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Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula
(Aphonopelma seemani)
by Jon Fouskaris

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula
Specimen provided by Carlos Viquez.
Photo taken by Carlos Viquez.

     The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is a great pet tarantula. It is a hardy, inexpensive spider with wonderful coloration! Even though it is a generally docile species, you shouldn't get the impression that this spider can be held. Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas can display incredible speed if startled by the slightest occurrence. Although it is known as the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula, there is a different color phase to this species, that is not found in Costa Rica. This color phase is dark brown with tan striping on the legs, and is from Nicaragua, as opposed to the Costa Rican form of black with white striping on the legs. The Costa Rican form is shown to the left. Both color phases require the same conditions in captivity. The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is a good choice for a beginner or an expert.
Range Southern United States to Costa Rica, Nicaragua and possibly areas in Guatemala, and Panama in tropical forests on the Pacific coast with secondary cleared land and hillside highland tropical forests.
Type Burrowing.
Diet Spiderlings eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, other large insects, and an occasional pinkie mouse.
Full Grown Size 4 to 4.5 inches.
Growth Medium speed.
Temperature 70 to 85 F.
Humidity 75 to 80%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3" legspan may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.
Temperament Docile and nervous.
Housing Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 2.5 to 5-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.
Substrate 4 to 5 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.
Decor No decorations are really needed, but you can add a log, or cork bark. Moss can be added for floor cover, but leave some areas open for burrowing in the substrate.
Other Names Zebra Tarantula, Stripe Knee Tarantula, and Stripe Kneed Tarantula.

*Please note that ALL tarantulas have a certain amount of venom. Although most people are not affected by this, some people may be allergic to the venom, or just more sensitive, making it a dangerous situation. This is one of the reasons that people should not handle their tarantulas. Also, New World species of tarantulas can flick urticating hairs off of their abdomens, which can also cause a reaction, depending on the person. Affects of tarantulas' natural defenses may vary between people. All tarantulas should be considered dangerous, so be careful, because you don't want to find out if you are allergic or more sensitive the HARD WAY!

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