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Care Sheet

The Greenbottle blue Tarantula (Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens)


This extremely colorful species is found in Venezuela. It is one of the most colorful tarantulas in the world. Bright blue legs, metallica green carapace and pumpkin orange abdominal hairs make it a favorite of the hobby. They are always in demand and sell at high prices. They were first imported back in 1993 and adults sold for over $250.

Adults are no longer imported and this is not an easy species to breed. Captive-born spiderlings are periodically available in the hobby for $25-$45.

Other common names (not official): Orange & blue bottlebrush and Venezuelan bottlebrush

Described by: Strand (yr. unknown)[1907]

Distribution: Along the Paraguara river in Venezuela in Xerophil bush areas and dry forest.

Size: Spiderlings emerge as 1/2" 1st instar.
Adult females may reach 6" in leg span and weigh just over 1 ounce. Males reach 4.5".

Growth rate: Medium growth rate.

Temperature: Keep 80-90F.
They can take drops to 65 F for short periods of time as long as they have a deep burrow. Keep your tarantula¹s enclosure away from windows, sunlight, heater's and air conditioning.

Humidity: 40-60%.
Keep substrate mostly dry. Provide a shallow water dish. Spray spiderling pill bottles once a week lightly. The substrate should NEVER be "swampy" nor should it be so dry that if you were to blow on it particles would go up in the air. Spiderlings needs higher humidity, but 80% humidity or higher will kill adults.

Habitat type/enclosure/substrate needed: This is a short-burrowing species found in dry forest/ bush areas .

Keep adults in 5 gallon tanks with 4-6" peat moss/vermiculite mix with cork bark shelter to hide under.

Spiderlings will need to be keep in pill bottles with peat moss/vermiculite mix for 1st two months, then moved to 8 and 16 ounce deli cups as they get bigger. Make sure your adults can not "climb" up the sides of the glass tank as a drop will kill or injury them. Make sure your lid on top is secure. A good tank for adult tarantulas are "Critter Cages" with sliding and locking lids. In captivity, this species makes a lot of floor webbing.

Food: Feed prey that is smaller than the length of the tarantulas body. Spiderlings less than 1" leg span will need to be fed mini-meal worms (obtained from companies like Nature's Way and Grubco for cheap) and termites. You can use "pin-head" crickets, but these must be 1 week old crickets and very small as they will eat your spiderling when it tries to molt. Adults can be fed large crickets, super worms, anole lizards,and pinkie & fuzzy mice. Make sure all insects come from non-pesticide areas. Feed spiderlings twice a week a couple of prey items. Feed adults once a week with a couple of large prey. Adults can go off-feed for 3 months or more.

Cleaning: To keep your tarantula's tank clean and keep your animal healthy, get in the routine of feeding your tarantula one day, and then coming behind the next day and taking long tweezers and picking out any left-over prey remains. Keep the water dish (it must be shallow and wide) clean at all times. If you follow this advice, you will need to only change out your substrate (vermiculite, peat moss, sand mixture) once every six months or so.

Longevity: Not much is known about the longevity in this species. Males will probably only live to be 2-4 years old, while females will live over 12 years old.

Handling/Disposition/Venom: These are somewhat fast and skittish tarantulas. Best advice: Don't handle! Tarantulas are not "pets", but "display animals" much like keeping fish. They don't understand nor have a need to be handled. They are venomous like many spiders, but their venom is not dangerous unless your allergic to their venom. Don't find out! Transfer your tarantula using "cup-to-tank" method. C. cyneopubescens is a nervous species that will kick hair and resort to biting if provoked enough.

Captive breeding: Difficult to breed. Males are very small and act nervous and skittish around the females which are mostly aggressive towards the males. A large tank is required and it is best to let the female accilimate to it for a few weeks before introducing the male. You must have a female established with a burrow or silk-lined shelter before introducing the male.

Record keeping: Keep good notes such as the stock #, if any , that it was sold as, when born, molt dates, etc.

To find out more about this animal and the Tarantula Keeping hobby, I recommend the following:

Read these books:
"Tarantulas and Other Arachnids" by Sam Marshall,
"Keeping and Breeding Tarantulas in Captivity" by Ronald Baxter, Andreas Tinter's "Tarantulas Today"
Stanley and Marguerite Schultz's "The Tarantula Keeper's Guide".
Subscribe to: WEBBINGS Invertebrate Magazine. (contact: (941) 275-9757, email: tgearhea@peganet.com)
Join the Southwest Florida Tarantula Society (SWFTS) contact: (941) 275-9757, email: tgearhea@peganet.com, and the British Tarantula Society (BTS) to obtain the bi-monthly newsletter, The Journal.
Join the Arachnid Mailing List on the internet.

Copyright © 1999 by Todd Gearheart


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