Mike's Basic Tarantula
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Indigenous: East Africa
Habitat: The hottest time of year in East Africa is during the dry season from December to March. There are basically two rainy seasons, the long rains from April to June and a shorter rain from November to December. The coastal areas can get very wet and humid during this time of year. Temperatures in East Africa, except on the hot and generally humid coastal belt, are moderate, around 25 °C (77 °F) and minimum of 15 °C (59 °F) The average humidity is between 55%- 80%. June is the coolest month, for it is midwinter.
Temp/humidity: This species does well in cool temperatures. I keep mine at 74° to 82°F (23.3°C to 27.8°C) and 65% humidity
Enclosure: This is a obligate burrower, therefore an adult needs eight inches (8") of substrate to burrow, but if the substrate is not deep, it will web extensively.
Substrate: I use three inches of substrate in vial, deli cup for spiderlings, and eight inches (20.32cm) 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 (5.07cm) hole for burrowing in the corner of the enclosure.
Food Consumption: I first fed fruit flies, than when she reached one-half inch (1.27cm) I introduced baby crickets. Now I give my Kilimanjaro Baboon (1) - inch B. dubia roaches or two (3) 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. Every four months I wet one side of the substrate, than allow it to dry out. Growth Rate: The growth rate of this species is fast. I purchased this tarantula as a spiderling of one-half inch (1.27cm) in size. After the first year she had grown to three inch (7.62cm). With constant feeding and with temperatures in the low 80's, it reached a size of four inches (10.16cm) within two years.
Adult Size: I read that they get five inches (12.7cm) leg length. My girl is a solid four inches (10.16cm).
Temperament: Because of their defensive nature, they aren't the best species to handle. If approached they will usually go into a threat posture. Comments: This is a pet hole. You will very seldom see this species. I don't allow my obligate burrowers to gorge themselves; by doing so they stay at the mouth of their burrow waiting for prey. This allows me to see a natural behavior of stalking and get a glimpse of my tarantula. She is also a prolific webber, if not allowed to burrow. This is not a beginner tarantula, not because of care, but defensiveness, but if you do your homework before acquiring this species, you shouldn't have any problems keeping it. Read: Handling Old World Tarantulas