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 H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!

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njnolan1
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PostSubject: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/23/2012, 9:41 pm

Hey guys, I'm new to this forum and new to scorpions. I have been keeping tarantulas since last October and have recently moved on to scorpions.

I bought a gravid female (I didn't know she was gravid) at a local reptile expo. She popped out some babies, or least that's when I noticed them, Saturday morning around 7am. There had to be around 50 on her. So many babies! I was so excited... So I made the newbie mistake of taking pictures and basically bothering her and stressing her out. There was around 5 babies on the ground and I'm pretty sure she ate them all. Today, I looked this am, a quick lift of her hide, and it appeared she'd stopped eating them. I peeked in with a flashlight this afternoon when I got home from work and there weren't any babies sticking out of her mouth so I thought she was done. All the babies were on her back or sides too. So I saw one wandering off of her around 7pm tonight, so I very gently scooted it back towards her. She was very mildly disturbed by this process and very disturbed when the baby tried to climb back on her. She jumped. I checked ten minutes later and she appeared to be preparing to eat the baby but then it looked like it crawled back on her. I peek in an hour later and there are legs sticking out of her mouth! An hour after that and two more of have dismounted.

What should I do? I don't think my peeking in with the flashlight is bothering her because she usually stops abruptly or turns really fast when disturbed and she just keeps doing what she's doing when I peek in through the plastic. I don't move her at all when I peek in. I don't move her container or open it. Nothing.

I read something of incubation but not sure if I should attempt it. so far there had to be 8 wandering babies that I have seen and I think most of been eaten. I don't want to try to remove the remaining babies off her back either. Help please!
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/24/2012, 3:44 am

Do you know if they have molted yet? Once they molt, it is normal that they will start wandering on their own.
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njnolan1
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/24/2012, 9:07 am

Nah, she had them a couple of days ago and they're still chubby white. If she's still eating them it's slowed down. I would say there is still between 15-20 on her. I peeked in real quick and it looked like she was "chewing" but I didn't say any legs or anything so maybe she was cleaning I don't know. I think I'm going to stop looking in and just hope for the best. It's driving me nuts!
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/24/2012, 9:10 am

The best thing yo can do is leave her be. I know how tempting it is to have a look, but it can stress them out.

On a side note, the mother usually eats any malformed young, so that could be another explanation.
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njnolan1
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/24/2012, 9:27 am

Thanks!

They seemed to be in good shape but I know it's impossible for me to just look in and tell whether or not they are sick.

She ate half of her babies! I've read that new mothers may stress easier too and be more likely to eat her babies. I just hope they molt and dismount soon! I was so happy to see the babies and when she ate one or two I wasn't too worried about it but when I noticed that she's been snacking on them I started to lose hope...

This am I did a quick peek in (before I read your post) and it looked like she was chewing but it's hard to tell if she ate another one. She still has a small pile of them on her back. I'm just going to leave her alone...
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/24/2012, 9:28 am

Was she well fed before parturition?
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njnolan1
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/24/2012, 9:45 am

Yeah, she ate a nice cricket three days prior to giving birth...
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/24/2012, 11:45 pm

It could be that your temp/humidity levels aren't right for her? There are all kinds of reports on the web of people with Hadrurus arizonensis saying that she ate all her young and that they don't do well in captivity however it was later proven that the humidity levels were wrong and that was what triggered her cannibalism. Since correcting that people have been able to raise H. a's successfully.
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/25/2012, 3:07 am

I think you're mixing up species here... the OP is talking about Hoffmannius spinigerus, not Hadrurus arizonensis.
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/25/2012, 10:27 am

I was using it as an example because information is more readily available.
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/25/2012, 10:57 am

It's a good attempt but humidity may not be the affecting factor here. Temperature, maybe. I may be wrong though.

Perhaps OP can give some infomation on her enclosure settings?

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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/25/2012, 5:26 pm

That's what I was looking for temp/humidity levels but you know how we get caught up in the fine points instead of just asking the simple questions.
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/25/2012, 11:23 pm

I'm fairly certain that it's my meddling that has caused her to eat her babies. I stopped meddling and she stopped eating. Now there are 14 on her and 6 on the ground. The 6 on the ground are alive and may have been possibly alive for days. I want to go in and attempt to remove and then incubate them but more meddling may cause more eating!

The temps are at 77 and I couldn't tell you the humidity. I must say if anything the humidity is a bit high. I recently added predatory mites and over watered...

Newbie mistake for sure. I'm not sure why she's not allowing the babies back on her and I think the 77 temp is good. Possibly, the moisture is too high and the babies don't feel like they need to stay on the mother for moisture? I really have no idea why they're getting off of her though or why she's not returning them. I guess they stand a bit of a better chance if they're not being eaten. It may be only about a 1% better chance but we'll see. It's been a few days so hopefully they'll molt soon. Sooner than later I hope!
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/25/2012, 11:24 pm

Oh, and she's in a mini KK with a cork bark hide that covers one half. She acts pretty comfortable underneath it... that is unless I'm lifting it up to see her babies! (which I have since ceased doing).
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/26/2012, 1:25 am

Update:

She ate another loner. I took action and removed five loner babies. Placed them in incubation. She still has 15 on her back. I counted 13-15 previously which means she hasn't been eating the ones off her back. Let's see what tomorrow brings. She didn't act disturbed while I worked on getting out the loners. She just chewed and chewed. She did realize something was up a couple of times but I stopped everything until she started chewing again. A severely disturbed scorpion doesn't stop to enjoy her snack.
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/26/2012, 5:01 am

I'm leaning towards that "the eaten ones were the weaker ones from the brood".

Concentrate on the survivals. The number is still good to get a colony going.

Continue to reduce your "disturbance" to the brooding mom. Keep us updated Smile
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/26/2012, 9:50 am

Thanks! Yeah, I'm thinking she was only eating the ones that had wandered off. I actually witnessed a few of them just wander off of her. One of them actually wandered out of her hide! All by its little self! She ended up eating that one when I made the mistake of scooting it closer to her (two days ago). This morning it appears all the babies are on her back, latched on pretty well and possibly gearing up to molt soon. How soon? No idea.

The orphans are still pretty active in their cup this am. I'm sure they'll survive until their first molt but that's where the problems may be. But it's pretty damp, not wet, in their cup so I think the moisture problem wont be an issue.

I still think the initial stress that I caused possibly put this in motion. Being a newbie I got nervous and sprayed under her dry hide and I think that stress, wetness, I don't know may have either stressed her severely or caused the babies to feel comfortable enough to climb off being that they stay on their mothers for moisture reasons but who knows? Just speculating!

Thanks again!
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/26/2012, 12:44 pm

Update: She has since removed three more. One of them was dead in the substrate. I've decided to step in and remove the rest from her. It was actually pretty easy. I didn't have a paint brush but I used a plastic straw with a twisted up paper towel. It actually worked pretty well. The babies were able to latch to the papertowel so moving them was a cinch! I have 4 2oz cups of 5 babies each. Lets hope molting goes good!

Thanks for the help and reading!
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/26/2012, 7:27 pm

Keep us updated as I might be in this same situation at some point!
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/26/2012, 10:08 pm

Will do. I basically waited until I was absolutely positive she wasn't going to stop. She seemed to take long breaks in between eating them.

She stung and stung and stung the paper towel. I understand, I was stealing her snacks!

In their cups I pushed them together, they wandered in all different directions, but now they seem to be cuddled up together.
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/28/2012, 11:31 am

Update:

Two have since died in the cups. One from two different cups. Some others aren't looking too hot but I have seen some that looked sick come back so we'll see. It's been 6 days now so I'm hoping some molts will happen soon...
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    9/30/2012, 11:37 pm

How often should I spray in their cups?Does there need to be water on the sides?
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    10/1/2012, 12:52 am

Are you talking about the incubator?

If yes, mist is not required since they will not be drinking from the sides. However, droplets of water will be required onto the substrate to maintain moisture.

Details are in the following guide:
[HOW TO] Incubate 1.instar Scorpling

If the scorpling survives till 2.instar, depending on your housing option, if you are housing the scorplings in a enclosure with surface area larger than 10cm (diameter), a water dish like the following would suffice. Else, light misting may be done once a week at one side of the enclosure's wall.

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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    10/1/2012, 10:21 am

Thanks! I'm not too hopeful they're going to make it that far. It's been about 10 days since they were born and they haven't molted yet. I've only lost two so far since I put them in the incubators (4 2oz deli cups with originally 5 but now two of the cups only have 4 in the now). I tested the tissue and it's damp but not soaking. They're starting to move less and look more stiff than they did a few days ago. Not sure if they're dying or getting ready to molt.

The two I found dead about a 3 days ago and the rest seem to be doing alright other than the lessening of mobility. Not sure what a premolt 1i scorpling looks like. They're mostly fat and yellow on the inside. The legs are starting to darken a bit and they're moving around a lot less.
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PostSubject: Re: H. spinigerus mommy eating her babies!    10/2/2012, 2:17 am

njnolan1 wrote:
It's been about 10 days since they were born and they haven't molted yet.

As long as they're alive, I wouldn't worry too much. I don't know what is the average time for H. spinigerus to reach 2i, but some species can take long.

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