Magnification Needed for Sexing

Kodi

Title Master
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So I'd like to give a go at spermatheca sexing once my T's molt. I've researched what I have to do, but couldn't seem to find any suggestions for magnification vs T size. I want to sex my 2" versicolor and possibly a 1/4" sling. I've got my eye on a 60-100x pocket microscope. Will that be good enough to see the little nubs? Or lack thereof...
 
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bryverine

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So I'd like to give a go at spermatheca sexing once my T's molt. I've researched what I have to do, but couldn't seem to find any suggestions for magnification vs T size. I want to sex my 2" versicolor and possibly a 1/4" sling. I've got my eye on a 60-100x pocket microscope. Will that be good enough to see the little nubs? Or lack thereof...
Here is a picture of my recent 2.25" using a 60x magnification pocket microscope.


As you can see, my pocket one was cheaply made. If you don't spend an an and a leg, expect alot of aberration and difficulty focusing, but they get the job done.

I'd say you have a snowballs chance in hell to sex that 1/4. ESPECIALLY with only 100x. Try 400-1000x and maybe then you'll be set if you can manipulate the molt.

Here's a pic of my 1.25" C. cyanopubescens.

From red dot to red dot is ~0.012" or 300 um and approximately 0.003" tall. Assuming a linear scale, at 1/4" that's 0.002" (50 um) wide by 0.0006" (15um) tall. :eek:

[For reference, a human blood cell is ~8um in diameter or so Dr. Google says]

I don't remember how to find an exact number, but that's a ton of magnification!
 

Kodi

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Good lord. Was there any chance you could see the 2.25" spermatheca with the naked eye?
 

bryverine

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Good lord. Was there any chance you could see the 2.25" spermatheca with the naked eye?
I think I could juuuuuuuuust barely see those little boogers when I let the molt dry and back lit it. Then again, I already knew it was female. ;)
 

awiec

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I have a little 10x lense the size of a quarter that is pretty good at seeing most molts above an inch but I generally know what I'm looking for. Really unless you are sexing really small stuff then you don't need anything strong.
 

Sana

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I don't even bother with trying to determine gender under 2.5". Knowing at a smaller size doesn't especially change anything for me. I usually sit on tarantulas (even of a gender that I don't currently need) until they're 3"+ just to be sure that I'm seeing things right on a molt. I have a super cheap microscope that I got on amazon that works just fine for my purposes. I also have a magnification app on my phone that occasionally gets used for checking something that I have spotted as a potential problem without removing the tarantula from the enclosure.
 

bryverine

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I don't even bother with trying to determine gender under 2.5". Knowing at a smaller size doesn't especially change anything for me. I usually sit on tarantulas (even of a gender that I don't currently need) until they're 3"+ just to be sure that I'm seeing things right on a molt. I have a super cheap microscope that I got on amazon that works just fine for my purposes. I also have a magnification app on my phone that occasionally gets used for checking something that I have spotted as a potential problem without removing the tarantula from the enclosure.
Magnification app? How does that work?
 

lunarae

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You can look up google for digital microlens cameras. I have one that goes from 50x to 500x, it takes some work to adjust and get it at times. Still working to get that practice honestly but it does pretty good. It's what I live stream with right now. and those seem to range from 50-80 dollars when I googled it. However I can tell you it hasn't helped me sex anything as of yet. Not just because I lack practice or anything but for the smaller slings where their molts are so super super thin it seems like anything of that nature is so translucent it's hard to see at all.
 

bryverine

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I typed free magnifying glass into the search and came up with an app that uses the camera's zoom.
I suppose I should have asked it differently.

What I meant is does that help ?

Between the focal length and digital zoom of my phone camera I have trouble taking close enough pictures to see molts that I can't see by eye already. I am quite nearsighted so maybe this is why...

You can look up google for digital microlens cameras. I have one that goes from 50x to 500x, it takes some work to adjust and get it at times. Still working to get that practice honestly but it does pretty good. It's what I live stream with right now. and those seem to range from 50-80 dollars when I googled it. However I can tell you it hasn't helped me sex anything as of yet. Not just because I lack practice or anything but for the smaller slings where their molts are so super super thin it seems like anything of that nature is so translucent it's hard to see at all.
For those small slings, wet the molt, spread it, then let it dry. It makes a huge difference.
Then once it's dry put it on something that will diffuse light (a translucent white bottlecap works for me) or hold it directly above a light. The backlight helps IF there is spermathecae - it will absorb light and stand out more making smaller slings easier to see.
I've only measured as small as an inch this way but I also only have a 60x magnifier. If you try it out, let me know if it works.
 

lunarae

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For those small slings, wet the molt, spread it, then let it dry. It makes a huge difference.
Then once it's dry put it on something that will diffuse light (a translucent white bottlecap works for me) or hold it directly above a light. The backlight helps IF there is spermathecae - it will absorb light and stand out more making smaller slings easier to see.
I've only measured as small as an inch this way but I also only have a 60x magnifier. If you try it out, let me know if it works.
What I was saying was that with some species that area is very see through when they are smaller then 1in, so you may not make it out at all if it's translucent. So far I can't even make out an opening or variation within the area let alone if there is or isn't spermathecae with my tiny ones. But again all of my tiny ones are very translucent to start with at the size that they are at right now. So it's difficult to even see anything other then the hairs when focusing with a microlens. I feel that sexing them that tiny isn't exactly fool proof when they are tiny. Because I HAVE tried everything you have just suggested considering you suggested to me in the past to do it that way. I don't think you can really do it below 1in and know for sure UNLESS you obviously see the spermathecae. Because you could easily miss the spermathecae if it's translucent and so still have a female when your thinking male cause you didn't see it at such a small stage. To me there's more then likely a reason that you can't get sexed T's at this size from breeders. I realize that it would take ages to sex every T from an Egg sac, but if they could manage to guarantee knowing what gender from each molt by using a microlens, I'd think they would have started doing so with some in order to make a little extra cash selling sexed females smaller then 1in.
 

Kodi

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Do you think using a dye would help the spermatheca stand out?
 

lunarae

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course it could also just be my microlens that sucks too It's very difficult to get to focus at times
 

Sana

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I suppose I should have asked it differently.

What I meant is does that help ?

Between the focal length and digital zoom of my phone camera I have trouble taking close enough pictures to see molts that I can't see by eye already. I am quite nearsighted so maybe this is why...


For those small slings, wet the molt, spread it, then let it dry. It makes a huge difference.
Then once it's dry put it on something that will diffuse light (a translucent white bottlecap works for me) or hold it directly above a light. The backlight helps IF there is spermathecae - it will absorb light and stand out more making smaller slings easier to see.
I've only measured as small as an inch this way but I also only have a 60x magnifier. If you try it out, let me know if it works.
It won't probably do as much as what you need. I essentially use it to decide if it's worth getting out the microscope.
 

bryverine

Arachnoangel
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Apr 18, 2012
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894
What I was saying was that with some species that area is very see through when they are smaller then 1in, so you may not make it out at all if it's translucent. So far I can't even make out an opening or variation within the area let alone if there is or isn't spermathecae with my tiny ones. But again all of my tiny ones are very translucent to start with at the size that they are at right now. So it's difficult to even see anything other then the hairs when focusing with a microlens. I feel that sexing them that tiny isn't exactly fool proof when they are tiny. Because I HAVE tried everything you have just suggested considering you suggested to me in the past to do it that way. I don't think you can really do it below 1in and know for sure UNLESS you obviously see the spermathecae. Because you could easily miss the spermathecae if it's translucent and so still have a female when your thinking male cause you didn't see it at such a small stage. To me there's more then likely a reason that you can't get sexed T's at this size from breeders. I realize that it would take ages to sex every T from an Egg sac, but if they could manage to guarantee knowing what gender from each molt by using a microlens, I'd think they would have started doing so with some in order to make a little extra cash selling sexed females smaller then 1in.
The smallest one I've sexed (admittingly slightly over an inch) was near impossible to see until it dried out. The water fills in the pores of the molt making it more translucent like a scratched up piece of plastic.
I have yet to try my luck with smaller Ts, so unfortunately I'm limited to that one experience.
 
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