectly healthy
Roaches .. will not attack Ts , crickets will attack ts though..

Well I wouldn't bet my tarantula's life on the roaches. We are not too sure. I have bred some species and while rearing the babies up, I have seen some vials where 2-3 roaches roaming around and when I checked I cannot find the sling. My guess is that the roaches got hungry and the T decided to molt. RESULT: reversal of roles.

MrCrackerpants
01-01-2012, 11:02 PM
To the TS, I think your pet is just fine.



Well I wouldn't bet my tarantula's life on the roaches. We are not too sure. I have bred some species and while rearing the babies up, I have seen some vials where 2-3 roaches roaming around and when I checked I cannot find the sling. My guess is that the roaches got hungry and the T decided to molt. RESULT: reversal of roles.

A very good point and something to always remember when raising slings.

jayefbe
01-01-2012, 11:06 PM
I had been reading that a dark abdomen meant molt--originally I didn't see much of the spider--didn't want to stress "him" out while he settled in. So seeing a full view of the guy surprised me.

That's totally fine. :) I'm just here to learn! I'm glad things are fine, so embarrassed about asking such a beginner question, but we all have to start somewhere! I'll just keep learning and researching as time goes on.

There's absolutely no reason to be embarrassed! We all start somewhere and the best way to learn is ask (and search). In this case, it can be easy for someone brand new to tarantulas to get the patch of urticating hairs confused with the dark abdomen that is a sign of an upcoming molt. We've all been there before, whether it was a month ago or ten years ago. What makes it difficult is those that still need to do the research spreading misinformation that can confuse matters further.

katgrogan
01-02-2012, 12:14 AM
The first few days I only saw the tarantula for short moments--The only bit of skin I saw was where the dark patch was--since that was the only bare skin I could see I thought it could possibly be a molt, but as soon as I saw more exposed skin on the rest of the bald spot, I thought less about it being a molt and more about it being an injury. I knew spiders flicked hairs, I just didn't realize there was a dark colored patch there!

:) This is what forums are for!

catfishrod69
01-02-2012, 12:37 AM
i have had lateralis roaches eat molting assassin bugs
To the TS, I think your pet is just fine.



Well I wouldn't bet my tarantula's life on the roaches. We are not too sure. I have bred some species and while rearing the babies up, I have seen some vials where 2-3 roaches roaming around and when I checked I cannot find the sling. My guess is that the roaches got hungry and the T decided to molt. RESULT: reversal of roles.

katgrogan
01-13-2012, 04:00 AM
The guy is in the process of molting right now! :D

jim777
01-13-2012, 10:54 AM
Congrats! And you did a very kind thing by keeping this poor T from getting squished to begin with. Personally, I think you should just go ahead and keep it, and not give it away. Your first one will always be a bit special :)

katgrogan
01-13-2012, 12:19 PM
I know, I wish we could, this little one is so special and wonderful, but it's just not the right time for us. Unfortunately we are both still living with parents(cheaper than dorm life) and both sets of parents are strictly anti-spider! Just at this time it wouldn't be in the tarantula's best interests to be here. But he or she is going to live with one of our best friends, so we can always visit! :)

I will post pictures up tonight. The tarantula looks amazing! The hairs are fiery orange! :) Beautiful!