Are you concerned about how often do jumping spiders molt in other to relate well with your spider pet? Well, this write-up is for you. Anytime you discover that your spider pet is lying on its back, please resist touching it because it’s a very fragile period.
The truth is that it can be quite disturbing, especially to see your jumping spider lying in this unnatural position. There are chances it’s time for them to molt because most jumping spiders will molt while lying on their back. However, a good number of them do molt while lying on their sides.
The exercise usually lasts for a few hours. So you can keep your eyes on them, but you must resist from touching them, like I pointed out earlier. At the end of the process, you’ll be able to determine if your jumping spider actually molted using the evidence left on the scene in the form of a molt.
Jumping Spider Molting
Pre-molt: At any point, a jumping spider has enough energy; it will instantly go into a pre-molt period. You’ll notice this by the thick web-like sac the spider will create. For a smaller jumping spider, it can take a couple of hours but a few days for sub-adults. Within this period, their feeding habit will increase because they need to soak up enough nutrient. Once they’ve gathered enough, they’ll use the sac to cover themselves until a new exoskeleton grows back on the previous one.
As a new keeper, this period can be stressful, especially if you’re yet to acquaint yourself with the entire process. Hence, it would be best if you remain calm. Yes, it might be tempting to check if something is wrong with your cute spider, but try to give it some space until the process is over. Most importantly, you need to ensure there is no live insert still left in its enclosure. What you can do is to leave a few drops of water very close to the sac for the spider to drink when it feels like doing so.
The Molting proper – When the newly formed exoskeleton is ready, the spider will expel a fluid that separates the old skeleton from the new one. At this point, the spider needs to get out of the old, so the new can adequately take its place. Failure to do this on time can cause the new exoskeleton to start fusing with the old one. This process is very crucial to every jumping spider. According to some research, it is believed that dehydration is the primary cause of bad molt in jumping spiders. That’s why it is necessary to drop little drops of water near the sac when you notice that your spider is ready to molt.
In most cases, spiders successfully extract themselves from the old skin as the new skin continues to harden. Remember to remove any external influence while this happens. Also, in a situation where a spider loses its leg(s), before the molting starts, they usually grow another leg. Though the new one might not as perfect as the previous one.
Signs of Molting
It’s essential to be aware of other signs that are more subtle as a jumping spider gets ready to molt. However, most of these signs do not occur as a result of molting alone. It can happen for other reasons aside from molting. Some of these signs are listed below;
- Lack of activities – Whenever jumping spiders are ready to start molting, they’ll suddenly become too slow and sluggish. This is usually noticeable and obvious.
- Constant use of webbing – You’ll also notice a continuous use of the web to the extent they end up making a mat of silk, which will be used for molting.
- Loss of appetite. A jumping spider getting ready for a molt will, in most cases, stop feeding. This can happen for weeks before the actual molting starts.
- Bald spot development – Another thing you’ll get to notice is a bald spot, which can often be seen around the abdomen region. This spot will continue to grow darker as the molt period draws near. After molting exercise, the bald spot will disappear.
- Dull coloration – This is also another sign you’ll notice in your spider’s body.
Note: When you notice any of these signs, know that the molting period is impending. It is crucial to ensure that the tank’s humidity is ideal with the right temperature. This is very necessary for successful molting. Also, any uneaten prey in the tank should be removed.
Like we’ve seen from the write-up, all jumping spiders molt. Molting is pretty much when a young jumping spider grows out of its exoskeleton and then sheds it. Most of the time, jumping spiders will molt as they hang upside down. After your jumping spider molts, it required a couple of days so the exoskeleton will get harden properly.
Finally, resist from touching it or putting food in its cage during this process, or you’ll end up killing it. Wait for at least a week before you start feeding it with crickets. Any newly molted jumping spider is so delicate that even a little cricket can end up causing severe harm.
Frequently asked questions
How often do jumping spiders molt?
For jumping spiders to grow, they must shed their old exoskeleton with the newly formed skin. Hence, young jumping spiders tend to molt frequently (like once every thirty days) than the mature ones that molt annually.
How long will it take a jumping spider to molt?
The duration varies. It can take up to four days to even thirty days. For young spiders, their pre-molt can last for three to four days because their exoskeleton dries up within a few hours. Also, they can commence eating immediately. On the other hand, mature jumping spiders take a long period to complete their molting.
What sign will I see to ascertain if a jumping spider has molted?
First, you can tell when it seems you’ve two spiders in the nest, one of which is the old exoskeleton. Alternatively, you can shine a light into the nest to see correctly. The majority of the jumping spiders will immediately push the removed exoskeleton out of the nest at the end of the molting process.
What is the main reason why jumping spiders molt?
For them to grow, they must molt. The exoskeleton must give way for them to get bigger. However, adult jumping spiders do not molt often. Hence their last molt will undoubtedly help them to maturity.