Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Megaphobema velvetosomma
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Common name: Ecuadorian Brown Velvet
Indigenous: Ecuador
Habitat: Ecuador lies on the equator, but has a wide range of climates. The Costa is generally hot and humid, with temperature of about 26°C (about 78°F). On the Sierra the temperatures range between about 7° and 21°C (about 45° and 70° F), depending on the elevation. Quito, which is some 2,850 m (9,350 ft) above sea level, has an average annual temperature of 13°C (55°F). The Oriente is warmer and more humid than the Costa; temperatures approach the upper 30°s C (lower 100°s F), and annual precipitation is about 2,030 mm (about 80 in).
Temp/humidity: 68°76°F (20°-24.4°c)/70-85% humidity
Enclosure: Adults should be given a large terrarium. I use a ten Gallon terrarium. I have found that, if you simulate their natural environment by decorating the cage with foliage, they tend to stay out and wonder more. But make sure the plants you use have no pesticide on it.
Substrate: I use four inches of substrate. (I use a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, coconut fiber and dirt for firmness, as the substrate).
Retreat/Hide: For a juvenile or an adult, I Place a bark for a starter burrow hide.
Food Consumption: I fed the spiderlings 1/8" (.30mm) baby crickets. My sub-adult Ecuadorian Brown Velvet, I give one (1) adults B. dubia roaches or five (5) adult crickets weekly. This species is a good eater. I also give her one pinkie-mouse or a house gecko once a year for variety.
Water Requirements: I keep a large water dish in her cage, even though after six years, I have never seen mine drink. I also dampen one-half of the substrate in the terrarium by overflowing the water dish, but I never allow the substrate to dry out.
Growth Rate: The growth rate for this species is medium-fast. With proper heating and feeding it may attain a leg length of three inches in a year.
Adult Size: I read that this species may attain a leg length of eight (8) inches (20.32cm). My girl is only six inches (15.24cm)
Temperament: Spiderlings should be kept cool (70°F) 21.1°C, but not as moist as an adult (70%), adults need more humidity (80%), but can tolerate warmer temperatures (75°F) 23.9°C.
This is a shy tarantula, especially as a juvenile, but once it reach the five inch mark they become less skittish and the abdomen will become less bald because of hair kicking. This is not what I consider as an aggressive or defensive tarantula. It may assume a defensive pose, by raising its abdomen, but would rather flee than fight.
Comments: The name fitly describes the appearance of this tarantula. It is very reclusive and need its privacy. I don't disturb nor handle this species. Once this spider has been moved into its permanent home, you shouldn't move it, because this tarantula does not adapt to a new environment well. Because of the maintenance requirements, this species should be left for the experience hobbyist. A must have for the collector.