H.incei

SterlingAce

Arachnosquire
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Sep 14, 2007
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Hi everybody

I couldn't find the answer I was looking for so I hope somebody can help me.
I want to start a colony or communal setup.Whats the best amount of slings to use?
Second question and with this I've found conflicting answers,is it better to have a large or small enclosure? Thirdly lots of hides or only a few maybe even just one?

Thanks
 

xhexdx

ArachnoGod
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1) Depends on size of enclosure
2) Depends on quantity of slings
3) Lots.
 

captmarga

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Most communal experiments usually end as one big fat spider, according to most reports. Note, MOST, not all. I have a communal going with three P. formosa juvies... all about 2" DLS.

I have plenty of room - overcrowding can def cause cannibalism. I keep in feeders... I have observed all three eating at various times.

At some point I will probably see they are less tolerant of each other, and I will separate them. Right now they share a web hammock, sit with their legs overlapping each other. They have at least four entrances to the burrow (two of which I know interconnect). There are two large slabs of cork, they sit on, under and around it.

Hope this helps,

Marga
 

Bill S

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Most communal experiments usually end as one big fat spider, according to most reports.
The O.P. specified Holothele incei, a species well known for living communally. There are people on this board who have posted at length about keeping colonies of this species successfully.
 

Bill S

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have you set-up already?
Don't know if the OP set up her communal tank, but I set mine up shortly after this thread started. I had one small group of H. incei that had been living together and two other individuals that had been in separate containers. Three different sources, different sizes, different ages. I set up a ten gallon terrarium with cocofiber and thick mesquite branches (provides lots of hiding places). They all settled in and appear to be getting along well. Now if one of them will become an adult male I'll be in business.

On the same day I set up a similar tank for a group of Heterothele villosella. I'd gotten five slings last summer and kept them in separate containers. But one of them molted out into a mature male so I decided to set them up as a group. One female didn't seem to settle in well, so I removed her and put her back in her own kritter keeper. But the others are doing well, and the male has been sharing a nest area with one of the females. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I also moved my group of Holothele sp "Tachira" to a larger tank. Five of them have been living together for well over a year now in a large kritter keeper, but they now share a 29 gallon tank with lots of hides (large dried leaves). I've also got some individual ones in separate kritter keepers, including a newly molted mature male and a couple of mature females that have produced babies before. As soon as the females (one of which just molted) stops greedily pouncing on every cricket that lands in front of it, I'll see about starting another colony.
 
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Ceratogyrus

Arachnobaron
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Feb 8, 2008
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have you set-up already?
Im sure she has.
Gave the spiders to her around 3 weeks ago. 10 spiders in total (as far as I remember), all slings from my female.

On a side note, I set the female and the remaining 53 slings up together in a 40cm tank with some logs and a few fake plants. Looking great so far.
 

SterlingAce

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Hi yes I have set them up in a smallish container but with lots of places to hide,I often see the sitting together and eating together.I have also noticed that all the molts are in the same corner of the tank.I don't know if they move the molts there or go and molt in the corner. So far I haven't had any losses and everybody seems very happy.
 

DreadLobster

Arachnobaron
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The O.P. specified Holothele incei, a species well known for living communally. There are people on this board who have posted at length about keeping colonies of this species successfully.
And there are also people like me who started with 6 and ended up with 3.

They are known for being one of the better ones for communal set ups, but nothing is guaranteed.
 

Bill S

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And there are also people like me who started with 6 and ended up with 3.

They are known for being one of the better ones for communal set ups, but nothing is guaranteed.
Part of the problem is that there are some conflicting ideas on how to maintain a colony, some of which is based on successful experience, some of which is unproven speculations or myths. Hopefully some of the myths will die out as more people come up with successful methods.

I've had the best luck when I keep populations uncrowded and allow enough space for spiders to have their own "territory". ("Territory isn't really a good word for this, since there are no enforced boundaries.) But I've often seen recommendations (often by people who have not actually set up colonies themselves) that they need to be crowded in order to prevent spiders from forming territories. If there are more individuals in a given area than would normally occur in the wild, you can expect nature to take its course and "balance" the population density. I've also heard people say that you need to start the colony with babies from the same egg sac and keep them together forever more. But the colony of Holothele incei I have is composed of spiders from three different sources and of three different ages and sizes and they seem to be fine with each other. The Heterothele villosella colony was only set up when the spiders became mature, and the male has been wandering from the nest of one female to another. (Hopefully this will result in a population boom.) The Holothele sp Tachira, though, have been together since hatching. (They are just now maturing, so it will be interesting to see if that changes the dynamics.)
 

AbraxasComplex

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Part of the problem is that there are some conflicting ideas on how to maintain a colony, some of which is based on successful experience, some of which is unproven speculations or myths. Hopefully some of the myths will die out as more people come up with successful methods.

I've had the best luck when I keep populations uncrowded and allow enough space for spiders to have their own "territory". ("Territory isn't really a good word for this, since there are no enforced boundaries.) But I've often seen recommendations (often by people who have not actually set up colonies themselves) that they need to be crowded in order to prevent spiders from forming territories. If there are more individuals in a given area than would normally occur in the wild, you can expect nature to take its course and "balance" the population density. I've also heard people say that you need to start the colony with babies from the same egg sac and keep them together forever more. But the colony of Holothele incei I have is composed of spiders from three different sources and of three different ages and sizes and they seem to be fine with each other. The Heterothele villosella colony was only set up when the spiders became mature, and the male has been wandering from the nest of one female to another. (Hopefully this will result in a population boom.) The Holothele sp Tachira, though, have been together since hatching. (They are just now maturing, so it will be interesting to see if that changes the dynamics.)
Thank you for being another person who has received the same results as I, with the exact same methods, and spreading the word.

Social species are, to put it simply, social when given proper population density. Whether this is with adults, juveniles, or slings from the same blood line or various broods. Just overload the tank with physical and visual barriers, so as much hiding spots as possible. Thick, semi-moist leaf litter works great for slings, while broken cork bark, stacked, sloped, and piled, is great for heavy social webbers of all ages. An interesting web affect can also be made with a tank containing a high population and a cluster of closely knit branches and their crisscrossing twigs.


Now other species that have an induced social behavior, mostly from slings of a usually solitary species that have no where to disperse being raised together (such as H.gigas) I have personally found the rules of related offspring and family groups only applies. Granted that was only tried with 6 unrelated H.gigas of various sizes tried in different situations, but the results were all the same. I had to separate them and put them back in solitude. Tarantula fights are fun to break up or worth risking your tarantula for.
 
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