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Lisa Ashforth
08-06-11, 07:40 AM
Highland form for those who believe in forms. The female is no more than 6" legspan and very dark in colour. She is restless and unsettled at higher temperatures so is kept at normal household temps with no additional heat.

Mating behaviour
Female and male both moulted in April 2010.
Male introduced to femal's tank in late May 2010 and left in with female for 2 weeks. No mating observed but they cohabited amicably. Male removed after 2 weeks and sent on to do his business elsewhere.
Tank conditions and temperatures before mating
Arboreal glass tank 8x8x14", cork hide against one side of tank blocked off with black card, open water dish, substrate dry with occasional light spray, room temp with no additional heating to the tank (average 65-70F with possible drops to 60F at night during last cold winter) Feeding schedule before mating
She ate one lobster roach every 2 weeks or so, not usually a big eater. Behaviour after mating
Female's appetite increased and she ate about one adult lobster roach a week between June and December. She was often out of her hide in the evenings looking for food. her tank is kept in a spare bedroom so she was quiet and mostly undisturbed. Female stopped eating and started excavating her hide around December and then webbed herself in at New Year during the really cold weather. Date eggsac produced
Spotted sac during routine check on 2nd Feb 2011. Checked once a week to make sure she was still holding the sac. Date eggsac removed/hatched
Sac pulled on 30th April 2011, 12 weeks after first seeing her with it. Didn't pull it sooner as I had a 2 week holiday mid-April and thought leaving it with the mum was the best option rather than incubating it artificially and risking problems while I was away. Female was quite thin after sac was pulled. She now appears fat and healthy as she has been feeding heavily ever since.
Development times of nymphs

At 12 weeks the sac contained N2s when opened. started moulting to slings 2nd June 2011. All moulted successfully to slings by 5th June with no deaths. 62 spiderlings.

Having spoken to a couple of people about this, I think I unknowingly provided the right conditions for her sac by allowing the temperatures to drop significantly during the last cold winter, especially at night. I did not think this female was gravid as she never got very large. I attribute the long development time of the sac to the cooler conditions the female was kept in.