Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Heterothele sp. (Villosella)
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Common name: Tanzanian Chestnut Baboon
Indigenous: East Africa
Habitat: The hottest time of year in East Africa is during the dry season from December to March. There are basically two rainy seasons, the long rains from April to June and a shorter rain from November to December. The coastal areas can get very wet and humid during this time of year. Temperatures in East Africa, except on the hot and generally humid coastal belt, are moderate, around 25 °C (77 °F) and minimum of 15 °C (59 °F) The average humidity is between 55%- 80%. June is the coolest month, for it is midwinter.
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 (8") of substrate to burrow, but if the substrate is not deep, it will web extensively.
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 (5.07cm) 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 Tanzanian Chestnut Baboon (1) - inch B. dubia roaches or one (1) 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 two inch (5.08cm). With constant feeding and with temperatures in the low 80's, it reached a size of three inches (7.62cm) within two years.
Adult Size: I read that they get three inches (7.62cm) leg length. My girl is a solid 2-1/2" (6.35cm).
Temperament: Because of their skittish nature, they aren't the best species to handle. If approached they will usually go into a threat posture, but is usuallly a bluff, their best defense is to flee.
Comments: The Tanzanian Chestnut Baboon is a small tarantula. It is also a prolific webber.  This is one of the few tarantulas that are communal in nature. I think everyone should have a communal setup. The only drawback in having a communal setup is, you may end up with a hundred tarantulas, quick. I consider this as a beginner tarantula.
This is also a beautiful species and easy to care for.