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 Post subject: Theraphosa apophysis
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 12:37 am
Posts: 265
Location: Costa Mesa, California
Successful? - Yes.

Preliminary notes - Female had last molted Jan2011. Male had matured Aug2011. Both tarantulas were kept at room temperature which, depending on the time of year, can be anywhere from 20C to 30C. Humidity is maintained by adding water to the enclosures' substrate when it starts to look dry (not swampy). After the male had matured I wanted to wait for the female to molt before introducing the pair. Several times she looked like she was preparing to molt as she would web up her den entrance and refuse food. I introduced the male a couple times as well and she would refuse him, further leading me to believe she was in pre-molt. Finally, in Mar2012 she began feeding regularly again and they were successfully paired in Apr2012.

How they were paired - Male was introduced into the female's enclosure and removed upon separation.

Pairing notes -
  1. 04Apr12 @ 1700, temp. 27C. male inserted left palp.
  2. 05Apr12 @ 2240, temp. 24C. male inserted both palps.
  3. 17Apr12 @ 1958, temp. 28C. male inserted right palp.

Post-mating care - Moved the female to a larger enclosure and just kept feeding her B. dubia and B. fusca as long as she would take them.

Time to sac - Last successful pairing was on 17Apr12 and the sac was made on 23Jun12.

Care of the sac - I pulled the sac on 23Jul12 (one month later). I wanted to leave it with her for the duration (despite having two experiences with T. stirmi eating their sacs), but had to intervene as I noticed one night her behavior changed. After finishing her sac she lightly webbed up her den which still made it possible to observe her inside using a flashlight. I tried my best to leave her be, at times just looking into her den to make sure she wasn't eating it. On the night of 23Jul12 she took the web down and the sac had a wet and shrunken appearance to it. I opened the sac to reveal 88 good eggs and 1 egg-with-legs amongst other moldy eggs. I incubated the eggs using the "coffee filter method".

Time to hatch -
  1. 24Jul12 - more eggs-with-legs
  2. Week of 05Aug12 - they began molting into 1st instars. Could not re-create sac conditions so a lot of eggs died (14 remain). Many 1st instars had also gotten stuck in their exuvia when molting from the eggs-with-legs stage and died.
  3. 06Sep12 - they began molting into 2nd instars.

Final details - Ended up with 12 good slings (from 88 eggs initially pulled).

Final note - I'm inclined to think that the female actually sensed that her eggs were ready to molt into the eggs-with-legs stage and that is what triggered a change in her behavior. It would make sense since when I opened the sac there was already one that had already molted.

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