One reason why male Tarantulas live a shorter life

Matabuey

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Aug 9, 2016
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I'm surprised that I haven't seen this information shared before as it is 6 years old... there is a study on Brachypelma albopilosa - based on the "free radical theory of ageing". Describing the changes observed in males chemically & biologically, that may contribute to them living a considerably shorter life, after their 'final' moult.

Most of the time people give fairly basic answers to this question, such as "a males only purpose is to breed, and spread his genes".

However, that is the same for males of many species, even humans. Our intrinsic purpose as a species, is to reproduce. But there isn't a massive difference between male and female life expectancy in humans, but obviously we are a much more complicated biological model.

Having said that, even in humans oxadative stress is one the proposed factors for the difference in life expectancy between sexes.

This can also be applied to Tarantulas, this study has shown that. Due to males being more active thus having a higher metabolic rate, inducing higher reactive oxygen species production, without adequate antioxidant protection - this significantly reduces the life expectancy of males.

Paper is here:
https://www.researchgate.net/public...n_the_Male_Mygalomorph_Brachypelma_albopilosa

The paper isn't too hard to digest, usually a quick google can explain terms or phrases you aren't familiar with.
 
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viper69

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I'm surprised that I haven't seen this information shared before as it is 6 years old... there is a study on Brachypelma albopilosa - based on the "free radical theory of ageing". Describing the changes observed in males chemically & biologically, that may contribute to them living a considerably shorter life, after their 'final' moult.

Most of the time people give fairly basic answers to this question, such as "a males only purpose is to breed, and spread his genes".

However, that is the same for males of any species, even humans. Our intrinsic purpose as a species, is to reproduce. But there isn't a massive difference between male and female life expectancy in humans, but obviously we are a much more complicated biological model.

Having said that, even in humans oxadative stress is one proposed factors for the difference in life expectancy between sexes.

This can also be applied to Tarantulas, this study has shown that. Due to males being more active thus having a higher metabolic rate, inducing higher reactive oxygen species production, without adequate antioxidant protection - this significantly reduces the life expectancy of males.

Paper is here:
https://www.researchgate.net/public...n_the_Male_Mygalomorph_Brachypelma_albopilosa

The paper isn't too hard to digest, usually a quick google can explain terms or phrases you aren't familiar with.
I had no idea there was a paper on Ts involving ROS, now that is cool. Hey @AphonopelmaTX here's some science for us in case you haven't seen this one already.
 

WoofSpider

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Aug 31, 2016
Messages
81
So does this mean that I should give pomegranate or cranberry juice to any MMs? Antioxidants, right?
 

NxxUnDead

Arachnopeon
Joined
Nov 7, 2019
Messages
1
I'm surprised that I haven't seen this information shared before as it is 6 years old... there is a study on Brachypelma albopilosa - based on the "free radical theory of ageing". Describing the changes observed in males chemically & biologically, that may contribute to them living a considerably shorter life, after their 'final' moult.

Most of the time people give fairly basic answers to this question, such as "a males only purpose is to breed, and spread his genes".

However, that is the same for males of many species, even humans. Our intrinsic purpose as a species, is to reproduce. But there isn't a massive difference between male and female life expectancy in humans, but obviously we are a much more complicated biological model.

Having said that, even in humans oxadative stress is one the proposed factors for the difference in life expectancy between sexes.

This can also be applied to Tarantulas, this study has shown that. Due to males being more active thus having a higher metabolic rate, inducing higher reactive oxygen species production, without adequate antioxidant protection - this significantly reduces the life expectancy of males.

Paper is here:
https://www.researchgate.net/public...n_the_Male_Mygalomorph_Brachypelma_albopilosa

The paper isn't too hard to digest, usually a quick google can explain terms or phrases you aren't familiar with.
guess that my Goliath bird eater wont be with me for so much then :(
 

WheelbarrowTim

Arachnopeon
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Nov 5, 2019
Messages
20
I hadn't heard of this at all and its fascinating. It makes complete sense, I just had never considered it before. Thanks!
 

Feral

Arachnobaron
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Oct 6, 2019
Messages
408
Definitely good stuff! Thanks for spreading good information.
I've been pondering on the implications of this paper for a while now:
https://wiki.shanti.virginia.edu/plugins/servlet/mobile?contentId=40831180#content/view/40831180
It is a meta-analysis that includes information from the study you cited and other studies to build on the ideas of what factors affect lifespans in arachnids. It looks at reasons for lifespan differences in all sorts of spiders, and also comparisons between individuals within one species, differences species to species and family to family. Some of the interesting conclusions it drew include that gender, ROS production in the mitochondria, antioxidant enzymes and antioxidant gene expression, relative metabolism and activity level, oxidative stress, climate and diet can all affect lifespan. Super interesting stuff!

One big practical application we see in the hobby all the time constantly is overfeeeding and sometimes even obesity in Ts. This paper notes
"Additionally, many studies have documented the effect that reduced nutritional intake has on spider lifespan. Dietary restriction in different species of Araneomorphs – the bowl and doily spider (Frontinella pyramitela), white widow spider (Latrodectus pallidus), and bridge spider (Larinioides sclopetarius) – increased lifespan (Austad 1989; Segoli et al. 2007; Kleinteich et al. 2014)"
So it's not exactly saying a reasonable diet and body weight has been proven to increase lifespans in specifically tarantulas, but it has been proven in other arachnids. So very interesting.

Another practical application would be how to most humanely house mature males to reduce the stress imposed by an unfulfilled desire to roam, while perhaps also accounting for the increased metabolism caused by increased activity. That seems like a tricky balance to perfect, and I'm still ruminating on it.

Also, according to the theory of metabolism directly affecting lifespan, this is exactly why the "pet rock" G. rosea/porteri are so long-lived. They are Buddhist masters of the art of a meditive state of metabolic conservation!
Respect, little bodhi!

Cranberry injected feeders i think would be best.
That's hilarious but I'm also kinda seriously curious how compounds that are antioxidants to us humans would affect inverts. I mean, our physiologies are so vastly different, so who knows. But if they DO have the same antioxidant affect, I can't see any reason we couldn't give our feeders (or other insects) unsweetened %100 pure cranberry juice in thier water crystals instead of water. lol
 
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cold blood

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Its even simpler....males have a limited number of molts (often like 9-11 depending on species)...females do not....hence longer lifespans.
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Another practical application would be how to most humanely house mature males to reduce the stress imposed by an unfulfilled desire to roam, while perhaps also accounting for the increased metabolism caused by increased activity. That seems like a tricky balance to perfect, and I'm still ruminating on it.
From my observations, housing sexually mature males in small enclosures removes their instinct to roam. Like they know they are in a confined space and can't walk as far. I house my males in plastic shoeboxes that are just a few inches longer and wider than their outstretched legspan. The four males I have kept within the past few years (2 T. blondi, 2 T. apophysis) have been housed this way. All built sperm webs, but never increased their activity levels. They all just stand around like their female counterparts.
 

Feral

Arachnobaron
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Messages
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From my observations, housing sexually mature males in small enclosures removes their instinct to roam. Like they know they are in a confined space and can't walk as far. I house my males in plastic shoeboxes that are just a few inches longer and wider than their outstretched legspan. The four males I have kept within the past few years (2 T. blondi, 2 T. apophysis) have been housed this way. All built sperm webs, but never increased their activity levels. They all just stand around like their female counterparts.
Interesting perspective. So are you saying you use an enclosure the same size as you would for a similarly sized female, or a comparatively smaller one?

I've heard some people say they pace equally as much, only just in a smaller space. Well, until they eventually realize the futility and settle down. But you haven't seen that? Hmmm.

I'm still ruminating the balance of limiting activity to lower metabolic rate with not causing too much stress from unfulfilled instincts.

Also, I had a recent thread exploring this topic: https://arachnoboards.com/threads/should-enclosure-size-for-mms-be-different.325752/
 

AphonopelmaTX

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Interesting perspective. So are you saying you use an enclosure the same size as you would for a similarly sized female, or a comparatively smaller one?

I've heard some people say they pace equally as much, only just in a smaller space. Well, until they eventually realize the futility and settle down. But you haven't seen that? Hmmm.

I'm still ruminating the balance of limiting activity to lower metabolic rate with not causing too much stress from unfulfilled instincts.

Also, I had a recent thread exploring this topic: https://arachnoboards.com/threads/should-enclosure-size-for-mms-be-different.325752/
It's hard to answer your first question about housing males in an enclosure size for females since I house some of my female tarantulas in plastic shoeboxes too so compared to how most people house tarantulas in general, the containers are much smaller. So compared to how I house females, I house males the same way.

Now that I am thinking about it, the males did have an increased amount of activity after maturing in plastic shoeboxes. They would pace and push on the lids from time to time. I regret not writing down my observations because I believe the periods of inactivity may have to do with temperature changes in my spider room more than the amount of space. Living in an old poorly insulated building, my spider room is subject to the temperature changes that occur throughout the seasons in North Texas. Since I didn't write down when I saw periods of activity and inactivity, I can't accurately assess what factors may have played a part.

For reference though, these are the shoebox containers I am referring to. Since linking to online stores is not allowed, I will provide the name of the store and their item numbers so you can look them up.

The Container Store "Our Shoe Box" SKU# 10008759
The Container Store "Our Men's Shoe Box" SKU# 10008760

and for the giants...

The Container Store "Our Sweater Box" SKU# 10008761
 
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