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Care Sheet

Ecuadorian purple tarantula (Avicularia purpurea)

A native of the Amazonas region of Ecuador, South America this spider was first described by Peter Kirk in 1990, as "a new species of Theraphosid spider from Ecuador".

The spider lives in cultivated areas especially cattle pastures containing a number of isolated trees. These spiders occupy a number of distinct habitats and, like most other species of Avicularia, are primarily arboreal in their habits. These habitats include:

o. Hollows in trees, lined with silk. The tube entrance in always facing down.

o. Web spun below an epiphytic plant.

o. Within the construction of the houses of local peoples, especially frequenting the gaps between the corrugated rooves and the supporting beams or holes in walls.

It is described by Peter Kirk, thus...

"At first glance this spider appears to be jet-black in colour. Closer inspection under natural light reveals that dorsally on the cephalothorax, legs, palps and chelicerae there is a quite intense purple-blue iridescence. The long setae covering the legs and palps are not black, but a very dark red-brown, but this is not very distinct. Dorsally, the tarsal and metatarsal scopulae are very dark brown - almost black. The tarsal tufts are pale cream-pink in colour, but this is not as obvious as in many other species of Avicularia. The abdomen is velvet-black with longer setae of the same colour as those on the legs and palps. The overall integument is black.

Ventrally, the legs and palps are black with the same purple-blue colouration, though this is less intense than on the dorsal surface. The bucal hairs around the mouth are bright orange-red, with the sternum and abdomen being velvet black."

He continues ... "The specific name [purpurea] refers to the metallic purple-blue iridescence seen on the dorsal surface of the spider in natural light (daylight)."

The requirements in captivity are:

As for keeping them as pets, many people keep these in large 12x12x12 (inches) tanks.

Like the other arboreal (tree living) species they require high humidity levels (above 80%).

As these are arboreal spiders, you must make provision for a retreat, such as a piece of cork bark glued to the side of the tank, or some other suitable materials, such as twigs for their tubular webs to be attached to. Substrate for the cage should be of peat/vermiculite mix, should be at least 1 inch deep.

An open water dish is a must, as is regular spraying of the tank with a plant mister. On no account should the humidity level fall below 70 percent!

Food: All standard invertebrates

Type: Arboreal (Tree Living)

Aggressiveness: May be skittish.

Venom Effect: Unknown, expected to be low-toxicity.

Geographic Range: Ecuador

Requirements: 24-28șC Centigrade

Humidity: 80%

Substrate: 1 inches

Shelter: Cork bark or suitable steralised twigs.

Water: Open water dish, and regular mistings.

Longevity: Unknown.

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