Tarantulas, hailing from the Theraphosidae family, are among the largest spiders in the world. They have a hairy body with large legs in four pairs and are among the longest-living spider species in the whole spider world. A spiderling, or baby spider goes through different phases to become an adult tarantula.
How fast do tarantulas grow? Tarantulas do not grow fast like other spiders. They usually grow slowly. A tarantula spiderling will become an adult in two to five years under an ideal and thriving environment. They also molt continuously till they become adults.
The tarantula males usually become an adult faster within two years. They stop molting after reaching adulthood. On the other hand, a female will continue to grow and may take five years to get ready for mating. Female tarantulas continue to grow and molt regularly for years.
Due to this, the male tarantulas are smaller in size. The females are bigger, and the larger spiders are usually the oldest ones.
How do tarantulas grow?
Tarantulas are arthropods, and their exoskeleton is rigid. Due to this, their body must shell its exoskeleton to make room for their growing body. This is called molting or Ecdysis. A tarantula usually grows in between molting. Thus intermediate phase is called an Instar.
In general, tarantulas first grow their new shells inside their older shells. After that, they continue molting and shed their older skeleton. This way, the tarantulas keep growing without any hassle or discomfort.
Hence, molting is closely related to the growth of a tarantula. The time between two molts will become lengthier with time. At the same time, smaller spiderlings may molt once every trimester. But, on the other hand, larger spiders will mold once per semester or even once in a year.
What affects the growth of a tarantula?
The growth of a tarantula depends on different factors like-
Temperature of environment
The temperature of the environment is a factor in the growth of any tarantula. A warm and comfortable environment results in faster molting and allows a spider to grow faster. Therefore, tarantulas may start molting during summer or even during a heat wave.
The lifestyle of a spider may also impact on their growth rate. For example, spiders that live in the wild may grow faster but may not live long. On the other hand, a secure environment allows a spider to take its own sweet time to grow, which ensures the spider lives for a long time.
The importance of food
A tarantula needs enough food to thrive and grow. Therefore, a spider that gets a regular supply of food will grow faster. In this case, the more amount of food, the faster a tarantula will reach adulthood. Hence, wild tarantulas may have a slower growth rate due to food scarcity during seasons. On the other hand, pet tarantulas usually have a better growth rate and live longer as they have a controlled and secure environment.
The growth rate depends on species
While species like the orange baboon tarantula, Indian ornamentals, or salmon pink Birdeater tarantulas grow faster, others may not. Hence, their growth rate also depends on the species.
Tarantulas reach adulthood within two to five years, depending on the gender and the species. These spiders usually go through different stages of molting to reach adulthood. A tarantula will grow faster and live a healthy life in an ideal environment with enough food and water.