More often than not, when a tarantula moults you only see the end result – a beautiful, fluffy looking tarantula, and the old crumpled exuvia. Recently though, my sub-adult Brachypelma albiceps moulted out in the open, and I noticed her just after she flipped onto her back so I was able to photograph the entire process. I had to shoot through the side of the enclosure so as not to disturb her, so I apologise for the less than ideal picture quality, but hopefully you’ll still find them interesting.
This first picture was actually taken about 3 days before, she was busily moving substrate around and you can clearly see how plump she was looking – definitely getting ready to shed!
This was when I first noticed that she had laid down a mat of webbing and flipped onto her back:
Notice that the abdomen is starting to look “deflated” and she starts to pull herself out of the old skin:
Here you can clearly see the new, white fangs. These will darken as they harden up over the next week or so:
It’s not often that you see a spider lying on one side, with all the legs facing one direction!
All curled up and stretching those legs out, having a rest from all the effort:
Finally, flipped back over the right way and looking very fluffy!
I put the full set on Flicker if you want to see some larger pictures, and a few more shots!