In spite of the fact that the two Honduran curlyhair tarantulas (Brachypelma albopilosum) have exhibited the best appetites and most rapid growth of the dozen tarantulas in my classroom, both experienced unsuccessful leg eclosion during during the past few months.
The larger Honduran curlyhair tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum), pictured above, emerged from its June 29, 2012 molt missing the metatarsus and tarsus of its left hindmost leg.
Between that molt and its most recent molt, which took place on August 31, 2012, the spider regenerated the missing metatarsus and tarsus, though each leg region is smaller in diameter than their counterparts on the seven normal legs.
During the four weeks since the spider’s last molt, the regenerated leg regions have darkened considerably.
The leg is now functional, in spite of the fact that it is slightly shorter than the others. The leg should be full size after the next molt.
The smaller Honduran curlyhair tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum) emerged from its most recent molt on September 14, 2012. At first nothing appeared extraordinary about the molt, though upon closer inspection it was clear that the hindmost leg did not successfully emerge from the previous exoskeleton, effectively confining it and preventing it from increasing to normal size.
Would the spider shed the leg or would it retain the confined, smaller leg?
Two weeks later the leg remains significantly smaller, though the spider uses it quite effectively in all movement. The smaller leg lacks the full range of flexibility possessed by the seven normal-sized legs. It will be interesting to see what happens with this leg during and after the next molt.