Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Pterinochilus lugardi
Common name: Fort Hall Baboon
Indigenous: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Habitat: Rainfall is typically unpredictable. Prolonged droughts often end with severe floods. Only 31 percent of the country, including the Eastern Low Veld and the Drakensberg, has an annual rainfall of more than 600 mm (25 in). Rain falls primarily in summer between October and April. The extreme southwest has a Mediterranean climate with westerly winds from the Atlantic bringing winter rainfall mostly between June and September.
Average temperature ranges in January are 21° to 27°C (69° to 81°F) in Durban, 14° to 26°C (58° to 78°F) in Johannesburg, and 16° to 26°C (60° to 79°F) in Cape Town. In July the temperature ranges are 11° to 22°C (52° to 72°F).
Temp/humidity: Rains arrive with the monsoon winds from the Indian Ocean in October and linger through March, while a dry season prevails during the rest of the year, 18°C (65°F) in the extreme south, while in the hot season most parts of the coast average 27° to 28°C (80° to 82°F). The hottest region is the interior Zambezi Valley, with average summer temperatures of 32°C (90°F).
I keep mine at 76° to 80°F and 65% 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: three inches of substrate in vial, deli cup for spiderlings, and four inches (4") 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: Place a bark for a starter burrow hide
Food Consumption: I first fed fruit flies, than when she reached 1/2" I introduced baby crickets. Now I give my Fort Hall (1) - inch B. dubia roaches or four (four) 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.
Growth Rate: The growth rate of this species is fast. I purchased this tarantula as a spiderling of 1/2" in size. After the first year she had grown to three inch (3"). With constant feeding and with temperatures in the low to 80's, it can reach a size of four inches (4") within two years.
Adult Size: I read that they get four inches (4") leg length.
Temperament: This is a secluded tarantula. It is not as defensive as most Old World tarantulas, but will show a threat pose if it feels threatened. P. lugardi is an obligate burrower, but if it doesn't have enough depth of substrate, it will make a hide by webbing.
Comments: A nice coffee brown with interesting marking. Not as defensive as P. murinus but not recommended for handling all the same. This is an easy to care for species and it is very hardy. I consider this as a beginner OW species. You can't go wrong with this tarantula.
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