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I haven't seen my spider for ages ! What is it doing ? PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 August 2006
I haven't seen my spider for ages ! What is it doing ?
If you keep a burrowing spider, and it chooses to stay in its burrow a lot, or even all the time, this is not unusual, and the spider is probably content, but then you knew that, because hopefully, you did your research before getting hold of an obligate burrower !
Terrestrial non-burrowing or semi-burrowing spiders also go through periods where they don't want to be seen, and most of the time, the advice is the same - leave them to it - they know best. A spider in its retreat, or burrow is usually there for a reason, and that reason is usually to do with feeling safe, and the dark, both of which are important requirements for a happy tarantula.
Even some arboreal slings will choose to burrow early on, and it can often be weeks between sightings of these elusive creatures, but this too does not signify that anything is wrong.
Generally, if you are worried, you should offer food as normal, once or twice a week, and monitor the situation. If the spider emerges to eat, or the food disappears after a night or 2, then you can be fairly sure that everything is alright, and that the spider does not need you to go in and 'help'...
If, however, no food disappears for extended periods of time, and there is no sign of any spider activity, then you might want to investigate further, and go in and disturb the retreat.  This best done extremely carefully with a long handled artists paintbrush. Try to minimize the amount of earth you move, and brush VERY carefully down until you can see the spider, and ascertain what the situation is.
When spiders that normally like to bask in the open suddenly disappear into their burrows and stay there, it is likely they are going to moult, so they should be watched, but not disturbed. Any uneaten prey items should be promptly removed, however.
The best general advice is not to worry, in most cases you will see your spider eventually ! 
Last Updated ( Monday, 07 August 2006 )
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