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Aphonopelma breeding

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by MrT, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. MrT

    MrT Arachnoking Old Timer

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    Hi all, This is may first post on this forum. I've been reading and learning here for a month or so. Thanks for all the good info.
    I live in Az. and as you know there's alot of Tarantula's here. And many of them are very simular, ie. Aphonopelma chalcodes (Tucson Blonde) and Aphonopelma schmidti (Superstition Blonde). Now I'm reading about a new sp. called Giant stripe knee? Well, I have an adult female chalcodes and schmidti that I want to breed. The other night I found a male walking the road, so I collected him and brought him home and when i got a closer look, this guy has leg striping like I've never seen on a T here in 20 yrs.
    Anyway, He made a sperm web and I hooked him up with my schmidti female. It went well. I got a close look, and he got in. My question is: Anybody tryed this before? Do ya think I'll get a eggsack and if so will it be fertile?
    Thanks alot, MrT
     
  2. Paul Day

    Paul Day Arachnosquire

    Well if you are referring to hybridization, of course. But it is looked down upon in various communities with the allegation that hybridization is bad for the hobby. In my opinion, if the spiderlings are sold they can definitly create identification problems for the hobby, which already is having identification problems as we speak (especially with Aphonopelma species, looking all so similar).

    Hybrids are rarely more beautiful then the original pair, so there is really no reason to breed them. I am not sure about Aphonopelma, but hybrids have been created in both the Brachypelma and with Pokies. So of course, it is certainly possible that a fertile eggsac with will form. But as my suggestion to you, keep the spiderlings to yourself and from the hobby. In many cases, hybridization is a dead-end road. The spiders do not have the ability to breed, nor interbreed. Anyway, just my two cents. This is a "touchy ethical subject". So I'll leave my thoughts at that.

    Pauly
     
  3. Botar

    Botar Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Being what I would call a newbie to the hobby (almost 20 year absence), I can see both sides. I think once someone gets into the hobby where scientific names and the like start having some meaning, I think they frown on cross breeding to produce offspring. From reading posts by Volker, it sounds like crossbreeding has some scientific benefit, but I doubt the offspring are introduced into the hobby from that stand point. In my opinion, if you are going to do it, just make sure anyone who acquires the offspring knows it is a crossbreed to avoid any problems with identification. With that being said, I still wouldn't do it personally.
     
  4. Code Monkey

    Code Monkey Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Well, I looked to see what Paul said and I agree.

    Simply put, 'hybridising' should not be carried out by anyone except a taxonomist doing so for speciation confirmation. I use the quotes because a true hybrid will be infertile. Taxonomists with a lot of time on their hand use the F1 cross of the 'hybrid' offspring to determine whether or not the parents were truly separate species, or merely color morphs and/or subspecies.

    The American Aphonopelma species taxonomy right now is an utter mess. Any introduction of a different morph into to the pet trade if it was not clearly identified as a hybrid would only serve to further that messiness.

    I think the 'not as beautiful' bit is mostly propoganda, but here's a reason that's not: No reputable dealer will knowingly take them off your hands. If you lie to unload them and they sell them, then you have really screwed the hobby, both contributing to ID confusion and possibly trashing the reputation of that dealer. Most hobbyists will not take them off of your hands directly, either. Which, assuming it works, means you will have a few hundred mouths to feed and you cannot release them into the wild in good conscience on top of it all.

    Perhaps the best argument against hybridisation is that since successful breeding of most species is so infrequent, it makes little sense that people go to the effort to breed unsellable, unbreedable Ts. It sucks energy away from the hobby better spent on maintaining and breeding already existing types.

    The deed is done, but it would definitely be best if it fails.
     
  5. MrDeranged

    MrDeranged He Who Rules Staff Member

    Hey MrT,

    Ouch, I really wish you would have asked for our opinions before the deed was done. Just because there are alot of similar t's does not mean that they should be bred. Paul and CM are both right. Hybridizing is a big no no. Not that it can't be done, but that there is really no reason for it to be done. There's about 800 different species of tarantula at last count, why would we want to start mixing them up. It's hard enough to keep pure bloodlines going without interbreeding them.

    Please don't think that I'm trying to attack you, I'm not. I'm just trying to get across the problems that hybridization can cause. If you are lucky, or in this case unlucky, enough to get an eggsac that actually hatches, your best bet is to destroy the offspring and just write it up as an experience in breeding.

    Scott
     
  6. ArachnoJoost

    ArachnoJoost Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Hey MrT,
    Maybe you could post a pic of the male for identification, maybe there is a (slim) chance that the male is a schmidti. If it is not, see the replies above, but if it is, no matter how slim the chance is, it would mean you could sell them and not let any go to waste.
    btw. I know practically nothing about Aphonopelma, but the above is just a thought.
    greetz,
    Joost
     
  7. MrT

    MrT Arachnoking Old Timer

    I hear what your saying, and agree.

    The male was found within about a half mile of where I found the female. But not knowing for sure their the same species, I want to do the right thing. So if I get an eggsack I'll destroy it. Better to be safe than sorry.

    Thanks for your input,
    MrT
     
  8. Wade

    Wade Arachnoking Old Timer

    Mr T-

    Although I agree with what others have said about hybrids, in your case, chances are they're the same species if found that close together. I don't think any of us realized that they were found within a 1/2 mile of each other before your last post! Although different species may be found in the same areas, there is usually some factor at play that prevents hybridization, such as genetic incompatability, or being on a different breeding cycle. Captivity can affect breeding seasons, but if these are recent captives, it seems likley they're doing what they'd be doing anyway.

    Aphonopelma males almost always look crazy different from the females of the same species, plus many are very variable to begin with. Personally, I think you should let the sac be if you get one. The one thing I would recomend you do is make sure that what you have is indeed A. shmidti before selling any slings. The way to do this is to send the male to a taxonomist for positive ID. You will want to include locality data (where and when you found him). Go to www.atshq.org and click on the "so you found a tarantula" button for the who's and how's. This will benefit the researchers, the hobby and yourself!

    Wade