#Zoo #Tarantulas – Rare Delight: 200 Montserrat Tarantulas Hatch At British Zoo (Video) : British zookeepers were in for a rare treat as a clutch of approximately 200 Montserrat tarantulas successfully hatched at Chester Zoo in Cheshire.
Zoo officials say the momentous event has never been achieved before, making Chester Zoo the first in the world to accomplish the hatching in captivity.
The hatched tarantulas are native to the Caribbean island of Montserrat, but very little is known about them. That is, until now.
Male And Female Montserrat Tarantulas
In 2013, a dozen of these hairy brown spiders were brought to Chester Zoo by a keeper after observing them in the wild during several field trips.
After three years of careful study and behavioral management, a female Montserrat tarantula gave birth to 200 baby spiders.
Gerardo Garcia, curator of lower vertebrates at Chester Zoo, says whether scientists can synchronize sexual maturity between spiders is “kind of a race against time.”
One problem is the difference between the lifespan of female spiders and their male counterparts.
According to Garcia, male Montserrat tarantulas often reach 2.5 years at the most, while female Montserrat tarantulas live much longer and mature much more slowly.
The few male tarantulas that Garcia collected before were a precious resource, he says.
Because of this, there were few nervous moments for the scientists when they began match-making.
Indeed, as with many invertebrates, the encounters between male and female were more dangerous for the former.
Garcia says that instead of being a partner, the female Montserrat spider might take the male as prey.