Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Posted Jul 23, 2011
Other Names: Martinique Red Tree Spider, Martinique Pinktoe
Scientific Name: Avicularia versicolor
Habitat: Native to Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea.
Size And Colorings: Adults grow to 4-5 inches. Spiderlings and juveniles are blue. The adults have a green carapace, purple-red abdomen, and legs are green with purple hairs. They also have little 'pads' on the tips of their toes, which are usually pink, but can also be orange, yellow, or white. Males of this species are generally more vivid.
Caging: Antilles Pinktoe tarantulas are 'arboreal,' which means they live in the trees in their natural habitat. Therefore, when keeping these tarantulas, it is more important to have height rather than floor space. This way they can climb high and build their webs.
Temperature: room temperature is fine, however the best temps for this species is a range of 68F to 78F (20C to 26C)
Humidity: This species needs higher humidity levels, 75%-85%, which is slightly higher than other pinktoe species. It is also very important that this species has good ventilation, so it can sometimes be tricky to keep the level of humidity high while providing lots of ventilation for them.
Substrate: Substrate isn't needed but I like to keep about an inch or 2 of coconut husk on the bottom of the cage. Include a plastic plant or slab of cork bark in the cage for your tarantula to attach a web to. For arboreal species, it is really nice if you can get a cage that opens from the front as
apposed to the top, because your spider will want to spin web all over the lid, then the jar lid is hard to take off!
Once your tarantula is about 2 to 3 inches in size, include a water dish. You can use a plastic milk jug lid, or the lid from an orange juice
Diet: Spiderlings can be fed pinhead crickets and flightless fruit flies. Juveniles and adults can eat crickets, mealworms, superworms, wax worms, butterworms, and roaches. Don't feed worms very often, as they have a high fat content, and aren't as nutritious as crickets or roaches. Make sure what you feed your tarantulas has never come in contact with pesticides, etc.. So no garden bugs!
Behavior: Antilles pinktoes are skittish and move very quickly, but also are usually quite docile as well. You can handle this species, but you shouldn't handle any tarantula species in excess as it is stressful on them, and can be dangerous too, for example if they fall. Also, remember that temperaments can vary between individuals. I don't generally handle any of my tarantula's, they could get hurt.
This tarantula is a good beginner tarantula, but it does move really fast, so you should be very prepared, or begin with a docile terrestrial for a first tarantula. That being said though, I feel that arboreals are safer for a beginner, since a person is inexperienced with tarantula keeping. It's also safer especially if you have the urge to handle them, which many people new to the hobby want to do. If an arboreal falls a few inches, they usually go unharmed because they are built for that type of thing. A fall of a few inches for a terrestrial (ground-dwelling) species can be very dangerous, even fatal.
The Antilles pinktoe is a New World species, so it has urticating hairs
that it will kick off if something irritates it enough.
The Antilles pinktoe tarantula is also known for 'flinging' its excrement
when it gets annoyed!