Thursday, April 28, 2011
Species of the Day: Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula
Scientific Name: Aphonopelma seemani
Range: Southern United States to Costa Rica, Nicaragua and possibly in areas of Guatemala, and Panama in tropical forests on the Pacific coast with secondary cleared land and hillside highland tropical forests.
Diet: Appropriately sized insects and the occasional pinky mouse
Adult Size: 4 to 4 1/2 inches
Growth Rate: Moderate
Preferred Temperature: 70 to 85 degrees F
Preferred Humidity: 75 to 80%
Temperament: Docile but can be nervous
Housing: Spiderlings can be kept in a clear-plastic deli cup and adults can live in a 2 1/2 to 5 gallon tank; floor space is more important than height. Substrate: 4 to 5 inches of peat moss or potting soil. No decorations needed. A log or cork bark can serve as a hiding place.
The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is a great pet tarantula. It is a a hardy, inexpensive spider with wonderful coloration. Even though it is a generally docile species, you should take care if you are going to handle it. Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas can display incredible speed if startled. Although it is known as the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula, there is a different color phase to this species that is not found in Costa Rica. This color phase is dark brown with tan striping on the legs and is from Nicaragua, as opposed to the usual black form with white striping on the legs. Both color phases of the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula have the same care requirements and make great choices for a beginner or the expert hobbyist.