Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Habitat: Kenya’s different topographical regions experience distinct climates. The coastal region is largely humid and wet, receives an average rainfall of 1,050 mm (41 in) per year, with average temperatures ranging from 21° to 32°C (70° to 90°F) in January and 20° to 29°C (68° to 84°F) in July. The low plateau area is the driest part of the country. There, it receives an average annual rainfall of 320 mm (13 in) and experiences average temperatures ranging from 19° to 37°C (66° to 99°F) in January and 19° to 34°C (66° to 93°F) in July. Nairobi, in the temperate Kenya highlands, receives an average annual rainfall of 790 mm (31 in) and experiences average temperatures ranging from 9° to 29°C (48° to 84°F) in January and 7° to 26°C (45° to 79°F) in July. Higher elevation areas within the highlands receive much larger amounts of rainfall. The Lake Victoria basin in western Kenya is generally the wettest region in the country, particularly the highland regions to the north and south of Kisumu, where average annual rainfall ranges from 1,740 mm (70 in) to 1,940 mm (80 in). Average temperatures in this region range from 14° to 34°C (57° to 93°F) in January and 14° to 30°C (57° to 86°F) in July.
Temp/humidity: 76°-84°F degrees/60-70% humidity
Enclosure: This is an obligate burrower, therefore an adult needs eight inches (8") of substrate or more to burrow.
Substrate: three inches of substrate in vial, deli cup for spiderlings, and eight inches plus (8" +) 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 (2") deep hole for burrowing, in the corner of the enclosure.
Food Consumption: As a spiderling I fed her fruit flies, than when she reached one inch (1"), I introduced baby crickets. Now I give my King Baboon, who I call Queen, two (2) - adult B. dubia roaches or seven (7) adult crickets weekly. For variety, I give her a fuzzy mouse or a house gecko twice a year. 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 specie is slow. I purchased this tarantula as a spiderling of 1/2" in size. After the first year she had grown to two inch (2") in leg length. With constant feeding and with temperatures in the low 80's, it may reach a size of three inches (3") within two years. Afterwards, this tarantula growth slows to a crawl.
Adult Size: I read that they get eight inches (8") in leg length. After nine (9) years, my girl, Queen, is a solid inches (7.5").
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 stridulate. This tarantula will go on the offense. My girl's burrow is along the side of the clear plastic enclosure. Once I was cleaning the side of the cage for viewing with a wet paper towel and long 12" tweezers and she ran from the opposite side of the terrarium and grab the paper towel and commence biting it. I had to shake her off. Then she came to the top of her burrow and displayed her fangs for about fifteen (15) minutes Comments: This is a pet hole. You will very seldom see this species out of its burrow. Queen's burrow is along the side of the cage, so I can view her at any time, which is awesome. This species is definitely for the advanced keeper. This is a colorful spider and I love the beautiful back bowlegs. No ones collection is complete without owning one of these tarantulas. A must have species. The only challenge you will have with this species is rehousing. it Read my web page on Handling OW Tarantulas and you should not have any problems.
All rights reserved, ©
All photos on this website are courtesy of Mike Basic Tarantula unless stated otherwise. It's prohibited to copy without permission of author.