The red phase Chilean rose (Grammostola rosea) molted much earlier than anticipated. The molt was completely normal, taking place during my field biology class and two of my four Introductory Biology classes (approximately four hours). Perfect timing!
I hoped to confirm gender immediately after this molt, comparing images of the new exoskeleton to the exoskeleton from the previous molt (see previous entry). I was disappointed to see that the potential early developing spermthecae shown in the previous entry appear not to have been spermathecae after all. This individual appears to be male. Though more vibrant in adult coloration, male red phase Chilean roses have a much shorter lifespan than the females.
Leg markings have now appeared. If you double-click the picture above, you’ll see striped markings on the legs.
On the positive side, this spider should be my first male to mature, so the kids and I’ll get the opportunity to see sperm web development as well as observe male structures and behavior.
Still kind of disappointed….