Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Babies are the Theme of the Day

It occurs to us that if I am going to leave my job, then we don't need to plan a pregnancy around the industry peak season. Elmo thinks we should start trying right away and is not concerned with birth month in the slightest (even if that means multiple September babies).

This morning we were changing out cages for one of his tarantulas and found that several of our cages have tiny baby crickets. We learned a bit about cricket reproduction today. They apparently won't harm anything, so there is no concern. They'll likely die due to lack of food. Whew!

Meanwhile, we suspected that his Rose Hair (Grammostola rosea) had molted and rolled up her "garbage" into a bag. She has, however, been guarding this "garbage bag." Seemed strange, but we figured we'd just wait her out, then get it and dissect it! I have all the molts of my Anansi.

Tarantula guarding egg sacGhost guarding her treasure

Today she finally stepped away from her garbage for a bit, so my husband attempted to remove it. She kept coming back every time he tried. After 20 minutes, he finally got it! He set it aside in a little jar for me to check out when I got home. I poked it a little. It was very soft until a point, then it seemed... crunchy? It was hard to describe. I didn't have an exact-o, so I just gently (old shells are delicate) gripped the web and pulled apart. I tugged a good half inch or so apart, but there was still more. I gripped deeper and pulled apart. Imagine our surprise...

Tarantula Egg SacGrammostola rosea egg sac!

This particular species of tarantula can lay anywhere from 80-1000 eggs at a time! Oh dear. And Elmo feels SO awful about fighting to get her babies away from her. No wonder she was guarding it! I must say, he is so cute feeling guilty about doing this, but we really never dreamed it would be eggs! We got her from a pet store! It isn't likely she has been exposed to a male! Ca-razy!

For now, we've put the sac back, but a few eggs fell out. She is back to guarding it and I'm hoping she'll repair it. We don't know what we'll do next, but gestation period is 6 short weeks! Then those little slings (spiderlings) will be so tiny they might fit through the slots in the lid! I've emailed and posted questions about what we should do and now we wait.

So babies seem to be the theme today. I just completed my menstruation, so I'll be ovulating very soon! It seems like all signs point to NOW. So... who knows what the future may hold. I currently have an IUD, but have heard they're not difficult to remove. More discussion is definitely in order!
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