What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

bathroom tarantula
Sun, May 10, 2009 at 8:28 PM
Hi there
First I have to say I love your site, it has served me very well! For the past two years I’ve been living in Costa Rica and this site has provided me with so much help identifying the seemingly infinite supply of new and interesting critters I encounter.
But today I have a new one and I can’t seem to get the answer for sure. The other day just before getting in the shower my pareja found this tarantula escaping from the tub. He trapped it under the trash bin and called me down to check it out…
It’s really only about 4 inches long, maybe 5 or 6 with its legs extended. Its furry and a bit skittish when approached, but generally seems pretty docile.
We live in a mountainous suburban region outside of a major city, but the area is mostly forest. I dug up some dirt from the garden and have the spider in a terrarium with some water. I tossed a beetle in there yesterday and it was gone in a few hours. I’ve never kept a spider as a pet before but this thing is pretty big and interesting. We’ll see how long it takes before I have to put it outside to keep my (human) relationship!
What do you say, can you identify it? Mostly I want to know if it prefers to burrow in the ground or hang from the trees.
Thanks and keep up the good work!
Josh in Costa Rica
Costa Rica

Unknown Tarantula

Unknown Tarantula

Hi Josh,
We hope our readership, which contains some Tarantula aficionados, is able to assist in the identification of this impressive creature, so we are posting it as unidentified.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

4 Responses to Tarantula from Costa Rica

  1. lttlechkn says:

    I am not an expert, but I do believe that this tarantula is actually the Costa Rican Zebra tarantula (Aphonopelma seemani). Will burrow in captivity. 6″ or more of substrate should be provided. Skittish / nervous and not recommend for handling. Does well with higher humidity. Mating is a bit difficult in captivity, as the females are not always receptive and males are typically very nervous/skittish. (Information found on http://www.beccastarantulas.com/index.html )

  2. Susan J. Hewitt says:

    Hi Daniel, I think you have some real tarantula experts in your readership now, but my totally amateur guess (please folks correct me if I am wrong) is a male Acanthoscurria geniculata. Although its knees are only a little bit white, it does look rather like the individual shown here: http://www.swiftinverts.com/species/Agen1m.jpg

    Best wishes to you, Susan J. Hewitt

  3. lttlechkn says:

    I am going to include a link this time to a photo of a male CR Zebra, because well I forgot to last night. Apologies for this. Okay so here is the beautiful little guy that I was referring to http://www.swiftinverts.com/species/Asm1.jpg . I am going to ask if the original poster could, to try and take some more close up shots of the legs, and the hair on the body (please be cautious, whether he is friendly or not, tarantulas are still wild creatures and can be hostile at times) so as to assist in further identifying this little guy. Alright, I must be off to work… I just can’t get enough of this site. Take care all, and I will check back later to see if anyone else has any ideas….


  4. Osprey101 says:

    Normally the white knees are very distinctive on A. geniculata; I have a bunch of them, but never raised any to maturity. But- judging by the size of the abdomen, it’s male- which means it’s probably at its final moult, meaning it will die soon (within a few months). It may not even feed. Some Ts have hooks on the inside of the front legs- used to capture the female’s legs as they mate, and she pretty much tries to kill him. Not all Ts have these, but if there are such hooks present, then he’s definitely a male, and it’s definitely his final moult.

    The males go wandering once they mature, trying to find females (which live much longer lives- frequently in burrows). You may wish to let him go with this in mind, or find someone with a female.

    The Asian and African Ts are the arboreal ones (hanging out in trees) for the most part. Ts from the Americas are terrestrial, and a fall from a substantial height- sometimes even a foot or less- is often fatal, particularly for large females with their big abdomens.

    Good luck!

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