So in this episode of “bits”, I present the way I house (and rehouse) the gentle fluffball that is the Avicularia genus. These spiders are among the most docile creatures in the tarantula kingdom, as well as stunningly beautiful.
That said, spiders of this genus CAN be skittish and they WILL jump from time to time. So new keepers be aware, as this can be an issue with handling. For instance, in the main photo above, right after I took the picture, the T jumped from there on my arm right onto the camera….then to the desk, and then back onto my other arm, coming to a stop on the back of my hand. I LOVE it when they do this, but the first time this happens can be…unnerving. Heh.
[CAUTION!! While these little dudes are excellent jumpers with decent eyesight (for tarantulas), a long fall to a hard surface can be fatal to them. Their abdomens, while tough, can burst and they can bleed out if this happens. They are good aerial gymnasts, but taking care when handling to ensure a “soft landing” is important, both for the health of the tarantula, and your wallet.]
This genus is a “bite the bad human only as a last resort” generally. If you do get bitten…in my humble opinion, you deserve it. heh.
They have two primary means of defense when rattled. The first is the rubbing of urticating hairs from their abdomen directly on the object of irritation. (This is very different from most other species that kick the hairs toward what is scaring them.) The second, and most brilliant (as well as laugh out loud funny…unless you get pegged in the eye…) is that they shoot poop. Literally. And they are about as accurate as a good sniper. And they can shoot said poop from several feet away…accurately.
For an outstanding breakdown on “beginner tarantulas”, I point you, as always, to:
Tom’s Big Spider Blog Beginner’s revisited.
With apologies to Tom for my “handle-it” housing techniques here. If you are a new keeper, I HIGHLY suggest watching how Mr. Moran does things. His youtube channel is chock full of housing and husbandry videos, which you can find here:
Tom’s Big Spiders Youtube channel
This isn’t a “how-to” per se, rather it is a “How I do things with a docile species I know”. 🙂
So without further ado, let us proceed to the slideshow of housing. Click the top left picture to get rolling. I’ll have captions that explain stuff as we go along.