Hey everyone, its been awhile! Sorry for not updating sooner, but I have been busy with exams.
I’d like to remind you, my post here are related to my experiences and my knowledge on spiders, please don’t forgot that an expert arachnologist is always better than the information you learn here!
Anyhow, the spiders have been doing great! They are molting, eating and being all peachy!
Speaking of Peachy, Princess Peaches, or P. pulcher is getting a date in the near future! Hopefully the pairing will go great, and she produces a sac of spiderlings!
Today I will be posting more about tarantula breeding – basically an extension of the previous post, so please stick with me, and I hope you find it interesting!
For those of you reading this, who are new to spiders, might be wondering how do spiders mate?
In the tarantula world, the males have 2 organs on their palps, called palpal bulbs which originate on the two small ‘legs’ in the front of their fangs. Most males have hooks on their legs(more specifically tibia) that they use to hold the females fangs while he goes for the insertion of the females spermatheca (like our vagina.). For more information, see the post before this, linked HERE
After the male has inserted his sperm into the female’s spermatheca, she holds the sperm inside her until her required conditions are met, and she feels safe to lay the sack. Eggs usually take 25-30 days or more to develop into first stage spiderlings depending on the species.
However, mating spiders doesn’t just happen. Preparation in temperature, feeding regime, and environment are all a big part in producing tarantula offspring. Some tarantulas need a cooling period in order to create a sac, or a hot period, and a rain/wet period depending on the location where they originate from. Most tarantulas need to be full, or they will see the male as food and not a way to procure offspring, so people, please be sure to feed your spiders!
Sometimes, if the spider is a rare species it may take a long time to procure a sac from a species in question, because we know nothing about it. It usually takes a while before hobbyist can learn what they like in captivity and what they don’t. Sometimes they take on behavior completely different of when they were living in the wild.
After careful testing, and experimenting with the spiders behavior, we slowly learn more about them. Most of us like to share our information, some others don’t which end up having other people to keep working at the –formula- (I guess ill call it that) in order to produce some of the rarer species. A lot of us do it out of the good nature of having fun, and the rewards of making the spider happy, however there is always someone out there who loves making a pretty penny off of selling them. Usually I will sell spiders, and then use that money to buy more spiders…haha got to love them
Spiders use vibrations to indicate to the other ‘partner’ their intentions. To produce these vibrations they use their front legs, taping very quickly. The male, sensing the females pheromones, will give out a tap to indicate his intentions. Depending on if the female is freshly molted, old enough, or the environment is right, her drumming response will either be, happy to greet you, happy to eat you, go away, or you can stay and try later.
First, to demonstrate this, I will give you a youtube video of a male trying to impress the female with his song. Most spiders use this technique, be it drumming web of an orb weaver, or the soil infront of the burrow.
This second video is of a giant Doc spider, Dolomedes tenebrosus, found in New-Brunswick Canada. This is a video I filmed when I was younger, demonstrating this species mating process. The mating process can vary greatly depending on the species of tarantula, garden spider, jumping, etc.
A more extreme making courtship in jumping spiders, the Peacock Spider (Maratus volans) you might recognize is this species resemblance to birds showing off. The female chooses the male with the best dance. Very beautiful footage and spiders in general!! Skip to 1:06 if you don’t find it interesting.
And here is the mating attempts of a tarantula, the most common in the pet trade – the rose hair tarantula (G. rosea) This video in question is abit boring, but it’s the best quality I could find.
I will leave you for now, but before I go, I will leave you with a picture of a baby spider to wish all hobbyist luck in mating their spiders!
Here is an Avicularia Avicularia, or also known as the Pink toe tarantula!