The Cobalt Blue tarantula earns its name due to the striking metallic blue coloration on its legs. Cyriopagopus lividus (formerly Haplopelma lividum) is a feisty, gorgeous Old World species of tarantula native to parts of Southeast Asia. The cobalt blue tarantula is beautiful to look at, but quick to bite or stand its ground, and thus is not recommended for the novice keeper. It is an avid burrower and while affectionately nicknamed by many of its keepers a "pet hole," the cobalt blue has become a staple in many collections regardless. Read on to learn more about this amazing creature, including proper cobalt blue tarantula diet and care guidelines.
Meet the Cobalt Blue Tarantula
In the wild, the cobalt blue can be found in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam. Deforestation puts a major strain on this species in the wild, but most specimens in the pet trade are captive-bred. Purchasing from a breeder ensures that your cobalt blue tarantula has not been captured from the wild, which lessens the strain against wild populations.
The cobalt blue tarantula is medium-sized, with the females reaching a leg span of about 5 inches. The males are slightly smaller. Visually, both males and females appear the same until sexual maturity, where the males take on a light grey color. Females have a lifespan averaging about 15 years, whereas males might live up to 10, which is still fairly long for a tarantula. Proper Cyriopagopus lividus or Haplopelma lividum care can be tricky, but with a few tips, keepers can give them a healthy life.
Behavior & Temperament
The cobalt blue tarantula is known to be very defensive when threatened and will readily bite if provoked. Being an Old World species, the cobalt blue does have rather potent venom, and its bite is extremely painful, with some victims reporting muscle spasms. They are very quick and swift outside of their burrows, and handling the cobalt blue tarantula is not recommended. Cobalt blue tarantulas do not possess the urticating hairs that New World species do, so hair flicking in this species is not an option.
Good cobalt blue tarantula care begins with creating a suitable habitat. Housing the cobalt blue is relatively simple: provide plenty of substrate in which the spider can burrow. For adult specimens, 8 inches of moist substrate is good, though deeper is always better. In the wild, the cobalt blue tarantula can be found multiple feet below the surface, so do not be concerned about them having too much to dig through. Keeping this species in an acrylic or glass enclosure the size of a 10- or 20-gallon aquarium will allow you to see the burrows and webbing that may occur if they choose to dig along the sides. A mix of peat moss, coco fiber or soil (free of chemicals and additives) will provide an adequate environment for your tarantula to burrow in.
The temperature for this species should be between 78 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level between 70 and 80 percent. Moistening the substrate bi-weekly can help achieve these levels. If it is necessary to add heat, a heat mat on the side of the enclosure will work well, but be sure to monitor temperatures with a thermostat, and always allow for a cool side for your tarantula to retreat to if needed.
Hides are not necessary for this species as they will dig their own holes. Some keepers like to start a small indention in a certain spot in the enclosure to encourage burrowing in that particular area. Anything else added for decoration is merely for the keeper's own benefit. As stated before, the cobalt blue tarantula is very quick; allowing for some length in your cobalt blue's enclosure increases the chances of your tarantula running back into its den as opposed to up and out of your enclosure.
Cobalt Blue Tarantula Diet
You will probably notice the metallic blue legs at the entrance of the tarantula's burrow come feeding day, as the cobalt blue is rarely seen except for when it's hungry. As such, they are voracious eaters and rather quick growers. Cobalt blue tarantula food includes any prey that comes close enough to the edge of its den where it will be snatched up and taken back into the depths to be eaten at the cobalt blue's leisure.
Be sure to offer appropriately sized cobalt blue tarantula food. There are many types of feeder insects for blue tarantula meals. Options include crickets and cockroaches, but be sure your feeders are gut-loaded to ensure proper nutrition. Dubia roaches for cobalt blue tarantulas are a fantastic choice. Never feed your tarantula anything found or captured from outside, as they can have pesticides and even parasites that will kill the spider.
An important process, molting will be the final tell-all when it comes to determining whether or not your cobalt blue tarantula is a male or female. Sexually dimorphic, the male will be a grey color, while the female remains blue. Refusal to eat is one of the main signs to look for when an upcoming molt is expected, as it will be the most noticeable evidence when it comes to your new pet hole. You will also inevitably find the molt, removed and discarded by your tarantula, most likely at the entrance of its burrow.
If you think that your cobalt blue tarantula might be coming into a molt, or has freshly molted due to the discarded exoskeleton, be sure to remove any live feeders from the enclosure.
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