Tarantula First Aid – Creating an ICU

Care Sheet, First Aid, Information No Comments »

Your Tarantula First Aid! Tarantulas suffer from very few illnesses and seldom get sick unfortunately there are not many exotic vets that would even take in a sick tarantula let alone help you with them. With this post we would like to share some common things you can do yourself to help your tarantula should something ever happen to it.

 

Creating an ICU:

The first thing you need to know how to do is creating an ICU (Intensive Care Unit). This is a must know how for any intermediate to expert tarantula hobbyist.

Step 1: Make sure you get a deli cup or plastic dish with matching lid. Make sure this is big enough to easily fit your biggest tarantula. Make sure to also puncture small holes for some air ventilation on the side of the cup/dish and a few on the lid.

Step2: Grab a few pieces of paper towels and lightly mist them with water. You are going to pack them nice and tight  at the bottom of your plastic cup/dish. This will allow your tarantula to feel nice, soft and secure.

Step3: What we also recommend is to add a small water dish filled with fresh clean water to the ICU should your tarantula need it.

Step4 (optional): In the event that you need to keep humidity levels up we do recommend you setting your ICU near a humidifier. This of course being optional is still a great recommended tip.

 

When to use an ICU:

There are certain scenarios where using an ICU will be your best option for your tarantula.

Dehydration: This can quite often be the easiest thing to overlook. Even desert species tarantulas can get dehydrated. A key sign of a dehydrated tarantula is a mildly shrunken abdomen. In worst cases a severely dehydrated tarantula will also have its legs curled up under him/her and even appear sluggish. Simply place the tarantula in the ICU cup and make sure the water dish is close to its mouth or even place its mouth in the water dish. You should not be alarmed as tarantulas breath from their book lungs situated on the underside of their abdomens and not mouth. Keep their abdomen away from the water source. We recommend you keep the tarantula in your ICU for about 12 hours at most while checking up on it every few hours. Your tarantula should be back to normal and make a full recovery within 24 hours.

 

Bad/Wet molt or trauma resulting in fluid leak:¬†Arachnids use non muscular moving functions and rely on blood pressure and fluid (“blood”) to move limbs. Bad or wet molts happen to even the healthiest of tarantulas with no scientific explanation as to why. Should your tarantula experience a wet or bad molt immediate induction into an ICU would be your best bet. These same rules apply should your tarantula hurt itself by either a puncture wound or even a fall and starts to lose fluid. Make sure your tarantula drinks plenty of water to replace the fluid lost due to the wet/bad molt.

 

This will be the start of our Tarantula First Aid series as we give you other helpful tips and tricks for your tarantula in the event of an accident. Do you have questions about your tarantula? Simply ask away. We will be more than happy to help you.

Trinidad Dwarf Tiger Tarantula (Cyriocosmus elegans)

Cyriocosmus, New World 2 Comments »

The Trinidad Dwarf Tiger Tarantula is a species native of Trinidad and Tobago and certain parts of Venezuela. This is a very small species and mature most times within a year with tarantulas only tending to be between 2 to 3 inches in length. They are hardy but have a shorter life span then most other species. This is a well loved species and definitely a great pet for any collection.

c.elegance

 

Habitat:

Being that they are very small tarantulas you will not need much to house them. As spiderlings they can easily be kept in pill vials filled half with substrate. As full grown adults they will not require more then a 2.5 gallon enclosure. They are obligate burrowers so make sure you have plenty of substrate for them to do so. Your substrate should be damp but not too wet. For this we recommend coconut fiber substrate. A hide can be added such as a piece of bark as a start up for their burrowing. They are most of the time underground but are very active once above ground. As always you should always have a fresh water dish readily available. We recommend a temperature of 77 to 83 degrees with a humidity level of about 75 percent.

 

Feeding:

Don’t let size fool you, these animals can take down same sized prey with ease. They are insectivores and so you want to make sure you feed them appropriately. We recommend you feed them flightless fruit flies as slings and slowly upgrade to small pinhead crickets to eventually large pinhead crickets and even b.dubia cockroaches. Feeding should be done once a week and should your tarantula not eat its prey within 24 hours remove the prey from its enclosure. It could be that he/she is in pre-molt stages and you will want to make sure you do not stress him/her out.

 

Attitude:

The Trinidad Dwarf Tiger Tarantula is very fast. Though they are mostly docile we recommend you not handling them due to their speed. They come equipped with urticating hairs and though they might not be known for biting it does not mean they do not bite should they feel threatened. Their bite is equivalent to a bee sting and their venom harmless to humans.

 

All in all we recommend the Trinidad Dwarf Tiger Tarantula as a great new world tarantula for an intermediate to expert keeper. Due to its speed we do not recommend this for a novice hobbyist. It is a great tarantula for any collection.

Tell us about your C. elegans we’d love to hear from you! Comment down below!

Panama Blond Tarantula (Psalmopoeus pulcher)

New World, Psalmopoeus 1 Comment »

The Panama Blond Tarantula is a species of tarantula from the rainforests of Panama. This is a great new world (NW) arboreal tarantula and is perfect for the intermediate hobbyist who wants to migrate from the Avicularia species to a different type of arboreal for the first time. The Panama Blond Tarantula will grow to be about 4 to 6 inches in length. They tend to be slow growers but are very fast in speed.

ppulcher

 

Habitat:

As most arboreal species the Panama Blond requires an enclosure that has height for it to climb but just enough floor space in the event that it wishes to climb down. As spiderlings they can be kept in medicine vials. For juveniles to adults we recommend a 2.5 to 5 gallon enclosure. the floor space should only be about 2.5 times your tarantula’s leg span and height should be about 4 to 5 times as much. For substrate we recommend coconut fiber that is damp but not wet. You will want to maintain a humidity level of about 75 percent with temperatures between 77 to 84 degrees In addition you will want to make sure you have a nice piece of bark for it to climb on to. We recommend a round hollow piece of cork bark instead of a flat piece of bark, this will give your tarantula a hide should it need one. You can also decorate this enclosure with plants (we recommend fake plants to prevent mold) or other pieces of bark for it to explore on. A fresh shallow water dish should also always be available for your tarantula.

 

Feeding:

As most insectivores we recommend a steady diet of crickets, cockroaches, locusts and super worms. For slings flightless fruit flies should be suffice until you can start feeding them small pinhead crickets.

 

Attitude:

Though a new world species we do not recommend handling at all. The Psalmopoeus pulcher does not come equipped with urticating hairs and is a very skittish tarantula that can be very aggressive. They will easily strike a defense pose should they not want to be bothered. This tarantula also has speed and if not careful can easily escape their enclosure which can result in a fall.

 

All in all it is a great tarantula to have but due to its not so new world characteristics and attitude we recommend this to be for a more intermediate to expert keeper.

If you have a Panama Blond Tarantula tell us about it! Comment down below!