(Re)production of venom?

Kendricks

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Watching my G. pulchra sling munching on a cricket just now, I observed that the cricket is not dying as fast as usual. I fed her yesterday and the day before yesterday, so this is the third meal in 3 days, with the crickets being roughly the size of the spider (BL).

I wondered if there are any known details, or at least assumptions/observations, about how quickly Tarantulas (re)produce their venom, as it appears to me that my G. pulchra could not apply much venom in this case, so the cricket survives way longer than usual, as if she "ran out of ammo". :eek:

Do you guys have any observations/theories on that?
 

Chris LXXIX

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T's know what's best always. Maybe your G.pulchra is eating the S.subspinipes way (always a joy to see a cricket eaten alive).

Anyway, for a more detailed answer, send a mail to the Alpha Biotoxine lab guys, they have a crush for venoms :-s
 

Leila

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I am eager to view the responses to your question, Kendricks, as I would also like to know the answers.

I've no knowledge nor input here; just gonna follow this thread... :bookworm::cat:
 

Arachnomaniac19

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I'd assume it would relate to their metabolism, and therefor heat. The hotter they are the faster it will be produced. It's probably similar enough to the production of human digestive enzymes (ie trypsin, pepsin, amylase, etc) to be comparable.
 

DPetsche

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(The following is NOTHING but guesses and assumptions)
I could only guess that spiders produce their venom in a similar way to a venomous snake like a pit viper, through venom producing glands that rest behind the mouth parts and are pumped when needed. In laboratories they milk spiders for their venom to use it to make antivenom, but it's a very labor intensive procedure. According to this website (https://www.terminix.com/blog/science-nature/milking-spiders-for-their-venom) it takes between 50,000 and 100,000 milking sessions to get a single gram of venom out of a black widow. And each milking takes approximately one minute. With that in mind, there must be some sort of cooldown because the spider has to make more venom. But if it takes at least 50,000 milkings to get a single gram of venom, that means they get at least .0000006 oz of venom with each milking at one minute each milking. Now I need to figure out how quickly this black widow can create venom...I'm really curious as to what answers you get!
 

GreyPsyche

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I have a theory that maybe the crickets aren't alive at all once the venom takes hold, I think you're just seeing the nerves and muscles contract like nearly any dying animal does...not to mention that maybe the venom is causing that reaction as well but it's just a theory.
 

Timc

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I kinda feel like 3 big meals in 3 days could deplete venom reserves. This is only conjecture but damn sam why are you feeding so often?
 

nicodimus22

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I'm fairly convinced that the mechanical damage from a bite by itself would be fatal to most insects. I mean, if you drove two nails through a cricket or roach, it would die pretty quickly.

I do wonder how much the injected venom helps start digesting the insect to make it edible for the T. It could be really important to the eating process, or it could not be.

Back on topic...I have wondered this before, but there hasn't been much study on the topic as far as I know. Maybe some arachnologists out there have an idea, but I don't know of any that frequent this forum. My educated guess is that after 2-3 days, the venom is replenished for another hunt. I have nothing to back this up...just a hunch. The slings always seem ready to go when I feed 2-3 times a week, and I'd think they would ignore or slap at prey if they were out of venom.
 
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D Sherlod

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I would assume that T's have some control over the venom or amount of venom released.
Otherwise I don't understand all the reports of dry bites.


(The following is NOTHING but guesses and assumptions)
I could only guess that spiders produce their venom in a similar way to a venomous snake like a pit viper, through venom producing glands that rest behind the mouth parts and are pumped when needed. In laboratories they milk spiders for their venom to use it to make antivenom, but it's a very labor intensive procedure. According to this website (https://www.terminix.com/blog/science-nature/milking-spiders-for-their-venom) it takes between 50,000 and 100,000 milking sessions to get a single gram of venom out of a black widow. And each milking takes approximately one minute. With that in mind, there must be some sort of cooldown because the spider has to make more venom. But if it takes at least 50,000 milkings to get a single gram of venom, that means they get at least .0000006 oz of venom with each milking at one minute each milking. Now I need to figure out how quickly this black widow can create venom...I'm really curious as to what answers you get!
Only difficult part with your math,,,, how many spiders are they using
 

sasker

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Considering NW species, I think the mechanical damage is indeed the main cause of death of any prey item. What I have been told is that very strong venom is very complex and takes an animal quite a lot of energy and time to produce. That is one of the reasons snakes sometimes deliver a dry bite. They want to preserve their venom for when they really need it (i.e. while hunting). I think the same applies to tarantulas. Venom is used as an enzyme to breakdown tissue, but the spider can release small amounts of these enzymes slowly into the prey while eating. In other words, the production of venom in tarantulas is faster than in spiders that rely on the potency of their venom. But that's my theory for want of any real expertise on the subject :)
 

Kendricks

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Their metabolism is pretty slow and they really don't need to be fed that often.
You read the part where I mentioned she's a sling? I feed my Slings as much as they accept food. Many people do that, it's not uncommon.
 

Timc

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You read the part where I mentioned she's a sling? I feed my Slings as much as they accept food. Many people do that, it's not uncommon.
Meh I can agree to disagree as this is a hobby and not an exact science, however I have had an LP sling get sores on its underside from feeding like this ("oh, she always takes food!") and scaled back afterwards. If you don't have any issues power to you, but every day is more often than I would recommend.
 

Leila

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Meh I can agree to disagree as this is a hobby and not an exact science, however I have had an LP sling get sores on its underside from feeding like this ("oh, she always takes food!") and scaled back afterwards. If you don't have any issues power to you, but every day is more often than I would recommend.
Ok, to each his or her own when it comes to frequencies of feeding. :shy:
A debate on that topic will only take away from the more intriguing inquiry. XO
 

boina

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Considering NW species, I think the mechanical damage is indeed the main cause of death of any prey item.
I don't think so. Here's an article about Grammostola venom: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26828374 and the abstract states that it's full of neurotoxins and proteinases. That's quite enough to kill any insect.

Edit: and here's my favorite article on spider toxins: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26085827
a comparison of Brachypelma, Poecilotheria and Ceratogyrus
 

Moakmeister

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I always thought of it like human saliva, where we just keep making it at a fast pace. Of course, venom production takes a lot more nutrients and such than saliva, but tarantulas probably produce a lot more venom a lot more quickly than a little true spider.
 

nicodimus22

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I don't think so. Here's an article about Grammostola venom: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26828374 and the abstract states that it's full of neurotoxins and proteinases. That's quite enough to kill any insect.
I think either the severe damage cause by two large fangs puncturing an insect's exoskeleton by itself, or the venom by itself, are each enough to kill. I just wonder how essential the venom is to digestion.
 
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