Noooo! Too slow!

I’ve been tracking the growth of individuals in my Steatoda triangulosa colony, and finally have a whole 3 time points so I can estimate the spider growth rate. Behold, the first preliminary chart!

The line is a linear fit, which is not likely to be what I see in the end, but it’s optimistic, and I can’t really make many assumptions with so little data. But OK, if aiming to raise these spiders to a length of 1 meter, that’ll only take, with that assumption, about…a century? Yikes.

That rate is perfectly appropriate if they max out at 10mm long, like their mommy, but it’s going to be hard to take over the world with tiny little spiders like that. I guess I’ll have to go for numbers.


  1. Pierre Le Fou says

    Looking at these three data points, if you’d stop measuring after the second point, I think you’d have found the spiders would reach a size of 1 meter after merely about 70 years, instead of a century. See? Less data means better results!

  2. moarscienceplz says

    IANA biologist nor a statistician, but shouldn’t you have stated sample size, and shouldn’t that line be a lot fuzzier?

  3. says

    There are other traits that you might want to breed for as well if taking over the world is your goal. For instance, willingness to follow your commands.
    If you’re breeding for size, I worry the linked gene phenomenon might bring in some other, less desirable behavioral traits, and control of the monsters will be an issue. Better to breed them for obedience; that way, even if taking over the world is beyond your grasp, you should at least end up with a line of prize-winning show spiders.

  4. says

    Yeah, yeah, but for only 3 time points I wasn’t going to make much of an effort here. 10 individuals.
    Day 4: 1.15±.47 mm
    Day 12: 1.42±.55 mm
    Day 19: 1.56±0.6 mm
    Happy now, Reviewer #2?
    I’ve also got carapace width and photos of pigment patterns at each time point.

  5. chris61 says

    Why not measure growth rates of individual spiders rather than mean growth rates?

  6. nomdeplume says

    Isn’t it a parabola, so the s-piders will keep decreasing in size……?

  7. Rich Woods says

    Bloody hell. You call yourself a scientist?

    Just hit them with gamma rays.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Rich Woods @9
    I heard of a guy with experience of radioactive spiders..

  9. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin declares those alleged ten alleged spiders are not growing insomuchas the rest of space-time is shrinking. As the surrounding volume of space and amount ot time decrease, those alleged ten alleged spiders will very soon be the equivalent of the desired one metre. She (the mildly deranged one) also claims there is at most three spiders here, currently disassembled, perhaps to not alert the eagerly awaiting foodpopulation of their actual size and other attributes; i.e., they’re just pretending to be small cute spiderlings.

    After growing a bit more and reassembling themselves, the thing to look for are their Tripods…