Among lovers of tropical insects, the tarantula spider or Acanthoscurria Geniculata has recently gained particular popularity. This representative has a specific and very beautiful color. It is undemanding to the conditions of detention, which greatly increases the demand for it. Nevertheless, this species is a predator, and its bite, although safe for human health, is very painful.
Acanthoscurria Geniculata Appearance
Acantosuria Geniculata is a spider that can reach 22 cm in size. Its body is no more than 8 cm, and everything else is the span of its legs. The color of the tarantula can be either black or brown, while the hairs on its abdomen are usually red. But most of all, the white transverse stripes on the legs attract attention. That is why the second name for Acantosuria is a white-knee spider. All these features are characteristic only for this species of the tarantula spider.
Spiders grow up pretty quickly. So, males become adults by 1.5 years, but females mature a little later – by 2 years. As for the duration of life, females can live up to 15 years, and in rare cases up to 20. Males die during reproduction.
Housing the Acanthoscurria Geniculata
To keep an adult, you will need a terrarium or insectarium measuring 30 x 30 x 30 cm. Since Acanthoscurria prefers to dig minks, care must be taken to ensure that there is a substrate in the aquarium. Peat, sphagnum moss, or coconut fiber are most suitable. You should choose quality materials that will not contain any chemicals since this type of spider is very sensitive to various impurities. The substrate in the terrarium should be at least 5 cm thick. Many experienced terrarium keepers recommend spreading the bedding for the spider at least 10 cm thick. This will help create natural conditions for it.
Also, the soil will need to be moistened twice a day or as it dries. To do this, you can use a conventional spray bottle. Spiders feel most comfortable at a temperature of 23-27 ° C. Humidity in the terrarium should be 70-80%.
An integral part of any tarantula is the presence of a house in the terrarium. To do this, it is recommended to use various items that can be found at home or purchased at a pet store:
- coconut shell;
- special artificial house;
- snag with a hollow.
If the owner does not take care of the presence of a shelter in the aquarium, then the spider will make it himself from any objects available to him. These can be measuring devices (thermometer, hygrometer) or a drinking bowl. All items in the terrarium should be secured since the White-Knee Spider can move them with ease. Also, in his habitat, there should be no sharp objects that could injure his body.
One of the most common problems that a fan of exotic spiders may encounter is the growth of mold on the substrate. This is not surprising, since the presence of nutrients in the soil, as well as high temperature and humidity, create an optimal environment for molds. This problem should be identified and corrected as soon as possible. To do this, it will be enough to stop moistening the substrate for a while, letting it dry out. If the fungus reappears, a replacement of the soil will be required, as well as a complete cleaning in the aquarium to get rid of mold spores. You will need to regularly clean the enclosure after each molt of your eight-legged pet. It will be useful to remove his hairs from the substrate from time to time.
The main diet of Acanthoscurria is insects. But they are not averse to feasting on small animals such as mice and frogs. One of their favorite treats is the marble cockroach, which can be purchased as food at the pet store. It is important that the insects are alive, then the tarantula will hunt them, which is a very exciting process. Before each molt, Acanthoscurria becomes somewhat indifferent to food, so do not worry about this.
As for the frequency of feeding, adults only need to eat once a week, while juveniles will need to be fed 3 times a day. In order for the young to grow as quickly as possible, mealworms can be given to them as food.
These spiders really do not like it when someone violates the boundaries of their territory. If this happens, then the tarantula gives a sign of danger, namely, it becomes in a fighting stance on its hind legs. At the same time, he begins to actively swing his front legs, combing hairs from them. In humans, such hairs can irritate the skin. If the intruder does not back down, then Acanthoscurria Geniculata can bite, so care must be taken to protect hands. This will require gloves made of thick material, as well as long tweezers. For humans, the poison of this arachnid is safe, but still, the bite will be painful. It is believed that the poisonous substance that the tarantula releases in one go can kill 60 mice.
The age of tarantulas is measured not in years lived but in molts. Molting is not the same as that of cats and dogs – in the process, the spider completely sheds the old shell and overgrows with a new one. With each molt, the size of the pet increases. Young spiders molt 1-2 times a month, growing up – 4-6 times a year and less and less over time. The male will molt before puberty, while females will molt once or twice a year.
The tarantula prepares for molt in advance. He becomes lethargic and almost immobile, loses his appetite, the color of the spider becomes darker. The tarantula’s molt, lying on their backs. If you feed your pet enough, then it will easily cope with the task. You do not need to help the spider, so as not to harm! It is also forbidden to offer food or disturb the animal at this time. Air humidity should be within 80-90%.
After molting, the spider will rest a little and begin to move a little. His skeleton will harden in a few days. Offer food no earlier than in a week, when the pet gets stronger and is able to deal with the prey.
Unlike most arachnids, Acanthoscurria Geniculata reproduces very well at home. Individuals become mature by two years of age, although males mature somewhat earlier. To preserve the life of the male, before mating, the female should be fed or after fertilization, the partner should be immediately deposited. After 3 months, the spider weaves a cocoon from the web, in which from 300 to 600 spiders will develop. The number of eggs laid depends on the size of the female. After two months, the young leave the cocoon. It is especially important to keep the temperature and humidity in the cage constant during the breeding season. Minor deviations can negatively affect the development of babies.
Tarantulas only seem boring animals, because it is interesting to watch their actions and movements around the terrarium. They can build fortifications, weave webs, move objects in their “home”. If you want to talk to your pet by picking it up, proceed very carefully. This is a lot of stress for a spider. Do not make sudden movements and scare your pet with loud sounds. The two most dangerous situations faced by tarantula owners and how to deal with them are:
- the spider has bitten – even the calmest spiders bite if they sense danger. For people, bites are not fatal, except in cases where the consequences occur due to an allergic reaction in the absence of timely assistance. If you are bitten by a spider, seek immediate medical attention.
- the spider has escaped – if it remains in sight, then just wait until it stops and carefully cover it with a wide container. Putting a sheet of cardboard or something else dense under it, carefully return the fugitive to the terrarium. If the location of the pet is unknown, then arrange a trap – spread a wet towel on the floor, and the tarantula will come by itself. While actively searching, proceed with caution and make sure that pets and children do not find the fugitive first.
The unpretentiousness of the Acanthoscurria Geniculata is the main indicator when choosing an animal as a pet. This species of arachnids are considered peaceful, however, the tarantula can show aggression if you violate the boundaries of his personal space. Although its bite is safe for humans, precautions are still needed, especially if there are children in the house.