Breeding B smithi.

Mr Pugsley

Arachnopeon
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Jan 13, 2007
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I have recently returned to the sport after 15 or so years out and currently keep a modest 6 spiders, all Brachys. One of them, an immature male smithi, has just matured. Fortunately my other smithi is female and appears to be adult, however her last moult was apparently in April last year and so presumably she is due again in the next few months. When I was last in the game knowledge of how to breed species was much more limited and the interweb hadn’t even been invented ! In any event I’ve long since forgotten much of what I learnt back then. So.

Should I wait for the female to moult before I attempt to mate her and if so should I attempt to hasten the onset of moult by, for example, ‘flooding’ her tank ? Or should I mate her regardless as soon as the male is fully charged ? I understand that this is probably not the optimum time to mate this species, however beggars can’t be choosers and if I wait till later in the year the male will presumably be passed his sell by date.

When I do mate them, what is the best method to use and should I attempt to cool the female once mated ?

This post was previously on a UK forum . Unfortunately it drew a very limited response and so I thought I’d try the other side of the pond, especially as I see one member signs of with “ ask me anything about brachys”. Well, I’m asking :worship:

All information will be gratefully received.

Mark.
 

spid142

Arachnobaron
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general mating info

I havent mated any yet, so cant give any specific advice, but I think you should go ahead and give it a try. As you mentioned, hes fresh now, and wont last too long, possible dying before another mating season if you wait. Others can give you specifics regarding flooding etc.
 

Windchaser

Arachnoking
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From what I have heard the optimal time to breed B. smithi are a month or two post female molt. They are more receptive at this time and there is less risk of her molting and wasting the sperm. You could always try to mate them now and do your best to keep the male safe and active if this attempts fails. This way you can try again after she mates. Bill and Bruce from the Theraphosid Breeding Project did indicate that a cooling period helps increase the chances of success. I am not sure what the specifics of the cooling period are though.
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
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Well smarty lol. I only had time to write that at the time............ :D I was on my way to work when I read that.


First one thing...... I have found that between 1-4 months after a molt seems to be the paydirt time frame.... I have had a few clutch past that but only 3. So wait for her to molt. You can try now there is no harm really but just be prepared for nothing to come from it but it never hurts to try.

Second I do practice a cooling period. With Brachys I drop 10-15 degrees below what I normally keep them at which is between 75-85.

The cooling period lasts 6 weeks or so depending on what else I have going on. I then move them from the garage to the laundry room, lol cause its slightly warmer but not heated really. Then from there to my room back to the 75-85 temps.

Then comes the fun part. Brachys hate water and moisture but you will find that with a Smithi for example that has had a good breeding will tolerate it. You get to play god and make like the spring rains. I take a half gallon of water and hold it high and let it sprinkle through the screen top and simulate rain. Liberally soak the substrate and allow to dry between soakings. This really does seem to make the T think its spring. And I believe aids in sac production.

All while you are doing this offer prey items off and on as well. You will hit a point where she will refuse to eat anything, and the she picks her spot to get comfy and fat.......... Make sure you have a good hide for her, I perfer something that has a natural half bowl shape to the bottem a big flower pot works..... they will typically dig out all the dirt from there and web themselves in.

At this point if the tank is in a high traffic area move her somewhere quiet. And reist the urge to check her every day ten times a day.
The cool thing with Brachs is most of the time with a few exceptions the females only use webbing for three things...... molting mat, food mat.... and egg sac. You can rule out molt cause she just molted and food cause she will be refusing food, so if those two things are going on and she is making webbing and webbing herself in you are close to success!
Also look out for weight gain! She should gain gurth!
After that if she does lay eggs, I have waited to the 20 day mark. I pull then just because its not worth waiting longer. The mother has done most of the massaging of the eggs and if its viable its going to be just fine away from the mother. If you go the mechanical mom route which I have once I pulled at 15 days.

Thats most of it in a nutshell....... the biggest thing is timing. I have now 7 males at different stages and each one has a mate to be that I am trying to keep in rythem with him so they can meet at the perfect time.
But if that does not work out I know I have the people on the boards to !!!!!
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
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Opps one more thing back at the beginning......... feed her well the first weeks after the molt. Once she can take food again ofcourse. But this greatly reduces her aggressivness toward the male when he is introduced.

But dont over feed, some agression is good, I have found that smithi males can have a low drive if you know what I mean. And they like a little aggression it sets the mood and gets them down to business.
 

Mr Pugsley

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Fantastic stuff Ryan, you certainly live up to your sign off !

I think I will give him a go as soon as he's up to it, if nothing else it may just prompt the female into bringing forward her moult so that we can do the job properly. Unfortunately the male was already in pre-moult when I got him, so i had no chance to slow him down.

Thanks again.

Mark:clap: :clap: :clap:
 

PINK1081

Arachnosquire
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Great Info Ryan!!!
Just a question on the cooling period. Do you cool as to the time of the year or on the breeding period. In other words, would you cool your females over the winter ever if they were not mated or would you cool them after they have mated during any time of the year?

Jim
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
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I do try to cool by the seasons...........however sometimes molts take place in the off seasons. So if I have a female that I want to mate that molted in May then I will mate her then cool her down even though its the start of the summer.
 

syndicate

Arachnoemperor
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how many slings would u say is average with a large smithi female?
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
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Even with my large smithi I have never had more then 600. I heard a report that a female that was bred at the Oregon Zoo had 1100 but that had to be some sort of weird fluke.... id say a good mature female average would be 450-550.
 

Mr Pugsley

Arachnopeon
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Breeing B smithi

Ryan

The male finally spun his first sperm web on Saturday so I stuck him in with the female on Sunday. Result : zilch, neither male nor female showed the rmotest interest in one another. When the female did finally move, the male legged it to the furthest corner of the tank and hid !

So I tried again today, same result. After waiting 40 mins I finally lost patience and prodded the male, who proceeded t literally walk right over the top of the female and out of the tank. I put him back in, she finally shows some slight aggression and he legs it again !

Any I Ideas ?

By the way I did pm you a while back, but not sure if you got it.

Cheers

Mark :?
 

syndicate

Arachnoemperor
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i would give it a week and try again.also keep there tanks close to each.another thing u may wanna try is taking a bit of substrate or leftovers from his sperm web and puttin it in the females tank
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
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The best thing to do is keep trying........ I know that you are going to want to try over and over but resist that..... try every third day or so...... also make sure its at night. For some reason I have found they mate at night far more then they do during the day. Its a trial and error. I have had a male try 15+ times before he finially did his duties. Also try shark caging.... trust me when smithi vibrate you can here it from a ways away. And no more proding!!!!!!!! Would you like it if someone was watching you do the deed and poking you with a firepoker? Ok dont answer that..........
 

Mr Pugsley

Arachnopeon
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Jan 13, 2007
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7
So

4 attempts so far & still no joy, although at least the female is now showing some aggression. The male produced another sperm web today, however, so far has been a total wimp.

Something tells me the female may be due to moult though.....


Mark:mad:
 

Talkenlate04

ArachnoGod
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This is how brachy males work........ once he gets in once he is a stud.... that first time can take some time and he will be nervous and seemingly run from things..... but try try again.... when was the last time your female molted? If she is to far along there is no point.......... You really have to mate brachys earlier........ between 1-4 months after a molt, the farther past the time you wait the less likely she will become gravid. On the upside if you want to pass him to me :D :D :D I have three freshly molted females that are ready for a romp in the hay. :p :drool:
 

PINK1081

Arachnosquire
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I know this is a hobby of patience...But...to breed smithi's you need males. I have 3 males purchased in 2000, they were 2 years old than, now are 3 years out from their last molt!! Any way to hint to them that it is time to molt into maturity???? I keep my T-room 80 during the day dropping to 65 or so at night. They are healthy but no signs of molting:wall:

Jim
 
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