Mike's Basic Tarantula
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Indigenous: Southern China
Habitat: The majority of southern China falls into the humid subtropical climate category. The same climate type that dominates most of the southeastern United States. Winters are mild and summers are hot and muggy. Snow is quite rare in southern China and never falls along the coast. The vast majority of precipitation throughout southern China is rain. During summer, southern China is inundated by monsoon rains sweeping in from both the Indian and Pacific oceans. The monsoons begin in the far southern provinces of Hainan, Guangdong and Guangxi in late April and May, inundating all of southern China by June. The monsoons climax in July, the wettest month of the year in southern China. Heavy rains continue through August, tapering off somewhat in September before finally coming to a close in October.
Southern China's temperatures decrease from south to north. Daytime high temperatures in summer average in the upper 80s to low 90s degrees F, with overnight lows dropping only into the upper 70s and low 80s. Winter is quite pleasant, with high temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to near 70, and overnight lows ranging from the upper 40s to near 60.
Temp/humidity: This species does well in cool temperatures. I keep mine at 74° to 82°F (23.3°C to 27.8°C) and 70% humidity
Enclosure: This is a obligate burrower, therefore an adult needs eight inches (8") of substrate to burrow, but if the substrate is not deep, it will web extensively.
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 (5.07cm) hole for burrowing in the corner of the enclosure.
Food Consumption: I first fed fruit flies, than when she reached one-half inch (1.27cm) I introduced baby crickets. Now I give my Chinese Fawn (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 damp and every months I allow it to dry out, then I wet one side of the substrate. Growth Rate: The growth rate of this species is medium. I purchased this tarantula as a spiderling of one-half inch (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 80's, it reached a size of five inches (12.7cm) within two years.
Adult Size: I read that they get seven inches (17.8cm) 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 and make a sound, hence the name Whistling Spider. 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