Tarantulas will only reproduce if they are sexually mature.
Mature males are easy to
differentiate from females because their legs are thinner, their bodies are generally smaller
and males have two distinguishing features: a spur under the two front legs next to the pedipalp and the last segment of the pedipalps are swollen like boxing gloves.
The last segment of the pedipalp is modified in males and is used in the process of
Males spin a web on the ground onto which they release semen from glands
in the abdomen. They then dip their pedipalps into the semen and it is absorbed into the
last segment of the pedipalp. The pedipalp is then inserted into the genital opening of the
1. The male is sexually
mature when he has spurs on the two front legs next to the pedipalps and the pedipalps are
swollen. A female tarantula is mature when adult size is reached.
2. Wait until female has shed her skin.
3. Ensure the male and female are well fed before you try
to mate them.
Place the male into the female’s enclosure. Pay careful attention to see if the female is
being aggressive toward the male and is therefore not receptive. Have a container
ready to place over female if she is too aggressive toward the male. Remove the male if
this is the case and try again a few days later.
the female is receptive, mating can take place in a few seconds
to a few hours. Both male and female may display ritual
courtship behaviour before they mate (rubbing of legs, drumming
of ground etc). Don’t let these peculiarities bother you. The
male will make every effort to push the female backward/upright
in order to gain access to the epigastric furrow.
Once the abdomen is exposed, he will insert his pedipalps. If
things get confused, you can usually distinguish the male as
being the more brightly coloured specimen.
(front) meets female and both tarantulas lift bodies upright.
Male moves closer to insert pedipalp into epigastric furrow.
6. Once copulation (mating) is
complete, the male usually makes a run for it. In some
instances, the male might get killed by the female in the
process of mating. Remove the male from enclosure once he has successfully inserted his pedipalps into the
female’s epigastric furrow.
7. You might want to repeat the process of mating a few times spread over a couple of
weeks to ensure a successfully breeding.
Eggs are produced in the ovaries. Fertilized eggs are then released through the genital
opening into a cocoon that is spun, called an egg sac. An egg sac should be produced in just over a month from copulation. Females have been known to eat their egg sac if disturbed, so best leave her alone
for a while.
You can leave the egg sac with the female and let her incubate the eggs or you can
incubate the egg sac artificially. Temperatures of between 27 and 28 degrees C (80 – 82 F)
are ideal. Humidity is also important.
Keep the humidity at between 60 and 70%. The other important thing is to turn the egg sac
on a regular basis
The egg sac should hatch in 45 – 90 days (but can take as long as 200 days).
9. If breeding is successful, be prepared to house a few hundred to a few thousand spiderlings (depending on the species).