Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

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Other common names: Zebra Tarantula, Striped Knee Tarantula

Scientific name: Aphonopelma seemani

The basics:
The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is a burrowing species native to Costa Rica, and other parts of Central America, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. They are commonly found in semi-arid grasslands.

Appearance / health:
Adult Zebra Tarantulas are an average sized species reaching up to 5 inches. Coloration is different between the species collected from Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Species from Costa Rica are black with white striping on the legs whereas the species from Nicaragua are dark brown with tan striping on the legs. With either species it’s easy to tell it's a Zebra Tarantula.

Behavior / temperament:
Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas are known to be pretty docile, but are also known to be very skittish. They will run away at the lightest scare and they can move very fast. Since they are docile, they make good choices for beginner and experts alike.

Young tarantulas and spiderlings can be housed in clear plastic containers. Adults can comfortably live in a 5-10 gallon tank. Since these are a burrowing species, floor space and depth is more important than height.

In order for these species to thrive in captivity, temperatures need to be around 70-85F with humidity levels around 75-80%. To keep the humidity up, spray the enclosure a couple times a week as well as keeping a shallow open water dish inside the tank. A peat moss and vermiculite mixed substrate will also hold humidity well and also allow this species to burrow. This substrate should be 4-8 inches deep. Add tank décor that will allow this species to hide, or burrow under.

Once a male has produced his sperm web, he can be introduced to the female. If the female is accepting they will begin mating. If she’s not willing to mate, the male can be severely injured or even eaten and killed. During the mating process the male will lure out the female from her burrow. The male will lunge towards her and grab her fangs with his front legs and then try to position the female in an upright position. In this upright position the male will then try to inject his fertilizing fluid into the females genital area. If they are successful, the female will produce an egg sac within a couple weeks. Males have a short life span and will usually die short after mating.


great displays.


skittish pet, slow grower


opportunistic burrower, excess crickets, unsafe moult, new world tarantulas

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