Cobalt Blue Tarantula


ORDER: Araneae

FAMILY: Theraphosidae

GENUS: Haplopelma

SPECIES: lividum

DESCRIPTION:
Very aggressive and fast. Bright blue overall under certain lighting; otherwise looks black. Eight small eyes are grouped at the front of the carapace. Thick legs each have two claws at the tip. Grow to 4 to 5 inches.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Rain forests of Myanmar, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam.

DIET:
Mainly insects, but also other arthropods and small vertebrates such as frogs and mice. Can go long periods without food.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Active at night, spending the day in a burrow. Spins large webs. Males wander at night in search of females; mating is brief and females are not usually aggressive toward males. Eggs are laid in a burrow. Females may live 20 years or more.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
Most tarantula species molt 2-4 times a year until they reach maturity, after which they molt once or twice a year. Molting renews the outer covering and replaces any missing appendages. Straight vertical fangs at the ends of the chelicerae (two thick appendages extending from the head) deliver a paralyzing venom to prey. This fluid also contains chemicals which help break down tissue in order to aid in the digestive process.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
Tarantulas rely heavily on their sensory receptors, the most highly developed of which are the tarantula's hairs. Eyesight is poor and hearing debatable.

OUR ANIMALS:
One in the Children's Zoo.

STATUS IN WILD:
Rare due to loss of habitat. Malaysia prevents exportation.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Browning, John.Tarantulas. T.F.H. Publications.1989. Neptune City, NJ.
  2. Gurley, Russ. A Color Guide to Tarantulas of the World. 1993. Russ Gurley and Living Art, Ada, OK.
  3. Internet: petbugs.com; wikipedia.org
  4. Preston-Mafham, Rod and Ken. Insects and Other Invertebrates. 2005. Chartwell Books, Inc. CL:08

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