As the barking mad shed man from the Fast Show (Jesse’s experiments) might say, “This week, I ah been mostly…sexin’!”. I myself, am probably barking mad but I definitely do not own a shed. Nevertheless, this week, I have been mostly sexing. Yes. I have.
Someone whispers, “It’s more spider talk, isn’t it?” And follows with a yawn.
How did you guess? I know, I know, spiders make you feel all itchy and scratchy! How on Earth you can’t love them as I do (tongue in cheek) is beyond me!? Well, I did warn you in an earlier post that this blog will evolve. Gradually perhaps, with still a few reminiscences and the odd maladjusted outburst of nonsense. Nonetheless, it will evolve. Anyway…
I have just had a molt from Flame, my Mexican Fireleg, Brachypelma boehmei. Until this point I was convinced that she was, indeed, a she; not so. She, is in fact, a He! It’s sometimes difficult to tell the sex of a tarantula just by looking at it. Granted, as adults, there can be certain dimorphic and dichromatic differences that will immediately tell you the gender of a specimen. However, before adulthood, it can be difficult. This is the very first molt I’ve had from Flame since he came to me, and, on examining the molt from the inside of the molted abdomen, I can clearly determine the sex. When I examined the molt, it’s obvious that there is no distinct structure – spermathecae that would be present in a female.
It’s a little disappointing but I’ll perhaps tell you about that in a future post but for now, you have to agree, no seriously, you must, that she, I mean, he is a beautiful specimen.
Next, he makes his way out of the molt, you can see that to the left, notice, his carapace is missing from view, revealing the inside of his cephalothorax.
Get a load of those gorgeous legs! Hopefully you might see the pictures a little more contrasty, depending on your screen or what you’re viewing on but they seem a little pale on mine. Flame’s colours in the flesh, so to speak, look much more vibrant.
For the next week or so, a few days at the very least, I won’t offer him any food as his body and his fangs need time to harden; introducing prey too early that have working mouth parts can actually be unwise. I’m hoping he’ll be nice and hungry when the time comes.
The best thing you can do for the short time after the molting process is to ensure minimal disturbance in order to avoid stress.
And that’s just me!