New to the Molt. Grammostola rosea Tarantula

Scarlett at 8months

Adoption of Scarlett.

I was never a lover of all things creepy crawlie, in fact how we came to be owning a pet Tarantula was accidental to say the least. It was my wife who actually wanted a pet spider and I had agreed to get her one, though I must admit I was stretching it out quite considerably. It was through a friends telephone call which actually moved the whole episode into reality. It seemed that a neighbour of this friend had to be moved into sheltered accomodation and was unable to take with him his menagerie of spiders and as my wife was the only person he had ever heard of as being interested in getting one, it was her he called first.

Saying Hello to my little friend

St Valentine's day

February 14th, 2011 we were the proud owners of a Grammostola rosea or Chillean rose. It had been 2 weeks since she had last fed and 3 months since her last molt. I read a lot of information off the internet and must admit I was suprised by the amount of conflicting information out there. I strongly recommend that you purchase a good book on the subject. The best one I have come accross personally is The Tarantula keepers guide by Stanley A, and Marguerite J Schultz.

All dressed up, nowhere to go!

After 2 weeks she accepted her first cricket, and over the next week she had taken 2 more. But she seemed very fussy and uninterested from then on. Since we had got her I had noticed that she seemed to be getting darker especially the tips of her feet and her abdomen. But although i was thinking along the lines of another molt i could see no balding of the abdomen, and was very unsure whether or not she was actually in pre-molt. I had read that rosea were skittish but since day one this lil girl was the queen of cool. She has never flicked an hair or rose up, actually she normally takes a little stroll across to see whats going on. On numerous occassions when either my wife or myself speak to her she will walk up to the side of her tank and climb up the glass, If a hand is set on the glass she will lie along the length of our fingers as if she wants to be connected to us.

Can you pass me the remote

She busied herself over the following weeks, webbing in most areas of her tank. But still refusing to eat. After about a month I started to notice that her abdomen looked slightly swolen and thought any day now. Wrong! It wasn't until some 3 weeks later and after endless checking that i noticed at last that she had some balding on the abdomen but nothing particular to write home about.

The next evening however things started to happen. At around midnight she started to web, this time though it was very thick and only in one small area of the tank. She made a cradle like area in which I presumed she would start her molt. I was expecting that it would not be too long before she turned over onto her back. But wasn't expecting her to do it the second that she stopped webbing. Suddenly Bam! she was on her back. I can see how people come to think that their Tarantula has died for she was as still as a corpse. After about an hour she moved her legs slightly. A breath of fresh air for me at that time I can tell you. Thats it I thought it won't be long now. Think again. About 9am that morning her one hourly kick abouts had now started to be about 10 minutes apart.

Rebirth of Scarlett

Just kicking off that old body

Aerial shot taken at great personal risk to Photographer

This was a sight to behold, I have never seen anything like it in my life. And if anyone would of told me 3 months ago that I would be up all night taking pictures of a spider with a mobile phone (That could of been worded better) I would of called them something un-mentionable. But here we were doing just that. The whole molting process took around 2 hours. After which time Scarlett looked absolutely shattered and spent the next couple of days just lying back chilling out. The rest I will leave you to experience for yourself. But it is a wonder to see how a small spider with a one and three quater inch leg span could produce a spider with a two and three quater inch leg span. It is mind blowing.

The New and Improved Scarlett.

Finally

I do hope that this Hub will help anyone going through their 1st Molt with their Chillean rose. I do appologise for the not too perfect photographs. But pictures were taken off a mobile phone. Scarlett has improved over the last 3 weeks and has eaten well over the last week. Again she seems to be filling out making her look even larger, I would say her lag-span has got to be at least 3 inches now.

I will of course be collecting my new Curly Hair, Brachyplema albopilosum spiderling in the next week or 2.

PS. We call her Scarlett, this is total speculation on our part at the moment. We may well have to change that to Scar in the future if thats how it pans out. lol

Comments 3 comments

Reynold Jay profile image

Reynold Jay 5 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

What can I say? Fascinating and unusual reporting to say the least. RJ


Scarface1300 profile image

Scarface1300 5 years ago Author

Hi RJ.

Hope you liked it. When we first got Scarlett we read what we could, but so many reports conflicted and never really gave any specific info. I thought a blow by blow account might help someone else get a better idea of what they might expect if they are in the same position.


ginjill ashberry profile image

ginjill ashberry 10 months ago

This is my first class in studying spiders. You made it interesting with a faint touch of affection in your writing about Scarlett. I remembered asking some hotel staff to remove a spider from the wall of my hotel room years ago. I just couldn't sleep with the thought that it might come crawling towards me. Then again, just this evening, a cockroach climbed my legs when I felt an itch and sting at the top of my calves when I brushed it aside then I realized the texture of insect and saw it lying on its back on the floor writhing. . Sigh. Spiders have the audacity to ignore or avoid contact with you than the mocking, fake boldness of these roaches. I still find both creepy.

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