Tarantula Molting Process – A Complete Guide

When your pet tarantula is lying on its back with its legs and feet pointing in the opposite direction, you will see several small brown scales on its abdomen and behind the legs and feet. It’s quite alarming to find your tarantula lying in this seemingly unnatural position. But chances are it’s just because it’s beginning to molt. In this article we will discuss tarantula molting process. Many tarantulas molt while they’re lying on their back, but not all. Some will molt on their side. As a tarantula grows, its skin will eventually fall off. It typically takes about 15 minutes to molt but depending on the species, it can take as long as a full day.

Tarantula Molting Process

While molting, the tarantula must not be touched and should be kept in a container that is large enough to accommodate it and its food. When do you know that it was molting? You should be able to tell from the evidence it left behind in the form of the molt. In fact, a tarantula in its natural habitat will often roll up into a ball, signaling distress. But this doesn’t mean it’s time to put your tarantula to rest. In fact, it could be a signal of good news, as this could indicate your tarantula is about to lay eggs. This is not the case, and it is very rare for a tarantula to be found dead upside down.

How often do tarantulas molt?

Tarantulas can molt at any time they feel like it. It depends on the tarantula’s age and species, as well as factors like its habitat’s humidity levels and food quality. Pets that have a diet made up of healthy foods and live in proper environments may be healthier and grow more quickly, which means they may molt more frequently than unhealthy tarantulas. There are many types of tarantulas, and they vary in size, speed, and the number of times they molt. Some species grow faster or larger than others, and they’ll molt more frequently. Adult tarantulas typically molt every one to three years but can molt more frequently.

Tarantulas live for up to 10 years. They have to shed their skin every year or two. After a tarantula molts, it spends about six months recovering from the shedding process. When a tarantula molts, it only takes a day, so you can get an estimate for your home or business. Depending on the size and age of the tarantula, the molting process can take as little as fifteen minutes to as long as twelve hours. If your spider is taking more than 15 hours to molt, that may be a sign that the spider is having trouble molting and should be checked out by a vet.

Pre-molting changes

No matter what type of tarantula you have (curly, Chaco golden knee, Mexican Red Knee, or Chilean Rose Hair), molting is the same for all tarantula species. All tarantula species need the same amount of time to molt. But how do you know when a tarantula is about to molt? Tarantulas get ready to molt by being lethargic for a few days before becoming extremely active. They stop eating and moving about their habitat or they will move more slowly before a molt. Tarantulas don’t stop eating for long periods of time. They eat up to ten times their body weight every two weeks.

Tarantula Molting Process

The exoskeleton of this beetle, when exposed, becomes transparent, except for a dark patch on the lower abdomen that gets darker until the beetle molts. A molting tarantula may also build a nest that protects it during the molting process. Finally, the arachnids are all ready to shed their old shell and get ready for a new ones!

Things you should know about molting

Moltings are normal and happen in most tarantulas that are kept as pets. They’ll go through the process eventually, and it’s not going to be easy. If their enclosures are the right size and the conditions are right for them, then they should be fine.

Here are some facts you should know about the tarantula molting process:

Temperature and Humidity

The temperature and humidity are important for your particular kind of tarantula. If you have problems like a molt coming on, check the temperature and humidity in the tank. It’s important to have the proper environment to successfully molt. Do not leave prey in the tank. Even the smallest insect could seriously injure, or kill, a molting tarantula.


Different species of tarantulas will molt at different rates. For example, a wolf spider may molt up to once per year, whereas an orb-weaving spider may take more than a year to molt. When your spider gets bigger and older, it will molt only once or twice a year. Their hormones will then start to react by secreting a special fluid that will loosen their exoskeleton, allowing them to escape their old shell. How often your spider will molt depends on its species, age, and environment. Many spider mites spend their entire lives as nymphs. Some female mites have a long reproductive cycle before becoming adult females. Most males don’t become mature adults until the final molting period. Moltings will eventually slow down as these geese approach the end of their lives. Some may not molt for several years.


The molting process takes anywhere from 15 minutes to 15 hours. It depends on how old your spider is. Older spiders have more silk in their legs and take longer to spin their webs, so it could take them longer to build a new web. It’s best to let them take their time when it comes to molting; this is their natural life cycle. When the molts are complete, watch for them to become transparent. You’ll be able to remove them safely once you see them becoming transparent.

Signs of Premolt

A tarantula usually takes weeks until it starts to molt. You can prepare for molting events months in advance. You must allow your spider to go through its own processes undisturbed. 


When molting, your tarantula will lose its appetite. If their tails aren’t touching their food and they aren’t eating anything else, then they might be preparing to molt. Don’t worry if your spider stops eating for a few days because it can go without food for quite a bit. They’ll only stop feeding for a couple of weeks before they molt. Your tarantula’s appetite will drastically change once it is about to molt. Don’t worry, if your spider doesn’t eat for a while because they can go without eating for a long time.


As they prepare for the process, they may notice a change in their general demeanor. They may become sluggish and much less active than usual.

Bald Spot

A tarantula in pre-molt has a bald spot on its abdomen that it would normally be able to hide. This is an indication that your spider is getting ready to shed its skin, as it’s already shed a little bit of hair. It may seem like this area is getting darker but that’s because the skin is actually getting molted.

Spinning Webs

A pre-molting tarantula starts making a webbed bed to make a comfortable place for themselves to molt on. This is a good sign that they are close to time to molt.


Their body shape gives away when they’re molting. If you pay attention to the shape of their body and their coloration, you can tell when they molt. Paying attention to the coloration of their tails will let you know if they are very close to molting. When the tarantula molt, its exoskeleton starts to peel away, causing it to change from its original color to a duller gray.

Laying Upside Down

The first thing a tarantula will do when it finally begins to molt is turned its body upside down. This is a good sign they are ready to start molting. When their new wings are dry, the cockatiels will turn around to face the other side and get back on their new legs.

A Stressful and Dangerous Time

As the tarantula’s body is destroyed, the body becomes soft and extremely vulnerable. During the molting process, the tarantula will lose its old cuticle and become vulnerable, for several days, to predators. It’s not good to handle a molting tarantula or to do it right after it molts, but that’s why you should never ever try it! You’ll need to prepare the tank for your tarantula. It’s best if it’s kept in an area where there are no crickets and don’t feed the tarantula after molting. Even a tiny crayfish can kill a molted tarantula if they’re not careful. These spiders can be extremely delicate so treat them gently!

Preparation for Molting Process of Tarantula

The most important thing you can do for your tarantula is to provide the proper environment for their molting. They need a dry, dark, quiet, humid, and comfortable place. You can do this by placing your tarantula in a cage or box with plenty of hiding places. Tarantulas can’t handle fluctuating humidity levels. Make sure your temperature and humidity are consistent and that they’re ideal for your species of tarantula. Keep your tarantula’s tank clean as they are weaker and more susceptible to injury and illness. If you remove the prey as soon as possible, this will avoid any issues.

They won’t forget to eat during this time, so don’t worry about their appetite, they’ll just eat when they’re ready. Don’t be concerned if they aren’t eating anything yet. Let them do their thing, and then offer them food later if necessary. Make sure to have a small water dish available for them. As a molt goes through a full cycle, it will experience many different temperatures and humidity fluctuations. Don’t try and take over. Just let them do their thing.

Tarantula Molting Process

As the spider molts, you best leave your pet spider alone. It can look alarming to see it looking like it’s struggling on its back, but interfering can be fatal. Although their position seems unnatural, this is what a molt normally looks like. This is a fragile and intense time for them. They need space to be themselves and to find their own place in the world. Molting can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to a whole day, so do not be alarmed if yours takes a bit longer or is done way faster than you imagined.

Some owners might worry that their spider is dead or dying, as it might appear to look like it, but tarantulas are rarely caught dead on their backs. When they die, they will curl up their legs under their bodies. It’s important to know the difference just in case something goes wrong. If a tarantula gets stuck while molting, it rarely survives.

After Molting 

Now that your tarantula has recovered from their molt and looks like the new, upgraded version of its pre-molt look, you’ll see its new skin and colors. What if they have some changes that you didn’t see before? The first thing you’ll notice when you get home is that there’s a new exoskeleton on your doorstep! This is not necessary to save, it’s better to just throw it away. After the exoskeleton is fully shed, you can use a pair of tweezers to remove it from its enclosure.


Now that you’ve learned how to care for your tarantula, you can be sure it is healthy. This is a totally normal part of their life cycle and means they are doing fine. Your spider is maturing, and sometimes it might need to grow an upgrade. Look for any new changes in your tarantula after their molt as well. Sometimes there are upgrades. There are several things that can happen when your spider is maturing. The most common change is a molt.

This happens when the spider sheds its old skin. During this time, your tarantula will lose some of its colors and grow more defined markings. While this does not mean the spider is unhealthy, it can indicate that your spider has entered the next stage of maturity. As a tarantula matures, it will often reach sexual maturity. You will notice that the spider has grown larger and heavier. To learn more about tarantulas visit here.

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