Insects and other arthropods don’t grow the same way as mammals or birds. The size of the exoskeleton is different for each animal. They have to shed their skin periodically, and the best time to do that is when they’re old and wrinkly. If you keep a tarantula as a pet, one of the things you need to understand is tarantula molting. About 85% of all arthropods die when they molt. Tarantula Molting Cycle The molting cycle of tarantulas has three distinct phases.
The first two are the preparatory phase and the shedding phase. These are both short periods and only last for a few days. During the third phase, which is the actual molting period, the tarantula sheds its skin and grows a new one. You can read more about each phase in this post. The preparatory phase is the time when the tarantula is preparing to shed its skin. Here’s a simple guide to tarantula molting and how to collect them.
The giant tarantula is known for its webbing, and it uses it in place of silk to make its silk-like substance. It spins webs that are approximately eight feet across. If you’re going to keep tarantulas as pets, this book is a must-read.
Reasons for Tarantula Molting
Tarantulas need to shed their skin so that they can grow. While this behavior might seem strange, the reason they do it is pretty straightforward. Tarantulas need to shed to grow. It doesn’t have an internal skeleton like ours, and it doesn’t have muscles, so it can’t grow together. Tarantulas have an external skeleton made of chitinous material. This is an amazing spider that protects itself by growing a web in which it is trapped. This armored exoskeleton can’t change size or grow. But some parts of this exoskeleton may be flexible. Spider silk has incredible elasticity, enabling the spider to use its webbing for a number of purposes—catching prey, maintaining its webs, and moving. Tarantulas can grow to be as big as four to five inches long. How does this possible?
When the hard exoskeleton molts, the spider needs to shed its old exoskeleton to grow a new one. Since the exoskeleton doesn’t expand in size, the tarantula will need to molt to grow bigger. A tarantula can grow larger by shedding its old skin and growing a new one. When spider molt they don’t have to take time off, because their feathers and body are new again and ready to be used.
How Do Tarantulas Molt?
A spider’s molting is one of nature’s most amazing processes. It involves shedding its old skin, spinning a new one, and then eventually eating the old skin. Molting is a very important process for spiders. The spider’s body will start releasing hormones that will help the molting process. Allowing it to break down the inside layer of the tarantula’s skin. The spider grows its own new exoskeleton. Its outer skin, which is more flexible and allows it to grow thicker, stays in place.
The Tarantula’s body then secretes a new exoskeleton larger than the old one. The new exoskeleton is soft at first. Then, after it’s fully formed, it’ll begin to enlarge the old exoskeleton and eventually break it. The old exoskeleton grows smaller and smaller as the spider grows larger and larger until it becomes too weak to support the spider’s weight and finally breaks apart and crumbles away.
Mature male tarantula molts by lying down. However, most mature tarantulas will stand on their rear legs and drop from the top of the container. When a spider molts, it sheds its old skin and starts making new, softer ones. Older spiders molting will take longer than younger ones.
How Often Do Tarantulas Molt?
The frequency of molting often depends on several factors, but the most important one is how old your tarantula is. Spiders shed their old skin to grow so young spiders molt more often than older spiders. Tarantulas only molt once a year or two. As they grow older, their molting cycle increases.
Signs of Molting
People are often alarmed when they see their tarantula on its back or side because they think it’s sick. However, this is nothing to worry about. When a spider needs to molt, it can take strange and unnatural positions. The surest sign that molting is about to begin or is in progress is the shedding of the old fur coat, which will happen right after this question. This is an important time for your pet. If you pay attention to the signals of molting, you’ll be able to keep your furry companion safe. Many people often don’t know that tarantulas need to molt. Some molting signs in tarantulas are as follows:
Tarantulas are among the insects that often go through a process called molting where they stop eating for a few days or weeks before molting.
Tarantulas are typically docile, but they become even slower and sluggish when it’s time to molt.
Bald spots and dull coloration
Tarantulas generally have hairs all over their bodies. However, when it’s time to molt, you may see bald spots on different parts of their bodies, especially on the abdomen. When you have a bald spot, it can sometimes disappear after shedding. In addition, as soon as they begin their molting cycle, their exoskeleton will most likely turn a duller shade of gray.
The tarantulas you might have as pets can produce more webbing during their molting period. Typically, a webbed mat is made out of silk, and this can help your tarantula prepare for its molt.
Although it’s not always the case, some spiders will hide during molt. Tarantulas make burrows in the substrate and then cover the entrance with silk.
How To Get Ready for Tarantula Molting
The first thing to do after observing the above signs that your spider has molted is to get ready for it. Tarantulas are more likely to grow successfully in the right temperature and humidity. Adjust the humidity level in your terrarium to ensure it’s just right for your type of tarantula.
It’s important to know that during the molt your spider is vulnerable and weak. You should keep their tank clear of food and other debris, and you can remove any uneaten prey to avoid issues like this.
There is no reason to be alarmed if your tarantula stops eating. Molting is common for lizards, but it’s not something you should worry about. You should make sure that you don’t force the spider to eat before molting.
Care Sheet for Your Tarantula After Molting
Your tarantulas will likely shed their exoskeleton during the molting process, so make sure to keep an eye on them. Once the molting process is complete, you’ll see an amazing transformation. You might find some old, worn exoskeletons in their cages.
You might also find the old exoskeleton, or even the old bones, somewhere inside the cage of the tarantula. With a pair of tweezers, you can remove the exoskeleton. Most people throw it away. Your spider should return to its normal feeding schedule within a few days. Don’t forget to provide enough water and food after the molting process is over. Many experts recommend waiting at least a couple of days before you start to feed a freshly molted tarantula. It’s essential that you only feed your spiders once they’ve been sitting for several days to ensure they’re ready to mate.