Sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason to a tarantula sling dying. I lost my Tapinauchenius violaceus the other day. It was eating well, kept in a good enclosure and seemed to be thriving. However…it molted. The next day it high dived off of the cork bark onto the floor of its home and this is where I found it:
I can see nothing wrong with it, other than it is in a death curl. At first I thought it might be getting ready to molt, but it JUST DID that the day before.
In this hobby, raising tarantulas from slings is more economical from the cost standpoint, but you run a much higher risk of mortality. Beginning keepers sometimes lose slings from improper care. Even us “older-hands” will sometimes have losses that can be explained (such as my last Avicularia). The annoying thing is that there are times the little derps will kick the bucket without a good visible reason.

In other T related news, I recently picked up a juvenile Poecilotheria ornata from a friend who is in the hobby locally. (In a related bit, this is a sister of my very first ornata that did the “die-for-no-reason” act last year.) The “Fringed ornamental” as it is referred to, is pretty much my favorite tarantula in the “wow” category. When fully grown, she will push toward nine inches in leg span, making her one of the largest arboreals on planet earth. Skittish, somewhat defensive, and a voracious eater, it is NOT a “handleable” pet, contrary to some idiots on youtube who try to make people think otherwise. This an ornery spider with attitude to spare.

Poecilotheria ornata 4″

Poecilotheria ornata (ventral)

While getting this beauty, my friend (who breeds tarantulas) asked if I wanted any Pterinochilus murinus (The infamous “OBT” -Orange Baboon Tarantula or more affectionately known as the “Orange Bitey Thing” in the hobby).
Pterinochilus murinus “OBT” This is my kid at 3″ and holding.

I already have one that has been anything BUT “bitey”, so I said, sure, why not? They are one of the easiest tarantulas in the hobby to care for, sometimes jokingly referred to as “the tarantula you can raise on broken glass”. He had a TON of slings, so I took four of em at what amounted to a wholesale price. (Go me! heh.) The hope here is that I’ve got a couple of each sex, as my friend and I can then breed those out as well. For me breeding is the “next step” in the hobby, and while the OBT is defensive and skittish, it is also very popular as a beautiful, easy to keep species. The genus is really easy to breed, and easy is good when starting out.
Lastly, this bit is for Tom Moran of Tom’s Big Spider Blog 
We were recently discussing the Euathlus sp. red habits during the colder months. Mine burrowed as if it were getting ready to molt/hibernate…and then changed its mind digging back to the surface where it has been doing the “begging for food” pose for the last week. The opisthosoma coloration has definitely faded, looking like premolt, but it is still eating like a horse.
In this picture it has dragged a medium sized lateralis roach down to the dining hall and is having a post thanksgiving meal.

4 thoughts on “Tarantula bits #4

  1. First off, I’m so sorry to hear about your Tapinauchenius violaceus. Ugh. I love growing Ts up from slings, but you’re absolutely right in that you risk the higher mortality. And I still find it frustrating when I can’t come up with a logical reason for the death. 🙁
    Your P. ornata is just gorgeous. Mine is currently in premolt, and I can’t wait to see how much size she puts on with this molt. Hopefully, it goes well!
    I need to get another OBT. My little girl is just gorgeous, even is she is the world’s slowest growing P. murinus…
    GREAT stuff on the Euathulus sp! You know, I’m seriously considering giving mine more substrate to dig in to see what happens. One of my females is still eating well; the other has stopped and is a bit thin. Glad to hear that yours is still pigging out!

    1. Your P. murinus and mine are in a race to be slowest in the world. 3″ and has been thus for 6+ months. No molt. She eats, has a cool web set up, watches TV occasionally and…doesn’t grow. I don’t even have to sex this one to guess it’s a “she”. 😀

      1. I looked it up (because I thought I must have been mistaken) and I got mine in October 2013 at .75″. It’s about 3″ now. Sounds like yours and mine are VERY much alike! Same as you, I didn’t even bother sexing her. It’s obvious. I DO have to try to get mine in front of the TV… 🙂

  2. That is good to know. My derp was Aug 2015 as a 1/4″ sling, so at this point, based on your dates, I’m guessing another year-ish at this size. heh. I just checked my tarantula app and it has been 269 days since it molted last. 😀
    Oh, on the substrate depth for the E.sp. red, 3″ seems about right for the larger ones…although even 2″ will give enough for em’ to dig out a chamber…although everything I’ve read/watched appears that a hide is more than enough as they tend to be wanderers. The T in the pic is almost an 1″ in size, and set up the chambers below, but hangs out on top. In the last few months after the last molt, it no longer freaks out and hides when I open the top for feeding, rather it backs toward the hole and waits until I drop prey. THEN it snags the meal and goes below.

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