The Purple Pinktoe Tarantula (Avicularia purpurea), or Ecuadorian Purple Tarantula, is an relatively expensive yet very attractive species of tarantula that is dark purple in colour and relatively large. They are almost black looking, until the light hits them properly and the purple sheen becomes visible. They are heavy webbers creating beautiful funnel webs that will make it difficult see this tarantula at most times of the day.
|Tarantula Information (for a more detailed Tarantula care review see Tarantula Care Sheets|
|Class:||Arboreal living and hunting high up in trees and other vegetation|
|Longevity:||Mature in 3-4 years. Males die shortly after maturity and females could live 12+ years in captivity.|
|Adult Size:||From 13 to 15cm|
|Temperament:||Generally calm and docile|
|Venom Potency:||Weak, short period of itching and burning|
|Avicularia purpurea Housing Requirements|
|Tarantula Housing:||Height is much more important than floor space, a substrate should be provided with a variety of plants and branches. Ensure branches are in a stable position and will not fall if the tarantula climbs onto it.|
|Special Requirements:||No special requirements.|
|Breeding Avicularia purpurea Tarantulas|
|Egg sac size:||50 - 100|
|Danger to Male:||Low chance of sexual cannibalism|
|Avicularia purpurea Diet|
|Livefood insects such as crickets, locust, butter worms, meal worms, superworms, houseflies and cockroaches.|
|Recommended Pet Supplies for Avicularia purpurea|
 Purple pinktoe tarantula habitatswaxworm tubs and larger livefood tubs when slightly larger. A nice display tank can be created for larger tarantulas using an aquarium.
Tarantulas do not require plants or decorations, however Avicularia should be provided with somewhere to hide, climb and hunt such as tree branches and foliage. Live plants are not recommended as they tend to die due to heavy webbing and can carry pests that will pass on to your tarantula. Provide some flora for your Pinktoe to reside and build its web and if you want to make your petâ€™s home more attractive you may choose to further decorate the enclosure. Avoid sharp edges and rough textures that may harm your tarantula.
 Keeping Purple pinktoes communally
Unlike other tarantulas, this species can be kept communally with little or no cannibalism. Providing a large environment for the tarantulas is very important and making sure they are of similar size and well fed. All tarantulas are deemed to be cannibalistic and so keeping them communally is generally not recommended.
There really is no ideal substrate and most of the time it is really only chosen for aesthetical reasons. Make sure the chosen substrate is not dusty or sharp. Peat free compost is the favoured substrate to use as it holds moisture well. Mould should not be an issue unless the substrate is always very damp.
 Heating and Climate
Ensure that you adhere to the specific needs of the Avicularia you are housing. Bear in mind that the warmer you keep your tarantula, the higher its metabolic rate will be and it will therefore want to eat more often and will grow faster. At night temperatures will drop so so simulate this in captivity lower the temperature by 10Â°F, to give the tarantula a sense of time. Humidity can be provided by moist substrates and a misting bottle. Misting can cause Avicularia to lose their grip of smooth surfaces, so be careful not to squirt it off its perch. The best way to keep the tank humid is to provide a large shallow water bowl and keep the substrate moist.
The easiest way to provide the gradient is by using a heating mat or under tank heater (UTH) designed for use under reptile tanks, which should be placed under no more than 1/3 of the tank. A dim lamp or small ceramic heater may also be used but always in conjunction with a suitable thermostat. It is important to note that ceramic heaters and lamps will primarily heat the air and in turn raise humidity, whereas UTHâ€™s will above all heat the substrate. Always verify that appropriate temperatures are being provided by using accurate thermometers in a few locations within the enclosure. Refer to more specific tarantula care sheets for thermal gradients.
Humidity can be produced by moist substrates and a misting bottle, although the latter may be dangerous to the tarantula. Misting can cause tarantulas to lose their grip on smooth surfaces. The best way to keep the tank humid is to provide a large shallow water bowl and keep the substrate moist. Some of the tarantulas that require a high humidity are Avicularia avicularia, but for most other species humidity shouldn't be an issue.
 Feeding and hydrating Avicularia purpurea
Just like other tarantulas, Avicularia eat insects, reptiles and small rodents up to their own size. Suitable insects include crickets, moths, beetle larvae (meal worms and superworms), houseflies and cockroaches. Although they may take on rodents and reptiles in the wild it is not recommended you feed them in captivity, for complications may arise such as a fatal bite by the food item itself.tarantula and remove uneaten food items so they do not cause harm or stress the tarantula. Spiders usually eat massive amounts post-moult until they are full, this is called power feeding. They will refuse food pre-molt or when ready to lay an egg sac. It usually takes about 1 week to 1 month for Avicularia to accept food after a moult, because of the skin and fang hardening process. You canâ€™t really overfeed a tarantula, but this doesn't mean you should overdo it by giving it 50 crickets after a moult; the tarantula will probably end up killing them all and leaving dead ones uneaten. If this is the case then they should be removed to prevent bacteria and mould growth. The other factor is that a plump abdomen is more prone to rupture if this arboreal species falls from a height.
Avicularia are sometimes troublesome to feed as food items will explore terrestrially and go unnoticed. To encourage feeding try to drop the food items near to the tarantula and so that it lands on the web. You will find that a hungry Avicularia will pounce on any meal that falls nearby.
As with all animals pinktoe tarantulas require a source of drinking water. This can be provided in the form of a shallow container filled with water. A tarantulaâ€™s main source of moisture is in the food it eats, this is especially so for smaller spiderlings which will take water from water droplets when necessary. In general spiderlings up to 2 inches do not require a water bowl but instead you should mist the vivarium and they will collect droplets of water. Be careful not to mist too much as doing so may increase the humidity more than it should be.
 Breeding Avicularia purpurea
Breeding of the Avicularia genus is pretty straight forward since they can be kept communally with little chance of cannibalism. It is a fundamental requirement however to make sure their environmental needs are fulfilled as otherwise tarantulas will simply not mate. Avicularia purpurea produce an egg sac containing between 50 and 100 eggs.
The basic steps involved in breeding tarantulas are discussed further:
- Preparation for breeding
- Tarantula breeding
- Looking after an egg sac
- Caring for the female
- Caring for the spiderlings