Reproductive Biology

Males spend the majority of time looking for mates. Mating can occur year-round, but warm temperatures are required. When mating, male holds female in grasp, holding and pushing her around until finding suitable place to deposit sper-matophore onto a solid substrate. He then pulls female into position over spermatophore, and she accepts it into her genital aperture. Male leaves quickly, to avoid being eaten. It is viviparous (embryos develop within mother, gaining nutrients for growth directly within specialized sacs on female's overiuterus). A highly specialized structure connects embryo's mouth to female's digestive system. Gestation period is 7-9 months. Very tiny young are born alive, with a litter of 9-35. Parental care seems important. Young stay on mother's back, as she protects and cares for them, with increased survival probabilities while in family groups. Young are white at first, but become darker after each molt. They grow and shed entire exoskeleton several times before they are full-grown. They reach sexual maturity at around four years after seven molts. They have a lifespan of about eight years.

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