Mike's Basic Tarantula
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Indigenous: South Africa
Habitat: Rainfall is typically unpredictable. Prolonged droughts often end with severe floods. Only 31 percent of the country, including the Eastern Low Veld and the Drakensberg, has an annual rainfall of more than 600 mm (25 in). Rain falls primarily in summer between October and April. The extreme southwest has a Mediterranean climate with westerly winds from the Atlantic bringing winter rainfall mostly between June and September.
Average temperature ranges in January are 21° to 27°C (69° to 81°F) in Durban, 14° to 26°C (58° to 78°F) in Johannesburg, and 16° to 26°C (60° to 79°F) in Cape Town. In July the temperature ranges are 11° to 22°C (52° to 72°F) in Durban, 4° to 17°C (39° to 63°F) in Johannesburg, and 7° to 17°C (45° to 63°F) in Cape Town.
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 an obligate burrower, therefore an adult needs eight inches (20.32cm) 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 Kleinpoort Mouse 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 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 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 four inches (10.16cm).
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