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  1. #1
    AC Partner MomRules's Avatar
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    Austin just moulted!

    I am glad we raised crayfish! mantis shrimp are more closely related to crays than anything else. A week ago he stopped eating. Everything we dropped into his burrow he carried back out and dumped in front of us. It's very easy to read what's on there minds! I was pretty sure he was just doing his premoult fast as he had been eating great since we got him.
    I just found him lying on his side and freaked of course. Then I saw the shed in his burrow. phew.
    He hadn't been out of his burrow for several days. But the crays always acted exactly like this when it was moulting time. He still had one raptorial appendage which hadn't shed, and we got to watch him kick it off. I saved the rest of the moult which was in his burrow for the science fair.

    He is still lying on his back. But I have seen the crays do this too. He is very busy fanning his swimmerettes, and this is where his gills are, so I am hoping he is just keeping them clean til everything starts to harden up a little. I am resisting the urge to 'Help" him out and turn him over. I did turn his lights out though.

    Hopefully he will be OK. Moulting is very hard on these guys. when you watch it, it reminds you of giving birth. (There's that theme again!)
    Gail in Nova Scotia

  2. #2
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    It sounds like quite the ordeal. I would have been pretty worried too. How often do they have to go through this?
    Susan

  3. #3
    AC Partner MomRules's Avatar
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    It depends on how old they are. And how much they get to eat. The crays moulted every few months as adults. He has moved back to his burrow now, but he is still on his side. He can turn around OK, but doesn't seem able to right himself. Sigh. Well, I hope he gets it together soon. I hate this part of critter keeping.
    Gail in Nova Scotia

  4. #4
    AC Partner MomRules's Avatar
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    I just checked on him and he is up and peering out at me as if to say " so did I scare Ya???". phew.
    Gail in Nova Scotia

  5. #5
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Whew! Austin is a dramatics little dude!
    Susan

  6. #6
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    I would like to see a picture of his burrow and his molted shell
    25g Reef

  7. #7
    AC Partner MomRules's Avatar
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    I can't get a pic of his burrow cause it is at the back of the tank under the rocks. But here is a pic of the moult.
    His raptorial appendages, or smashers, are at the top left. These are used for smashing when closed up like the one on the right, or spearing when open like the one on the left which we opened a little. He is a smasher but can spear things to hold on to them better I think. THe smasher part is just the same size and shape as a kernel of corn- but very hard. we didn't realize that the raptorial appendage actually opened up like this till we took out the moult to look at it.

    He is fine today- but hanging out in his cave alot til he hardens up well and feels safe.

    I'll post the pic below- I used the quick reply by mistake.
    Gail in Nova Scotia

  8. #8
    AC Partner MomRules's Avatar
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    Here it is I hope!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Austin just moulted!-moult.jpg  
    Gail in Nova Scotia

  9. #9
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Wow...
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    It's just incredible to think that Austin has to grow a new one of all of that! No wonder it's such a big ordeal. Just amazing critters.
    Susan

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