Zebra Tarantula is a low-maintenance and exciting pet. As they originate from Costa Rica, they are commonly called Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula. They are also known by their popular nickname Striped-Kneed Tarantula. The spider’s stunning appearance with a black body and white stripes on its legs attracts many collectors. If you also want to pet one, you have to house and feed it properly.
Care for a pet tarantula starts with creating a healthy and safe environment. This guide will help you in taking care of your pet tarantula.
A 5 to 10-gallon terrarium, depending on the size, is suitable for a Zebra tarantula. There should be enough room to move and walk around for the spider. As spiders love to climb, the terrarium should be enclosed. A piece of wood or cork bark should be there as they need a hiding space. Artificial or live plants throughout the enclosure will give them climbing support and also make them feel safe.
A substrate of at least four inches thick for burrowing will be ideal for tarantulas. It can be a mix of moss, soil, vermiculite, or coconut fiber bedding simulating a natural habitat.
The enclosure temperature should range between 70 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity level of 75 to 80 percent. If the temperature falls below this range, a supplemental heating pad can be placed only on one side of the habitat. Maintain the humidity level by misting the enclosure daily.
Zebra Tarantula needs to be kept away from sunlight. Avoid incandescent lights as it can dry out their skin. You can instead use infrared or nocturnal light to watch your tarantula at night. They do fine at room temperatures and also do not require heat lamps.
Tarantulas like to feed on live prey, and you can feed them crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and other insects. Adult tarantulas need to be fed once a week, whereas smaller ones feed more often. It is important to remove any uneaten live feed from the terrarium as they can stress the tarantula.
Keep chlorine-free water inside the enclosure and in an easily accessible water bowl to keep it hydrated. To prevent accidental drowning, add climb-out rocks as their lungs are located on the lower abdomen.
Tarantulas prefer a quiet environment and do not like to be held. The spider is also known for being skittish, and handling is not recommended. It moves at darting speeds and also has multiple defense mechanisms. They are also fragile creatures, and a drop can cause their outer skeleton to crack, leading to their death.
Molting is a natural stage in tarantulas when they get rid of their exoskeleton. One of the common signs of molting is the refusal to eat. During this time, get rid of any live feed as they become soft and vulnerable. Once the molting is over, offer food to the tarantula after three to five days. Also, it would help if you refrained from handling until the exoskeleton has hardened.
Raise a healthy zebra tarantula by taking care of their various needs. They are unique and wonderful to watch creatures that can be kept inexpensively as a pet.