This is kind of a sad post. I lost a few tarantulas lately, one due to unknown cause and the other who was a Mature Male (MM) trying to molt again.
Firstly, males, once they reach maturity, or what you would call their ‘ultimate molt’ (final molt) he has drastically changed in behavior. They begin to roam around their enclosure or if this was a wild tarantula, he would start roaming at night(or in the day) in search for a mate. Sometimes, males won’t eat until they’ve encountered a female. However, some males do still eat, it just depends on the spider.
For people that live in an area occupied by tarantulas, this is what they usually encounter on the road at night. When they see a wandering tarantula, it is usually a male who has reached the end of his life, or a newly matured male on the search. I would recommend leaving these guys alone, since they aren’t out to hurt anyone. Just imagine…dying before you had sex. What a sucky life. lol
Here is a quote from the following website that talks about how you can identify a male tarantula if you ever find yourself viewing one:
During this ultimate molting process he obtained his sexual organs, which are bulbs (emboli, plural; embolus, singular) on the end of his pedipalps that are used to transfer sperm from his sperm web to the female. In many species males also have tibial spurs, which are “mating hooks” on the underside of the tibia (or long segment) of the first pair of walking legs and are used to engage the female’s fangs during mating. These two structures, the tibial apophysis (or spur) and the embolus (or palpal bulb) are the things to look for to determine if you have a mature male. In some species the transformation is even more obvious, as mature males have distinctly different colors and patterns, and are much smaller and more thinly built and “leggy” than females.
Now that you know about a males maturity, i’d like you to meet Holothele sp. “norte de santander”
He was a kind and gently tarantula, already at his final molt. I would see him producing sperm webs, flipping on his back, and loading his palpal bulbs with his sperm, so to ensure that when he encounters a female he is prepared to mate. However, as the days went on, Mr. Norte de Santander did not encounter a female. 1 year and 1/2 later, he decides he would like to try and molt to update his new suite (exoskeleton) to look sexy for his next date. However, because of the ‘hardware’ he acquired with his ultimate molt(palpal bulbs, and hooks) his legs got stuck 😦 and he could not get free of his exoskeleton, and thus died. He never had the chance to produce any offspring, and died without the sex 😦 how sad.
To add more sadness to this post, one of my big female spiders, I used to call ‘The Grinch’ because of her colors (green and red) died of unknown causes last week. She was about 3 years old. A very short life span she had. I found her over her waterdish, limp and barely responsive. Her abdomen (butt) felt like a waaay to ripe plum, very soft and quishy (it should be firm). I knew she was on her way out, so I prepared her a container with moist toilet paper, and put her in there to see if the change of area would help her out. However, to no avail, she died 1 day later.
I am not sure what happened here, but I am very disappointed. She looked gravid (pregnant), as she was paired up with a male who she was cohabiting with at the time of her death. (there was no sign of puncture wounds.) However, she pulled the rug out from under my feet and is now deceased ;(
Her species is called Thrixopelma ockerti, and they are from Peru. They are semi arboreal, living on the ground during the dry season, and then moving to the trees as the wet season reaches it peak. I think this is where they meet their mate, and once the water reseeds, they would take to the earth and go in search of a new home in order to create their egg sack and hatch their offspring. However, this is just my speculation based upon their habitat.
Here are some pictures of her, so you can see her beauty.
Abit gross, because you can see dead cricket in her fangs, but this is a happy tarantula eating a meal 🙂
Heres some pictures of her x-boyfriend
Thanks for reading everyone, and pass your blessings to the Mrs. Ockerti, and Mr. Norte Santander.