Meet Coco – Brazilian Black Tarantula

“Coco” is my Brazilian Black Tarantula (Grammostola Pulchra). Of all my current exotic pets, I’ve had Coco the longest. She has got an approximate leg span of 6″ (15cm) and being around 6 years old now she probably won’t grow much bigger. When I first got her she was still a juvenile and measured a mere 1″ (2.5cm) so I’ve been with her for quite a few molts.

Most of these have been without stress, however the molt before last she actually got stuck in her old skin and I thought I was going to lose her, however she pushed the skin off and came through. That being said she was still very lethargic and didn’t feed much for a long time. Then, just last month, she molted again. Pushing off her old dry skin into the sleek beauty you can see below!

Although I don’t have one favourite spider or tarantula, I think the Brazilian Black is right up the top of the list. She is just amazing and jet black (photos don’t do her justice) especially after molt.

You may have guessed that this species comes from Brazil, the clue is in the name. They generally have a fairly calm disposition and aren’t jumpy or bitey like some other species, so they are classified as being excellent first Tarantulas. That being said I wouldn’t suggest poking it or annoying it too much. Although the bite isn’t dangerous her fangs are not short. Personally I don’t want bitten by anything! For that reason I don’t tend to handle my tarantulas much if at all, plus I don’t want to cause any undue stress to my friends. Its worth remembering that if a tarantula is dropped from a height equal to its body length it can die. Not worth it in my opinion. This species, being a new world species, has urticating hairs on its abdomen. These hairs can be kicked off using its back legs and can cause irritation to the ears, nose, throat and even skin.

They need high temperatures, compared to average Scottish weather anyway, of around 26 to 30° and a humidity of about 75 to 80%. I have a heat-mat attached to one side of the faunarium (spider house) for heat and, along with spraying with a bottle every couple of days, have an open water dish to keep the humidity up. For food she eats one to two crickets or dubia cockroaches a week, while not getting ready for molt, although I’ve seen her go for weeks without eating anything. Hopefully you’ll see from the pictures below why she is one of my favourites! I have also added in a feeding video HERE from a few years ago, you can see the fangs working! Enjoy…..

 

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