Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Indigenous: Zimbabwe and Mozambique
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 65% humidity
Enclosure: This is an obligate burrower, therefore an adult needs eight inches (20.32cm) of substrate to burrow.
Substrate: I use three inches 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" I introduced baby crickets. Now, I give my Great Horned Baboon (1) - inch 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 half 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" in size. After the first year she had grown to three inch (3"). With constant feeding and with temperatures in the low to 80's, it reached a size of four inches (4") within two years.
Adult Size: I read that they get five inches (5") leg length. Mine is five inches (5")
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 if you allow it to burrow. 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 the tarantula. It is also a prolific webber if not allowed to burrow. This is not a beginner tarantula, not because of care, or speed, but defensiveness; but with good information, this will be a good species to have. Read: Handling OW Tarantulas
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