Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Phormictopus cancerides
Common name: Haitian Brown
Indigenous: Hispaniola
Habitat: Hispaniola, island, West Indies, in the Caribbean Sea, lying southeast of Cuba and west of Puerto Rico. Politically, Hispaniola is divided into the separate countries of Haiti, which occupies the western third of the island, and the Dominican Republic. Haiti has a tropical climate. The distribution of mountains and lowlands affects temperature and rainfall, causing significant climate variations from place to place. Rainfall varies from a high of 3,600 mm (144 in) on the western tip of the southern peninsula to 600 mm (24 in) on the southwest coast of the northern peninsula. Most of the rain in the southwest falls in early and late summer. Port-au-Prince, located at sea level, has a yearly average temperature of 27°C (80°F).
The Dominican Republic has a semitropical climate, tempered by the prevailing easterly winds. Temperatures of more than 23°C (more than 74°F) are registered in the lowlands throughout the year. During the summer months temperatures range between 27° and 35°C (80° and 95°F) in these regions. The highlands are considerably cooler. Annual precipitation averages about 1,500 mm (about 60 in), but considerably more moisture is received by the mountainous areas of the north. The wet season is from June to November.
Temp/humidity: 76°-82°F degrees/65-75% humidity
Enclosure: This is a opportunistic burrower. As a spiderling, I used a vial that would allow at least three inches (3") of substrate for burrowing. As sub-adult-adult I use a terrarium that will allow at least four inches of substrate
Substrate: four inches of substrate. (I use a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, coconut fiber and dirt for firmness, as the substrate).
Retreat/Hide: Place a bark for a starter burrow hide
Food Consumption: I fed my new born spiderlings fruit flies, than when they reached 1/2" I introduced baby crickets, My adult Haitian Brown, I give two 2 one inch (') B. dubia roaches or seven (7) adult crickets weekly. This species is a good eater, and attack its prey with retribution. I also give her one pinkie-mouse or a house gecko once a year for variety.
Water Requirements: I keep a water dish in the tank. I have never seen mine drink. I also dampen one-half of the substrate in the terrarium by overflowing the water dish then I allow it 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 (3") in a year.
Adult Size: This species may attain a leg length of seven (7) to eight (8) inches
Temperament: This is a bold tarantula, but not aggressive as an adult. It may use a defensive pose, but would rather retreat than stand and fight.
Comments: An aggressive eating T. They has never refused a meal unless near a molt. It is easy to care for and is hardy. A handsome looking T that sports a purplish sheen carapace which fade to a beautiful brass with time. She is a good display tarantula also. A must have for your collection. 
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