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Forest Grove, OR

(503) 317-0187

Supplying Quality Tarantulas & Invertebrates from around the Globe



Molting Process


So how does a Tarantula spider grow?

Tarantulas are invertebrates, they possess no internal skeletal structure. Instead their outer skin/covering acts as their skeleton. In order for Tarantulas to grow, they must go through and incredible process known as "molting". In short, they must grow a new skin/covering inside of their current one. At the right time, when the new skin has finished growing inside, an incredible transformation will occur. In many cases they will flip over on their back. This a delicate and vulnerable time for a Tarantula, it is completely helpless. You might even think your Tarantula is dead. Don't panic, leave it be, and all things going well, over the next few to several hours they will start to break from their old skin and slowly work their way out. Below are some photos of a Tarantula going through the various stages of the molting process.


Premolt photos mexican redknees

This  photo depicts a young Tarantula with the typical bald abdomen caused from kicking urticating hairs. Tarantulas from the "Western Hemisphere" kick these specialized hairs normally as a form of defense to ward-off predators or when irritated.

This photo depicts the same Tarantula on the left, a few months later. You can now see the bald area has turned a dark color, indicating the spider will be shedding its skin soon. This dark coloration is actually the new skin growing underneath.


molting photo 1 molting photo 2

Several days or weeks after the abdomen turns dark, this Tarantula flips on it's back and lays almost motionless for a few hours. Then a miraculous event begins to unfold.

Once the Tarantula begins to withdraw it's new skin from the old one, it must finish...or die. The process cannot be stopped at this point. This is a critical time, especially when pulling the leg joints through. This spider is a little over half way out in this photo.


Post Molt Mexican Redknee

Here is the final product. The Tarantula has molted and is sporting her new look, and a beauty she is. Notice I said "her". After examining the exoskeleton,  it was clear this spider was a female.


Send us your Molt
for FREE sexing !

Send us a shed skin of your
Tarantula, and we will
determine the sex of it for
no charge. The spider must
be over 2 inches for an
accurate determination.

 Wrap the molt lightly with
moist paper towel and pack
it into a ziplock-type bag. Place
inside of a padded envelope
or small box and send to:

Dean Pittman
707 Roxe Drive
Forest Grove, OR 97116


*Please include your contact information so that we will be
able to inform you of the results.



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