Food and Colours?

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
170
Ok, this may sound a little out there, but I was wondering what you guys thought. You know how if you feed, say lizards, roaches, fish etc. certain foods, they can enhance their colouration? Has anybody ever tried something like that with tarantulas? What if, for example, you had a tarantula with reds and oranges and you fed it on roaches that were nice bright orange colours, that you had fed on carrots and other colour-enhancing fruits and veg? Or something. I haven't really fleshed the idea out yet, but I'm sure there are alot of possibilities if one really considered. Do you think there might be anything to that, or am I just having too much tarantula imagining time?
Cheers,
Knight in Gale
 

Bill S

Arachnoprince
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Joined
Oct 2, 2006
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1,420
I've seen insects and spiders whose colors were altered by the foods that they were fed, so your idea isn't completely without merit. The examples I've seen, however, relied on the cuticle (exoskeleton) being non-opaque and allowing colors from below to show through. As far as I can tell, tarantulas have pretty opaque exoskeletons. Not completely - which is why we can tell when a tarantula is getting ready to molt - but I'd imagine that the sub-exoskeleton color would be very muted at best. I don't think you could alter the coloration of the exoskeleton itself through diet. (Unless you are messing with some very strange chemicals in their food.)

My guess is that if you can identify species of tarantula that have more tranparency in their exoskeleton and probably a light color to begin with, you could alter their overall coloration to a limited extent.

The spider examples I've seen were Loxosceles (recluse) spiders. One had been fed on pink bollworms (which may in turn have been fed dyes). The result was a decidedly red-pink spider. Another had been fed green caterpillars of some sort, resulting in a greenish cast to the spider. Nice combination if you want to decorate your house with spiders for Christmas. :D
 

pwilson5

Arachnoknight
Joined
Feb 12, 2010
Messages
202
there was a thread about a guy feeding his slings "bright" fish food balls and he said it changed the color of the slings..
 

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 16, 2009
Messages
170
That's interesting. It was fish food that brought it to mind for me a bit. Alot of the colour changes from food that people are familiar with are from feeding fruits and veg, but fish foods often have protein based brighteners (microcrabs etc.) Not that I would feed fish food to my spiders...

Bill, thanks for the info. The example you gave amused me all day with images of hanging alternating red and green recluse spiders on my walls for Christmas. :D

Spyderboy, I imagine by your comment that you have a G. Rosea that eats blue things and yet is not blue? Even with verts and inverts that noticably change colour from diet will only do so with the appropriate foods. Simply having one example where it does not happen does not make impossible all other circumstances where it could. (If I misunderstood your comment, just ignore that.) :)

Thanks for replying everybody. Yay for learning something new today.

Knight in Gale
 
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