Aphonopelma seemanni

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This is a specific care sheet for Costa Rican Zebras (Aphonopelma seemanni), for more in this genus see Category:Aphonopelma.

Species Information Bar
Costa Rican Zebra care sheet
Aphonopelma seemanni
Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula
Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula
Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Subphylum: Arachnomorpha

Class: Arachnida

Subclass: Micrura

Order: Araneae

Suborder: Opisthothelae

Family: Theraphosidae

Subfamily: Theraphosinae

Genus: Aphonopelma

Species: A. seemanni

Aphonopelma seemanni is most commonly referred to as the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula. It is a common species seen in tropical rain forests in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and the southern United States.

Tarantula Information (for a more detailed Tarantula care review see Tarantula Care Sheets
Information and Tarantula Care
Regions Found: Seen in tropical rainforests of Central America
Class: Terrestrial
Longevity: Females will live 15-20 years and males a little as 5 years
Adult Size: 11 to 13cm
Temperament: Extremely skittish but docile
Urticating Hairs: Yes but would rather run and hide
Venom Potency:
Aphonopelma seemanni Housing Requirements
Tarantula Housing: Floor space is more important than height, a deep substrate should be provided for burrowing. A good retreat is required, maybe a few in strategic places
Temperature: 22-30°C (71.6-86°F)
Humidity: 75-85%
Special Requirements:
Breeding Aphonopelma seemanni Tarantulas
Breeding Difficulty: Moderate
Egg sac size:
Danger to Male: Probably Sexual Cannibalism
Aphonopelma seemanni Diet
Livefood insects such as crickets, locust, butter worms, meal worms, superworms, houseflies and cockroaches.
Recommended Pet Supplies for Aphonopelma seemanni


This tarantula ranges from brown with tan stripes to black with white stripes, becoming a uniform brown colour upon their maturing moult. It is a very fast moving species so be very careful when cleaning out the tank and avoid handling. Females can live upto 20 years in captivity wheras males usually only survive to 7 years at the most.



Adult Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas should be housed in a terrarium of between 5 to 10 gallons. This species is terrestrial so floorspace is more important than height. The habitat should be constructed so that they provide plenty of hiding places. A broken flowerpot may also be used to provide a great built-in burrow.

They inhabit burrows, which they will excavate themselves when an ideal site is located. Sometimes they will find an abandoned hole or burrow and modify it to suit their own needs.


The substrate you use within the enclosure can be either potting soil, peat moss or vermiculite, whichever you use depends on your personal preferences as all have their good and bad points. The substrate should be atleast 10 cm (4inches) deep to provide a suitable layer for your spider to dig an effective burrow. The substrate should be kept damp but not so much so that bacteria and molds begin to grow. Aphonopelma seemanni is a little moisture sensitive, they prefer a fairly moist substrate.


This species requires a temperature range of between 22-30°C (71.6-86°F). A temperature gradient is important to allow the tarantula to regulate their body temperature as needed. The easiest way to provide the gradient is by using a heating mat designed for use under reptile tanks. This should be placed under no more than about 1/3 of the tank, so your pet can move from warmer to cooler temperatures if desired. Always verify that appropriate temperatures are being provided by using accurate thermometers in a few locations within the enclosure. A heat lamp with a 60-watt bulb over an area just outside the entrance to the burrow will provide a basking spot for your tarantula.


Humidity should be maintained at between 75-85% by providing a large, shallow water bowl and by misting the enclosure regularly. To successfully maintain the desired humidity conditions for your tarantula you are going to need a hygrometer. A hygrometer is a device used to measure relative humidity within the enclosure.


The Costa Rican Zebra has a very healthy appetite. They will consume almost all foods offered to them and should be fed following the guidelines of all tarantulas. Spiderlings eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, other large insects, and an occasional pinkie mouse.


Providing a large, shallow water dish will ensure your spider has all the water it needs aswell as help to miantain the relative humidity within the habitat.


This species is very skittish, fleeing from any and all contact. Because of this behavior, it is very hard to breed them in captivity. The male will usually flee at first contact with the female. However since this species is being imported in such large numbers, many females sold in the pet industry are already gravid. Therefore there are large numbers of spiderlings available in the pet community.


Although relatively harmless and quite docile, handling of this species is not recommended because of how fast this spider can move when aggitated.