How Long Do Female Continue to Grow?

Aragorn

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I have purchase several female G. roseas, but none of them has reach the size of my old girl, and I have one for at least 3 year. My question is: how long does it take for them to reach a good size and be ready to breed. IT seems it is taking an awful long time for them to get big like my other big girl, or do I just have one large specimen and the others are just normal size ones. Thank you!
 

Drachenjager

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I have purchase several female G. roseas, but none of them has reach the size of my old girl, and I have one for at least 3 year. My question is: how long does it take for them to reach a good size and be ready to breed. IT seems it is taking an awful long time for them to get big like my other big girl, or do I just have one large specimen and the others are just normal size ones. Thank you!
DUDE!! its a G. rosea LOL
waiting on one of them to grow is like waiting for glaciers to move a mile lol
 

Stan Schultz

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... My question is: how long does it take for them to reach a good size and be ready to breed. ...
A simple question that requires a complex answer.

MALE TARANTULAS mature more quickly than their corresponding females. In some species, the males will normally mature within a year or 18 months and be out looking for the females. However, in some other species this may take a long as 15 years or even more!

Further, enthusiasts often employ a care regimen called "power feeding" that accelerates their growth abnormally and males that ordinarily wouldn't mature for years magically mature within months.

Lastly (on the subject of male tarantulas), when male tarantulas mature it's usually quite obvious. They change body proportions and develop accessory sex organs on their pedipalps, and most species develop little hooks on their first legs. This all happens seemingly instantaneously as they experience their "ultimate molt." Why "ultimate?" Because it's normally the last time they molt. After that they have only a few weeks to mate before they become impotent, and they normally die within 12 or 18 months thereafter.

Bottom lines:
1. The length of time required for a male to mature depends a lot on both the species and the care they receive.

2. It's normally easy to see when a male becomes mature because the "markers" are quite obvious.

FEMALE TARANTULAS, however are a bit different. They normally require several to many more years to mature than the males, and this variation differs with each species. I think I've heard of some of the African species' females breeding within 24 months, but that may not be correct. Perhaps others with more experience would comment on this. The females of some species may not breed for several decades!

It seems that females are not as sensitive to power feeding as the males. I would like specific information on this as well from those who've employed the practice.

And, we can't tell when they become mature. Females do not undergo any obvious physical change as they gain sexual maturity. And immature females will also accept the advances of males, so that isn't an indicator either. The only proof we have is that a female that lays eggs is, by definition, mature.

And, females do not ordinarily die soon after maturity. They customarily live many years, sometimes many decades after their brothers have matured and died. And, apparently they do not experience something like menopause. Under ideal circumstances, they may produce an eggsac every year of their adult lives until they die.

Lastly (for female tarantulas), apparently females will continue to grow somewhat for the entire length of their lives. After they reach their nominal "full size" that growth rate levels off to become very small, and it probably continues to diminish but never reach zero growth for as long as the tarantula lives. I don't know that anyone has ever documented this however. It would be an interesting project for someone who has a collection of different species of spiderlings whose age is definitely known. It would be wisest, perhaps, not to engage on this project with a species like Brachypelma emilia or Aphonopelma "Carlsbad green" unless you planned on living well into your 100s!

Bottom lines:
1. It's very difficult to tell when a female tarantula attains maturity.

2. But, once she's mature, she'll be alive and mature for a very long time!

3. Females will grow, at least a little, for their entire lives.

Specifically Grammostola rosea, the Chilean rose, females seem to mature at about age 8 to 12, and males at about age 5 to 7, but I have no direct confirmation of this. The problem is that these haven't been bred in captivity often enough or long enough for a significant number of captive born babies to have grown up and matured, much less died of old age. (We need captive bred individuals because we need precise dates on which they were "born.")

I would guess the normal life expectancy for these to be something like 20 or 25 years for the females, but that could be way off. Check back with us in a century or a little more and maybe we can give you better information! :D

I never cease to be amazed at how unexpectedly complex such simple creatures can be!
 
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David_F

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FEMALE TARANTULASI think I've heard of some of the African species' females breeding within 24 months, but that may not be correct. Perhaps others with more experience would comment on this. The females of some species may not breed for several decades!
I don't have nearly the experience that you do but here's something I'd like to add that goes along with the paragraph above (and really doesn't pertain to the original question....). Just something I found somewhat interesting.

I successfully bred Hysterocrates sp. siblings (please don't let this turn into an anti-inbreeding thread...please). All spiders involved were approx. 18 months old. Both females gave me good eggsacs with very few losses from either sac...maybe 30 dead eggs total probably due to my interference. Within three months, I think, both females died from unknown causes. So, while they may have been mature, I don't know if they were completely ready to breed.

Like I said, this doesn't really pertain to the original question and it was only a couple spiders...there might be many people out there who have had young females produce and live a long life.....but I thought it was an important addition to what Mr. Schultz brought up.

Pikaia said:
1. It's very difficult to tell when a female tarantula attains maturity.
One other thing to add regarding the sentence above....

I think if we're talking about sexual maturity it's not so difficult to tell if the female is mature. The spermathecae should be pretty well sclerotized at the point of maturity. At least that's what I've gathered from the reading I've done and from a small amount of personal experience. But then there are many more people with much more experience than me who could give a better answer (like Mr. Schultz. :D).

I think the general rule of thumb is that if the female's carapace is about the same size as the male's then she's mature enough to breed.
 

ballpython2

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I
Within three months, I think, both females died from unknown causes. So, while they may have been mature, I don't know if they were completely ready to breed..
Maybe they died from breeding too young?.... 18 months is only 1 year and 6 months...
 

Aragorn

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Really? It can died if bred too young? I think being gravid does take a lot of toll on the body whether it's tarantulas, reptiles, or humans. That's why I feed and water my T's well before breeding; al least, I think it is very important to do so. It could be yours was small and when it produced the eggs it took a toll on the body. What was your feeding regimen before you decided to breed them? I think this is why it's important to feed young tarantulas well. I think it is very important they get proper nutrient at least at an early stage so their bodies can develop properly. I feed my spiderlings as much as it will eat until they reach a fairly good size then slow down on the feeding.
 

David_F

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Really? It can died if bred too young?
Well, I can't really say. As I said, that's only my experience with two spiders. It just struck me as odd and I thought there could be something to it. Just something to think about....
 

Scorpiove

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I got my Rose Hair Hagrid in 2004, she molted that same year and hasn't molted since! I'm waiting Hagrid! When I got her I was told she was only 1-2 years old but she was about 4 1/2 - 5 inches in size. I don't know weather or not to believe she was that young any more.
 

Drachenjager

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I got my Rose Hair Hagrid in 2004, she molted that same year and hasn't molted since! I'm waiting Hagrid! When I got her I was told she was only 1-2 years old but she was about 4 1/2 - 5 inches in size. I don't know weather or not to believe she was that young any more.
she was much older than that to be that size ...My female is about 6" and is probably 25 years old...she COULD even be old as i am... oh and that is a good size for a G. rosea
 

Scorpiove

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she was much older than that to be that size ...My female is about 6" and is probably 25 years old...she COULD even be old as i am... oh and that is a good size for a G. rosea
Scary thought then that she could be older than me! I just turned 25 in may. I hope she isnt that old I want to have her for a long time. She is my baby.
 

Aragorn

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I have a nine year old G. rosea that is about 6 inch in leg span. However, I do have a bigger one, but I don't know how old she is. The pet store people said the teacher that had it before me only had it for about 2 years before giving it to the pestshop.
 

BLS Blondi

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Pikaia makes very good points, but I disagree with one major point: I have had many T. blondi adult females that stop laying eggs yearly even though they have been mated. I have had a few that after 7-8 years, they stop producing. I have one "old" female 8+ years old that has been mated for the past three years and has not made an eggsac. I have had WC and CB and the females slow down quite a bit when they get to this age. I have seen this with numerous T. blondi, but for other species, I cannot verify that.
 

Drachenjager

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Scary thought then that she could be older than me! I just turned 25 in may. I hope she isnt that old I want to have her for a long time. She is my baby.
lol i suspect that a g. rosea can live over 40 years with proper care
 

omni

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Scary thought then that she could be older than me! I just turned 25 in may. I hope she isnt that old I want to have her for a long time.
lol i suspect that a g. rosea can live over 40 years with proper care
This sort of has me depressed... My spiders want their servant to be around for a long time to care for them... Sadly, based on growing evidence that many slow-growing T's can live longer than 25 years, I'm pretty sure most of mine will outlive me. Something to think about when buying grammastola slings, lol
 
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