For the past few weeks Aragog, Jr has been very idle and never eaten his food aside from the water I have provided him in his tank.
My friend, who was actually responsible for persuading me to breed atarantula, advised me not to panic because I frequently bugged him with questions; why it ain’t eating anything. He said that when a tarantula is weak or as if sleeping all the time and won’t bite a food you’re giving them, then maybe he is about to molt.
Indeed, Aragog, Jr is now flat on his back as if dead after making a bed of web. He is molting as of my writing actually.
Molting is a process, tarantula has to goes through as they grow. Basically speaking it’s the process of which spiders/tarantulas changing their old skin into a new one just like the snakes.
It’s a very difficult and strenuous experience for your pet spider. Molting usually takes few hours and proper humidity of the room is required for a successful process. When the old exoskeleton is shed, its body will be soft and extremely vulnerable, so be advised never to touch your tarantula while in molting state.
And while molting takes only a few hours, a newly molted tarantula will be vulnerable and very sensitive for several days before the new exoskeleton hardens completely. So give atleast a week or so, before you feed your newly molted pet and make sure away from insects or anything that could harm him while in the process of healing.
Anyways, I’ll give you tips on how to identify when a tarantula is about to molt.
Signs when a Tarantula is about to molt:
- Eating less – if your pet refused to eat for as long as 3 to 4 weeks, this means they’re getting ready for a molt.
- Inactivity - a tarantula that is about to molt is always idle, they will often become quite sluggish.
- Bald Spot – some tarantulas develop a bald spot on their abdomen that grows increasingly dark as the molt draws near (after molting the bald spot will be gone).
- Increased use of webbing (they may make a mat out of silk for molting).
- Dull coloration.
If you noticed all these signs then be prepared, your tarantula is about to molt. Make sure the humidity in the tank is ideal and the temperatures are right. Proper environment is important to a successful molt. Make sure there is no uneaten prey inside your tank, not even a cricket as they would seriously injure a molting tarantula.