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Longimanus

Species of the month (October) Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens

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Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens (Strand 1907)

 

One of the most colourful tarantulas in the hobby, the Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens is a favourite of tarantula keepers the world over. With its funny name of Green Bottle Blue and its almost garish colouring, this spider makes a wonderful display specimen, often wowing viewers with its extensive webbing.

 

Originally placed in the genus Eurypelma by Strand in 1907, it was moved to Delopelma by Petrunkevitch in 1939 before being moved a final time by Schmidt in 1995 to its present location in its very own genus, Chromatopelma.

 

The C. cyaneopubescens hails from a small area in Northern Venezuela around Paraguana. It makes its home by spinning web retreats amongst low lying Acacia trees, thorny scrub brush, cacti and cracks in the dry earth. When one thinks of Venezuela one often pictures lush rainforests, not so in this area. It is an arid semi-desert environment, and though it does rain, the ground quickly soaks up the moisture and the humidity remains low. The temperatures can be quite high in this area, reaching well over 100*F (38*C), but in the shade of the low vegetation it is much lower, in the 58-68*F (14-20*C) range.

Mature females have been observed in the wild (Rick West) foraging away from their burrows, a practice usually observed in mature males looking for mates.

Though collecting theraphosid spiders in Venezuela is illegal, they have managed to find their way into the hobby. Captive breeding programs will hopefully stop the collecting of wild specimens.

 

C. cyaneopubescens is a medium sized, thin legged spider, reaching a legspan of 5-6". They show a moderate growth rate, with males reaching maturity in approximately two years, depending on how they are housed and fed. Their lifespan is thought to be between 10 and 15 years. Spiderlings of this species start out with pink, fuzzy legs and black feet, a shiny gold carapace and a striking red and black patterened abdomen. The next moults take this spider through an amazing journey of colours and growth. Soon the legs will start to turn blue, a mossy green will appear on the carapace, and the abdomen will slowly lose its pattern, ending in a bright halloween orange. There is no sexual dimorphism between males and females of this species. Mature males do possess tibial spurs.

 

Here is a small spiderling, approximately 1.25" legspan. Following pictures show some of the colour changes they go through.

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Please see link to photo thread for pictures of adult specimens.

 

 

Their temperament while not overly defensive, is somewhat skittish and reclusive. They will flick urticating hair, though in my experience it is not something done too often. I have seen a fair amount of threat displays, but usually only if the spider has nowhere to run. I would not recommend this spider for handling. They are speedy and can be unpredictable.

 

The tarantula hobbyist should take into account the natural habitat of this spider when setting up the home terrarium. If given proper care, the C. cyaneopubescens can be a very hardy tarantula requiring minimal maintenance. Being that it is from an arid environment, its cage setup must be reflective of this. Dry substrate seems to be essential, and any moisture from misting or otherwise will soon cause the tarantula to take to the walls. In fact, too much moisture may actually be harmful to this spider, as they appear to be easily succeptible to moulds and fungi that may flourish in a humid environment, though spiderlings seem to be more tolerant.

A waterdish is highly recommended, perhaps even essential for this species, unless they are fed very well in which case they will recieve moisture from their prey. Misting of spiderlings who have not been given waterdishes yet is necessary, though I try to make sure not to mist the substrate, just the sides of the container. Even slings don't seem to appreciate a moist substrate.

A terrestrial set up is recommended for this species, though some consider them to be semi-arboreal. I find that giving them some sticks or a piece of cork bark to hide under and attach their webbing to is sufficient. I use a peat moss/vermiculite mix and have found it to work very well for this species.

 

They are voracious eaters, taking prey much larger than themselves with great gusto. I feed slings one small cricket once a week, and adults a few crickets once every week and a half to two weeks. Average room humidity seems to be fine, in fact I believe that some care sheets suggesting humidity levels over 50% to be rather high. I tend to not monitor temperatures for any of my spiders, during the summer they are left at room temperature, and during the winter I plug in an oil heater. Judging from the temperatures of their native environment, 65*-75*F (18-24*C) should be sufficient.

 

Mating for this species seems to be a violent affair, with the female often exhibiting cannibalistic tendencies towards the male. Possibly eating the male leads to a better chance of the female producing a viable egg sac, a theory I've heard in reference to other species. (Note: that is speculation on my part.) I have not read enough breeding reports of this species to make this section very detailed, but I will write what I've learned.

Actual mating can sometimes take several hours, with the female often killing the male quickly when finished. Incubation seems to take 3-4 months from mating to spiderlings emerging. They can produce anywhere from 75-150+ eggs, and the spiderlings are quite large. Hopefully someone with actual breeding experience can add to this.

 

References:

West, R.C. 2005.

Desert 'Blues'.

ARACHNOCULTURE 1(1): 22-28.

 

The World Spider Catalogue

http://research.amnh.org/entomology/spider...RAPHOSIDAE.html

 

Google

www.google.ca

 

Chromatopelma Genus photo thread

http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showthread.php?t=22876

 

 

 

Thank you for allowing me to write a species of the month thread. :dance:

Edited by Longimanus

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Wow long, I think that was one of the best write up yet to be posted. Thank you for it. Voracious eaters is right, mine as always been a great eater. Too bad he turned out to be male. Thanx again.

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Bravo Bravo Laura!!! ;)

 

Now does anyone have any breeding tips for this species?

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oh, i am so sad!! i have wanted one of these for so long, and just before i came here to read this thread, i was thinking to myself...."man, i wish i had a C. cyanopubescens!!"

hmph....now i guess i am really gonna have to try real hard to get one.

great write up laura. awesome information.

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Here's a few pics of my old GBB gal...not much to look at, really.

 

Yeah, I'm kidding.

 

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pitbulllady

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wow, it is not very often you come across a T that the discarded exuviae is just as brilliant as the brand new T!!

i really need to get one of these, lol.

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Yeehaw! My favorite T species period! I think these spiders are vastly underrated in the hobby....P. metallica and alot of other more expensive species get all the hype and admiration, yet GBBs rival any tarantula out there in color, and they're affordable and super hardy.

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WOW!!! :P That was excellent!!! ;) Wow that was good. ;)

I'm going to read it again man!

Fang :P

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Excellent write-up, Laura! Lots of detail and very good advice. Makes me feel a tiny twinge of regret for getting rid of my GBB earlier this year. :)

 

Here's a few pics of my old GBB gal...not much to look at, really.

 

Yeah, I'm kidding.

 

pitbulllady

Your second photo looks like a crime scene photo. Murder/Suicide or something. It's creepy. :D

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I have bred 2 female GBB. The male is still alive after several attempts with the females. This particular male knows how to RUN! When breeding this species I recommend you do it in a confined area, like the bathroom, because if the male gets away he will run fast and far.

 

There were quite a few times that my husband and I had to sit and watch them for over 2 hours only to have the male get spooked and run away. Males of this species are very skittish.

 

Some males of this species have trouble lifting the female because she is so much heavier than him. It took this male several attempts at lifting the females before any insertions were made. He would approach the female, try to lift her, then take a few steps backwards. This would happen at least 4 times with each mating.

 

From what I've been told, some males just seem to not know what to do and will never mate with any females they are paired with.

 

Females of this species have also been known to kill the male before he ever has a chance to mate with them. For this very reason my husband and I were prepared with a piece of cardboard just in case we needed to separate them or protect the male. Thankfully, we never had to use it because the male was so good.

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Nice Write up Laura

 

Course when its my turn (it will be long down the road) mine will be a surprise :)

Edited by Rosehaired79

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Fantastic Laura!! Can you add in the Celsius for those who do not use Farenheit?Otherwise a great writeup!

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Thanks for the kind words everyone, I'm glad you all liked it. :)

 

Scott-I will edit the celsius info in as soon as I figure out what it is in celsius! :) I never even thought of it.

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Thanks for the kind words everyone, I'm glad you all liked it. :)

 

Scott-I will edit the celsius info in as soon as I figure out what it is in celsius! :) I never even thought of it.

I thought the US was the only place that used Farenheit :unsure::)

Conversions can be done here http://www.wbuf.noaa.gov/tempfc.htm

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I did it already, but thanks for the link. I use both, but forgot to put both. Does that make sense? :wacko::(

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I love the Greenbottle Blue for many reasons. Its color and profuse webbing make it a fantastic display spider. Once it establishes itself the entire enclosure can be covered in silk. The perfect backdrop for a Stephen King movie. Here comes the resident, shimmering with orange, blue and green!

WOW!! Magnificent!! :(

I have yet to breed these, but from what I understand they are a pain. A pain but worth it! :wacko:

Fang ^_^

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I did it already, but thanks for the link. I use both, but forgot to put both. Does that make sense? ^_^:wacko:

Thanks! I am trying to use both scales so I can understand and be understood better so it makes perfect sense you use both :(

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The best thing about this species is the fact that it is so easy to keep and very affordable. IMO it is just as beautiful as P metallica but with a cheaper price.

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wow, you did an incredible job of writing this SOTM. This was also a great choice of T! Mine is everything described up there, and I love her. Great job!

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Longimanus,

 

Spectacular, timely and highly-informative write-up. I think even Rick would be impressed!

 

Take care...Luc

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Hello LAura!

 

This is really the most good info on the species and nearly the same I have in RUssian here:

http://tarantulas.tropica.ru/ru/evolution/...e/Chromatopelma

 

Just to correct:

originally this species was described as Avicularia and the same year shifted to Eurypelma.

ANd it is also not unusual to males of this species get matured at 1.5 y.o. or occasionally even earlier time.

 

I do have some breeding (in fact full and detailed) description for this species but still waiting for it has been published first.

Edited by Mikhail F. Bagaturov

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Longimanus,

 

Spectacular, timely and highly-informative write-up. I think even Rick would be impressed!

 

Take care...Luc

 

Thank you Luc, that is very nice of you to say! ;) I'm glad you enjoyed it. :rockon:

 

Hello LAura!

 

This is really the most good info on the species and nearly the same I have in RUssian here:

http://tarantulas.tropica.ru/ru/evolution/...e/Chromatopelma

 

Just to correct:

originally this species was described as Avicularia and the same year shifted to Eurypelma.

ANd it is also not unusual to males of this species get matured at 1.5 y.o. or occasionally even earlier time.

 

I do have some breeding (in fact full and detailed) description for this species but still waiting for it has been published first.

 

Hi Mikhail,

Thank you for the information, I missed that about it being in Avicularia. Oops! :blink: I didn't realize they could mature so soon, is that with higher temperatures and more frequent feedings? Or just their normal maturity rate? Is there an english version of your write up? I'd love to read it.

Maybe once you have published your breeding info you could post some of it here? I haven't been able to find much information on breeding this species. :)

Thanks again,

Laura

Edited by Longimanus

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I have heard rumors that this species could be moved to Aphonopelma someday. Anyone else heard this?

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