Ephebopus murinus

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This is a specific care sheet for Skeleton Tarantulas (Ephebopus murinus), for more in this genus see Category:Ephebopus.

Species Information Bar
Skeleton Tarantula care sheet
Ephebopus murinus
The Skeleton Tarantula
The Skeleton Tarantula
Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Subphylum: Arachnomorpha

Class: Arachnida

Subclass: Micrura

Order: Araneae

Suborder: Opisthothelae

Family: Theraphosidae

Subfamily: Aviculariinae

Genus: Ephebopus

Species: E. murinus

Ephebopus murinus is more commonly known as the Skeleton Tarantula and is native to the tropical lowland forests of Surinam, Guyana and Northern Brazil.

Tarantula Information (for a more detailed Tarantula care review see Tarantula Care Sheets
Information and Tarantula Care
Regions Found: Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana and Suriname.
Class: Terrestrial. Likes to burrow
Adult Size: 10 to 13cm
Temperament: Aggressive
Urticating Hairs: Yes but unusually on the pedipalps
Venom Potency: Unknown
Ephebopus murinus Housing Requirements
Tarantula Housing: Floor space is more important than height, a deep substrate should be provided for burrowing. A good retreat is required.
Temperature: 22-26°C (71.6-78.8°F)
Humidity: 80%
Special Requirements: No special requirements.
Breeding Ephebopus murinus Tarantulas
Breeding Difficulty: Moderate
Egg sac size:
Danger to Male: Probable sexual cannibalism.
Ephebopus murinus Diet
Livefood insects such as crickets, locust, butter worms, meal worms, superworms, houseflies and cockroaches.
Recommended Pet Supplies for Ephebopus murinus


Known as the Skeleton Tarantula, due to its white stripes this is a rather strange species that carries urticating hairs on its pedipalps. They can in some cases build very extravagant burrows but seem to prefer floor webbing. As adults, the male Skeleton Tarantula can reach leg spans of around 4.5 inches. Some specimens, usually females, can reach up to 6 inches.


The Skeleton tarantula is distinctly more aggressive than other species in the Ephebopus genus, and will rear up on their hind legs when disturbed/threatened. If sufficiently offended the spider will flick urticating hairs, usually from it's pedipalps.


An ideal enclosure should consist of a 5 gallon tank with about 5 inches of substrate for digging and burrowing.


The optimum temperature for the enclosure is between 22-26°C (71.6-78.8°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.


Humidity should be maintained at between 75-85% by providing a large, shallow water bowl, moistening the substrate twice a week 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.


They will tackle most insects, including crickets, locusts, roaches and many other livefoods available in your local pet shop. Adults should be fed 4-5 crickets or similar prey items per week. Be sure to remove any uneaten dead food from the enclosure in a timely manner to avoid attracting mites and encouraging bacterial growth.


Introduce the mature male into the mature female's enclosure. It may take some time for them to start, but If they are ready or interested to mate, the male will eventually drum or tap his legs around the females burrow, any webbing, or substrate. Again it may take time for the female to respond, but she in turn will drum her legs, you'll hear it. They will then try and find each other. Once they make contact, the male will use his tibial hooks on the front 2 legs to hook the females fang's. At this point he bends her back and attempts to insert the pedipalps into the female. Once they break contact the female is amazingly docile and usually retreats back to her burrow leaving the male to escape. During courtship and breeding they are known to co-habilitate in the female's burrow for several days.

Sexual Cannibalism may occur unless the male is provided with a means of escape from the female's burrow, it is recommended that you leave the lid off the female's enclosure and place it in a larger confined tank/rubbermaid. If the male makes it out of the burrow he will have somewhere to run to where the female cannot chase him.