Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Heteroscrodra maculata
Common name: Togo Starburst Baboon
Indigenous: Togo, Ghana
Habitat:The climate of Togo is tropical. Average annual temperatures range from 27°C (81°F) at the coast to 30°C (86°F) in the north. The south has two rainy seasons, from March to July and from October to November; the average annual rainfall on the coast is about 890 mm (about 35 in).
Temp/humidity: I keep the temperature between 76°-84°F and the humidity at 60%-70%. I keep the terrarium dry; but once every other month, I moisten the substrate, than allow it to dry out completely.
Enclosure: This is a arboreal tarantula, but as a spiderling or juvenile, they prefer to live on or close to the ground in captivity; but I put a twig in case it want to climb. When they get between three and four inches (7.62-10.16cm) they should be given a vertical branch or cork to climb upon. Therefore the enclosure should be taller than longer. I use a round, vertical critter cage for their terrarium.
Substrate: I use one inch (2.54cm) of substrate in vial, deli cup for spiderlings, and two inches (2.54cm) 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 (24.5cm) vertical bark leaned against the cage.
Food Consumption: I introduced one-forth inch (0.635cm) baby crickets to the spiderlings. Now I give my Togo Starburst Baboon two (2) - one inch B. dubia roaches or seven (7) adult crickets weekly.  This species is a excellent eater. For variety, I give my girls one (1) house gecko every six (6) months.
Water Requirements: I glued a small container for water to the bark.
Growth Rate: This is a fast growing tarantula. I bought her at one-forth inch (0.635cm). The first year she attained a leg length of three inches (7.62cm).
Adult Size: I read that this tarantula can reach a leg length of six inches (15.24cm). My girl is five inches (12.7cm).
Temperament: This is a secretive, but is a very fast moving spider. It is very defensive also and will bite if provoked.
Comments: This baboon has a ghostly appearance with beautiful markings and is very secluded. It is reported that the toxin from this tarantula is stronger than most tarantulas. Because of its speed, defensiveness, and toxin, this species is not recommended as a beginner tarantula. Read: Handling OW Tarantulas
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