Widow Maturity

anthony k

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
16
Hi,

Whats the best way of telling if both male and female widows are mature enought to attempt breeding them? Is it mainly based on size?

Cheers,

Anthony.
 

buthus

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
1,381
Hi,

Whats the best way of telling if both male and female widows are mature enought to attempt breeding them? Is it mainly based on size?

Cheers,

Anthony.
You'll probably get some good advice regarding this, but it will be helpful if you specify which species.
 

cacoseraph

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
8,328
one thing to note if you come from a tarantula-centric field of experience... in tara males, they are mature when they gain the bulbus ends on their pedipalps... various true spider males exhibit the bulbousness one or more molts earlier.... so the axiom that if it it has bulbs it is a mature male is not true in the true spider world
 

anthony k

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
16
Thanks for the replies, Cacoseraph had noticed that in some of my males, it's a pain, far easier with tarantulas to know when they are mature!

Buthus, I've got gravid female revivensis and 13guttatus and sub adult couples of hesperus and variolus. I'm not to sure if the variolus and hesperus are mature though and don't want to risk loosing my males!

The hesperus and variolus females I have are arround the same size as my gravid females but I'm not too sure with the males. I've only got one hesperus male who has gone quite 'leggy' and a few variolus males so could risk one of them but again I am not sure if they are ready!

When introduced to the females web should mating be quite a quick occurance?
 

buthus

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
1,381
Thanks for the replies, Cacoseraph had noticed that in some of my males, it's a pain, far easier with tarantulas to know when they are mature!

Buthus, I've got gravid female revivensis and 13guttatus and sub adult couples of hesperus and variolus. I'm not to sure if the variolus and hesperus are mature though and don't want to risk loosing my males!

The hesperus and variolus females I have are arround the same size as my gravid females but I'm not too sure with the males. I've only got one hesperus male who has gone quite 'leggy' and a few variolus males so could risk one of them but again I am not sure if they are ready!

When introduced to the females web should mating be quite a quick occurance?
mature hesperus males...typical

mature hesp male ...gorgeous and atypical

same male as above, but one molt to go... and very well fed...


mature mactan male ...a bit colorful, but fairly typical..

another mac male, but more typical mature body shape...


mature revivensis... cant go by markings at all with these because they vary greatly...

another rev male... notice the difference...siblings btw..

another from the same sac, but these show the slimming down and "squaring off" of the abdomen..


mature tredecimguttatus (fully black flavor, but same difference)...

another, but much plumper...almost looks a molt off...probably just well fed and recently hydrated...


mature variolus can be a pain to ID maturity and they tend to mature slower and act alot like females until after final molt...


Males can vary greatly with regards to size and it is not a reliable key. Reduction of body mass, lengthy legs and whatnot are helpful indicators, but behavior is the key. Mature males will normally not accept food unless they are starving or after they mate. They will drink and should be given H2O. They will also BOLT for freedom and will fight you to the point of injury to be free.

Dont be afraid to test a male out by placing him into her web... as long as you have access enough to help him out if he is not mature. Have a couple artists paint brushes handy. Thats really my number one way to tell if everyones ready ...especially with the species that I have not a clue about. ;) A mature male that touches a mature females web will start the dance within 15 maybe 30 minutes max...but usually it only takes him a few minutes or so. Male reactions to gravid females can vary from species to species. So far I have never seen a hesp male start the process with a gravid female ...except within a few days from when she was mated. Laos on the otherhand are sex fiends and seem to mate and mate ...and mate.

Typical mating time from foreplay to run, run away! ..for hesps? ...probably 45min to a couple hours. Got a pair of hesps mating as I type this and he has just started touching her and its been almost one hour. Though, some pairings can continue ..even for days. For example..older, heavy gravids tend not to chase the male (or very successfully) and he can have his way with her more than he would if he was dealing with a young mature.


Good luck!
 

anthony k

Arachnopeon
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Messages
16
Thats excellent thanks buthus, the pictures are very good. I'd say my male hesperus is mature from both his looks and the behaviour you describe so will have a go at introducing him to the female.

My variolus males I think must still have a moult to go as they are still more female like and feeding well.

I'll let you know how it goes.
 
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