Have you noticed that your tarantula is not webbing? This may bring you some concerns as you might think that there is something wrong with your tarantula. But is this really abnormal behavior?
For some owners, they even think that their tarantulas are unhappy when they do not create webs.
Your tarantula is not webbing for a lot of reasons. The most important one being; they do not feel the need to do so. Unlike other spiders, tarantulas do not spin webs in order to catch their prey. Rather, they create webs to protect their burrow and to stick on different surfaces. Also, your T may not be webbing as he is sick or stressed.
So, you really should not be stressed when your T does not seem to show any signs of webbing. It is still within their normal behavior. But then again, you should be aware of other circumstances when this non-webbing behavior is considered irregular.
So just keep on reading to find out more about this.
Why Does A Tarantula Web?
Tarantulas are not like other spiders where creating webs is essential. However, this does not necessarily mean that they will never create webs in their entire existence. Let us take a look at the reasons why they create webs every now and then.
For tarantulas, webbing serves a simple utilitarian function. This means that they will only web if it serves a specific purpose wherein, they can surely gain something.
As compared to other spiders where webbing is the key to their survival, Ts will only make webs when they deem it necessary. The truth of the matter is, the production of silk needs a lot of energy.
Therefore, your T will decide not to use much energy if he feels he will not gain anything from it.
So, you will see tarantulas creating webs at the outside of their cave or burrow when it is their time to molt. They do this so as to deter other predators or insects from entering their “sacred space” while they are at their most vulnerable.
Besides the fact that your T will create a web in front of his cave or burrow, he will also sometimes create a web to alert him of any type of movement near his cave. Even though he is in a controlled environment where no predator can attack him, of course, he still has his hunter instincts.
Usually, owners observed that their Ts create webs when they leave live food in the enclosure overnight. This can be a trigger for your T to create a web so that he knows if there is prey nearby.
If a prey (for example a cricket) comes into contact with the web, this vibration will radiate through your T’s burrow. He will then know that when he goes out of his burrow, he should be on the lookout for that cricket.
Another reason as to why they create webs is so that they can stick in questionable surfaces. There are just those times when even terrestrial tarantulas just want to explore their enclosure. Surely, there are some areas where they cannot crawl or climb securely.
Therefore, they create webs in that area so their legs have something to cling on to.
Even though your T has a tough exoskeleton, your T knows that he is still fragile in the event that he falls. So he creates a web to limit falling accidents or in such a case where he falls, his fall is slowed down which lessens injury.
Tarantulas are such fascinating creatures in such a way that we cannot seem to figure out what drives them to do something. Which is why they tend to create webs just for the heck of it (even though we know that tarantulas always have a reason).
We mentioned before, that they will not create webs if they think that doing so will not have any effect on their survival. But then, there are times when you can find webs on the leaves of plants and even rocks.
You will be surprised to know that some owners have found pebbles that are completely covered in silk webs. What is the reason, you might ask? We also do not know.
This goes to show that you really cannot fully explain why your T is creating or refusing to create a web.
How Does A Tarantula Web?
It is funny to say that tarantulas are the closest spiders to Spiderman. Spiderman shoots webs with his wrists, right? Well, tarantulas also do the same! Err, since they do not have wrists, the silk goes out of their legs! (still very close with Spiderman)
It was proven by the study of Claire Rind, from the University of Newcastle that tarantulas have spigots that can produce silk and these are located within the hairs of their feet. Pretty cool, right?
Unlike other spiders where they spin silk with the use of their spinnerets (located at the end of their abdomen), Ts actually produce silk literally in their legs and it comes out via their spigots.
So if you are trying to look for some clues as to why your T is not webbing, you better not look at their butts. Focus on their legs!
What Type Of Tarantula Is Most Likely To Web?
It is almost always expected for arboreal tarantulas to create webs. The reason is simple, they love to climb and they tend to create a haven of their own above the ground.
Some of these arboreal tarantulas also tend to sling on their webs from one point to another. Some examples of these tarantulas are the Chilean Rose and Indian Ornamental tarantulas.
On the other hand, terrestrial tarantulas also create webs. Although they do not create webs above the ground, you can still see some webs at the entrance of their burrow and some areas on the substrate.
Why Is My Tarantula Not Webbing: The Reasons
Let us now take a look at some of the reasons why your tarantula is not webbing. Again, for most of these reasons, it is not a cause for concern. But there are a few reasons which may indicate that your T is unwell.
Therefore, paying close attention to your T when he is not webbing is still important.
1. There Is No Need To Web
Your tarantula may just feel that he does not need to create any sort of web. We discussed earlier that they will almost always create a web when it serves a purpose.
Therefore, if there is no web, then surely your T deemed that it does not serve a purpose. This is actually good news for those who have terrestrial tarantulas as you were able to achieve having an enclosure where your T feels safe and secure.
Usually, Ts create webs when it is nearing their time to molt. But in cases where there is still no web despite molting, this simply means that your T feels secure in his burrow even though the entrance is not covered with a web.
As for arboreal tarantulas, the plants and other structures in the enclosure may be enough for them to climb securely on higher ground. Which is why they feel that creating a web is unnecessary.
2. Overly Stressed
It is easy to spot a stressed tarantula. He may refuse food or he seldom leaves his burrow. In fact, he may not even come out to take a sip of water.
As something is clearly stressing them, creating a web will be the last thing on their minds. Since creating webs makes use of a lot of energy, they would rather conserve their energy on coping with their stress.
Their stressors can be a number of things. It can be due to the wrong temperature or humidity levels in the enclosure, lack of hides, etc.
3. Enclosure Problems
This is connected with the previous reason which leads your tarantula to become stressed. If you have the wrong temperature in your enclosure, your T will be constantly seeking areas in the enclosure where the temperature is just about right. The same thing goes for humidity.
Another thing is that there might not be enough structure or plants inside the enclosure that can promote webbing behavior. It is just not enough for the web to have something to cling to.
Of course, there should be something that can ensure the proper structure and durability of the web. Such things are plants, hides, rocks, and the like.
This is the worst-case scenario as to why your T is not webbing. It may be because he is unable to do so or is too weak to create a web.
There might be some sort of injury in their legs which makes it too painful for them to shoot out silk. Further, they might be sick which hinders them to produce silk.
Of course, finding out that your T is sick should not only be based on his inability to create webs. There should also be other factors like refusal to eat, lethargy, loss of mass, etc.
How Can I Encourage My Tarantula To Web?
If you really want to see the webs of your tarantula, then there are ways to trigger his webbing behavior. Take a look at the following.
If you just got your tarantula, then chances are, he will not create a web for at least a month. So you just have to be patient and see when your T decides to create one on his own.
You should also accept the fact that he might not create a web at all. Just as long as he is healthy minus the fact that he does not feel the need to create a web, everything is going to be okay. So relax!
Manage Enclosure Conditions
Make sure that the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosure are within the accepted parameters. If it is too hot, then the energy of your T will just be consumed by their increased metabolic processes.
On the other hand, if it is too cold, then they will just conserve their energy up until it gets warm. The key here is to find the right balance where your T will still have excess energy to spare for creating webs.
Put In Items For Enrichment
If you only have a basic enclosure set up and you found that your T is not webbing, then you might need to add some items for enrichment to encourage him to create webs.
Some of these items are hides, plants, and rocks. If the enclosure has these items, then there will be an abundance of things where the web can attach to, which will also make it easier for your T to complete his web.
Have Your Tarantula Checked
If the non-webbing behavior is really bothering you, then it is best to check in with your vet. Your T might be sick or has an injury that is preventing him from creating webs.
More often than not, your vet will not find a problem. But still, it is best to be on the safe side, right?
Is Webbing Directly Related To Tarantula Happiness?
Some owners express their concern with their tarantulas not webbing, as a lot of people believe that this behavior is associated with the happiness of their tarantulas. Well, you have nothing to worry about as there is still no proof that these two ideas are related.
Happiness is such an abstract term for tarantulas as unlike humans, they are simple creatures. Just as long as they can eat and have a place to sleep securely, then in a way, they are “happy.”
In fact, your Ts may or may not create a web regardless of how they feel. Again, when their webs are created it simply means that they have a need for it. So do not worry if your T is not webbing, just as long as he has everything he needs to survive, you can consider him as being happy.