Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Sexing a tarantula ventrally takes time and a little experience. I suggest that from the beginning, the tarantula be at least 2 inches in leg length. After thirty years, I am not one-hundred percent 100% accurate in sexing a tarantula ventrally. The easiest way to sex a tarantula is by using a fresh shed skin (exuviae). Spiderlings and juvenile tarantulas have a tendency of chewing their new exuviae, which will make it difficult or impossible to sex. Therefore it is imperative that you retrieve the skin as soon as possible. If you recover the skin soon after the molt has taken place, it should be moist and easy to open. If it has dried out and stiff, you may need to add a few drops of water to the cephalothorax (carapace) and let it saturate the skin that it may be pliable. Opened the skin using two straight pens and penned the skin to a piece of styrofoam. I use a powerful magnifying glass with a flashlight to observe the sex if the tarantula is too small to see the epigastric furrow with the naked eye.
When a male matures, there is an obvious difference. The male chelicerae become smaller and their body is slimmer and most develop hooks on the first pair of legs.
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