The walk of life


Old Timer
Dec 18, 2004
Hello all,

I was wondering if someone could help educate me a bit more on my pets, and in a way on the research I am doing on them online. What I am wondering about is the phases they go through in life, and how we refer to them. I have heard of and read about spiderlings, slings, juveniles, sub-adults, adults and mature males, but am uncertain what exactly it means, or how you can tell when they have entered into the next stage.

So, here's what I've been assuming/wondering. If someone could set me straight that would be much appreciated.

I assume 'spiderling' and 'sling' are the same thing.

Is 'juvenile' a different stage, or also a spiderling/sling?

How do you know when a spider is sub-adult, and when it has become an adult?

I know a mature male is the stage where it can reproduce, with hooks and 'boxing gloves', but is there a stage of adult male before he becomes a mature male, or does he go from sub-adult straight to MM (making adult male and mature male the same thing).

Is an adult female the stage where she is ready to mate? Or does she become an adult first, and ready to mate later?

I realise all species are different, grow at different speeds and so on, and so that size or age are not good general indicators, but is there a way of identifying the stages without these indicators? Or is it really a matter of looking at them species by species?

I hope someone will be able to lift the curse of ignorance a wee bit for me....

Many thanks.


Old Timer
Oct 9, 2006
A sling is usually a T that has little or none adult coloring and is very small. A juvenile is a T that already has adult coloring but is not an adult. An adult female T will stop going through color changes during molts. Most females will mate before adulthood but most people wait until they are fully grown.



Old Timer
Oct 10, 2006
The definitions you are asking for are a bit blurry. There is no real standard that we all go by because the meanings are differant for everyone. For me, it goes like this. first is the egg. Then eggs with legs which means they are still getting nutrition from whats left of the egg. Then you have a sling or spiderling that as stated above has no adult color but you have to provide the food. Next comes the juviniles which are slings that are starting to show adult color. As they grow they move into sub adult which puts them within a couple of molts of being able to reproduce. Finally you have an adult or mature tarantula that is able to reproduce. I Hope this helps but I'm sure others go by a different set of ruled than I do.


Old Timer
Sep 17, 2006
There's no specific point at which a spider becomes juvenile, but this is how I class them.

Spiderling = After a moult from Nymph 2 (or Nymph 3 for some pokies) you have a spiderling.

Juvenile = when a spiderling starts to show adult colours.

Subadult = a couple of moults from mature.

Adult = mature spider.

Obviously, apart from spiderling and mature male, open to interpretation.

Adult male and mature male are the same thing, when the spider hooks out.
Females normally can breed at dif sizes.. no given rule,apart from having a bigger carapace than the lad she is mating with, if im correct?