Scientific name: Monocentropus balfouri
The Socotra Island Blue Baboon Tarantula is native to the island of Socotra, which is found in the Indian Ocean about 150 miles (240 K.) east of the Horn of Africa.
Appearance / health:
4.5-5" DLS (diagonal leg span). This species is an overall tan color, with bright blue legs and an aqua colored carapace. Mature males are almost all a deep shade of blue, with very little tan coming through.
Behavior / temperament:
This is a truely communal species. Multiple animals will live together in harmony, and assist in caring for one another as well as hunt together. They also do well as solo captives, but the young cannot be taken from their mother and siblings too early, or they risk perishing.
Medium to large terrestrial enclosure with ample substrate in which to burrow. Moderately easy to care for. These prefer moderate humidity, and ample burrowing room.
Invertebrates smaller than itself - crickets, roaches, mealworms.
Difficult, even for experienced breeders. It should be noted that mothers in this species actively care for the young they hatch, and high mortality rates in spiderlings have been witnessed by those hobbyists that take the eggsacs or young from the mothers before the babies reach 3rd instar or greater.
crown jewels, downright fascinating, striking contrast, absolutely stunning species, blue legs
medically significant venom
burrowing, average sized tarantula
One of my absolute favorites
I have been keeping tarantulas for so long that I no longer have the ability to pick a favorite. I have a list of favorites, and this species is right up there with all of them. It is an absolutely stunning species with a great contrast between its cream body and blue legs. While still skittish and defensive like most Old World species, M balfouri is on the more docile end of the spectrum. If you can afford it, it makes a great starter Old World species. While still not a beginner's species, it is a good first baboon spider.
M balfouri is a burrowing species that will web heavily, so it is often not visible, but not to the extent that some of the more well-known "pet hole." Due to its burrowing and webbing, M balfouri is often very active, and when kept communally, you can observe the mother feeding her young.
If you have any interest in Old World species, M balfouri is right at the top of my list of "have to have" spiders..
From EponymousDrew Sep 27 2014 3:46AM
This is one of the crown jewels of the tarantula hobby right now, and for good reason. M. balfouri is nothing short of stunning.
These guys are a striking contrast to other baboons. They almost appear siamese cat-like in appearance, with a vivid blue and cream color contrast.
What makes this species truly unique, and downright fascinating, is that they are TRUE communal spiders. Unlike other species that will tolerate other members of the same species if enough food is present, M. balfouri will live together peacefully from day one. They will share food. They will cooperatively hunt. Mothers have been witnessed (and photographed) feeding their slings with the prey that they kill.
This is an average sized tarantula, that prefers to burrow, but can also be seen moving and webbing about often. They don't produce many offspring per eggsac, so their purchase price is still moderate to high, but is coming down now that more breeders are working with them. If you can afford it, it is truly an awesome experience to get 3-5 and keep them together.
This species is Old World, and does possess medically significant venom. They are not particularly defensive, but they are fast and skittish. They aren't for beginners, but would make a nice "intermediate" starter species for someone with a bit of experience..
From HeartlandInvert Sep 8 2014 3:40PM