Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Aphonopelma seemanni
Common name: Costa Rican Zebra, Stripe Knee
Indigenous: Central America, Costa Rica
Habitat: The climate of Costa Rica ranges from tropical on the coastal plains to temperate in the interior highlands. Average annual temperatures range from 31.7°C (89°F) on the coast to 16.7°C (62°F) inland. A rainy season lasts from April or May to December.
Temp/humidity: 70°-85° degrees/65%-80%  humidity  I keep this species temperature at 80° degrees and the humidity at 70%.
Enclosure: Use a terrarium that will allow at least four inches (10.16cm) of substrate
Substrate: I use four inches (10.16cm) 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: I fed my new born spiderlings fruit flies, than when they reached 1/2" (1.27cm), I introduced baby crickets. My adult Stripe Knee, I give two one inch (2.54cm) B. dubia roaches or 7 adult crickets weekly. This species is a good eater. I also give her one pinkie-mouse or a house gecko once a year for variety.
Water Requirements: I keep a water dish in the tank. This species occasionally frequent the water dish. I keep the substrate in the terrarium dry on half the terrarium, and dampen the other half where the water dish is located, then allow it to dry out.
Growth Rate: The growth rate of this species is medium. I purchased this tarantula as a spiderling of 1/8" (0.3175cm) in size. After the first year she had grown to two inch (5.08cm). With constant feeding and with temperatures in the low 80's, they will reach a size of five inches within four years. After they attained a leg length of three inches (7.62cm), they tend to stay outside their burrow.
Adult Size: I read that they get six inches (15.24cm). My girls are a solid five inches (12.7cm).
Temperament: This species is not as docile as most people make them out to be. It has never kicked hair at me, but has given a threat pose occasionally, which is only a bluff. She rather retreat to her hide than stand and fight.
Comments: Overall, this is a very delightful species to own. It is black, with cream stripes on the legs, which make it an attractive species. Mine has a bluish tint on the legs. The care for this species is straight foward. Stripe Knees are a long lived spider.

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