If you’re considering getting an exotic spider as a pet, you may have come across the Avicularia Metallica. This stunning tarantula is known for its metallic blue appearance and docile temperament, making it an excellent choice for spider enthusiasts of all levels.
Introduction to Avicularia Metallica
What is Avicularia Metallica?
Avicularia Metallica is a species of tarantula commonly known as the Metallic Pink Toe or the Metallic Blue Tarantula. It is native to South America, particularly in parts of Venezuela, Brazil, and French Guiana.
Avicularia Metallica is a medium-sized tarantula, with males reaching a leg span of around 4 inches and females reaching a leg span of around 5 inches. They have a unique metallic blue coloration on their carapace, legs, and abdomen, which makes them stand out among other tarantula species.
Why choose Avicularia Metallica as a pet?
Avicularia Metallica is a popular choice among tarantula keepers due to its stunning metallic blue color and docile temperament. They are easy to care for, live long lives, and are fairly active and entertaining to watch. They also do not require a lot of space and are relatively low-maintenance pets.
When it comes to their temperament, Avicularia Metallica is known for being relatively calm and docile, making them a great choice for beginner tarantula keepers. They are not aggressive and will usually retreat when they feel threatened. However, it is important to note that all tarantulas have the potential to bite if they feel threatened or cornered, so it is important to handle them with care and respect.
In terms of their care, Avicularia Metallica is a fairly low-maintenance pet. They require a terrarium with plenty of hiding spots and a substrate that can hold moisture. They also require a water dish and a source of humidity, as they are native to tropical rainforest environments. Their diet consists of live insects, such as crickets and mealworms, which can be easily purchased from pet stores or online.
Overall, Avicularia Metallica is a beautiful and fascinating tarantula species that makes a great pet for both beginner and experienced tarantula keepers. With their stunning metallic blue coloration and docile temperament, they are sure to be a unique and entertaining addition to any collection.
Appearance and Size
Adult Avicularia Metallica can reach up to 5-6 inches in leg span, with males generally being smaller than females. They are known for their striking metallic blue coloration on the legs, which fades to a darker blue or black on the abdomen. They have a characteristic pink “toe” on the end of each leg, which gives them their common name.
Interestingly, the metallic blue coloration of their legs is not due to pigmentation, but rather is caused by the microscopic structure of their hairs. This structural coloration is also seen in other animals, such as peacocks and butterflies.
Distribution and Habitat
Avicularia Metallica is found in the Amazon rainforest, particularly in Venezuela, Brazil, and French Guiana. They are arboreal spiders, meaning they prefer to live in trees and other high places in their natural habitat.
Within their habitat, they construct elaborate webs that serve as both their home and hunting ground. These webs are made of a strong, sticky silk that can trap insects and other small prey.
Lifespan and Growth Rate
Avicularia Metallica can live up to 15 years in captivity with proper care. They grow relatively quickly, with males reaching maturity in 3-4 years and females in 4-5 years.
Interestingly, the growth rate of Avicularia Metallica can be influenced by factors such as temperature and humidity. Higher temperatures and humidity levels can lead to faster growth, while lower levels can slow their growth rate.
Behavior and Temperament
Avicularia Metallica is known for its docile temperament and calm demeanor. They are not aggressive and are unlikely to bite, making them a great choice for beginners. They have a habit of hiding in their webbing and may not come out often, so they may not be the best choice for someone looking for a pet that is constantly active.
Despite their calm nature, Avicularia Metallica is still a predator and will hunt and eat small insects and other prey. They have been known to feed on crickets, moths, and even small lizards in the wild.
Housing and Enclosure
Avicularia Metallica, also known as the Metallic Pink Toe Tarantula, is a stunning arboreal spider that requires a specific type of enclosure to thrive. As with any pet, it’s important to provide a safe and comfortable environment for your spider. Here are some tips on how to choose the right enclosure for your Avicularia Metallica.
Choosing the Right Enclosure
Avicularia Metallica prefer tall enclosures with plenty of climbing space. These spiders are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in trees and other high places. A tank with a height of at least 12 inches is recommended, with plenty of branches and hiding places for the spider to explore. The enclosure should be secure, with a tight-fitting lid to prevent escape. You can also add some fake plants to the enclosure to provide a natural look and feel.
Substrate and Furnishings
When it comes to substrate, a material like coconut fiber is ideal for Avicularia Metallica. This type of substrate holds moisture well and provides a good surface for the spider to create its webbing and hide within the substrate. A depth of 2-3 inches should be sufficient. It’s also important to provide plenty of hiding places and materials for webbing, such as cork bark, fake plants, and other decorations.
Temperature and Humidity
Avicularia Metallica prefers temperatures between 70-80°F, with a humidity level of 60-70%. It’s important to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosure and make adjustments as necessary. A heat lamp or heating pad may be required to maintain these temperatures, especially if the room temperature drops below 70°F. Misting the enclosure with distilled water can help maintain the proper humidity levels, but be careful not to over-mist as this can cause mold and mildew to grow.
Ventilation and Lighting
Good ventilation is necessary to prevent the buildup of harmful gases in the enclosure. A small fan or air vents may be necessary to provide adequate airflow. Avicularia Metallica do not require UV lighting or sunlight, but a low-wattage bulb can be used to provide a day/night cycle. This can help regulate the spider’s natural sleep/wake cycle and promote healthy behavior.
By following these guidelines, you can create a comfortable and safe environment for your Avicularia Metallica. Remember to monitor the enclosure regularly and make adjustments as necessary to ensure your spider stays healthy and happy.
Feeding and Nutrition
Feeding and nutrition are crucial aspects of keeping your Avicularia Metallica healthy and happy. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the diet requirements, feeding schedule, and tips for feeding your spider.
Avicularia Metallica is an insectivore, meaning it feeds on insects. In the wild, they primarily eat crickets, mealworms, and roaches. As a pet, it’s important to replicate their natural diet as much as possible. Offer a variety of prey to maintain a balanced diet, and avoid feeding your spider anything that could be harmful or toxic.
When purchasing prey for your spider, make sure it’s from a reputable source. Avoid feeding wild-caught insects, as they may have been exposed to pesticides, parasites, or other harmful substances.
Avicularia Metallica should be fed 2-3 times a week, depending on its size and appetite. It’s important to wait until your spider has molted before feeding, as it may not have an appetite while shedding.
When offering prey, make sure it’s smaller than the spider’s body. This will prevent the spider from choking or getting injured while trying to eat. If your spider doesn’t eat the prey within 24 hours, remove it from the enclosure to avoid any health issues.
Tips for Feeding
One of the most important tips for feeding your Avicularia Metallica is to offer prey that is well-fed and gut-loaded. This means that the insects have consumed nutritious food before being offered to the spider, ensuring that your spider receives the necessary nutrients.
You can also supplement your spider’s diet with calcium and vitamins to help maintain its health. There are a variety of supplements available on the market, but it’s important to consult with a veterinarian or experienced spider keeper before adding anything to your spider’s diet.
Finally, it’s important to monitor your spider’s feeding habits and adjust its diet as necessary. If you notice that your spider isn’t eating, or is losing weight, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue. Consult with a veterinarian or experienced spider keeper if you have any concerns.
Handling and Interaction
When and How to Handle
While Avicularia Metallica is generally docile and calm, it is not recommended to handle them frequently. These spiders are delicate animals and can become injured if mishandled. It is best to avoid handling them unless it is necessary, such as during cleaning or transferring to a new enclosure. If handling is necessary, do so with care, and avoid touching the spider’s delicate legs or abdomen.
When handling your Avicularia Metallica, it is important to remember that they are arboreal spiders and prefer to be off the ground. Use a soft paintbrush or similar tool to gently coax the spider onto your hand or a suitable surface for handling.
It is essential to take safety precautions when handling your Avicularia Metallica. Wash your hands before and after handling your spider to prevent the spread of germs. Wear gloves if necessary, and avoid handling the spider if you are feeling ill or have an open wound. It is also important to handle the spider in a quiet and calm environment to avoid startling or stressing them.
Signs of Stress and Discomfort
Avicularia Metallica is a sensitive species, and they may exhibit signs of stress or discomfort if their living conditions are not suitable. Signs of stress may include refusing to eat, hiding in their webbing constantly, or becoming aggressive. If your spider is showing signs of stress, examine its living conditions and make any necessary changes to improve its comfort.
It is important to provide your Avicularia Metallica with a suitable environment that mimics their natural habitat. This includes providing plenty of vertical space for climbing, a substrate that retains moisture, and hiding places such as cork bark or plants. Additionally, ensure that the enclosure is well-ventilated and maintains a suitable temperature and humidity level.
By taking proper precautions and providing suitable living conditions, you can ensure that your Avicularia Metallica remains healthy and happy in their enclosure.
Health and Wellness
As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to ensure the health and well-being of your Avicularia Metallica. These beautiful creatures are generally hardy, but like any living being, they can still develop health issues. In this article, we’ll discuss some common health issues, preventative measures, and when to consult a veterinarian.
Common Health Issues
While Avicularia Metallica is generally a hardy species, they may develop respiratory issues if their enclosure is not properly ventilated or if humidity levels are too high. This can lead to difficulty breathing, lethargy, and loss of appetite. Additionally, improper feeding, lack of exercise, and poor living conditions can also lead to health problems.
It’s important to keep an eye on your Avicularia Metallica and watch for any signs of illness. If you notice any changes in behavior or appetite, it’s important to take action immediately.
To prevent health issues, it’s important to maintain proper living conditions for your Avicularia Metallica. This includes monitoring the temperature, humidity, and ventilation levels in their enclosure. Additionally, it’s important to clean the enclosure regularly to prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria.
Feeding your Avicularia Metallica a balanced diet and providing them with plenty of exercise can also help to prevent health issues. Make sure to provide them with plenty of space to move around and explore, and offer a variety of foods to ensure that they are getting all of the necessary nutrients.
When to Consult a Veterinarian
If your Avicularia Metallica is exhibiting signs of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or difficulty breathing, it’s important to consult a veterinarian with experience in exotic animals. They will be able to diagnose any health issues and provide you with a treatment plan to get your pet back to full health.
Remember, as a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of your Avicularia Metallica. By following these preventative measures and seeking veterinary care when necessary, you can help to ensure that your pet lives a long, happy, and healthy life.
Breeding Avicularia Metallica
Preparing for Breeding
Breeding Avicularia Metallica is a delicate process that requires the expertise of experienced spider keepers. These spiders are known for their vibrant blue coloration and arboreal nature, making them a popular choice among spider enthusiasts. Before attempting to breed these spiders, it’s important to have separate enclosures for the male and female spiders. This is because females may become aggressive towards males after mating, which can result in injury or death.
When preparing for breeding, it’s important to ensure that both the male and female spiders are healthy and well-fed. This will increase the chances of a successful mating and the production of healthy offspring. Additionally, the temperature and humidity levels in the enclosures should be carefully monitored and adjusted as needed to create a comfortable environment for the spiders.
The mating process for Avicularia Metallica is a fascinating sight to behold. Male spiders will create a small webbing mat as a courtship display for the female. This mat serves as a visual cue that the male is ready to mate. If the female is receptive, she will approach the male and begin a series of intricate dance-like movements. These movements are a form of communication between the spiders and help to ensure that the male is not mistaken for prey.
Once the female accepts the male, he will deposit sperm into her genital opening. This process can take several hours and is a critical step in the breeding process. After mating, the female will create an egg sac and lay eggs, which will hatch into spiderlings.
Egg Sac Care and Hatchlings
After laying her eggs, the female Avicularia Metallica will protect the egg sac and spiderlings until they are old enough to fend for themselves. During this time, it’s important to ensure that the enclosure is kept clean and that the temperature and humidity levels are carefully maintained. This will help to ensure the health and survival of the spiderlings.
Once the spiderlings hatch, they will be very small and vulnerable. They will rely on their mother for protection and nourishment for several weeks. As they grow, they will molt several times, shedding their exoskeletons and growing larger with each molt.
Overall, breeding Avicularia Metallica can be a rewarding experience for experienced spider keepers. With careful preparation and attention to detail, it’s possible to produce healthy offspring and contribute to the conservation of this beautiful species.
Conclusion and Additional Resources
Recap of Avicularia Metallica Care
Avicularia Metallica is a stunning and docile spider that makes a great pet for experienced and novice tarantula keepers alike. Maintaining proper living conditions, feeding a varied and nutritious diet, and handling with care are key components to keeping your spider healthy and happy.
Recommended Books and Websites
If you’re interested in learning more about Avicularia Metallica care and tarantula keeping in general, the following resources may be helpful:
- The Tarantula Keeper’s Guide by Stanley A. Schultz and Marguerite J. Schultz
- Arachnoboards, an online forum for tarantula enthusiasts
- The American Tarantula Society