To what extent does selective breeding happen in this hobby?

Moakmeister

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I never thought about this before. the answer is probably "not at all", but I have no doubt that our breeding choices affect certain traits of the tarantulas being passed around in this hobby. And I'm not talking about what happened with species like the B. albopilosum, I just mean changes in the same species as opposed to their wild counterparts, like if we breed tarantulas that are smaller than usual, then the future generations are also gonna be small. The colors, attitude, and size of tarantulas could be affected by this later on. Let me know your thoughts.
 

Biollantefan54

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Like you said, probably none at all. I have heard reports of it being done but there is not hardcore proof and even then, it would take a very long time to see any different effects and there wouldn't be a big demand anyways
 

MetalMan2004

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That is indeed a good question that I sure don't have any answer to. Interested to hear what others have to say.
 

Moakmeister

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Like you said, probably none at all. I have heard reports of it being done but there is not hardcore proof and even then, it would take a very long time to see any different effects and there wouldn't be a big demand anyways
wouldnt it be cool if we could get B smithis to be over a foot long
 

Blue Jaye

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I find a lot of people do a goodly amount of inbreeding. While there is no concrete evidence that it a problem with inbreeding tarantulas. I don't feel comfortable with it and won't do it. As far as selective breeding for traits like size, color etc. I have no clue if this works with tarantulas. What I have noticed over the years is smaller mature males. Could just as well be due to husbandry or genetics as breeding. There's just no real evidence to these quests.
 

Andrea82

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I find a lot of people do a goodly amount of inbreeding. While there is no concrete evidence that it a problem with inbreeding tarantulas. I don't feel comfortable with it and won't do it. As far as selective breeding for traits like size, color etc. I have no clue if this works with tarantulas. What I have noticed over the years is smaller mature males. Could just as well be due to husbandry or genetics as breeding. There's just no real evidence to these quests.
Any idea why MM are getting smaller? And is that a bad thing?
 

Arachnophoric

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Any idea why MM are getting smaller? And is that a bad thing?
No idea on the first question, but as for the second I'd assume so. Males maturing sooner/smaller, making for a shorter lifespan and probably less likely to get the job done/get out alive. But that's coming from an individual who's only watched breeding videos and has yet to breed T's himself.
 

EulersK

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I mean, we know that animals can be selectively bred. Size, color, disposition, you name it. Traits passing on from parent to offspring is how evolution works, we know that it happens. I think that's it's just a matter of the generally long life cycle of a tarantula combined with very limited blood pools. Plus, it's not like humans found a use in spiders a millenia ago, so we haven't been at it very long. Look at what we did with dogs. No reason we couldn't do it with spiders in my eyes. So, possible? Sure. Logistically possible? Not really.
 

volcanopele

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It helps that unlike a lot of other animals kept as pets, there are MANY different species when are kept in captivity. Want a big spider, there are many species to choose from. Want a dwarf, there are quite a few for you. Want a red spider? Want a blue T? Again, you don't need to do selective breeding to get those traits, just pick a species. I'm sure there is much to be gained from selective breeding (better/worse temperaments, more vibrant coloration, size), but the variety of species on the market probably makes it unnessary. The variety of species also makes it more unlikely because so many different species splits the hobby's attention.

It might be possible with some of the more popular species though. Look at snakes. Again lots of species, but only a small subset are popular in the pet trade, so you do see selective breeding of color morphs for species like the ball python (my fiancee has a pastel for example).
 

Nightstalker47

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I mean, we know that animals can be selectively bred. Size, color, disposition, you name it. Look at what we did with dogs. No reason we couldn't do it with spiders in my eyes. So, possible? Sure. Logistically possible? Not really.
I think so as well, with dogs we managed to create so many different breeds and they are all descendants from one species. It's quite spectacular that we managed to selectively breed dogs like the chihuahuas, it looks nothing like a wolf yet they are genetically the same thing.

If we could turn a super predator into a little rat like dog who knows what could be done with Ts. I think it would take forever to figure out what specimen would carry the gene you wanted and vice versa. But with the hobby form species such as B. albopilosum we may have been selectively breeding them without even knowing it.
or heck, P. imperator! What if that beast could be bred to be humongous?
They already are! I've got a solid nine incher back home, with the tail of course.
 

boina

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But it has already been done: N. incei gold is a selectively bred color mutation.

The thing is if you want to breed some new color or a bigger size or whatever, first you need a mutation, like the "gold" mutation in incei. After that it takes only a generation or two to establish a gene pool for that mutation. No need to wait for millennia. A color mutation is easy enough to identify, but a size mutation? You never know if that T is bigger/smaller due to a mutation or husbandry issues.
 

Donski

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Interesting topic.. Seeing the "morph" craze in reptiles I wondered if people had thought about selection in T's. Take the P Metallica.. some are more blue than others, surely selecting the more blue ones would lead to a better quality blue animal. I guess T's are a bit tougher to breed however, with them having to mature out around the same time and being rarer than ball pythons :)
Out of interest.. has an Albino T happened yet? not really looked into it :)
 

viper69

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But it has already been done: N. incei gold is a selectively bred color mutation.

The thing is if you want to breed some new color or a bigger size or whatever, first you need a mutation, like the "gold" mutation in incei. After that it takes only a generation or two to establish a gene pool for that mutation. No need to wait for millennia. A color mutation is easy enough to identify, but a size mutation? You never know if that T is bigger/smaller due to a mutation or husbandry issues.
I'm almost positive this isn't true at all. Please provide info correcting me, because this would be new info, at least to me.

I read the original post of that pairing some years ago. I might still have it bookmarked. There was no selective breeding, the breeder bred two normal looking adults and out popped some golds and normals, it was not expected, ie not selective breeding.

To the best of my knowledge they did not know a priori that the adults they had were both heterozygous for the gold gene. That is the only way one can get gold with 2 normal phenotypes.


The only way the original breeders could have known they were going to get gold is if somehow they came upon a gold initially, and took that progeny and bred it.
 

EulersK

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The thing is if you want to breed some new color or a bigger size or whatever, first you need a mutation, like the "gold" mutation in incei. After that it takes only a generation or two to establish a gene pool for that mutation. No need to wait for millennia. A color mutation is easy enough to identify, but a size mutation? You never know if that T is bigger/smaller due to a mutation or husbandry issues.
I think that you're taking things too quickly. It's not necessarily a mutation, but rather a set of different alleles. Would you call two tall humans mutants? No, but their offspring would likely be similarly tall. Keep breeding nothing but tall people over the course of generations and suddenly you've got freakishly tall people. Eugenics, yay!

I think that the same thing could happen with tarantulas, given enough time. I know that @Blue Jaye has some freakishly large pokies. Her communal of M. balfouri (which are all related) are popping into huge males and equally huge females.
 

viper69

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I think that you're taking things too quickly. It's not necessarily a mutation, but rather a set of different alleles. Would you call two tall humans mutants? No, but their offspring would likely be similarly tall. Keep breeding nothing but tall people over the course of generations and suddenly you've got freakishly tall people. Eugenics, yay!

I think that the same thing could happen with tarantulas, given enough time. I know that @Blue Jaye has some freakishly large pokies. Her communal of M. balfouri (which are all related) are popping into huge males and equally huge females.
However, alleles that are not the normal, that are the rare variant, are often termed mutations.

https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/genetics-dictionary?cdrid=339337

That's just one of several citations for my description.

However, if you have one that contradicts it, I'm all eyes!
 

EulersK

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However, alleles that are not the normal, that are the rare variant, are often termed mutations.

https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/genetics-dictionary?cdrid=339337

That's just one of several citations for my description.

However, if you have one that contradicts it, I'm all eyes!
Right, but we're not necessarily talking about rare, just desirable. When we were selectively breeding Great Danes, we just kept choosing the largest dogs to breed over and over until the trait basically became a mutation.
 

viper69

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Right, but we're not necessarily talking about rare, just desirable. When we were selectively breeding Great Danes, we just kept choosing the largest dogs to breed over and over until the trait basically became a mutation.
I don't think this part is phrased right "trait became a mutation". The trait for large, let's say, was always there, it just wasn't common (I know nothing about Great Danes, except they are the size of small horses) or the predominant phenotype.
 

EulersK

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I don't think this part is phrased right "trait became a mutation". The trait for large, let's say, was always there, it just wasn't common (I know nothing about Great Danes, except they are the size of small horses) or the predominant phenotype.
Yeah, I really didn't know how to word that. I mean, we've definitely created phenotypes that simply weren't there before - look at a Shih-Tzu compared to a Gread Dane. No matter how many liters of Shih-Tzu's you have, you'll never get one to even be a quarter the size of a Great Dane. I suppose that's what I mean.
 
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