Spiderlings experience first molt

July 7, 2010 at 6:56 pm 3 comments

We often get excited for the anticipation of new babies, but when there are more than 300 – fear sets in! That is not the case for the Butterfly Pavilion Tarantula Breeding Team. They are excited for the more than 300 spiderlings that have emerged out of Diana’s eggsack.

In March of this year, the Butterfly Pavilion created a breeding program for the purpose of research, educational opportunities for zookeepers, staff and visitors as well as the conservation of threatened animals. After a successful breeding attempt with Diana and Cassanova (a breeding pair), an egg sack was formed soon after.

The egg sac was incubated in a hammock suspended in tupperware. As of June 27, 2010, there were 27 first instar spiderlings, 280 post embryo eggs with legs, and three unhatched eggs. Of the post embryos, 150 were pulled aside and incubated in an identical incubation setup for a growth study, which will measure how much the spiderlings eat, their molt rate and growth rate.

Both groups of embryo’s have molted into first instar spiderlings. Meaning, they are now biologically “spiders” and not “spider embryos”.

The breeding program is now part of the Butterfly Pavilion’s growth study of the Chilean Rose Hair tarantula. There are no published growth studies of the Grammostola roseas.  The Butterfly Pavilion is very excited for the study and should have a report by fall.

To learn more about the Butterfly Pavilion’s Tarantula babies and how they came about check it out here.

Posted by

Megan Sullivan

Social Media Intern


Entry filed under: Current Events, General. Tags: , , .

True Perennials- Seniors and Butterfly Gardening Insectival 2010

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Personal Care 101  |  July 8, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Little baby spiders…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  • 2. Stephanie Barnhizer  |  July 12, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Wow, that story has a lot of l’eggs to stand on! Very exciting study!

    Too bad about the Google ad for Terminix that follows it – and I believe the insects pictured in that ad are cockroaches which also feature prominently there at the Pavilion, living for learning, not as “pests.”

    Hmmm, how to educate to and for the whole?

    With admiration and appreciation.

    P.S. (I recently submitted a resume thinking it would be my next great contribution to work with you, but am not one to bug).

  • 3. Bon Giorno  |  September 24, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Impressive, once I had a spiders nest come out in my toitlet room. That wasnt very handy tough hehe.

    Like your closeup pictures!



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