Pictures would be helpful. : )
Hello there! I just recenty purchased a Chaco Golden Knee Spiderling CB at a Repticon event two weeks ago. She is about the size of a quarter, maybe a bit bigger. She is my first T and last week I noticed that she had lost one of her pedipalps! Before she lost it, I noticed she was moving her front legs and pedipalps in a motion as if she were grooming herself. She had a healthy appetite too and I was giving her the tiniest crickets I could find. ( Which are smaller than her body, I have made sure of that! ) Just two days after she lost the first pedipalp, she lost her second one! Her behind is black with a tiny brown ( maybe bald ) spot on her and now she is not eating her crickets... The seller had spiderlings that had yet to molt and one's that had... He told me she hadn't molted yet, but I liked her.. She was showing me some personality walking around in her container picking up dirt and carrying it around... I went to the local petstore and they told me to take her out of the plastic container ( had a blue lid with slits in it ) and put her in a glass encloser with a red bulb inside of a heat lamp on her and up her humidity in her tank. The lady said the plastic could be effecting her, but I see everyone keeping their spiderlings in plastic containers, so I think that doesn't have anything to do with it. I got her the glass tank anyway with the red lamp and she went to the top of the screen and hung out by the lamp for a few days, now she dug herself a hole in the bottom and has been hanging there for a day. She still walks around and is acting fine aside from losing her pedipalps and not eating...She did display herself a bit more when I got her, constantly walking around her cage and now she just hangs out though. She hasn't ate in about 4-5 days now? So, my question is this: I know when a spider loses its pedipalps it can starve to death. Is she not eating because she lost her pedipalps or because she is getting ready to molt? Is she having a bad molt? I really love her! Any help ASAP would be great so I can save my new found baby ( Also: When will it be safe to start holding her so she can get used to me and I to her? )
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I wouldn't be worried if it's only 4-5 days. Wait another week and try again. If it's able to burrow it should be able to eat just fine. In a couple of molts its pedipalps should be good as knew I am curious of how big your enclosure is since it's eating the smallest crickets you can find. I would also get rid of the heatlamp.
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Will post pics as soon as I can figure out why it won't upload the one's I have. I think they are too big... And why no heat lamp? Is it harmful to her? I got the lowest watt in the red and thought it would be ok. She seemed to like it. When I would move it ( Because I was worried she might burn her little legs hanging out so close to it.. ) she would move back to it... What a relief tho that you said she should be fine! She is definately burrowing a little hole in the corner of her cage. I just checked on her and she seemed quite busy doing so...
Lose the heat lamp.
She won't get used to you holding her.
Plastic enclosures are fine if they are cleaned out first.
Pet shop employees generally know NOTHING about proper tarantula husbandry.
She may be refusing food because she's in premolt.
She may be refusing food because she lost both palps.
Since you say spiderling, I assume it's still a small bugger feeding on pin-heads or small crickets?
Anywho, heat lamp, pads, etc dry out your enclosures at a rapid pace that is unhealthy. Even if it was an adult, I still say nay on artificial heating. It will dry out your T, cook them, etc. Also, if she was near the heat lamp up on the top, I would say she may have been getting away from wet substrate? And now that she has burrowed (which is normal but....) it could also be a sign that it's too hot, not enough humidity even for a chaco with the heat lamp, or even both. T's tend to burrow when it is too hot above ground. They can also burrow to seal in whatever humidity there may be.
It would be in the best interest of your spider to ditch the artificial heating that puts them in direct contact (pretty much) with it. I use artificial heating, BUT it's a ceramic heater that is in the same room as the T's. That way it heats the ambient air around the room. You can either do this or you can put them in the warmest room of your house.
Generally, if you are comfortable with the temperature in your home, so is your T.
This is what she is doing right now. She has created a borrow of some sort and hanging out there...
This is what she looked like when I brought her home two weeks ago. Everything looked fine. No missing legs, ect. And very active and out in the open.
This is her hanging next to her heat lamp on Sunday.
This is her enclosure as we speak... The tiny dot next to the lamp was her. This was taken on Sunday. Will lose the heat lamp... How do I keep the humidity up tho without it? She doesn't appear to like it when I mist the cage... she runs and hides and puts her butt in the air and hides her head in the dirt.
The last pic is what she is doing now... ( Descriptions got switched.. ) and the top photo is her enclosure and was taken sunday... sorry about that
Okay, the enclosure is MUCH to LARGE for the little one. Ditch that one until they are bigger. For now use a clear tupperware or vial or whatever else you can find. I use vials.
To keep up humidity restrict airflow to a minimum. With my vials I just poke a few holes in the lids and in the sides. It will keep the humidity up adequately for your baby. And from the looks of it your substrate is pretty wet. They may be trying to get off of it. And if you wanted you can put a small bit of moss and wetten it every time it dries out. If you mist, mist one side of the enclosure wall. Never directly onto your T. They don't appreciate it. Don't make it wet, G. pulchripes is a generally dry species. (The only acception is with slings, but still don't go overboard with the mistings) They don't need that much humidity.
Whatever you put them in make sure to put enough substrate that the spider can touch the top with its front legs while it still has its back legs on the ground. (This is a general rule for terrestrial T's) Doing this is for their safety, terrestrials can get seriously injured from a fall.
So even when you end up putting them in the big tank, remember that rule.
---------- Post added 02-07-2012 at 12:56 PM ----------
Oh, and ditch those temperature/humidity gauges you have. They are always far from correct. You can get a digital one that will be much better. But you really don't need too worry too much.
So should I just put her back in the plastic tupperware container she came in? And if so- when should I do that? She looks pretty comfy in her hole she made and I'm not sure if I could even get to her without hurting her or stressing her out...
Also, just knoticed this, what is their DSL? (Diagnal leg span) If it is under two inches I would remove the water dish as well. This is also a safety issue. And don't worry about hydration, they get all they need from their prey and absorbing it from their substrate.
As everybody has been pointing out, that enclosure is HUGE. It's quite possible that your tarantula lost it's palps taking a fall from the top of the tank. Check out the following thread:
This will give you a general idea of how big the enclosure should be relative to the spider, among other things. Honestly, your G. pulchripes will probably thrive in the container you received it in.
I'd also recommend that you read a good book on tarantula care, such "The Tarantula Keeper's Guide" or "Tarantulas and Other Arachnids."
The plastic container looks like a small serving of soup bowl you would get from a chinese restaurant... It's what he had all his slings in... I think it should suffice. I should've just let her be I just thought he was selling them that way... didn't know that was a good home for her. I don't think she has a two inch leg span yet, so will lose the water as well... Will try to get her to come out and mover her into the container... Will switching her environment 3 times in the 2 weeks I have had her effect her tho? Sorry- I'm a worry wart and I've obviously already grown attached to her...
---------- Post added 02-07-2012 at 03:22 PM ----------
I did purchase a T book from the petstore and it wasn't very helpful to be honest after I read through it... I have gained more knowledge from the internet. It wasn't very specific toward my species of T tho...
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