Pink toe (avicularia avicularia) is a new world tarantula originating from tropical areas of South America, mainly from Brazil, Venezuela and the Caribbean islands of Trinidad. Pink toe tarantula is arboreal, bird species that like to dwell in the trees – creating webs and stalking its prey. Their name comes from their uniquely characteristic pink toes that are highlighted on their dark body. They are medium sized and known to be very docile and peaceful in captivity, which makes them popular and very beginner friendly species for care. Although docile, they are known to be very quick and agile, so you need to pay some extra attention to them. Let’s take a closer look at species to see what makes them so great and popular.
Antilles Pink Toe Tarantula Size & Lifespan
Antilles pink toe tarantula is a medium sized tarantula that grows at a moderate rate. They’re known to grow up to 5-6 inches in leg span, with females being slightly larger than males. Their lifespan depends on the gender with females living longer than males as is the case with most tarantulas. Females live up to 10-12 years while males can make it to 5 years.
Antilles Pink Toe Tarantula Facts & Characteristics
This unique tarantula species is arboreal and loves to hang around in the trees. They are rarely found on the ground (except for spiderlings and juveniles) and will usually hide in the trees and branches while waiting for food. They will use their webs very efficiently to set up a good hunting territory. Pink toe tarantula is a “sit & wait” predator with limited activity, moving only when necessary. However, it’s still a great predator that’s known to catch and eat smaller birds – so don’t underestimate it.
Pink toe tarantulas are very beautiful in their appearance. Their dark, hairy bodies with black and brown coloring make a great contrast to their pink toes. This makes them very appealing and noticeable in natural environments. When it comes to juvenile Pink Toe’s – their colors are inverted. Bodies are more pink-ish in color while their feet are darker. This slowly changes as they molt & grow, and eventually, they gain natural colors as they approach adulthood.
Despite not being very active, the pink-toed tarantula is extremely quick and agile spider that can move very fast. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on them when cleaning their tank as they’re known to be escape artists. Just makes sure it doesn’t escape because it may cause some trouble in the neighborhood, hah! On top of this, they are known jumpers so you may see them jumping around when touched.
Pink toed tarantula species are known to be comfortable in social settings. That means you can keep them with other Avicularia species – given the right conditions. This usually means you have to provide them with enough space, lots of plants and hiding places to minimize potential fights and cannibalism.
When it comes to dealing with danger, they prefer to flee and run away rather than taking defensive postures to fight back.
Handling & Bite
Although most tarantulas don’t like being handled, the pink toed tarantula is one of the friendliest species when it comes to this. They will rarely bite you unless you give them a very good reason to do so. They can be easily handled and moved from hand to hand with slow, controlled movements. Again, make sure you don’t do anything drastic to stress the spider, and you should be fine.
Their bite is similar to a bee sting, and it contains medium amounts of venom. Although not deadly, you will experience some burning sensations, itching, and redness of the skin. Tarantula bites are also known to cause cramps so make sure you do everything to prevent it from happening.
Antilles Pink Toe Tarantula Feeding
Like most other tarantulas, pink toed are carnivores that will eat insects and other small creatures. They prefer to be fed live-food to satisfy their predatory instinct, so if you can provide them with that, they would be very pleased. They are known to be voracious eaters, so give them enough to suit their needs! Here are some foods you can give them:
- Moths (they love hunting flying insects)
- They can even eat small vertebrate prey like lizards
They eat a lot so you can give them one large (gut-fed) insect every week, and it’s almost impossible to overfeed them. pink toes will eat until they’re stuffed with enough nutrients, and they may go on a month-long fast afterward. So don’t be worried if you suddenly see your antilles pink toe tarantula refusing to eat for a few weeks.
Antilles Pink Toe Tarantula Care
Pink toed tarantula species are known to be relatively easy to take care of, and that means most beginners should feel comfortable picking them as pets. They do not require any special care, and they won’t cause a lot of troubles. Pink toes are peaceful, docile creatures that will rarely fight back unless they have a good reason to do so. As for their terrarium – you should keep few things in your mind.
When it comes to their tank, you want to make sure you replicate their natural environment as best as you can. Since they come from tropical areas, make sure the temperature is slightly higher over the day and bit lower during the night. Ideally, you want these settings:
- 10 Gallon Terrarium or more with focus on height instead of length
- Higher humidity levels (70-80% and higher)
- Temperatures of 75 – 85 °F
- Lots of decor
- 2-3 inch deep surface
You want to focus on a spacey tank with lots of height since antilles pink toe tarantula is an arboreal species. On top of this, provide them with lots of decorations like tree hunks, branches, live plants, and vines so they can climb safely, hide and create strong webbing. Also, make sure you have a secure lid, so they don’t escape during their adventures.
As for the surface, use standard things like bed-a-beast, peat moss or soil.
The most important thing to take care of is humidity level. Antilles pink toe tarantulas are very dependent on good humidity, so make sure you spray the tank often and keep it as humid as possible. It also helps to have a shallow water dish to sate their need.
Antilles Pink Toed Tarantula Breeding
It’s certainly possible and easy to breed antilles pink toe tarantulas in captivity. However, you should keep a few things on your mind.
First off, Avicularia species are known to be cannibalistic in nature – the female may eat the male. To prevent this, make sure they are close to equal in size and keep your female well-fed prior to introducing the male to her. Their natural mating season is during very rainy periods of fall/autumn, so replicating these conditions will make them more likely to breed without consequences successfully. On top of all that, provide enough space and hiding spots for the male in case any problems occur.
When you introduce the male, they will signal each other, and the male will finally approach the female. If she’s receptive, he will lift her front up with his legs and deposit his sperm inside of her. After this is done, she may try to snatch and eat him, so make sure you’re on alert and able to intervene quickly. When breeding is finished, return them to their respective tanks.
After this process is over, the female will carry the eggs for 3-4 months and will then make a cocoon. Simply deprive the cocoon and store the eggs in a safe place with good humidity and warm temperatures. Make sure the female has molted at least five weeks prior to breeding. Otherwise the eggs will remain unfertilized, and breeding was futile.