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The Grammostola pulchra myth

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by TalonAWD, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince Old Timer

    How I made my Grammostola pulchra grow quick

    NOTE: I am editing this first post due to the wording being misleading. Thread is not about a Myth. Rather its about how I got my Grammostola pulchra to grow rather quicky and the methods I use to achieve this. Many would like a nice big black spider and if this is you read on.
    Thank you.

    Since its almost officially a year, I wanted to write this.

    The G. pulchra has gotten really popular in the past year. And I have read many threads where they state the pulchra is a slow grower. Some even want to get large ones just so they dont have to wait the so called "Long Time" to see the gorgeous black coloration. I have gotten many PM's asking how I get them to grow quick as well. Well now that I have some documented proof for the past year of owning one of these beauties, I feel I should educate with proof with this species.

    After seeing this hopefully many will now see that If presented with optimum circumstances, you will get optimum results. And by optimum I mean really warm temps and plenty of food. (All my T's has this luxury)

    Our journey takes us to when I bought my G. pulchra as a 1" specimen (along with 2 others) on September 1st 2009. We will concentrate on just "Elvira"


    Molt that proves she was only 1"


    And here she is Today with the last molt of a one year period.


    Heres her molt schedule to date.
    Received 09-01-09 1"
    Molted 09-07-09
    Molted 10-10-09 Sexed Female with Microscope
    Molted 11-14-09
    Molted 12-29-09
    Molted 05-9-10
    Molted 06-25-10
    Molted 08-24-10

    Now I cant disturb her to get the official size but I'm going to improvise. Here is a picture of her molt before this current molt. 4" legspan


    And heres her most current molt size. (Today) 4.75" legspan (Ball point pen for size reference as well)


    Now using those two molts I see she grew .75" SoI will automatically say that she is now about .75" bigger than the last molt currently which makes her 5.5" legspan.

    She grew to 5.5" in just one year!!!

    Hopefully this will show others that the G. pulchra can grow quick . Its that the conditions they are living in represent their growth rate. This holds true for many species and not just the G. pulchra. I chose this species to show this due to its popularity in the past year.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  2. This is awesome! I'm glad you're breakin' chains and gettin' the word out! What an amazing species. Thanks so much for being so diligent with your records.
  3. OldHag

    OldHag ArachnoHag Old Timer

    I have a female that didnt grow that fast. She took about 2.5 yrs to get 5".
    I think it depends on the T and the feeding schedule. Just like people, some grow fast, some slow.
    I also have a B. emilia that I got back in 2004 at .5 It is now a grand 1.5".... go figure.. I feed her just the same as my other T's. Just... shes a slow grower. She only molts about once a year now...have no idea whats going on with her.
  4. MichiganReptiles

    MichiganReptiles Arachnobaron

    Thank you for that documentation. I'm glad to see the rapid size difference in just a year.
  5. Anubis77

    Anubis77 Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I remember reading another thread about a G. pulchra who grew to adult size in 3 years. Astonished me then, but now it seems Grammostola aren't particularly slow growers in some cases. All of mine are (my 2" male G. pulchra is 3 years old), but the reason's obvious.

    Good documentation.
  6. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince Old Timer

    85F temps and plenty of food is the big secret. No matter what species I have owned, they all grow fast. Like I said, its not that the T grows slow, its the conditions that represent their growth. I have done this to a Grammostola rosea as well. B. emelia..I can show you molt records of that species as well of their fast growth.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. OldHag

    OldHag ArachnoHag Old Timer

    I didnt keep mine at 85 yr round.. Summer probably 80, winter 72. That probably slowed her down.
    Have no idea whats causing my emilia to be 6yrs old and only 1.5". Just the "exception to the rule"
  8. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I have them between 80F all the way up to 90F (summer) Never below 80F and in the really hot summer, all the way up to 97F.

    Remember that they are cold blooded creatures. Surrounding temps has an effect on their body metabolism and functions. Cooler temps slows them down warmer temps speeds them up.

    In the cool winter nights, it does occasionally go down to 70F.
  9. xhexdx

    xhexdx ArachnoGod Old Timer

    I'm sure you knew I'd be posting in this thread.

    I want to focus on some specific points you make:

    More on this specific point later.

    Do you have a control specimen to compare to?
    Do you have other species to compare to?

    You can't really say G. pulchra is 'quite the opposite' of a slow grower unless you have somethig like, for example, P. murinus that you are keeping in equal conditions and feeding on the same schedule. If the pulchra grows faster than the murinus, then your statement would be correct. Until then, all you have is one specimen that grew faster because you fed the crap out of it and kept it warm.

    Why just "Elvira"? Did your other two not grow as quickly?

    One specimen compared against several years' worth of keepers who observe them as slow growers, and suddenly this whole 'slow growing' thing is just a myth? Because of one specimen?

    That's pretty much what I said above...meaning your experiment really doesn't hold much value unless you compare the growth rate of G. pulchra to something considered a 'fast grower', like P. murinus or even a pokie, as well as having a control specimen (or several 'control specimens') that are all being fed less and kept at cooler temperatures.

    I'd also be curious to know how long this spider of yours lives, compared to one that took several years to grow to that size.

    Added by edit:

    Something else interesting...

    So what happened between December 2009 and March 2010? No more than 2 months between every molt (most only 1 month) and there's a 4 month gap between those two?

    Are you sure your documentation is correct?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince Old Timer

    All my specimens grows fast. I have many documented proof and I always state this. I had 3 pulchras. They all grew at the same rate until I sold two. I have G rosea growing quick which is another slow grower. B. emelia is another. B. smithi, B vagans, B. boehmei, P. metallica, P regalis, C. marshalli, A chacoana etc.

    My newest experiement is the B. albiceps and I have four specimens.

    And who knows what happened in that strange gap. The only thing I did different was rehouse her to her Enclosure creations. She stopped eating for a while..maybe the move?

    All specimens gets the same treatment. I get similar results all the time and proud of it.

    Mister "i want to prove you wrong"....yep I knew you would post. But even you know that I'm anal about records. I'm no noob and can pretty much back up my statement.
  11. xhexdx

    xhexdx ArachnoGod Old Timer

    I'm not sure you understand what I'm saying.

    You need to prove that a spider that is considered a fast grower does not grow faster than your pulchra under identical conditions.

    I'm not saying your spiders don't grow fast. I'm saying your experiment doesn't prove anything without a control and without comparisons to species known for growing quickly.

    Does this make sense?
  12. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince Old Timer

    You mean like say L. parahybana? I do have some OBT's slings that I can try it out on but I don't really like the OBT. I was trying to sell them lol. I have 4 slings. i also have M. balfouri and E. olivacea to try out.
  13. xhexdx

    xhexdx ArachnoGod Old Timer

    Sure, parahybana would be a good species to compare to.
  14. EightLeggedFrea

    EightLeggedFrea Arachnoangel

    Very interesting info, Talon.
  15. I'm not sure Steve was out to create a science experiment the likes of which even you could understand Joe but was more so trying to see how fast he could grow his one female that he was keeping for no other reason than to satisfy himself, not you. I think given the fact that the G pulchra has a huge reputation among enthusiasts for being slow growing this does prove, without a doubt, that it is possible to create much higher than average growth rates. I think what Steve has done is awesome. Why don't you create your own experiment Joe and actually have something positive to share instead of constantly attempting to falsify something for being what it was never intended to be? That would be a welcome change.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  16. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Ok I will say this...
    I have the ultra rare Maraca cabocla slings. I have ALOT. And I have them in controled cubicles in my T room. Now for the one set I have 5th instars and then I have others that ARE STILL 2ND INSTAR. All with the controled environments I put them in. (Note my T room has grown and been updated since that pic)


    Now with regards to experimenting with L. parahybana. I only have a molt record of the most recent one but feel its not one to show the true potential as I got her as a 3.5" female specimen. I would have to try it on a sling to try out what you are asking. The only thing I can say is that I had a Male grow from 1" to 7" Mature in 9 months. But nothing documented to back it up. Someone donate a L. parahybana and I will be glad to try it out lol.{D

    Heres my current L. parahybana molt record. Like I said not exactly what you want nor the correct info to do a comparison. She is currently 7" legspan now.

    Lasiodora parahybana "Laily"

    Bought 9-15-09 3.5" Female
    Molted 10-11-09
    Molted 11-26-09
    Premolt 1-13-10
    Molted 02-01-10
    Molted 07-07-10 7"

    I would try it on a 1" L. parahybana in the controlled environment of younger specimens.

    Another example of a fast grower in your terms?

    Thank you Ben. A big +1. I do this for me but felt I should share the wealth. I have been doing this for 11 years now.
  17. okay, i'd like to preface this reply with the fact i am not against powerfeeding slings personally. i'm doing it with mine until they hit 2" and i believe i have seen you post in the past you stop at 3".

    also, i think it's really great that you are posting your experiences with your pulchra, since they are commonly known as slow growers.

    no disrespect, but i too am very curious to see how much powerfeeding on this scale decreases their lifespan. are we talking years off of a female's life? have you been doing this long enough to give us an accurate approximation on how this will affect the longevity of our Ts if we decide to do it as well? you say 11 years you have been doing this, so maybe you can shed some light on how your older specimens are doing after this regimen.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  18. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I generally do not keep every single specimen. Sometimes life gets in the way and I sell them, and start all over. I keep them as a hobby, and so this means I trade them, buy new ones, sell old ones etc. They are not pets to me where some would get extremely attached to one and never ever get rid of them. So far my oldest specimen in my care is the GBB. That is 3 yrs of ownership.
    I don't keep them to see how long they live, i keep them for enjoyment. When i get bored, I change it up. When I need money i sell them off. When I want new ones i buy more. I personally am not worried about how long they live as if it dies, i get another one or I breed them to continue the saga (as in my GBB)
    So in my 11 years, I have had LOTS of Tarantula's, But in the 11 years, I have not kept 1 tarantula.

    Theres only one "Pet" I have ever had and that was a ferret. A tarantula is not really a pet as it does not nor has the capacity of showing the same interest I show them. They could care less if I existed. My ferret lived 9 yrs. That was the only pet i have ever owned. I own no other pets.
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  19. Nokturnal1980

    Nokturnal1980 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Nice record keeping. I definitely haven't experienced that rate of growth with my G. pulchras. Have you experienced any negative consequences of inducing such rapid growth rates? I ask because rapid growth in other animals, notably chelonians, has been shown to be detrimental. For example, in chelonians you often see shortened lifespans, malformed shells , multiple organ failure, and sterility. While you definitely won't observe malformed shells, you could observe sterility or shortened lifespans. Just curious...
  20. TalonAWD

    TalonAWD Arachnoprince Old Timer

    To answer your question in part reference the post above yours. (Post #20)

    Now to add to it, my GBB is 3yrs in my care and has produced 2 sacs. She is just dandy. Nothing out of the ordinary.