Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Acanthoscurria natalensis
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Common name: Natal Brown Birdeater 
(Was mistaken as Acanthoscurria fracta)
Indigenous: Brazil, Guyana, possibly Peru
Habitat: Most of Brazil has high annual average temperatures, above 22°C (72°F). Only in the South and in the highest elevations does the average fall below this.
A tropical wet climate characterizes much of northern Brazil, with abundant rainfall and little or no dry season. Temperatures average 25°C (77°F). Rainfall averages about 2,200 mm (about 90 in) a year. Over central Brazil rainfall is more seasonal, characteristic of a savanna climate. Eighty percent of the rain falls in summer (October through March). Here rainfall averages about 1,600 mm (about 60 in) a year. In the interior Northeast, seasonal rainfall is even more extreme. The semiarid region receives less than 800 mm (30 in) of rain, which falls in a period of two or three months.
Guyana has a tropical climate, with little seasonal temperature change. The annual rainfall on the coast occurs mainly is from April to August and November to January. The savanna region rainfall is from April to September. The climate of coastal Guyana is extremely mild for a low-lying tropical area because of the persistent trade winds blowing in off the Atlantic Ocean. Temperatures are quite constant; with average temperature in Guyana is 27.0 °C (81 °F). The warmest average max/ high temperature is 31 °C (88 °F) in September, October. The coolest average min/ low temperature is 24 °C (75 °F) in January, February, March, June, July, August & December. Humidity averages 70 percent year-round. The month with the driest weather is September. The relative humidity for an average year is recorded as 72.5% and on a monthly basis it ranges from 69% in September, October and November to 77% in June.
Temp/humidity: 24.4°-24.4°C (76°-82°F), this species does better with a humidity of 70-80%.
Enclosure: Use a terrarium that will allow at least six inches (15.24cm) of substrate.
Substrate: six inches (15.24cm) of substrate. (I use a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, coconut fiber and dirt for firmness, as the substrate).
Retreat/Hide: Place a bark for a starter burrow hide
Food Consumption: This is one of the few tarantulas I have that is wild caught. I fed my new young spiderlings fruit flies, than when they reached 1/2" I introduced baby crickets. My adult Natal Brown Birdeater, I give this species 2-inch (5.08cm) B. dubia roaches or 5 adult crickets weekly. This species is rarely seen. It is a good eater, but it is seldom observed. She only comes out to eat after dark.
Water Requirements: I keep a water dish in the tank, even though after three years, I have never seen mine drink. Once a month I dampen one-half of the substrate in the terrarium by overflowing the water dish then I allow it to dry out.
Growth Rate: The growth rate of this species from the time I have kept it has been slow.
Adult Size: Because of the rarity of this species, the size is debatable. I purchased my girl at 3.5" (8.89cm), after three years she is 5" (12.7cm). As an Acanthoscurria species I expect her to grow  at least 7" seven inches (17.78cm) in leg length.
Temperament: I have owned over 100 species of New World tarantulas and this is the most defensive of them all. This tarantula will bite if you attempt to touch it. It is one of the few tarantulas that will face its opponent instead of fleeing.
Comments: This is a rare species in the hobby. It came in with a shipment of tarantulas from South America. When I purchased this tarantula as a juvenile, from a wholesaler, it was so furious that it flipped on its back and exposed its fangs for over an hour. The wholesaler didn't know what species it was, but I had seen pictures of it and after I purchased her, I asked other hobbyist, that was familiar with this spider and he agreed that it was the A. natalensis. This tarantula is reclusive. It has come out of its burrow only once since I bought her over two years ago. The burrow has two entrances that she keep closed most of the time. 
This is a beautiful species; it is rust brown, with caramel stripes on the legs.
Because of its size and defensive behavior, this species is not recommended for the novice.
I would love to breed this species, so it may become more common in the hobby.