Sonstig Faunistisches (Other faunistic topics) > Halten von europäischen Spinnentieren (Captive care of European arachnids)

Latrodectus tredecimguttatus

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Armen Seropian:

I would like to share some information an pics about keeping in captivity Latrodectus tredecimguttatus that is known by the local name "karakurt" meaning "black wolf". Hope, you'll find it interesting.

On a 29 of May, in the surroundings of Tbilisi (capital of Georgia), i was lifting a stones hoping to find some mature Galeodes araneoides, when under on of the stones, there was an ants' nest, but suddenly my attention was attracted by a brightly coloured small spider, that appeared to be an immature Latrodectus tredecimguttatus about 5 mm in length. After housing it has made a web and 2 weeks later molted into a subadult male (what a pity, cause I was hoping it would become a fatty female). Another 2 weeks later the spider has molted one last time, became an adult and stopped feeding - now the only goal was to mate with a female and leave it's genetic code.

On a 31 of July near the place the male was found, I came across the gigantic female, that of course was brought at home. Shortly after the reunion, the male started to show interest in her, crawling near and shaking the web, trying to reach out his madam. 2 hours ago the permission was given, he crawled on the abdomen, repeatedly drumming with pedipalps on her belly near the epigyne and the couple has mated and almost immediately the male was devoured.

2 weeks later the egg-laying process has started. Аt intervals of 3-4 days 3 eggsacks were laid. During the intervals the female gained her mass and shortly before egg-laying refused to accept any food. It was interesting, how far she can go in captivity - I was not able to find any mention about the maximum number of eggsacks in wild, also the highest number on most of photos on the internet equaled 4.

At the right moment, she has made 6 eggsacks - each subsequent larger than the previous. The last one was made the day before yesterday late night, lucky me to spot this and managed to take a video of the process from the very beginning till almost the very end (unfortunatelt the battery died and I was not able to record how the cocoon is covered with last layer of fine yellow silk). If someone is interested in video, I think I could upload it to the youtube and share the link in this topic.

You may see the pics of the subadult male and the female with 4-th or 3-rd cocoon attached.

Jürgen Guttenberger:
A beautiful observation and very nice Pictures, congratulation!


Anes Pitrio:
Wonderful work and a Great story!  :)

I have never done this. I am too busy bringing insects home. I always keep eggs and pupa to see what comes out.

I would love it if you would offer some tips about captivity. What do you keep the spiders in? an aquarium?
I have never done this before. I always work with animals in the wild. I'd love to do this with spiders.

You've made some excellent photos. I am fascinated by your work.
I will definitely watch the video if you post it. I have a youtube account but I use it to post computer programming videos. I've studied web design and computer programming for many years. I'm an erudite (self-taught by reading and practicing.) The same goes for insects and spiders. I teach myself by observing them in the wild. I have no university degrees in these fields of study.


Anyway, I will get some popcorn and watch your lovely video  :)  ;D

Armen Seropian:
Glad you've liked it, Jurgen and Anes!
Anes, there really are no tips in keeping Latrodectus tredecimguttatus in captivity. The main tip is keeping the enclosure dry (i have mine one housed in to the aquarium with 50x15x30 cm dimensions). It will readily accept absolutely any kind of food, starting from large locusts (Locusta migratoria and Calliptamus italicus) ending with beetles (Capnodis tenebrionis for example), but I have to say, that the large beetles are the hard one to kill. For example it took her almost 6 hours to kill large Capnodis tenebrionis because of it's strong chitin cover  :) And yes, a good ventilation is important, because the spider has quit stinky feces  ;D

Here's the video I took recently, uploaded by my friend (you may check his channel, there are some interesting so called stereo animations of spiders)  ::) And yes, the eggs are violet!

Anes Pitrio:
I've watched the video and it was great. Thank You for sharing. Please say Thank You to your Friend as well. I will watch some more of his videos whenever I have the time to do so. Very good videos  :)


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