Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula – Everything You Need to Know

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If you are interested in keeping a Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula as a pet, then allow us to congratulate you! It is a great decision as the Costa Rican Zebra is one of the more popular tarantulas kept as pets.

Naturally, it is a very good idea to thoroughly research it before you actually go looking out for a Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula for sale.

In this guide, we will give you easy-to-read, practical, and easy-to-apply information on how to keep a Costa Rican Zebra as a pet. Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula as a pet.

Fast Facts about the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

Scientific name

The scientific name of the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is Aphonopelma Seemanni. It is also known by different names such as:

  • Striped knee tarantula

Description of the Costa Rican zebra tarantula

The beautiful Costa Rican zebra tarantula has a strikingly handsome dark body with tiny reddish hair, and white stripes bordering its legs. These 8-legged creatures also have orange spinnerets.

The female is typically dark brown with lighter brown bordering while the males are dark with purple around their eyes.

Striped knee tarantula size – An adult female striped knee tarantula measures about 7 cm with a leg span of 14 cm while the male measures up to 6 cm with a leg span of 13 cm.

Natural habitat

The Costa Rican zebra knee tarantula mainly lives in the grasslands and forests of Costa Rica. You can also find them on the rich green embankments or front lawns of homeowners.

They are an exclusively terrestrial species and live in burrows on hillsides and slopes. 

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula Price

You can easily get a Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula on sale for approximately $25 to $50 depending on the pet store selling it.

What they eat

The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula loves to feed on bugs like crickets, moths, caterpillars, etc. You can catch these bugs in your home or garden or buy them at a pet store.

Always provide a small shallow dish of water for them to drink from.

Longevity

The Costa Rican zebra tarantula has a relatively shorter lifespan. Male spiders only live for about 3 to 5 years in captivity. Females tend to live a bit longer- sometimes up to 15 years.

Housing/terrarium

The Costa Rican zebra spider needs a large tank, approximately 5 to 10 gallons in size. Cover this with a mesh lid.

You can also provide a small, broken house-plant pot and keep it inverted. This will provide a secure Costa Rican zebra tarantula enclosure for your pet to hide. Make sure to spray the pot with water to keep it moist – your tarantula loves a moist environment. Refer to the links above for our recommendations.

Keep the ambient temperature of the Costa Rican zebra tarantula enclosure at an optimum temperature range of 70 to 75 F or 21 to 24 C. Feel free to read our article on our recommendations for tarantula enclosures here.

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula
Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

Training and handling

You can train your striped knee tarantula to be friendlier by frequently handling it. Please be careful when you do so; they are very delicate creatures and their exoskeleton could crack if they fall.

Also, they are very skittish and fast and can escape easily, so be very careful when opening the terrarium/enclosure. While it is very rare for these spiders to throw urticating hair, you need to still be very careful. Allergic humans could develop a reaction such as itching, pain, swelling etc. Some people have also gone temporarily blind due to this spider hairs.

Always wash your hands after handling the Costa Rican zebra knee tarantula.

Costa Rican zebra tarantula venom

One of the most important questions hobbyists want to know before keeping a Costa Rican zebra tarantula is about its venom.

Worry not: this striped knee tarantula bite is not harmful and it does not produce a deadly venom, unlike many other tarantulas. In most cases, Costa Rican zebra tarantula bite does not cause any major reaction.

Costa Rican tarantula breeding

This species rarely reproduces in captivity. Their mating season is from August to January and it is up to the female to decide if she is ready for mating. If she isn’t, she will not allow it and might even try to escape. However, she is rarely aggressive with the male.

If however, the male striped knee tarantula temperament is aggressive and persistent, she won’t hesitate to attack him and defend herself. If copulation does occur, the male zebra-striped knee tarantula will run away afterwards.

You must feed your female Costa Rican zebra tarantula very well after copulation. She will produce an egg sac anywhere between 4 to 14 months post copulation. Once the egg sac is laid, the female will spend nearly 3 months taking care of it. On average, a healthy female Costa Rican zebra tarantula can lay nearly 300-500 eggs.

You must keep the ambient temperature of the terrarium at a comfortable 26 C for the eggs to hatch. Sometimes, you might have to hatch the eggs in an incubator to avoid cannibalism – tarantulas love feeding on the babies.

Molting

Like all spiders, the stripe knee tarantula also molts to renew its exterior shell or exoskeleton and grow. This process also gives them a chance to re-grow any limbs they might have lost during fights.

Molting can take anywhere between 4 to 6 hours. Smaller spiders molt faster than larger or average sized spiders. During molting, your Costa Rican zebra tarantula is very vulnerable and you should not touch it or feed it. Make sure there are no crickets or bugs in your tarantula’s housing at the time of molting. This is because, your pet’s exoskeleton is very soft and even a cricket could hurt it.

Your Costa Rican zebra tarantula will molt every few months. Here are the signs your pet is ready to molt:

  • Appetite changes – some spiders stop eating before molting.
  • It will lie down on its back with its legs in the air.

Your tarantula is very vulnerable at this stage – so take good care of it. It could even die if it faces an injury at this time. Once molted, you will see the discarded exoskeleton in the terrarium.

Special Notes

  • Never release your Costa Rican zebra tarantula in a non-native environment.
  • Your white striped knee tarantula cannot withstand very cold temperatures.
  • If you are unable to give Costa Rican zebra tarantula care it needs, please return it to the breeder or the pet shop from where you got it.
  • Never house two tarantulas together as they won’t hesitate to eat each other.

FAQs on Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

Which makes a better pet: the male or the female stripe knee tarantula?

Adult males do not make very good pets as they do not live long. Female Mexican striped knee tarantula makes a better pet as she lives long – sometimes up to 20 years with proper care.

Are striped knee tarantulas aggressive?

The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is not aggressive but it could grab hold of your finger with their fangs if they are in the danger of falling.

Is Costa Rican zebra tarantula venom deadly?

No, the Costa Rican zebra tarantula venom is not deadly. Also, the answer to the question: are Costa Rican zebra tarantulas poisonous is No. Their bite and venom is usually not dangerous but they could cause an allergic reaction in some people.

How often do Costa Rican tarantulas or striped knee tarantulas eat?

Feed your Costa Rican tarantula twice a week. Make sure its diet is rich in gut-loaded crickets and fruit flies or gnats.

How big do adult striped knee tarantulas get?

When fully grown, an adult striped knee tarantula can develop a leg span of up to 6 inches.

Will my pet Costa Rican zebra tarantula recognize me as its owner?

Unlike dogs and cats that know their owners well, a pet Costa Rican zebra tarantula might never remember its owner. That is why, they won’t alter their behavior or show any signs of love or affection based on who is holding them.

Do striped knee tarantulas make good pets?

Yes. Striped knee tarantulas make decent pets because they are easy to care for, adjust fairly well in different environments and are also attractive to look at.

Conclusion – Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is one of the most popular tarantulas kept as a pet. They are fun, fascinating, attractive, and not as deadly or venomous as many other spiders out there.

If you are planning to get a Costa Rican zebra tarantula as a pet make sure you do your research first. Invest in a high-quality Costa Rican zebra tarantula enclosure and keep a printed Costa Rican zebra tarantula care sheet handy. This way, you can give your pet the best possible care for a long-lasting relationship.

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