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Mating

   

Male. Since the moment of sexual maturation of male he must be provided with personal care. Keeping in conditions with higher humidity allows to prevent semen from dry up. Regular nutritious meal will provide the males good state and longevity.

Remember that male saves ability to fertization of female, as a rule, during 6 months after last molt (ultimate molt)!

Female also must be well fed to supply necessary spares of fat and protein. Constant presence of food objects in terrarium with the females at this period advisable, and if the female eats during eggsac care is also too.

One of the the main questions, appearing directly when mating the tarantulas, is concluded in insofar female is ready to mating, is it she already mature?

For abilities to fertization of male a situation is clear – after he has entwine sperm-web and has fill pedipalps with semen (this may takes usually 2-3 weeks after his ultimate molt) the male is ready for copulation.

Approach to maturity of female is possible only to define aproximately on its size and age (this why is recommended to lead the «molting diaries»).

Female of Phlogius stirlingi with hatched spiderlingsInteresting that successful mating not always provides unconditional fertization and, as result, constracting of eggsac. Often even after noted successful copulation the eggsac are not laid, the female in certain time molts (sperm, which stored in females spermathecae, removes from female organizm together with exuvium). Once in a while (particularly noted for Theraphosa blondi) eggs are laid not fertile. Also in captivity knowned facts that females lays non-fertile eggsacs Poecilotheria regalis, Psalmopoeus cambridgei even without preliminary mating. And females shown its maternal behaviour: took care of cocoon and protect its. Where are no exact answer to this facts. Possible only to expect, that the reason probably inheres with connection of seasonal breeding in nature and connected with sharp change of the cycle their annual activity and haved a temperature-humidity mode in places their live.

Before You introduce male to female, prepare piece of thick paperboard square-wave form or long flattened stick, for use its as a panel for protection of male in the event of hold up of female (or female from male).

Males, as a rule, more active and prone to copulate in evening-night time. Positive stimulus for mating will be with general increasing of temperature and humidity in terrarium, where will introducing occurs. To avoid fast shrift with male, necessary for several days before mating amply to fatten female.

There are several efficient strategies of introducing tarantulas exists.

1. The female is entering into prepared terrarium with male on its opposite edge. Under this she carried there by means of small container (human smell can scare away male). As a rule, in certain time a male begins to show interest to female. If this does not occur, that possible to stimulate the process by stroke alternately the pedipalps and front legs of both sexes with a soft stick. If this doesn`t works too, то necessary to nudge the female closer to the male. At the moment of mating be in readiness to rescue the male to escape from females aggresion if presented, and herewith be careful not to damage tarantulas.

2. If You are going to use method of introdusing male to female, which is kept in terrarium with shelter, that simply place him in opposite part from females burrow.

If on some reason the mating did not occur, that reasonable to repeat the procedure through several days.

Since when mating an initiative reveals mainly by male, then for the aim of reduction of its enxiety and making the optimum conditions expedient to introduce a female to male, rather then on the contrary. But for some species (Hysterocrates spp., Haplopelma spp. and others) this does not give some positive result.

Some amateurs to exclude the possible stress beside male, is used the shark-cage method: male placed in females terrarium in small container. Male inheres in such cage within several days, after that the door on its container is openned and male is given possibility to pass on territory of female.

Female of Psalmopoeus cambridgei with eggsacIn the event of successful mating, through certain period of time (from 1 to 6, even 9 months, some known to construct eggsac within more then year from mating) a female lay eggs and plaits them in cocoon. Preceding this period is accompanied, as a rule, with active digging of the substrate and webbing the terrarium. Right in shelter (or burrow) or in the corner of terrarium female braids its "nest", in which it will incubates cocoon. If You leave the cocoon and care about him with female, that support in its terrarium the required conditions (level of temperature and humidity). But if you are going to incubate the cocoon artificially, is necessary to take it from the female. In the book S. and М. Schultz reccomend to use for this the spoon. Please be careful not to damage the eggsac or the female.

There are several factors which are affects the eggsac construction. Several species, which comes from countries with well denominated seasonal change of climate (Argentina, Chile и др.), for instance, Grammostola rosea (is necessary to say - one of the not simple for breeding species), after mating is necessary to give at least small (2-3 weeks) period with lowered temperature and humidity. However, the temperature-humidity changes must not have been sharp, but their reduction and the following ascent necessary to realize gradually, within a few days.

Interesting, what such a sharp changes of conditions can be effective enough for other tarantula species, such as tropical species for instance, Brachypelma vagans and Theraphosa blondi .

However at present I can`t give any advice for use of this strategy of stimulation of female eggsac constraction since herewith appears much more questions, than known answers.

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