Megaphobema Robustum: Facts, Lifespan, Care, Feeding, & Breeding

Colombian giant tarantula
Megaphobema Robustum (Colombian giant redleg) Source

Megaphobema Robustum comes from the tropical rainforests of Bogota, Colombia and is a one-of-a-kind tarantula. It can also be found in southern and northern Brazil. It’s quite a formidable spider that has a unique defense mechanism – its own appearance.

Its growth rate is pretty fast, and it’s considered one of the most beautiful spiders in the world. Quite popular among arachnid lovers, they call it the James Bond of the arachnid world. If that doesn’t count for a serious fellow, what does?

The Columbian giant tarantula or Megaphobema Robustum has a clean and neat appearance and is a bit different than the rest of the tarantulas. A charming boldness that this spider possesses makes it a highly sought after pet. That explains why it gets to be a very expensive spider.

Megaphobema Robustum Lifespan & Size

The Megaphobema Robustum average size is around 7″. There are cases when it grows even bigger than that, but most specimens are around 7″. With proper feeding and heating, the optimal growth rate should be around three inches per year. The biggest specimen of Robustum was around 8 inches – the size also includes leg length.

The maximum lifespan varies from specimen to specimen, but the average lifespan of a female is approximately 20 years, while males live a lot shorter – approximately five years. With proper care, they can probably exceed these numbers.

Megaphobema Robustum Facts & Characteristics

This is the most confident tarantula among the species, especially when it’s an adult. During it’s growing period, it tends to be rather shy. That rapidly changes after it reaches around 4″. In fact, the Robustum isn’t your typical threat posture tarantula. It impales any threats with its powerful rear legs, laden with razor-sharp barbs.

While ordinary tarantulas lift their front legs up to warn enemies or stun their prey, the Robustum will rather kick and try to buck its prey. If the threat persists, the Robustum will confuse the attacker by spinning in circles. That’s only to gain more momentum before it attacks. That’s why the collectors also call it the cartwheel of death.

It has a bad temperament too and is widely known as a nervous and aggressive yet reclusive spider. The truth is, they love their stealth mode.

Handling & Bite

Megaphobema Robustum’s Defensive Hairs Source

Due to its projectile-like bristle, irritating and sharp, prickly hairs, and quite a difficult temperament, it’s best not to try handling this particular species. There are other tarantulas suitable for handling, such as the Avicularia, Grammostola or Brachypelma species.

Still, if you have to handle your Robustum, here’s what you can do. Prepare a pot and a paintbrush. You can point your tarantula to the wanted direction by gently brushing the hair on its back legs. Remember, these guys are quite fast so if it starts running, get that pot ready.

If it bites you, don’t panic and throw it because you might kill it. You might feel severe muscle pain, but that’s normal. Consult your doctor and definitely do some research on the venom of the species that you buy, just in case this happens.

Feeding

Megaphobema Robustum spiderlings usually eat pinhead crickets. However, the adults can occasionally have a fuzzy mouse, pinkie mice, small lizards or crickets and other large insects. Food variety is important, so make sure that you vary it up as much as possible. A wide and shallow water dish is the best, as they need water from time to time.

Megaphobema Robustum Care

Tank/Habitat

This giant tarantula loves the terrestrial burrowing environment. It prefers heat and moisture, with moist substrate. The bigger the terrarium, the better. In most cases, a ten Gallon aquarium will do just fine. You should simulate its natural environment as much as you can, as this will make your spider more active.

Source

Just make sure that the plants you use aren’t sprayed with pesticide. Make a little bark where they can hide and burrow. Most of the time, a clear plastic deli-container will do fine for the spiderlings. Make air holes, and you’re good to go. Just make sure that you don’t put them in high places.

A floor level terrarium is the best option for them. As for substrate, use four to five or six to eight inches of dirt or potting soil, coconut fiber, vermiculite, and peat moss, as this is the best combination for the habitat.

Megaphobema Robustum Breeding

To breed your own Robustum, get a mature pair of M. Robustum. They need to be mature for successful breeding. Adult males have mating hooks and females are equipped with spermicide. Place your female in a bigger cage and give her some time to adapt. During her adapting time, feed her more often than usual.

Now, this is very important – a week before the mating put a male in a smaller, concealed container and then put it where the female is. Two days before you let the male out, feed the female. They will give you a sign that they are ready for pairing by drumming. Feed the female all the time.

When the drumming begins, slowly let the male out but be prepared to react if they start fighting, which happens in most cases. Use a paintbrush or stick to break up the fight. Repeat everything after a week, if the male manages to survive the first time.