Nature Mikey

Nature Mikey

Friday, May 27, 2011

Species of the Day: Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula

Scientific Name: Avicularia versicolor
Range: Tropical areas of Martinique, Guadeloupe and possible the surrounding Caribbean islands.
Type: Arboreal
Diet: Appropriately sized insects, and the occasional pinky mouse of feeder lizard
Adult Size: 5 to 6 inches
Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast
Preferred Temperature: 75 to 80 degrees F
Preferred Humidity: 75 to 80%
Temperament: Docile but nervous
Housing: Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-cup with holes, and adults can live in a 5 to 10 gallon tank; height is more important than floor space. 2 to 3 inches of peat moss, potting soil or wood chips can be used as a substrate. Branches, live plants, vines, etc. can be used as cover and provide a base for the web.

    The Martinique Pinktoe tarantula has to be one of the most beautiful tarantula species in the world. When the spiderlings hatch out, they are a brilliant blue, and by the time they reach adult size they are a gorgeous combination of greens, blues, reds and even purple. These attractive tarantulas cannot be kept communally like their cousin, the Common Pinktoe. The Martinique Pinktoe tarantula is a docile but skittish species that can be quick to run if disturbed. This still does not eliminate it from the beginner's category, but there are easier species out there. These colorful, fairly large tarantulas create strong webs in tree bark in the wild, and they will do the same in captivity if provided with branches or cork bark. Poor ventilation is a death sentence for the Martinique Pinktoe tarantula, like many other tropical arboreal species. If the air in the tank is damp and stale, it could encourage molds to grow and invade the tarantula's lungs. For good reason, the Martinique Pinktoe tarantula is one of the most sought after tarantulas in the hobby.

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