From the pages of 'The British Tarantula Society Journal'
Mating problems with the King Baboon.
Author: Thomas Ezendam
This article has first been published in the magazine of the Dutch Tarantula Society called "Werkgroep Vogelspinnen".
As Guy Tansley requested for more attempts of mating with this really magnificent spider, I translated my own article for you all.
On a show in Eindhoven (Holland) at the end of 1995 were two German salesmen of Berlin. Both had beautiful tarantulas with them like: Theraphosa leblondi, Citharischius crawshayi, Pseudotheraphosa apophysis, Megaphobema robusta and many more.
At one trader I bought a Theraphosa leblondi and at the other two leblondi's and a Citharischius crawshayi. All animals were female and sexually mature.
According to the books and a few big breeders in Holland it would be difficult to find a male for the King Baboon. I was lucky: at the next meeting of our society there was a sub-adult male from this species. There was also a male of Ceratogyrus darlingi and I traded them against another spider. On the 15th. of december it moulted into maturity.
The male looked totally different, exactly like they wrote in the books. It really looked like another species. The legs: All legs are long and slim. On the end of each part there is a white band. The thickened rearlegs have dissapearded and on the front legs are no tibial hooks.
The hairs have also changed. They are longer (5 mm.) and standing straight on the body. The whole looks a bit fuzy.
The size is also very different. My female has a body of about 10 cm. My male has a body of about 6 cm. but much more slender build.
Then came the moment of mating. I was a bit afraid of how it would be , because I couldn't find a description of it in none of my books. With that there was the risk of loosing the male. How many males are there in Holland ?
Remark: I'm always observing the mating in case I have to save the male.
This has two reasons
Well, accidents can happen offcourse. One of the disatvantages is, that it could take a lot of time. With some species your done in two minutes, with others it could take a few hours.
After introducing the male, it wandered through the container and entered the burrow of the female. In the beginning of the burrow the male started to shake. After a few minutes the female rushed forward and closed the entrance of the chamber with her frontlegs. The male, frightened of course, came running out of the burrow stopping on the edge still shaking. After half a minute he entered again upto the female and came out again. He repeated this a few times and I got the impression he tried to get the female out of her burrow. She didn't respond so I took him out after an hour.
This one was identical to the first attempt. The difference was that the female reacted more calmly on the attempts of the male and she even followed him out. When she came out the male was constantly drumming on the frontlegs and palps of the female. When she emerged totally. he tried to mate with her instantly. With his frontlegs he pushed her palps and frontlegs away. With his palps he tried to find her epigynum. This all happened when sh e was still standing on the entrance of the burrow so I couldn't see very clear.
Suddenly the female attacked and purchased him for about 20 cm. They stopped in a corner and the female showed her fangs under loud hissing sounds. The male made himself as little as possible. The female stayed in this position for about 5 minutes. Then s he turned around and entered her burrow. The male moved after 20 minutes. He sucked on his bulbusses. Because he didn't make any new attempts I removed him from the container.
Now the big question: Was this a good mating or not ? Time will tell and I'll make another attempt.
This was the end of this article but I will inform you about what happened later.
I made another attempt but the male wasn't interested so he went to another breeder in Nijmegen where he stayed for a few weeks till he died.
The female didn't come out of the burrow for 3 months and I thought this was a good sign. I didn't dare to move the container because I was afraid that she would eat the eggsac (if she had one). After these 3 months I thought it was taking to long and I decided to turn the container so I could look into the burrow. Through the silk I saw a leg lying on the ground and a few centimeters further another one. I decided that my spider was m ore important than an eggsac and I opened the burrow. She was moulted so I could start allover.
In the same period I took over the breeding directory and I was offered two males of Citharischius crawshayi. They were still in breeding-loan at another breed er in Groningen but I made an appointment with him in Amstelveen where he would be visiting his family. I made attempts with both males but couldn't see well. Every time the males touched the epigynum she attacked. After two weeks I tried again with the biggest of the both and I think it was a good mating. Suddenly she lowered a bit. Than within a second sh e pushed right through his legs and grabbed him. She had him right through the carapace. This was on 12 - 7 - 1996. At the moment she dug a new burrow an d roams around every night. She doesn't eat and I wonder if she's gravid, otherwise I'll be searching for males again next spring.
I also bred Cyclosternum fasciatum and Ceratogyrus darlingi. I'm awaiting eggsacs from Grammostola cala, Psalmopoeus cambridgei and Pterinochilus murinus. I've got an eggsac of Theraphosa leblondi (wildcaught specimen).
I hope to have informed you a bit with my article and I would congratulate you with your great journal}}
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Last Updated: February 19, 2007