Mature female Psalmopoeus cambridgei “Cami”

There comes a “first time” for stuff in every hobby. Breeding is one of these things in the exotic pet side of things. While it is not for every hobbyist, once the itch needs to be scratched, it’s only a matter of time.
That time, for me, came on this past Sunday.
One of my hobbyist friends mentioned online that she had two female Psalmopoeus cambridgei tarantulas that were being snooty toward her male, refusing to have anything to do with it other than as a potential snack.

My P. cambridgei recently molted into adult status by hitting 6.5-7″ in size, so we started back and forthing about when and how to get these two together.
There is a time limit on this stuff, as the male, once mature and producing sperm webs only has a relatively small period left in the mortal coil.
So Sunday, I packed my girl up in the car and drove for two hours southward to Pueblo, Colorado. (Yes we hobbyists are a dedicated lot. 😀 )
Tarantula on her way to her potential mate.

After giving “Cami” a rest from the jostling that can happen when in the backseat of a car, we introduced the male to her enclosure…and nothing.
Male Psalmopoeus cambridgei looking for love.

She wasn’t coming out of her cork bark tube. Soooo, we matchmakers pulled out the tube, and prodded her into the open.
Once there, she headed to the top of the tank, interested in only hiding in the plastic plants.
It took about an hour or so, but the male went up and started the courtship rituals, and “Cam” got interested. Actually more than interested as she started to get involved in the process even more than her suitor. 😀
And so it begins…

After all was said and done, they tried things three times, and at one point the male was cleaning his pedipalps (sperm delivery legs) which is a very good sign.
I’ve watched this process via youtube and other social media many times, so I knew what was going on and what to expect, but there is something thrilling about actually seeing the process occur in front of one’s eyes.  I was having a continual Steve Irwin “Crikey” feeling rippling through my brain.
One of the hazards of this endeavor is that the female will sometimes , once satiated, realize she’s now starving, and try to eat her mate. Not always, but it does happen.
Not with Cami and her lover. They separated, (humorously as he slipped and fell off the glass to the substrate below), and she went back to the top corner, stretching out.
I can’t stay down in Pueblo as I’ve got work and obligations at home in Denver, so my friend will give them a few more shots at the “Tiger Room” before I head back down to bring her home.
If successful, we’ll have a sac of fertilized eggs at the end of this process, thus completing the circle o’ life.
Here is a short video of the two lovebirds in action (Male above, Cami below):

2 thoughts on “Tarantula bits #8

  1. Did I just watch spider porn? D: (just kidding!). I hope things worked out and Cami is pregnant (do you even call it that in spider-world? I know they lay eggs, but… Whatever, you get what I mean :p).
    I also hope the male survives. Would be bit of a bummer for your friend if she finally found a compatible mate for him and he ends up being eaten D:

  2. 😀
    Pretend it’s the Discovery Channel, and all is good. 😀 In spider-talk, Cami would be “gravid”, and we won’t know for a month or so…their abdomens tend to bulge out if things are developing. If all goes well, she will make a “sac” –egg sack– and 100-300 junior-ettes would follow in the next few months.
    As for the male…sadly, this stuff is his last hurrah. For arachnids in general, and tarantulas in particular, males are at the end of their lifespans upon maturation.
    Finding mates, and impregnating them is their final job in this world. They will usually hunt for multiple females, mate and try to survive the encounters, but after that, they will fade and die. In this species in particular, the females don’t usually try for a post-coital snack, so the males are pretty much good to go find more girls.
    In the hobby, this isn’t usually the deal, sadly.
    The male in this pairing is actually getting pretty close to the end. We weren’t even completely sure it would be successful, as he’s been “mature” for a couple months already…but he was good to go 6 times so far. (When breeding, it is a good idea to introduce the pair several times to ensure there aren’t any misfires or bad aim. So far we’ve counted 4 “good” insertions”, so this phase is probably over with.
    He’ll probably last another month or so, but he quit eating awhile back, and is starting to thin out. “Circle -o- Life”.
    In some arachnid species, interestingly enough, the male, if successful, will offer himself to the female as a meal rather than try to avoid the issue.

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