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Brazilian Red and White Tarantula
(Lasiodora cristata)
by Jon Fouskaris

*Information provided by Frank Somma

Brazilian Red and White Tarantula
Specimen provided by Frank Somma.

Photo taken by Jon Fouskaris.

       The Brazilian Red and White Tarantula is a large and colorful terrestrial species. It is a relatively new species in the United States, they started becoming mainstream between 1998 and 2000. Today, the Brazilian Red and White Tarantula is being bred pretty regularly, and it is enjoying a life of fame and high demand. The Brazilian Red and White Tarantula is not to be confused with other Brazilian black and white beauties such as the Brazilian Whiteknee Tarantula (Acanthoscurria geniculata), and the Brazilian Black and White Tarantula (Brazilopelma colloratvillosum). The photo to the left shows a possibly gravid adult female. Like any possibly gravid tarantula, if she molts, she will regain her pristine beauty, but she will not produce an eggsac. If she doesn't molt, she might not look her best, but she may bring over 1,000 new Brazilian Red and White Tarantulas into the hobby! This species is known to produce very small, almost tiny spiderlings, but with such a large number of babies, you can't blame them! This spider was formerly in the genus Vitalius, but it was transferred to Lasiodora in 2001. This species is even more beautiful than the specimen shown to the left, and if breeders keep up their steady pace, the Brazilian Red and White Tarantula is sure to be a regular in the hobby.
Range Found throughout the rainforests of eastern Brazil.
Type Terrestrial, but will burrow to some extent.
Diet Spiderlings eat flightless fruit flies, pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, other large insects, and small vertebrates.
Full Grown Size 7 to 8 inches.
Growth Medium speed.
Temperature 75 to 80 F.
Humidity 75 to 80%.
Temperament Semi-aggressive and nervous.
Housing Babies can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 10 to 15-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.
Substrate 3 to 5 inches of peat moss.
Decor No decorations are really needed, but you can add a log, or cork bark.
Other Names Brazilian Striped Red Rump Tarantula, and White Striped Birdeater.

*Please note that ALL tarantulas have a certain amount of venom. Although most people are not affected by this species, 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 this tarantula. Also, New World species of tarantulas like this one can flick urticating hairs off of their abdomens, which can also cause a reaction, depending on the person. Affects of this 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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