Some sped-up footage shows the ten-hour moulting session of a tarantula of the Xenesthis genus.
Spiders and insects have this in common. Their bodies are both covered in a cuticular layer surrounding their exoskeleton. Because this coating is rigid and hard, the organisms need to change it periodically throughout their lives as and when they grow. As a result, they molt to get rid of their old external skeleton so they can form a new one.
It’s quite impressive to see an arthropod moult, even more so when the species is also quite impressive. The video that you can see above shows a tarantula of the Xenesthis genus going through the moulting process. Arachnophobes steer clear!
The arachnid, widespread in South America, is already an impressive species in its own right. So, watching it molt is no different. In order to highlight this phenomenon entirely, the footage has been sped up. The moulting process for the tarantula lasts around ten hours, but in this video, they managed to contract it down to just a few minutes.
So initially, we can see the spider’s exoskeleton break around the upper part of the abdomen and the cephalothorax. The species then tries to get itself out, eventually leaving behind an almost perfect replica of its own body.
Check out the video above to see the incredible footage for yourself!