Video of Tarantula Moulting

I’ve tried several times unsuccessfully to video one of my tarantulas moulting. On more than one occasion I’ve timed things just right, set up a camera and got some footage, but either the lighting has been bad, or the focus was out, or the angle was wrong… So I was very pleased this morning when I came across this lovely video from YouTube user Tarantupedia of a Xenesthis sp tarantula going through the entire moulting process.

Apparently it’s 10 hours of footage compressed down to around 5 minutes. The quality is really good, and different parts of the video are sped up more than others to really good effect (it’s normal speed for the really interesting stuff, and speeds up when nothing much happens for a while – some great editing!)

At the start you’ll see the spider’s regular colouration and the baldness of the abdomen (due to shedding urticating bristles since the previous moult). Then there are some excellent close up shots of the spider loosening itself from the exuvium (old skin) and pulling itself free. Notice those bright white fangs! (they are soft in that state so the spider can’t eat for the first few days, they darken as they harden up!) It’s a pity the video doesn’t carry on a little longer and show the Tarantula after it has flipped back up to standing, as it will continue to stretch at that point for a while (it’s effectively using blood pressure to stretch out the new skin) and also to show the new colouration properly before the new skin hardens up.

Anyway, still a great video – hope you enjoy it!

Tarantula moulting pictures (B.albiceps)

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!

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This was when I first noticed that she had laid down a mat of webbing and flipped onto her back:

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Notice that the abdomen is starting to look “deflated” and she starts to pull herself out of the old skin:

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Here you can clearly see the new, white fangs.  These will darken as they harden up over the next week or so:
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It’s not often that you see a spider lying on one side, with all the legs facing one direction!
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All curled up and stretching those legs out, having a rest from all the effort:
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Finally, flipped back over the right way and looking very fluffy!
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I put the full set on Flicker if you want to see some larger pictures, and a few more shots!