Due to their unique color pattern and calm nature, pinktoe tarantulas are adored by many spider lovers.
Many people do not like spiders. While I agree that their unconventional number of legs and eyes can sometimes be unsettling, spiders are also adorable in many ways However, some of them are dangerous and can cause death if improperly encountered. You can rest easy knowing that the majority of spiders are non-poisonous and actually protect us from many other harmful insects.
To me the most amazing feature of a spider is their web weaving. Their webs are intricately beautiful and sturdy enough to shelter them for long periods of time.
However, this article is not about all spiders or their wonderful web weaving techniques. In this article, we will introduce you to a species commonly known as Antilles Pinktoe Tarantula. Its scientific name is Avicularia versicolor. The name mainly refers to its color-changing ability. Usually, the color of their body changes from green to purple.
This kind is popularly known as a huge tree spider and preferred as a pet due to its coloration. Moreover, Antilles Pinktoe Tarantula are friendly pets.
Like other spiders, the Antilles Pinktoe have eight legs. Moreover, close to the mouth area, there are four other appendages which are known as chelicerae and pedipalps. Both the chelicerae and pedipalps help the tarantulas feed their babies. The chelicerae portion has fangs and venom. On the other hand, they use the pedipalps as feelers and claws. However, the male tarantulas use their pedipalps during reproduction.
The Antilles Pinktoe Tarantula is a tiny tree-dwelling spider. Females are larger than males. Females are around 4.75 inches while males are 3.5 inches. As tarantulas are tree-living creatures, they can climb on corral furniture. This kind has 4-5” of the substrate which helps them to survive in humidity. However, they still require ventilation to survive properly. Pinktoe Tarantulas are capable of situating themselves in a wide temperature range.
Antilles Pinktoe Tarantulas are mostly found in Venezuela, northern Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname. They mainly live in the trees of rainforest regions in northern South America.
Hunting and Food Habits
Though Antilles Pinktoe Tarantulas are not specialized jumpers, they are still very swift and capable of jumping. The spiders are able to hop in the air using just a single foot. They are nocturnal hunters that depend on their enormous size to subdue prey.
Some of their favorite meals are moths, beetles, crickets, and cockroaches. They also like to eat tiny lizards like anoles. Adults need to eat one or two crickets every three to ten days and the baby tarantulas need the same amount of nutrition every week.
Breeding and Growth
If you want to distinguish male tarantulas from female ones, you need to separate them before they reach sexual maturity. Females have a coated crimped layer in the abdominal portion which gradually attaches to her spermatheca when she is completely mature. For males, their abdomen will be smaller than their cephalothorax.
Upon reaching maturity, the male tarantulas grow a “finger” below the first set of their front legs. This finger helps them to lock their fangs with their female mates during reproduction. The male tarantulas die within 60 to 90 days of mating.
To complete the reproduction process, female tarantulas must be freshly molted otherwise the given sperm will be destroyed during the molt. After mating, the females create a web to lay eggs. They usually lay 50 to 200 eggs at once. The eggs become fertilized after they pass out of her body. The female tarantulas then fold the eggs into an orb and shield them constantly.
The babies need to molt in order to grow properly. Molting allows the spiders to shed their old exoskeleton in order to develop a larger one. Spiderlings are likely to molt at least five to six times during their initial year.
Characteristics and Behaviors as a Pet
Many people prefer Pink Toe Tarantulas as a pet over other animals due to their calm nature. They often quietly spend hours in the same position. However, they become active when you put a cricket or roach in their enclosure during feeding time. You should feed them in the evening as they tend to become more active during the night. Furthermore, you should remove any uneaten insects or food within 24 hours. To keep the enclosure clean, you need to spend a few hours cleaning every week.
The tarantulas usually like to live alone and they do not need company. However, you can keep multiple Pink Toe Tarantulas in the same enclosure.
These spiders do not bite unless intimidated. They possess a fixed amount of toxic venom that will result in pain, redness, and swelling. If you have an allergic reaction to their venom, it may cause more severe reactions like shortness of breath. In such cases, you should consult a doctor immediately. For safety, place their enclosure away from other household pets.
The female tarantulas live longer than male ones. The female spiders can live up to 10-12 years while the male tarantulas can survive for a short time span. So if you are interested in having a spider of your own, Antilles Pinktoe Tarantula is one of a kind!