This species of South American tarantula is probably one of the most stunning. These are relatively new to the pet trade (1998) and have become very popular amongst hobbyists. These semi-aggressive spiders grow up to approximately 8 inches.
Our geniculata molted in early April ’06 and is about four inches now. She went from slightly brown to the traditional black and white coloration.
Native to the northern region of Mexico, up through central Arizona, the chalcodes is a very beautiful spider. These tarantulas live in deep burrows that they dig into the hard desert earth. The males of this species can be seen wandering the ground at dusk (which includes crossing the road) looking for a female to mate with. Since the male has only one job to do, they do not live long after maturity. Females, however, can live 30+ years.
My first chalcodes is still rather young and is not yet showing her adult colors. She will eventually be covered in fine “blond” hairs, thus the common name given! She was coaxed out of her burrow in Maricopa, AZ, and accepted handling immediately. She will often climb onto my hand while I am cleaning her cage, just to go for a little walk and say “hi”. She is definitely one of my favorites!
Although known as the Texas Brown, the A. hentzi are found in Oklahoma. They are a medium to light brown/chocolate color with a tan carapace. They are a very docile species, very similar to the chalcodes found here in Arizona.
(Mineral Mountain Rust Rump)
Another beautiful Aphonopelma species, this with a mixture of brown, blonde, and rust colors (hence the name). Like the chalcodes, the schmiti is located from central Arizona to northern Mexico.
Our schmiti is the typical Aphonopelma – slow moving, docile, and very friendly!
(Costa Rican Zebra Striped)
The seemanni is very common in the pet trade, and should be a relatively inexpensive purchase. The coloration can vary from spider to spider; some are a beautiful blue color, and others are a dull tan/brown. While these tarantulas are typically non-aggressive, they tend to be nervous and “jumpy,” thus making them less handleable than some other species.
My seemanni is no exception. Transporting her into a new tank the other day proved interesting. She ran around the tank – away from my wife’s hand – trying to avoid capture. She never once showed any aggression, nor did she flick any hairs. Once she was put in her new home, she went right to work rearranging everything. She builds very interesting tunnels and “hides” in her tank, and usually overturns her water dish within minutes of having it filled. No lack of personality here.
(Wichita Mountain Red)
This is a beautiful tarantula from the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma. Their carapace is a tan or cream color, their legs and abdomen are black, and they are covered with fine red hairs. Although not seen very often in the pet trade, reports from those that own these tarantulas report them to be a docile species, and a great addition to their collection.
My wichitanum is still rather small (about 2″), but is a gentle spider. This spider is very much like my other Aphonopelma tarantulas – sometimes a tiny bit skittish, but usually very accepting to any intrusion into its tank. I am considering the name “Aquaman” for this one, as s/he loves the water dish – both for drinking and playing!
Another beautiful Aphonopelma tarantula from the desert of southwest region. This particular spider is found in and around Carlsbad, New Mexico. These tarantulas have a slight, dull green tint to them, and they are fairly docile as well.
Our Carlsbad Green is about 3 inches in length, and has the same sweet disposition of our wild caught chalcodes. These treasures are not often available in the pet trade, so grab them when you find them!