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 Tegenaria duellica sloughing

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jaySteel
Pandinus
jaySteel

Number of posts : 32
Age : 48
Registration date : 2012-02-12

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PostSubject: Tegenaria duellica sloughing   Tegenaria duellica sloughing Empty1/13/2016, 6:28 am

Hi everyone.
I've been off work this week which is giving me a chance to go through many of my unprocessed images from the last couple of years.

In July last year I witnessed and photographed a Giant House Spider (Tegenaria gigantea / duellica) sloughing (shedding its skin). This entire process took two hours to complete and was fascinating to watch:



Tegenaria duellica sloughing 23984334969_5e0ba01c63_z

The cephalothorax splits across the back and the spider begins the arduous task of forcing itself out of the old skin. This is done in several stages with the spider taking time to rest regularly while it regains its strength before continuing. The only part of the spider that is attached to the old skin is at the base of the abdomen.



Tegenaria duellica sloughing 24056555610_be91b31bbf_z

Eventually the spider breaks free and lays motionless for several minutes, completely exhausted. In this exhausted state the spider is highly vulnerable.



Tegenaria duellica sloughing 23725311283_2da4639d11_z

When the spider has regained enough energy it prepares itself to stand on its new legs. Spiders are exo-skeletal so at this stage the limbs are still very soft and flexible and are unable to support the weight of the spider.



Tegenaria duellica sloughing 23725310843_98b4c1a04f_z

The spider finally manages to get itself upright. It quickly stretches out its new legs. Here it must remain and wait patiently while the new skin hardens sufficiently to fully support the spider. The soft new skin is quite translucent and the spider looks very different than before.



Tegenaria duellica sloughing 24269636521_205345eed1_z

After waiting for over an hour the spider's skin is now able to provide the skeletal support enabling the spider to walk once again. The spider is still exhausted and the new skin has still not fully hardened so once able to walk the spider abandons the old slough and heads off seeking cover where it can hide until fully recovered.



Tegenaria duellica sloughing 24352109965_127ea4e97f_z

The old abandoned slough is 20% smaller than the newly emerged spider.



Larger images are posted on my website here: http://www.jasonsteelwildlifephotography.yolasite.com/spiders.php
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Scorpion19981000
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Scorpion19981000

Number of posts : 1895
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Location : Cortland, New York
Registration date : 2011-07-03

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PostSubject: Re: Tegenaria duellica sloughing   Tegenaria duellica sloughing Empty1/13/2016, 1:37 pm

Excellent photos!

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jaySteel
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jaySteel

Number of posts : 32
Age : 48
Registration date : 2012-02-12

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PostSubject: Re: Tegenaria duellica sloughing   Tegenaria duellica sloughing Empty1/13/2016, 1:48 pm

Thanks. It's nice to have people interested in seeing them. Spiders aren't everyone's favourite subject.
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