Avicularia versicolor

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This is a specific care sheet for Martinique Pinktoe Tarantulas (Avicularia versicolor), for more in this genus see Category:Avicularia.

Species Information Bar
Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula care sheet
Avicularia versicolor
Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula
Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula
Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Subphylum: Arachnomorpha

Class: Arachnida

Subclass: Micrura

Order: Araneae

Suborder: Opisthothelae

Family: Theraphosidae

Subfamily: Aviculariinae

Genus: Avicularia

Species: A. versicolor

The Antilles Pink Toe Tarantula (Avicularia versicolor) is a species of tarantula that is native to Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea. Sometimes called the Antilles Pink-toed Tree Spider, or Martinique Red Tree Spider, this is a popular pet due to its docile character and unique colouration. The Avicularia genus is the most widespread group of spiders in the Americas and contains about 20 species. This genus was also the very first of the tarantulas to be described by science.

Tarantula Information (for a more detailed Tarantula care review see Tarantula Care Sheets
Information and Tarantula Care
Regions Found: Native to Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea
Class: Antilles pinktoe tarantulas are arboreal (tree-dwelling)
Longevity: Mature in 3-4 years. Males die shortly after maturity and females could live 12+ years in captivity.
Adult Size: From 13 to 15cm
Temperament: Generally calm and docile
Urticating Hairs: Yes
Venom Potency: Unknown
Avicularia versicolor Housing Requirements
Tarantula Housing: Height is much more important than floor space, a substrate should be provided with a variety of plants and branches. Ensure branches are in a stable position and will not fall if the tarantula climbs onto it
Temperature: 24-30°C (75-86°F)
Humidity: 75%
Special Requirements: No special requirements.
Breeding Avicularia versicolor Tarantulas
Breeding Difficulty: Medium
Egg sac size: 50-100
Danger to Male: Low chance of sexual cannibalism
Avicularia versicolor Diet
Livefood insects such as crickets, locust, butter worms, meal worms, superworms, houseflies and cockroaches.
Recommended Pet Supplies for Avicularia versicolor

Description of martinique pinktoe tarantulas[edit]

The Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula, is another beautiful Avic which has hairs ranging from reds to blues and purples. They spin elaborate funnel webs in which they spend most of their time and so are not always visible in their enclosure. The spider is often regarded as the most beautiful species in the hobby. Spiderlings are very hard to raise as the humidity levels they require are especially difficult to maintain. These colourful, fairly large tarantulas create strong webs in tree bark in the wild, and they will do the same in captivity if provided with branches or cork bark. As with many other tropical arboreal species, poor ventilation can prove to be a death sentence for the Martinique Pinktoe. If the air in the tank is damp and stale, moulds will grow, eventually finding their way into the animals respiratory system with fatal consequences. A complete or half screen cover will usually prevent this from happening. For good reason, Martinique Pinktoe Tarantulas are among the most sought after tarantulas in the hobby.

The Martinique Pinktoe is a medium-large sized spider, reaching about 4 1/2 - 6"(13- 15 cm). As juveniles they are a metallic steel blue-black coloring, changing to more dramatic colors as adults. Adults have a metallic green carapace, an abdomen covered with red hairs, and long furry black legs swathed in reds, pinks, and browns. As with most tarantula species, the males of the species are thinner and have long, furry legs. A female remains bulky and less spindly as she grows.

Natural environment of martinique pinktoe tarantulas[edit]

In the wild all the Avicularia species are primarily arboreal, they will live in human structures or on plants rather than on the ground. The Martinique PinkToe should be kept in a large, vertically oriented enclosure. They need a well ventilated habitat but with relatively high humidity. A modified aquarium with parts of the sides having screens and a screen on top works best. If the enclosure becomes too dry, the spiders will not do well. One way to overcome the dilemma of high humidity and high ventilation is to use a deep (4 to 5”) substrate of damp sand and peat moss and provide several live plants within the enclosure. These plants can be placed in the enclosure still in their pots or can be planted in the deep substrate. Live plants will not only provide excellent places for the spiders to establish homes, they will provide excellent areas for breeding and egg-laying. Add one or two shallow water dishes and mist the entire enclosure once a day to every other day, depending on the conditions of the room in which the enclosure is located. The cage should be allowed to dry out in between mistings.

Martinique pinktoe tarantula habitats[edit]

Avicularia Housing
Martinique pinktoe tarantulas can be kept in any kind of container and a vivarium or converted aquarium is ideal. At least one cubic foot (30x30x30 cm, 12x12x12 inch) should be provided for an adult and more height would be enjoyed by an arboreal species such as this. Provide the tarantula with plenty of ventilation, however limited enough to maintain the required humidity. Spiderlings can be kept in waxworm tubs and larger livefood tubs when slightly larger. A nice display tank can be created for larger tarantulas using an aquarium.

Tarantulas do not require plants or decorations, however Avicularia should be provided with somewhere to hide, climb and hunt such as tree branches and foliage. Live plants are not recommended as they tend to die due to heavy webbing and can carry pests that will pass on to your tarantula. Provide some flora for your Pinktoe to reside and build its web and if you want to make your pet’s home more attractive you may choose to further decorate the enclosure. Avoid sharp edges and rough textures that may harm your tarantula.

Keeping Martinique pinktoes communally[edit]

Unlike other tarantulas, this species can be kept communally with little or no cannibalism. Providing a large environment for the tarantulas is very important and making sure they are of similar size and well fed. All tarantulas are deemed to be cannibalistic and so keeping them communally is generally not recommended.

Substrate[edit]

There really is no ideal substrate and most of the time it is really only chosen for aesthetical reasons. Make sure the chosen substrate is not dusty or sharp. Peat free compost is the favoured substrate to use as it holds moisture well. Mould should not be an issue unless the substrate is always very damp.

Heating and Climate[edit]

Ensure that you adhere to the specific needs of the Avicularia you are housing. Bear in mind that the warmer you keep your tarantula, the higher its metabolic rate will be and it will therefore want to eat more often and will grow faster. At night temperatures will drop so so simulate this in captivity lower the temperature by 10°F, to give the tarantula a sense of time. Humidity can be provided by moist substrates and a misting bottle. Misting can cause Avicularia to lose their grip of smooth surfaces, so be careful not to squirt it off its perch. The best way to keep the tank humid is to provide a large shallow water bowl and keep the substrate moist.

Temperature[edit]

Temperature equipment
It is important to ensure a temperature gradient is achieved in your tarantula’s enclosure. As in nature, allowing for a temperature gradient puts the tarantula in control of the environment it spends most of its time in. Your tarantula will then choose a suitable region of the enclosure where it feels most comfortable.

The easiest way to provide the gradient is by using a heating mat or under tank heater (UTH) designed for use under reptile tanks, which should be placed under no more than 1/3 of the tank. A dim lamp or small ceramic heater may also be used but always in conjunction with a suitable thermostat. It is important to note that ceramic heaters and lamps will primarily heat the air and in turn raise humidity, whereas UTH’s will above all heat the substrate. Always verify that appropriate temperatures are being provided by using accurate thermometers in a few locations within the enclosure. Refer to more specific tarantula care sheets for thermal gradients.

Humidity[edit]

Humidity can be produced by moist substrates and a misting bottle, although the latter may be dangerous to the tarantula. Misting can cause tarantulas to lose their grip on smooth surfaces. The best way to keep the tank humid is to provide a large shallow water bowl and keep the substrate moist. Some of the tarantulas that require a high humidity are Avicularia avicularia, but for most other species humidity shouldn't be an issue.

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.

Feeding and hydrating Avicularia versicolor[edit]

Just like other tarantulas, Avicularia eat insects, reptiles and small rodents up to their own size. Suitable insects include crickets, moths, beetle larvae (meal worms and superworms), houseflies and cockroaches. Although they may take on rodents and reptiles in the wild it is not recommended you feed them in captivity, for complications may arise such as a fatal bite by the food item itself.

Avicularia Feeding
When feeding livefoods, although it may be fun, try not to over challenge your Pinktoe by giving it food items that are too large. Stick with something about half the size of the tarantula and remove uneaten food items so they do not cause harm or stress the tarantula. Spiders usually eat massive amounts post-moult until they are full, this is called power feeding. They will refuse food pre-molt or when ready to lay an egg sac. It usually takes about 1 week to 1 month for Avicularia to accept food after a moult, because of the skin and fang hardening process. You can’t really overfeed a tarantula, but this doesn't mean you should overdo it by giving it 50 crickets after a moult; the tarantula will probably end up killing them all and leaving dead ones uneaten. If this is the case then they should be removed to prevent bacteria and mould growth. The other factor is that a plump abdomen is more prone to rupture if this arboreal species falls from a height.

Avicularia are sometimes troublesome to feed as food items will explore terrestrially and go unnoticed. To encourage feeding try to drop the food items near to the tarantula and so that it lands on the web. You will find that a hungry Avicularia will pounce on any meal that falls nearby.

As with all animals pinktoe tarantulas require a source of drinking water. This can be provided in the form of a shallow container filled with water. A tarantula’s main source of moisture is in the food it eats, this is especially so for smaller spiderlings which will take water from water droplets when necessary. In general spiderlings up to 2 inches do not require a water bowl but instead you should mist the vivarium and they will collect droplets of water. Be careful not to mist too much as doing so may increase the humidity more than it should be.

Breeding Avicularia versicolor[edit]

Avicularia metallica eggs

Breeding of the Avicularia genus is pretty straight forward since they can be kept communally with little chance of cannibalism. The males are equipped with hooks on his first pair of legs. These hooks are used to grapple with the female’s fangs during courtship and mating. An adult male should be carefully introduced into the female’s enclosure after he has produced a sperm web. The male can be protected with a piece of cardboard or other tool if he is to be used for further breeding attempts. Once mating occurs, the female should be fed more heavily and with a variety of prey items. The spiderlings will require close attention and will need an environment with good ventilation and adequate humidity to rear them successfully.

It is a fundamental requirement however to make sure their environmental needs are fulfilled as otherwise tarantulas will simply not mate. Avicularia versicolor produce an egg sac containing between 50 and 100 eggs.

The basic steps involved in breeding tarantulas are discussed further:

Gallery of Avicularia[edit]

See Also[edit]

Tarantula/Care Sheet

Tarantula/Breeding

Tarantula/Frequently Asked Questions