Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Caribena versicolor
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Common name: Antilles Birdeater
Indigenous: Guadeloupe,  Martinique, Lesser Antilles
Habitat: December through May is considered the dry season, while June through November is considered the more humid season. However, in our experience, rain showers or clear skies can occur at any time during the year. In general, rainstorms pass quickly and the sun shines on most days. Average air temperatures in coastal areas range from 22º to 30º C (72º to 86º F) and in inland areas, from 19º to 27º C (66º to 81º F). Naturally, travelers will find more rain and cooler temperatures in the rain forests and higher elevations. The warm coastal water temperatures stay between 20º and 23º C (68º and 74º F).
Temp/humidity: I keep the temperature between 75°-80°F and the humidity at 70%-80%. The substrate in the terrarium is kept slightly moist; I mist once a week, and monthly I moist the substrate, then allow it to dry out completely. The key to the husbandry success of this species is good humidity and as much ventilation as possible. To attain this I keep the substrate damp.
Enclosure: This is a arboreal tarantula. As spiderling or juvenile, I put a twig in the vial so it may climb. When they get about three (7.62cm), I rehoused them in their permanent enclosures. They should be given a vertical branch or cork to climb upon. Their enclosure should be vertical. I have observed that, if their terrarium is decorated with plants , live or artificial, they have a tendency to come out more frequently.
Substrate: Use one inch (2.54cm) of substrate in vial, deli cup for spiderlings, and two inches (5.07cm) in a terrarium for sub-adult to adult. (I use a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, coconut fiber and dirt for firmness, as the substrate).
Retreat/Hide: A ten inch (25.4cm) vertical bark leaned against the cage.
Food Consumption: I introduced one-forth inch (.635cm) baby crickets to the spiderlings. Now I give my Avicularia versicolor two (2) -one inch B. dubia roaches or four (4) adult crickets weekly.  This species is a excellent eater. For variety, I give my girl one (1) house gecko annually.
Water Requirements: I glued a small bottle cap to the bark that is leaning against the cage for water and I also mist.
Growth Rate: This is a medium growing tarantula. I bought her at one-half inch (1.27cm). The first year she attained a leg length of two inches (5.08cm).
Adult Size: I read that this tarantula can reach a leg length of six inches (15.24cm). My girl is a relaxed five inches (12.7cm).
Temperament: This is a very fast moving spider as a spiderling and has a tendency to jump, but as it matures it becomes less flighty. If startled, it will make a short sprint.  It is not what I would consider a defensive tarantula, but will probably bite if provoked. It has never given me a threat pose, but can be flighty.
Comments: This is a delicate species as a spiderling, but with proper maintenance, success can be attained. This species will stay in view most of the time as an adult. I have raised several spiderlings of this species to adulthood and the adult coloration may vary from an iridescent blue-green to a iridescent red. The Antilles Birdeater is a good display spider and is a good introduction to the world of arboreal tarantulas. A MUST HAVE.