Hello there, why not take a few seconds to register on our forums and become part of the community? Just click here.

Communal, yay or nay?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by Minty, Jan 10, 2019.


Poll closed Mar 20, 2019.
  1. Yay

  2. Nay

  1. Minty

    Minty @londontarantulas

    Just curious to see the general consensus on here.

    I’d never attempt one personally, as I believe ‘successful’ communals are just luck.
  2. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    Im not a fan....their popularity, especially amongst new keepers, is something i find to be pretty disappointing to be honest.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. BoyFromLA

    BoyFromLA ‎٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و Arachnosupporter

  4. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    Terrible way to get started in the hobby.
  5. Meh.

    Pretty unique but nothing spectacular.
  6. EtienneN

    EtienneN Arachnonovelist-musician-artist Arachnosupporter

    I'd never want to do it because seeing one cannibalise another one would probably give me nightmares. And I'd feel bad. I hate when people on YouTube talk about their "pink toe" communal or whatever stupid thing they're doing with their Ts being together with one on each hand and it's all super upsetting and cringeworthy. It's just not worth the risk, even with the M. balfouris. Some tout M. balfouri to be completely communal in the wild even though this has never once been proven and I think the communal reports support the fact that once they hit a certain point the space just isn't big enough and they predate one another. It would really be cool if there was a truly communal T, but unfortunately nothing we have so far in the hobby seems to fit the bill.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Polenth

    Polenth Arachnoknight Active Member

    It doesn't appeal to me. Though my woodlice can eat each other, it's the exception rather than the rule, and happens mostly as population control. There's never a risk of only ending up with one survivor. I'd rather have spiders in separate tanks where they can't eat each other.

    I suppose this might be more of an issue if someone only keeps spiders, but I came at it from other inverts and fish, so I have plenty of communities to watch.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. dangerforceidle

    dangerforceidle Arachnolord Active Member

    No, I prefer to live alone.
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Love Love x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. basin79

    basin79 Arachnoemperor Active Member


    It can work but work doesn’t mean it's right.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnodemon Active Member

    In most cases, I’m against communals. Poecilotheria, Hysterocrates, Avilcuaria, etc, IMO are not communal species, and should not be kept communally. At best they tolerate each other when young.

    Monocentropus, however, from what I have both experienced and heard from others, I believe could be a species with natural communal tendencies. They display actual intentional interaction between individuals, sharing burrows and prey, even seeking each other out intentionally among larger enclosures (IME).

    I’ll be performing an experiment as my undergraduate capstone, to look into differences in growth and behavior between communal raised and individual raised slings, as well as if their communal tendencies are altered by any variables(the second portion is still tentative).

    Plus I still have yet to hear of a case of “one fat spider” that we hear all too often with other communals, some losses on seemingly rare occasions, but can those really be attributed to true canibalism in the same way?

    I have continually heard of success upon success among keepers of communal Monocentropus, I’m always surprised when I hear the discouraging attitude over ALL communals as really, I believe they are completely different.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. antinous

    antinous Pamphopharaoh

    Seems like a cool concept, but unless I see them communally in the wild, I wouldn't. I plan on going to Peru again to visit the area where Pamphobeteus sp. 'arana pollito' is again in the next couple years and take notes/video documentation (without getting my camera stolen this time) and if they become more common in the hobby, maybe I'll try with them. But then again, rehousing them sounds like a nightmare.

    Apparently one of the mods from one of the FB groups had some deaths
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Nonnack

    Nonnack Arachnoknight

    Nay. Is there at least one example of Ts living communal in nature?
  13. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnodemon Active Member

    I knew you had mentioned hearing about some losses, did you get any more details on that? I'd be interested to find out more- if this is in fact a true case of significant cannibalism I'd definitely want to know more about what caused it.
  14. antinous

    antinous Pamphopharaoh

    Not 100% sure as someone in the group recently asked about it, but I'll try and find out more! I know the other lead I had turned out to be just random die offs
    • Like Like x 1
  15. If you search google scholar you can read the full article, while the study was conducted 14 years ago, it is still a good read about H. Gigas and separate vs communal groups of 4 during specific growth periods.
    Actual journal article is a pdf on google scholar and a free read.
    Group Size Does Not Influence Growth in the Theraphosid Spider Hysterocrates gigas (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Eumenophorinae)
    Melissa M. Varrecchia, Vanessa A. Gorley and Samuel D. Marshall
    The Journal of Arachnology
    Vol. 32, No. 2 (2004), pp. 324-331
    Spiderlings of the theraphosid spider Hysterocrates gigas were reared for 12 weeks with a superabundance of prey solitarily and in groups of two and four to examine the influence of rearing group size on growth. This taxon was selected because observations made on captive populations indicate that Hysterocrates spp. tarantulas have an unusually high level of mutual tolerance and captive juveniles have been observed to feed cooperatively on large prey until several months old. Cannibalism was only observed in one instance, in a group of four. There was no significant effect of rearing group size on increase in body mass. There was a tendency for a greater asymmetry in final weight in dyads than in tetrads. No difference was found in the amount of time spent feeding by individuals between the different group sizes. Hence, benefits of group living in Hysterocrates gigas spiderlings were not evident in this study.
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  16. antinous

    antinous Pamphopharaoh

    Completely forgot about this paper, thanks for it, I’ll remember to quote this next time someone says H. gigas are communal!
  17. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnodemon Active Member

    I had no idea this paper existed, this was extremely helpful!
  18. Bob Lee

    Bob Lee Arachnobaron Active Member

    I love social animals, but I generally try to steer away from some of the more luck based...
    But M.balfouri sounds so tempting...
  19. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    12 weeks is waaaaaaay to short term to prove much of anything about ts. IMO that one fact nullifies anything supposedly "learned".
    • Agree Agree x 4
  20. Teal

    Teal Arachnoemperor Old Timer

    Well, my answer was stolen so I guess I'll just leave now. :hilarious:

    On a serious note... my life revolves around animals that will happily kill each other if given the chance. Trying to make them live peacefully together is a ticking timebomb.

    Which is why my roach colonies entertain me to no end...

    Me: "Look! LOOK AT THEM!"
    Partner: "... They aren't doing anything ..."
    Me: EXACTLY. Look at them not killing each other and whatnot! They are so fascinating!

    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Love Love x 1
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.