So about a month ago I decided to make my first attempt at breeding my M.giganteus. I was a bit nervous initially while introducing them to each other because of the violent-looking "chase and grapple" behavior. Although that part of the mating process was a bit violent, the rest of the process was very calm.
Here's some pictures of each stage in the mating process!
Stage #1: "Dancing"
|Male grasping the female's antenniform legs and "chewing" the tarsomeresof the legs with his chelicerae|
|Close-up of male grasping the female's antenniform legs and "chewing" the tarsomeres of the legs with his chelicerae|
Stage #2: "Generating"
|Female grasps the male's abdomen with her pedipalps while the male produces a spermatophore|
Stage #3: "Pressing"
|Male presses the spermatophore in to the female's gonophore|
So in total the entire mating process took almost nine hours, which is fairly quick for these guys. I ended up leaving them together over night, but sadly, I am not sure that the mating was successful because I woke up the next day to find a dried-up spermatophore laying on the substrate.
Since I had big doubts about the first mating being successful, I ended up attempting to re-mate them. I did not take any pictures from the second mating since I already got more than enough from the first mating. My second try at mating them turned out being a definite failure. This time the mating was halted before the female even picked up the spermatophore with her gonophore. Don't know what happened, but the male must have just deposited two spermatophores on the substrate and not lead her over them correctly because I heard some movement in the enclosure and when I checked on them, they were separated and two freshly deposited spermatophores were sitting on the substrate.
I'm hoping that the reason for these two incomplete matings is that the female is already gravid. I might try to breed them one more time, but if the breeding is un-successful again, I'll just keep my fingers crossed that she's gravid.
Last thing I'll add is that the female is now housed in a new, plastic 14.5 inch long x 8.6 inch wide x 9.6 inch tall Critter Tote enclosure with a fully-ventilated lid. I have a half-log hide in there, and for the time being have a piece of cork bark under the substrate that will serve as a stable barrier for it to create it's chamber in once it excavates it's way down there.
Although I might eventually take out the piece of cork bark since it molds pretty easy and replace it with maybe a rock barrier, but for right now I'm just drying out the substrate a bit so mold hopefully stops growing on it.
|Adult female M.giganteus enclosure|
|Piece of cork bark under substrate|
That's it for right now, hope you guys enjoyed this long post and until next time, goodbye!