Grammostola pulchripes - what the blooming heck?!

Envoirment

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So I've had my lovely little Grammostola pulchripes sling since February. Its first molt in my care took ~12 weeks and its second molt ~8 weeks (rough estimate) and yesterday I was checking on all my Ts and saw it in a weird position - low and behold it was a molt it had chucked out! Granted I didn't know the exact date of the previous molt but that means it has molted twice less than 10 weeks! Slow growers they sure aren't :eek: I think the main explanation is the really hot weather over the last few days though - it's been in the 80s and even the 90s the last 3-4 days.
 

magicmed

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You're correct on assuming the hotter weather is a contributing factor, another that takes play is how often you feed, and size of said sling. When small it's a slings primary goal to eat, get fat, and molt as soon as it can to quicken it's vulnerability stage. Some people even feed their small slings twice a day from what I've read, it's what they try to do in nature, so I don't see a problem with it. ( I have heard that overfeeding past that stage can negatively impact a T lifespan)
 

Envoirment

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You're correct on assuming the hotter weather is a contributing factor, another that takes play is how often you feed, and size of said sling. When small it's a slings primary goal to eat, get fat, and molt as soon as it can to quicken it's vulnerability stage. Some people even feed their small slings twice a day from what I've read, it's what they try to do in nature, so I don't see a problem with it. ( I have heard that overfeeding past that stage can negatively impact a T lifespan)
My feeding hasn't changed and the sling is about 1" now with its latest molt. Certainly must be the temperatures but after it took 12 weeks to first molt in my care, to have two molts in 10 weeks is quite astounding for a Grammostola pulchripes sling after hearing about how slow they can be. Can't wait for it to emerge from its hide as it should be showing a significant amount more adult colouration this molt. :D
 

Vanessa

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They are actually faster growing than some of the other species in the genus.
 

EulersK

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I have heard that overfeeding past that stage can negatively impact a T lifespan
By far the biggest factors in T growth (and the growth of most arthropods) are temperature and food availability. Unlike mammals who try to grow despite food availability, arthropods grow almost in direct correlation to it. No food, no growth. As we know, tarantulas (even slings) can hold out a long time without food. Why did I go over all of this? To explain why heavy feeding at any stage in life leads to shortened lifespans. I still advocate for constant feeding of slings, just be clear that hurrying to the next molt will always result in shorter lifespans. A tarantula only has so many molts before it's mature.
 

Vanessa

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It's not that I'm disagreeing entirely on the concept that more feeding results in shorter lifespans, because that concept makes perfect sense and I have always subscribed to that way of thinking myself, but I have never seen any actual study concluding that it makes a huge contribution to overall lifespan.
There is still going to be a cap on lifespan regardless of how much you feed them. If they were to live 20 years being fed twice a month - you are not extending their life to 40 years by feeding them once a month, or to 60 years by feeding them every two months. So, just how much of a difference does it make? I don't think anyone knows for certain.
There are plenty of people who might have been able to extend the lives of their males by maybe a couple of years by feeding them considerably less than their females, but they are going to mature eventually and you are only slowing that process down slightly and never by any truly significant amount. Otherwise, people would have males around for years more than the average by feeding them three or four times a year only... and nobody has accomplished that.
It might turn out that it is a negligible difference. And does preventing that loss on the back end justify putting younger spiders at risk by keeping them at a much more vulnerable size for longer on the front end?
Most people will not keep their tarantulas for 30 years. Most people can't handle the commitment of a dog who won't even live 10 or a cat who lives 18 - let alone a bunch of spiders lasting 30+. Notice that I didn't say 'all' people, but I am going to stand by 'most' people.
Although I do not overfeed my adults because of injuries, all my larger juveniles and adults (females or unknown) get about 5 medium crickets a week broken down into two feedings (males get half that amount), I would never, ever, limit the food of my youngsters. I would rather cut their back end lives a bit shorter than keep them at a more vulnerable size longer on the front end.
 
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EulersK

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Oh yeah, I very much doubt you could double the lifespan, but extend it? Clearly, as @VanessaS brought up with males. We had a thought experiment on here awhile ago - unethical, but it's interesting to think about. Keep a tarantula cold, feed it very rarely, and see how long the lifespan is extended. I doubt it'll ever be done due to the unbelievable normal lifespan of some species.
 

Vanessa

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I have never heard of anyone extending their males lives more than a few months. And people usually only do that for breeding purposes. It has been something suggested countless times over the years and nobody has really made an effort to do a proper controlled experiment to see just how much longer their lives can be extended. There are just too many variables and too much discipline required for very little gain. Nobody has ever, to my knowledge, extended their lives by more than a few months at best. And who is to say how much of that is feeding versus the individual spider's biology?
That isn't worth it to me and I will continue to power feed my youngsters until they are big enough to be out of the woods even if it means they live a few months shorter at the end of their lives.
 

cold blood

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When small and fed well, pulchripes should be molting every 30-45 days...completely normal. Often a change of scenery (re-housed, recently bought) will extent this period, but come the next molt they usually step right back into place....They do grow a lot faster than most Grammy's.
 
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