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M Balfouri communal question

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by gkmyers11, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. gkmyers11

    gkmyers11 Arachnopeon

    Im picking up 4 juvies around 2”+ Friday. Was wondering if a 18x18x12 exoterra wouldn be to big for them. I don’t want to give them too much room but I also don’t want to rehouse if I don’t have to. Do you guys think that’s to much space? I could get the 12x12x12 but I feel when they are adults that will be too small. Anything helps. Thanks!
  2. Arachnophoric

    Arachnophoric Arachnodemon Active Member

    From what I understand, you don't want to give them enough space to set up their own "territory" since that can lead to aggression between them and cause cannibalism. I think you'd be better off housing them in the smaller enclosure for now. However, I don't have a balfouri communal myself so I could be wrong on that.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. gkmyers11

    gkmyers11 Arachnopeon

    That’s my understanding as well. Just was looking for advice on it. I probably should just wait and see how big they really are in person. He said all over 2” so we will see how much over that they are. Really excited though.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnonomicon Staff Member

    Have they all been living separately this whole time? If so, I would advise against throwing them in together. Cannibalism can happen no matter what, but the chances seem to rise drastically when you put them together after they have been raised in solitude.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. gkmyers11

    gkmyers11 Arachnopeon

    They are all from the same sac. They are being pulled from a communal with 22 others. So it’s an established communal.
  6. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnonomicon Staff Member

    In that case, you should be fine. No need for a huge enclosure, they tend to live in very close quarters anyway. I'm talking several to a single burrow. Just of course make sure you feed enough and remove any MM's immediately when you notice them.

    • Like Like x 1
  7. I was wondering about that. I would like to do an M. balfouri communal at some point, but I'm gonna get some more experience under my belt first. Anyways, I've read that males can mature a lot faster than their female sac mates; is it more likely in a communal that the males would reach maturity before the females did? I always wondered what the chances were of having a communal that would inadvertently produce egg sacs.

    Probably a stupid question, but why do the MMs need to be removed? Will they fight one another or the other males once they've reached this point?
  8. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnonomicon Staff Member

    I can already hear the hate coming my way, but the picture above is the result of siblings breeding. I had a few M. balfouri sacmates, but I kept them separate. One day during feeding I noticed that one of the males matured, so I bred him with my biggest female (who I knew was sexually mature because she recently molted and had scleritized spermatheca). They were raised identically because I actually thought that male was a female until I saw his ultimate molt. Note that I had another sacmate female who was a lot smaller. Nowhere near ready to breed. So I'm not sure if the smaller female was a normal growth rate and the bigger female was freakishly fast, or the other way around. Regardless, they're proof that sac mates can and will breed.

    Not a stupid question at all. I've personally never experienced it because I haven't had adults living together, but I've heard that MM's will just pester the females constantly. Which I can believe.
    • Informative Informative x 3
  9. Paul1126

    Paul1126 Arachnodemon Active Member

    How long have you been keeping Ts for?
  10. Yeah, that totally makes sense! Thank you! I can imagine MMs bothering the females constantly could increase the risk of deaths or fighting in an otherwise peaceful communal setup.

    I always just assumed that breeding from sacmates should be avoided for all of the obvious reasons we were taught back in 8th grade biology, but I recently saw some discussions about how it isn't an issue with tarantulas the same way it is with, say, humans and other vertebrates. I haven't done much research on my own and unfortunately I'm at the office now, so I should probably not dive into that rabbit hole at this time, but it's certainly something I'm interested in learning more about.
  11. EulersK

    EulersK Arachnonomicon Staff Member

    I mean, I definitely wouldn't do it generation after generation with my spiders. I can definitely see some generic bottleneck issues happening eventually. But in one generation, I don't see an issue.

    An an anecdotal story, take my dubia colonies for example. I maintain 30 colonies with hundreds of thousands of individuals. They are all siblings. Every roach in my colony is a decendent of 10 females and 3 males that I bought a few years back. Only this past year or so have I started adding new blood into my colonies.
    • Like Like x 1