Is my B smithi sexually mature?

elysium

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After a year and 7 months my female Brachypelma smithi molted into a beautiful new dress. I cannot check her spermathecae because the molt is destroyed, and even if it wasn't i wouldn't think I'd personally be able to tell with certainty.

I'd say she is about 5 inches DLS, maybe 2.5 body. That is a standard BIC lighter beside her, which is 3 inches.

Never tried breeding but a local fellow may have a mature male ready soon and in due time it sure would be interesting to try.
 

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Poec54

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Too small for me to breed. If she's just reached maturity, she's still molting more often and would probably molt before laying a sac. If you would happen get a sac, it's likely to be small, and it may or may not have any viable eggs. Problem is that while a female is still growing, producing eggs competes for limited resources, and they can't do both justice.

Even with full-size females, producing sacs every year takes a toll. Anastasia told me that she's done that in the past, and after 4 years in a row, the females started dying off. With egg production putting wear on a spider, why not wait until its closer to full size when it's body can handle it better?
 

Poec54

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Thank you folks!

@Poec54 at what size would you consider breeding her?

I'd want her to be over 5" before I tried. Looking at her next to the lighter, she's still got some growing to do. Since they can only produce just so many sacs in her lifetime, I want to make them worthwhile. The more they're spread out, the better it is for a female. Getting a bad sac stresses her body for nothing.
 

elysium

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I'd want her to be over 5" before I tried. Looking at her next to the lighter, she's still got some growing to do. Since they can only produce just so many sacs in her lifetime, I want to make them worthwhile. The more they're spread out, the better it is for a female. Getting a bad sac stresses her body for nothing.
Sounds like she could be ready after her next molt. Thank you for the help good sir!
 

Sana

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Too small for me to breed. If she's just reached maturity, she's still molting more often and would probably molt before laying a sac. If you would happen get a sac, it's likely to be small, and it may or may not have any viable eggs. Problem is that while a female is still growing, producing eggs competes for limited resources, and they can't do both justice.

Even with full-size females, producing sacs every year takes a toll. Anastasia told me that she's done that in the past, and after 4 years in a row, the females started dying off. With egg production putting wear on a spider, why not wait until its closer to full size when it's body can handle it better?
I've been meaning to ask you a question and your post just reminded me. What would you recommend for length of time between breeding attempts? I'm concerned about the outcome of pairing every year (especially now that you mentioned Anastasia's experience). I would like to work with my females in the healthiest way possible.

Sorry to borrow your thread. It just seemed more reasonable to ask here then start an entirely new thread and clog things up.
 

Poec54

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I've been meaning to ask you a question and your post just reminded me. What would you recommend for length of time between breeding attempts? I'm concerned about the outcome of pairing every year (especially now that you mentioned Anastasia's experience). I would like to work with my females in the healthiest way possible.

I try to get a sac from adult females once every two years. But that's not always the same thing as pairing up, as the female can molt a few months later with never producing a sac, so that attempt doesn't count. I'd fatten her up after she sheds and try again. What matters is if she lays eggs; a lot of resources go into that.

Sometimes females get plump and seem to have eggs developing inside them, and then nothing happens; maybe they get absorbed back into the spider's system. That would be less stressful than laying a sac.
 

Nephrite

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You still have to explain to your smithi about the birds and the bees...
 

elysium

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@Poec54

The lighter is 3 inches, and she is about 5 inches DLS. Before molting she was just over 4 inches (the picture above is from Nov last year before her last molt). I would assume she has at least a year before she molts again, so definitely a long time to go. I am also in no rush to mate her (now that I know that she won't be ready in time for the MM my friend has) so I will check back when she molts to see if you folks think she's big enough. I will try and take some more pictures as well, after she's plumped up a bit.
 
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