Do male tarantulas grow faster than female tarantulas? The pet tarantula community is actually divided on this. Also, the lack of studies and research really does not help, as owners tend to devise their own observations. The result? A lot of mixed observations which do not answer the initial question.
One cannot say that male tarantulas grow faster than females. It is because there are a lot of factors that contribute to their growth. It can be due to temperature, feeding, sexual maturity, and genetics. Surely, there are a lot of instances that a female tarantula will grow faster than the male.
With that answer, you guys know that we have a lot to cover as we are not merely talking about the size of your tarantula. So, if you want to be part of the issue that has the pet tarantula community divided, then keep on reading!
Do Males Tarantulas Grow Faster?
A lot of people who believe that male tarantulas grow faster than females base their opinion on the fact that most of their male tarantulas molt faster than the females. Therefore, as they continue to molt, they grow larger in size, and they reach the peak of sexual maturity earlier.
But is this really the case? Not necessarily. One cannot predict the growth rate based on molt and size.
Owners who believe that the growth rate is not based on the sex of tarantula have noticed that sometimes, even if the female is significantly smaller and slower when it comes to molting, they still grow faster than the males.
With that said, you cannot really conclude the males are growing faster than the females. This is where the problem comes in, as there is still not a lot of experiments and research done on this, so no one really knows the consensus.
However, for now, as we know that we cannot ensure 100% that a male tarantula grows faster than the females, we should differ to the other hypothesis that the growth rate is not based on sex.
Factors That Affect The Growth Rate
As the growth rate of your tarantulas can be highly influenced by different factors, it is worth discussing. Let us take a look at them.
The growth rate is affected by the designated lifespan of your tarantula. Logic dictates that if they have a shorter lifespan, their growth rate will be faster. Here are some lifespans of some types of tarantulas:
Common brown tarantula:
- Males: seven to 12 years
- Females: seven to 36 years
Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula
- Males: four to five years
- Females: four to 20 years
Mexican Red Knee Tarantula
- Males: five to 10 years
- Females: five to 20 years
Brazilian Black Tarantula
- Males: five to seven years
- Females five to 20 years
As you may have noticed, the lifespan of the females is always longer. But more than the difference in lifespan, you should also focus on the gap between the lifespan of the males and females. The gap between their maximum lifespan is a vital clue on their growth rate.
Take, for example, the Mexican Red Knee Tarantula, the gap between the maximum lifespan of the male and female is 10 years. Surprisingly, this type of tarantula has a varying growth rate. Meaning, some males grow slower than females.
On the other hand, for the Common Brown Tarantula, the gap is 24 years. For this, a lot of owners have noticed that males grow faster than females.
For this, we can conclude that the faster the male reaches his maximum lifespan, the faster his growth rate will be. Also, the bigger the gap between the lifespan, the faster the growth rate will be for the males.
The temperature in the enclosure of your tarantula plays a huge role in terms of how often they molt. The higher the temperature, the higher their metabolic rate will be.
Therefore, as they are cold-blooded creatures they rely mostly on the external temperature to have a normal metabolic process. In turn, if they are exposed to warmer temperatures, it is highly likely that they will molt more often.
Of course, just like humans, a tarantula will grow much faster if you feed them more. This experiment was done by a lot of tarantula owners where they fed some spiderlings an increased amount of food, while the others were given the regular amount of food.
Through time, they noticed that the spiderlings who were given more food than the usual grew 20% faster than the ones who were given the regular amount. The spiderling who were 20% faster in growth were both male and female.
This factor is a point for those who believe that males grow faster than females. The reason behind this is that males reach sexual maturity faster than females. This is also connected to their lifespan.
As they do not have the luxury of time to live on this planet as compared to females, they should at least fulfill one of their missions in life and that is to mate with other females. Of course, they will simply not wait for a nearby female to reach sexual maturity.
In fact, once the males reach sexual maturity, they go on their own ways to find a potential mate. On the other hand, the story is different when they were bred in captivity.
A lot of owners noticed that even though the males reach sexual maturity faster, they tend to reach sexual maturity in conjunction with the females. Some researchers theorize that the males can somehow detect the sexual maturity of females near their enclosure.
Further, they know that finding other potential mates is next to impossible. Therefore, their physiology somehow adjusts their growth rate to delay their sexual maturity. Given this, this is clearly a point for those who believe that the growth rate is not based on sex.
However, keep in mind that there are still no formal studies done on this so you should stick with the general knowledge that males reach sexual maturity faster than females.
This is a factor that is often overlooked as growth factors are mostly influenced by external factors. However, of course, whatever is embedded in the DNA of your tarantula also helps with how fast or how slow he or she will grow.
Not only that, but genetics also plays a big role in terms of how big or small your tarantula will be. Let us say that the mother and father of your tarantula both had an average growth rate. Therefore, your tarantula will most likely grow at an average or faster rate.
The same goes for your tarantula whose parents grew at varying rates. You can expect him or her to grow at a slow to an average pace. Again, it does not matter if your tarantula is a male or a female.
How To Increase The Growth Rate Of Your Tarantula
If you want your tarantulas to have a faster growth rate, you can do so by adjusting two factors. The first one is temperature and the second one is feeding.
Before you do anything, make sure that you should first take into consideration the current situation of your tarantula. Make sure that he or she is not sick or has an injury of some sort.
Further, you should also have a good reason why you want to increase the growth rate as doing so will surely disrupt the natural cycle of your tarantula in which you will not know how he or she will react.
Increase The Temperature
You have to stimulate the metabolism of your tarantula. You can do this by increasing the temperature in his enclosure. Again, the warmer the temperature, the faster your tarantula will grow.
Let us say your current temperature is 68° F, this is not enough temperature to raise the metabolic rate of your tarantula. You should increase it to 80° F.
More than that, always observe how your tarantula reacts to the change in temperature and make sure that you have enough ventilation so as not to suffocate him.
Now that the metabolic rate of your tarantula is high, you can then now offer more food and also increase the frequency of feeding. You can now feed him every day or every other day, depending on the size of the meal.
For example, if you give him a .5 in. cricket, you only need to feed it three to five more days before you see that he is starting to molt.
On the other hand, if you just increased the frequency of the feeding but gave regularly sized meals, you have to feed him every day or every other day for him to be ready to molt.