Monday, March 05, 2007


This is Tiny who is a Salmon Pink Bird Eater. Last week Tiny moulted and here he is all newly hairy and pink. This spider has the capacity to grow to about a span of 10" - hence the name chosen by J ;=)

Tiny made his moult web/mat right out in the open of his tank, in full view - we've never had this happen before. We awoke to find him sitting on this web - very still. He spent the whole day sitting. We made sure to kept quiet and as stealthy as possible each time we passed by and we subdued the lighting. Around 8.30 pm ish he flipped over and writhed about a bit and started his moult. It was very interesting to actually witness this so openly and closely. As you can see from the picture he has moulted safely - there are always some risks - but like so many animals that metamorphose they do it by instinct and it's an unstoppable process.

He has grown significantly in this moult and isn't much smaller than Humbug - but at the moment looks more spindly. He fed last night. He took the cricket with no preamble so was obviously hungry.

I use 'he' because as a juvenile spider we can't sex him yet - sexing spiders is not easy - without a good condition moulted skin and even then it's still not easy. As 3 of our spiders have turned out male, I find easier to refer to them all as 'him' - though as time goes on I am pretty sure Boris is now adult and Doris, but like many arboreal species she/he keeps the moult and decorates the web with it.

I'm pretty sure Colemans will moult fairly soon as he is normally a voracious eater and is currently ignoring all food that we've offered - his abdomen is so fat he looks like he will burst any second.

Diego soldiers on - following the route of all male tarantulas - he eats occasionally and spends his life clambering and tramping around looking for love.

Humbug - is an amazing creature - very rarely not in view and for a spider always appears to be doing something - digging, clambering - kind of spider housework - he's very active but is still juvenile so it's not the male thing. He and Boris/Doris are the most interesting spiders to watch.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love you spider posts!