Can you cross breed spiders. Messing with spiders is a real hobby of mine so i am really interested in this topic. Im enterested in trying this when it's there season to hatch so I thought i would ask the experts.

It's pretty unlikely that you'd be able to cross-breed between different species of spider. The reproductive structures differ between species and there will be issues with compatability due to the arrangement structure of genes between species. I think the biggest problem to overcome would probably be behaviour though - spider courtship can be risky at the best of times and without the right courtship cues it seems unlikely that mating would successfully occur.

That said, if you managed to get very closely related species to exchange genetic material, you may get lucky and end up with a spider mule. It would almost certainly be sterile and given how closely related the parent species would probably need to be, I doubt you'd spot much difference in the behaviour or appearance.

Certainly, there are spider hybrids out there - see http://srs.britishspiders.org.uk/resour … 0saeva.pdf which are not sterile but the hows ands whys of their comingling and distribution are not as yet fully understood. I'm sure that one could 'artificially inseminate' a female with sperm from a closely related male without depending on natural mating cues and prezygotic mating mechanisms but if this can be done in the home, I'm certainly not sure...

Thanks for that Dave - I stand corrected! Although I wonder if these two species shouldn't be considered part of a species complex given their ability to successfully interbreed?

Part of the problem comes back to the species concept being applied. If only nature would respect the arbitrary distinctions we make in order to understand it!

Many species of tarantulas are bred in captivity by enthusiasts in order to maintain populations and help protect wild populations from overcollecting. New species are still being described and previously accepted species are split into two by taxonomists - hybridization in tarantuals can occur accidentily by keepers pairing misidentified spiders.

The British Tarantual Society promotes captive breeding of Tarantulas with a focus on minimising hybridization in order to preserve the natural genetic diversity amongst captive spiders. As mentioned above this comes down to what is meant by a species, and it is very unlikely two distantly related species would interbreed.