Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mastigoproctus giganteus Breeding

Hi again fellow invertebrate lovers!
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
During this stage the male holds on to the female's antenniform legs with his pedipalps and sort of chews or nibbles the ends of them( not harming her, of course), which are called tarsomeres. While doing this the male leads her around the enclosure. This stage lasted about one hour and forty five minutes if I remember correctly.

                                                         Stage #2: "Generating"

Female grasps the male's abdomen with her pedipalps while the male produces a spermatophore
During this stage the female grasps the male's abdomen with her pedipalps, while the male slowly rocks the front half of himself from side to side, raises his prosoma, and produces a spermatophore. Once it is deposited onto the ground, them male will gently lead her over it, and the female will press it onto her gonophore and pick it up.  This stage took around two hours.
                                                                Stage #3: "Pressing"

Male presses the spermatophore in to the female's gonophore
During this final stage of the mating process the male wraps his pedipalps around the female's abdomen and gently presses the spermatophore into the female's gonophore using the small fingers( sorry don't know the correct name for these) on the ends of his pedipalps. This stage lasted the longest at maybe five hours?
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.
Dried-up spermatophore
Clearly this spermatophore didn't end up where it was supposed to, but hopefully he deposited another one that did end up getting presses in correctly.
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.

Adult female M.giganteus enclosure

Piece of cork bark under substrate
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.
     That's it for right now, hope you guys enjoyed this long post and until next time, goodbye!


  1. Very nice post, love the step by step photos showing the mating process! :)

    Hopefully your female ends up being gravid, keep us posted!

    1. Thank you! :)
      I'll keep you guys posted for sure!

    2. Cool, really hope you get some offspring from her! :)