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Overfeeding?

Atlanta Native

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Messages
52
I have read that power-feeding is the way to get your sling to grow faster than it would in the wild. I have also read that it is dangerous to power-feed an adult B. smithi. My questions are; 1) Has anyone heard of this? 2) When would I consider mine an adult? It is about 2.75" and the guy who I bought it from says it is about 1.5 - 2 years of age. I know that this T takes a while to mature so would I consider it a sling, juvi, adult or sub-adult? Thanks again.
 

Vayu Son

Avatar of Anansi
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
809
><

1.powerfeeding in general makes the T grow faster, some have speculated that it shortens their overral lifespan.
2.Tarantulas will not kill/harm themselves by feeding, so a T will only take as much is safe for it.
3.Im unaware of any specific reference about B.smithi's, but if a terrestrial species has a significantly oversized abdomen, it has a greater % of rupturing in a fall.

-V
 

ArachnoJoost

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Messages
533
Hey AN,

for as far as my knowledge goes, I think to have some answers:

1) I've never heard of powerfeeding being dangerous, you can never overfeed a T. However, when you powerfeed you probably shorten the lifespan of that individual.
2) this is a very tricky one, I've posted a question on this subject before, so I will tell you what answers I got: There are many views on what you should call a sling, juvie, sub-adult etc. The only good way is by what instar a spider is. The rule I use is: if a spider has baby-colors it's a sling, if it is small but has the adult coloration it's a juvenile, and if it is almost as large as an adult it's a sub-adult. Yours is probably a juvie by the rule I use.

Hope this helps,
Joost
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
Most terms used to describe tarantula growth stages, including sling, juvinile and sub adult are all hobbyist slang and don't really have a consistant meaning. "Sling" is short spiderling, itself a mearningless term! For example, one keeper may describe any spider that's not an adult as a "spiderling" while annother may reserve that term for immature spiders that aren't showing adult color yet. Although I recognize the subjective nature of these terms, I do use them, since most hobbyist will get the meaning. I tend to consider "slings" to be those not showing color.

I think (I could be wrong) the only scientifically viable general term for a tarantula that's not an adult is "immature", but it can be modified, such as "large immature", "small immature" etc. The only really specific term for growth stages of a tarantula is "instar" which refers to the period between molts, but you must know the exact number of molts to use it..."1st instar, 2nd instar", etc.

B. smithi are slow growers, even well fed captives may take 5 years or longer to mature. Some have suggested that power feeding shortens the overall life of the spider, but I'm not sure if that's been proven conclusively. Everyone has a different feeding regimen, but I feed mine once a week, usually fairly heavily. The only real danger of powerfeeding an adult is that females develop huge abdomens that are more vuneralble to injury if they take a fall or during molting.

Wade
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
Oops! You guys beat me to the punch, my fault for being so long winded I guess.
 
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