Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Indigenous: Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa
Habitat: Desert/savanna, Rains arrive with the monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean in October and linger through March, while a dry season prevails during the rest of the year, 18°C (65°F) in the extreme south, while in the hot season most parts of the coast average 27° to 28°C (80° to 82°F). The hottest region is the interior Zambezi Valley, with average summer temperatures of 32°C (90°F).
Temp/humidity: I keep mine at 78° to 82°F (25.5°-27.8°C) and 70% humidity
Enclosure: This is an obligate burrower, therefore an adult needs eight inches (20.32cm) of substrate to burrow.
Substrate: I use three inches (7.62cm) of substrate in vial, deli cup for spiderlings, and eight inches (20.32cm) 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: This species doesn't need a hide, it will make its own burrow. When I change the substrate, I start a two inch (5.08cm) hole for burrowing in the corner of the enclosure.
Food Consumption: I first fed fruit flies, than when she reached 1/2" (1.27cm) I introduced baby crickets. Now I give my Rhino Horned Baboon (1) - inch (2.54cm) B. dubia roaches or two (3) adult crickets weekly. This species is a good eater.
Water Requirements: I keep a water dish in the tank. I have never seen mine drink. I keep the substrate in the terrarium dry. Every four months I wet one side of the substrate, than allow it to dry out. Growth Rate: The growth rate of this species is fast. I purchased this tarantula as a spiderling of 1/2" (1.27cm) in size. After the first year she had grown to three inch (7.62cm). With constant feeding and with temperatures in the low to mid 80's, it reached a size of four inches (10.16cm) within two years.
Adult Size: I read that they get five inches (12.7cm) leg length. My girl is a solid five inches (12.7cm).
Temperament: Because of their defensive nature, they aren't the best species to handle. If approached they will usually go into a threat posture. Comments: This is a pet hole. You will very seldom see this species. I don't allow my obligate burrowers to gorge themselves; by doing so they stay at the mouth of their burrow waiting for prey. This allows me to see a natural behavior of stalking and get a glimpse of my tarantula. She is also a prolific webber, if not allowed to burrow. This is not a beginner tarantula, not because of care, but defensiveness, but if you do your homework before acquiring this species, you shouldn't have any problems keeping it. Read: Handling Old World Tarantulas
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