Slow growth = poor health?

Purp

Arachnopeon
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
1
Hello,

My tarantulas are very slow growers due to their slow metabolisms. I keep the spiders on the cool side, and only feed them every week or so. When I do feed them, they eat larger meals of three-four crickets. (Which they catch and kill before I return them to the shelves). They look very healthy, not too skinny or plump.

To give ya'll an idea on how slowly they grow, my juvies only molt once a year. I have a seven year old OBT that's only three inches. My L. paryhaba is three years old, and only two inches. Just two examples. With that said, they never miss and meal and they seem content. My question is regarding their health...

Will they have a longer life span because they're developing so slowly? Or will they live an average life span with stunted growth? Perhaps a shorter lfe span even? Should I try to speed up their metabolisms?

Any thoughts on this would be great,

Thanks!
 

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
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Aug 15, 2005
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268
They'll likely have a longer lifespan. Longevity experiments done on animals like mice and nematodes usually have them living and being healthier longer (sometimes twice as long for mice, and four times for nematodes). The only downside with methods like caloric restriction is stunted growth. I don't know if it applies to all spiders, but I feed less and mature males do tend to look a bit runty. Females have the benefit of continuous molting, which makes me wonder if they could still reach their average size over time.

A reasonable method would be to raise them normally as spiderlings, and once they're adults, bring down food intake to a minimum unless you're breeding (but breeding will impact their lifespan).

I'm trying to raise some Aphonopelma spiderlings with minimum food intake. Bit of a long term experiment. My leader is a 5 year old, 1.5" Aphonopelma sp. "Big Bend." I believe 20-30 years is an underestimate with some species, especially if restricting food intake in other organisms gives them the benefit of significantly longer lives.
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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They'll likely have a longer lifespan. Longevity experiments done on animals like mice and nematodes usually have them living and being healthier longer (sometimes twice as long for mice, and four times for nematodes). The only downside with methods like caloric restriction is stunted growth. I don't know if it applies to all spiders, but I feed less and mature males do tend to look a bit runty. Females have the benefit of continuous molting, which makes me wonder if they could still reach their average size over time.

A reasonable method would be to raise them normally as spiderlings, and once they're adults, bring down food intake to a minimum unless you're breeding (but breeding will impact their lifespan).

I'm trying to raise some Aphonopelma spiderlings with minimum food intake. Bit of a long term experiment. My leader is a 5 year old, 1.5" Aphonopelma sp. "Big Bend." I believe 20-30 years is an underestimate with some species, especially if restricting food intake in other organisms gives them the benefit of significantly longer lives.
How do you know that they live longer when fed less? Is there scientific evidence? If so where can i see it? From what i get its mostly just speculation.

Disregard my post. I noticed you stated "likely" Been a long night sleepy.
 
Last edited:

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
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How do you know that they live longer when fed less? Is there scientific evidence? If so where can i see it? From what i get its mostly just speculation.

Disregard my post. I noticed you stated "likely" Been a long night sleepy.
If you want more information:

http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.nutr.25.050304.092526
Both caloric (energy) restriction (CR) and reduced meal frequency/intermittent fasting can suppress the development of various diseases and can increase life span in rodents by mechanisms involving reduced oxidative damage and increased stress resistance.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14500985?dopt=AbstractPlus
Here we show that in Drosophila, DR [dietary restriction] extends life-span entirely by reducing the short-term risk of death. Two days after the application of DR at any age for the first time, previously fully fed flies are no more likely to die than flies of the same age that have been subjected to long-term DR. DR of mammals may also reduce short-term risk of death, and hence DR instigated at any age could generate a full reversal of mortality.
http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131(07)00256-2
Glucose Restriction Extends Caenorhabditis elegans Life Span by Inducing Mitochondrial Respiration and Increasing Oxidative Stress
http://www.pnas.org/content/95/22/13091.abstract
Mutations in many genes (eat genes) result in partial starvation of the worm by disrupting the function of the pharynx, the feeding organ. We found that most eat mutations significantly lengthen life span (by up to 50%).

The 4x lifespan increase in Caenorhabditis elegans I mentioned in my previous post was based on telomere length , not caloric restriction now that I think of it. I'm not entirely sure the method used for that particular experiment was over-expressing genes. I seem to recall that they removed a particular gene instead, but can't find a reference to it. Regardless, it's sort of irrelevant to this thread.

It's more or less established that calorie restriction tends to increase healthy lifespan in an organism. Other factors play into it, of course, and most of us don't replicate lab conditions in the home, so we may not see drastic increases, but there should be a discernible benefit in reducing food intake in spiders in any case. Aside from potentially increasing their lifespan, it could reduce the incidence of that "hernia" problem we see every so often. I think we would do well to remember that we're keeping ambush predators, who might not come across food for many days to weeks, especially large items.

If you're raising breeders, then it might not matter so much. Just keep on fueling the baby-making machines.
 

Fran

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I think we would do well to remember that we're keeping ambush predators, who might not come across food for many days to weeks, especially large items.

While I do agree with your posts, we also might want to remmember that in the jungle the amount of "bugs" per square inch is like a million...Literally. The theory of "weeks" without a meal, in rainforest species is really unlikely.

I have seen many pictures and videos of tarantulas in the wild (Sent from people doing field work on Venezuela,Sp like Theraphosa,Psalmopeus,Chromatopelma) with very large and round abdomens.


In my opinion, why to have a spider for 30 years at home if you are not really "enjoying" her. That is literally a rock with 8 legs in an enclosure.
They survive with minimun food intake, but that is not the life I personally want to provide them.
 

BorisTheSpider

Overly Complicated
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I don't know if they will live any longer or not but it sounds like you are producing bonsai tarantulas .
 

Terry D

Arachnodemon
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Purp, + 1 with what Fran said. I'll also have to say that a 2" 3 y.o. parahybana seems quite outside the norm in comparison to many reports on these boards- especially since you mention feeding a good amount at each feeding. Then again...... if they appear healthy? Personally, in addition to fairly frequent feedings, I like to keep the temps up a little above cool in regards to my own collection. Good luck. :)

Terry
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
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ftr you are feeding about 10-20x as much as i feed


what kind of temps are you talking about? do your spiders eat all the food?


something isn't adding up to me




also, the action of calorie restriction is pretty well understood in simple animals. not really speculation. done right, they live longer, full stop.
 

NevularScorpion

Arachnoangel
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Messages
917
They'll likely have a longer lifespan. Longevity experiments done on animals like mice and nematodes usually have them living and being healthier longer (sometimes twice as long for mice, and four times for nematodes). The only downside with methods like caloric restriction is stunted growth. I don't know if it applies to all spiders, but I feed less and mature males do tend to look a bit runty. Females have the benefit of continuous molting, which makes me wonder if they could still reach their average size over time.

A reasonable method would be to raise them normally as spiderlings, and once they're adults, bring down food intake to a minimum unless you're breeding (but breeding will impact their lifespan).

I'm trying to raise some Aphonopelma spiderlings with minimum food intake. Bit of a long term experiment. My leader is a 5 year old, 1.5" Aphonopelma sp. "Big Bend." I believe 20-30 years is an underestimate with some species, especially if restricting food intake in other organisms gives them the benefit of significantly longer lives.
I second him,

Also for example I think the reason why north american Ts are smaller than south american Ts is because Ts from south america live in jungles where there are many foods, high oxygen level and stable temperature. Unlike north american Ts, mainly aphonopelma, they live in deserts and mountains where there are no abundant of food, low oxygen levels and unstable temperature 40-120F

If you try to mock south american environment they will grow faster. I witness two of my friends who keep their Ts on 80 F all day and feed them normally. their Ts grow so fast like grass :D so in last two years I changed my set up like them and the results are promising most of my slings are now Juvie to Mating adults
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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I second him,

Also for example I think the reason why north american Ts are smaller than south american Ts is because Ts from south america live in jungles where there are many foods, high oxygen level and stable temperature. Unlike north american Ts, mainly aphonopelma, they live in deserts and mountains where there are no abundant of food, low oxygen levels and unstable temperature 40-120F

If you try to mock south american environment they will grow faster. I witness two of my friends who keep their Ts on 80 F all day and feed them normally. their Ts grow so fast like grass :D so in last two years I changed my set up like them and the results are promising most of my slings are now Juvie to Mating adults
When you say all day does that mean you drop the temp down at night? It would be best to keep the temp lower at night. Also light should be simulated properly to the season. Since Ts breed seasonaly. The signals that keep there clock on track and unconfused would be Temp change, daylight hours, possible rainfall (flooding the enclosure). But i guess you could keep small spiderlings and subadults constant without issue. Although i dont believe keeping them at a constant day and night would be the best idea. Temp IMO would be the biggest clue its time to roam or "hunt" more so than light. I have noticed since i have dropped my temps from 88 during the day to room temp at night they seem to be more active webbing there homes. :)
 

NevularScorpion

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Jun 30, 2007
Messages
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I made a heating system so my temps stays range from 81-79 the whole time. I know that it has to go down to at least 75 at night but I'm still thinking of a way to adjust my system to go automatically from 75 at night to 80 in the morning. Besides, my Ts are doing good so I'm not complaining lol if they are showing poor results from the temps I would probably be bothered and start changing or adjusting some of my set up. Also my Ts construct their burrow and repair it at night nothing different from your ts behavior :). they are very fascinating to watch too especially the theraposas and the pamphos
 

AgentD006las

Arach-how about..NO
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I made a heating system so my temps stays range from 81-79 the whole time. I know that it has to go down to at least 75 at night but I'm still thinking of a way to adjust my system to go automatically from 75 at night to 80 in the morning. Besides, my Ts are doing good so I'm not complaining lol if they are showing poor results from the temps I would probably be bothered and start changing or adjusting some of my set up. Also my Ts construct their burrow and repair it at night nothing different from your ts behavior :). they are very fascinating to watch too especially the theraposas and the pamphos
That sounds just fine. Id be a bit concerned on the seasonal stuff when or if you decide to breed. Id bump up the temp to 88 or 90 and see how fast they grow then! I use a flukers gauge to see the ambient temp. But a couple months ago i bought a night hawk 220 to test actual surface temps :) turns out the spiders body temp is usually same as the soil. Turns out my Ts were around 85 deg when the ambient temp was at 90. Night hawks are like 30 bucks on Ebay. Best thing i have ever purchased! :cool:
 
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