tarantula (Avicularia purpurea)
native of the Amazonas region of Ecuador, South
America this spider was first described by Peter
Kirk in 1990, as "a new species of
Theraphosid spider from Ecuador".
The spider lives in cultivated
areas especially cattle pastures containing a
number of isolated trees. These spiders occupy a
number of distinct habitats and, like most other
species of Avicularia, are primarily arboreal in
their habits. These habitats include:
o. Hollows in trees, lined with
silk. The tube entrance in always facing down.
o. Web spun below an epiphytic
o. Within the construction of the
houses of local peoples, especially frequenting
the gaps between the corrugated rooves and the
supporting beams or holes in walls.
It is described by Peter Kirk,
"At first glance this spider
appears to be jet-black in colour. Closer
inspection under natural light reveals that
dorsally on the cephalothorax, legs, palps and
chelicerae there is a quite intense purple-blue
iridescence. The long setae covering the legs and
palps are not black, but a very dark red-brown,
but this is not very distinct. Dorsally, the
tarsal and metatarsal scopulae are very dark
brown - almost black. The tarsal tufts are pale
cream-pink in colour, but this is not as obvious
as in many other species of Avicularia. The
abdomen is velvet-black with longer setae of the
same colour as those on the legs and palps. The
overall integument is black.
Ventrally, the legs and palps are
black with the same purple-blue colouration,
though this is less intense than on the dorsal
surface. The bucal hairs around the mouth are
bright orange-red, with the sternum and abdomen
being velvet black."
He continues ... "The
specific name [purpurea] refers to the metallic
purple-blue iridescence seen on the dorsal
surface of the spider in natural light
The requirements in captivity
As for keeping them as pets, many
people keep these in large 12x12x12 (inches)
Like the other arboreal (tree
living) species they require high humidity levels
As these are arboreal spiders,
you must make provision for a retreat, such as a
piece of cork bark glued to the side of the tank,
or some other suitable materials, such as twigs
for their tubular webs to be attached to.
Substrate for the cage should be of
peat/vermiculite mix, should be at least 1 inch
An open water dish is a must, as
is regular spraying of the tank with a plant
mister. On no account should the humidity level
fall below 70 percent!
Food: All standard invertebrates
Type: Arboreal (Tree Living)
Aggressiveness: May be skittish.
Venom Effect: Unknown, expected
to be low-toxicity.
Geographic Range: Ecuador
Requirements: 24-28șC Centigrade
Substrate: 1 inches
Shelter: Cork bark or suitable
Water: Open water dish, and