I got some excellent suggestions from Nicholas DiRienzo for raising spiders, which is why it’s good to get information online, and also why I’m going to the American Arachnology Society conference this weekend. You can get started with reading stuff, but there’s no substitute for hearing it straight from the experts.
We checked out the couples we’d put together in larger spaces yesterday, and sadly, I caught one in the act of cannibalism…poor guy. We separated them. Then I rummaged in my collection of zebrafish containers, and found some 5.7L Sterilyte containers, a bit smaller than Dr DiRienzo recommended, but we’ll give them a try. We moved a few females into them right away so they can start getting used to the expanded digs. We’re going to also add some cardboard liners, once we find a box that fits.
I was initially daunted about the space required — it was appealing to just have oodles of spiders in a small incubator — but once I started stacking these things, I realized I could pack maybe as many as 50 females into the space I’d previously used for my zebrafish setup. Sorry, fishies, it’s now an arachnid facility.
My summer student, Preston Fifarek, has wisely chosen to name the female spiders after characters from Game of Thrones. Males are going to get Lord of the Rings names. I’ll be interested to see how well Cersei takes to Bilbo.