Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Pterinochilus murinus
Common name: Usambara
Indigenous: Angola, Burundi, Tanzania, Dem. Rep. Congo (Zaire), Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Sambia and Simbabwe
Habitat: Savannah/Desert
Temp/humidity: 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 78° to 82°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 Usambara (1) - inch B. dubia roaches or two (3) adult crickets weekly.  This specie 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 the substrate, than allow it to dry out.
Growth Rate: The growth rate of this specie 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 reached a size of four inches (4") within two years.
Adult Size: I read that they get five inches (5") leg length.
Temperament: Because of their defensive nature, they aren't the best species to handle. If approached they will usually go into a threat posture. But with proper experience, their threat becomes normal behavior.
Comments: There are different color morphs of this species. The red and orange are the more common color morphs. This is a very defensive tarantula and should not be handled. It is a prolific webber also. The speed of this T is unbelievable as a spiderling. This is a easy to care for species and it is very hardy. I would suggest purchasing this species as a spiderling if you are a novice. You can't go wrong with this tarantula.
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.