Sexing secretive spiders

Action Jackson

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
76
I bought a cobalt juv. a few months ago, assuming that the females are blue and the males are brown. I mean, all the pictures I had seen labeled "Female" showed blue spiders and the "Male" pics depicted brown bugs.

Of course, I got home and was reminded of that old rule, "never judge a spider buy its color." Kellygirl sent me off to Rick West's site to read up on sexing live tarantulas. While I was trying to make sense of it, my Lividum perceded to bury him/herself.

I still have no clue what to look for when attempting to sex a live tarantula (maybe I'm just slow on the uptake, but I really can't find a defining difference. I know where to look, but I just can't find whatever it is I'm supposed to notice) and the spider is now 6-7" underground. I started a pit for him/her in the corner, so the ensuing burrow would feature a glass wall, but s/he pulled dirt and web over my little window. So I can't really see the spider at all.

That said, the cobalt left a few holes, and with a flashlight I can kind of see him/her. But now s/he looks brown. So if males can be blue, do they turn brown upon molting into maturity? Of course, it could just be dirt (I've seen this spider get pretty brown looking after a good bit of digging). Or maybe I simply can't see well. I don't know.

I'm not exactly sure what to ask for, as far as advice goes. I don't want to tear the burrow out or anything. Maybe if I knew more about sexing tarantulas and the colors of cobalts. Just about any kind of information on the subject would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

NorthwestInverts

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Messages
119
I know where to look, but I just can't find whatever it is I'm supposed to notice)
Hi There,

It sounds as if you are refering to the method of sexing via looking for the presence or absence of epiandrous fusillae, which male tarantulas possess. I do not have any experience with H. lividum (Cobalts) with this method so i cant help you in what to look for with them. Below is a Pic of 2 side by side Brachypelma smithi. you can easily disinguish the male from the female, right? (female on the left, immature male on the right) You can see the darker patch of hairs on the male, that is the epiandrous fusillae which are basically specialized spinerettes used in manufacturing a sperm web. You can also see the female does not have this. Well...That is Brachypelma smithi, other species will differ greatly. some species are next to impossible to be sexed via this method "with the naked eye" and even with lighted magnification this method will take experience and looking at several individuals to get a hand on it. When looking at defensive & fast T's I use a device that basically safely restrains the T while i can access virtually any part of the T. I can show you that device if you like. pretty easy to make one.
* I would suggest you wait until the T molts, then remove the molt and look for the presence or absence of a female Tarantulas spermatheca.
And as with many species, the male will change his physical appearance upon maturing. yes H. Lividum mature males do not resemble in color to the blue females.

Take Care, Dean

www.tarantulastop.com
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Action Jackson

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Messages
76
Thanks a lot! I really appreciate your advice. I only wish I had a way to fish out a molt, though... Because the spider may very well have molted into maturity without my knowing.

But in the meantime, please show me your tarantula restraining gadget.
 

NorthwestInverts

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 3, 2002
Messages
119
But in the meantime, please show me your tarantula restraining gadget.
Hi,

Here is the gadget. I have used it to work on injured T's and it's been real handy for attempting to sex defensive T's. I have all different sized boxes depending on the T.
Yeah that's the hard part about Cobalts and other reclusive T's, Once they burrow and molt, It can be a pain getting the molt out without destroying the burrow and capturing the T, and you dont really want to make a habit of it, unless it's cleaning time anyway.

Take Care, Dean

www.tarantulastop.com
 

Attachments

WYSIWYG

SpiderLoco
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 18, 2003
Messages
482
Originally posted by Spiderdad33
Hi,

Here is the gadget. I have used it to work on injured T's and it's been real handy for attempting to sex defensive T's. I have all different sized boxes depending on the T.
Yeah that's the hard part about Cobalts and other reclusive T's, Once they burrow and molt, It can be a pain getting the molt out without destroying the burrow and capturing the T, and you dont really want to make a habit of it, unless it's cleaning time anyway.

Take Care, Dean

www.tarantulastop.com
I guess I don't understand how that works to pick up nasty Ts? How do you pick it up that way without putting your hand within biting range? :?

Wysi
 
Top