Originally described in 1837, Caribena versicolor is the thing of legends; it’s not uncommon for new tarantula enthusiasts to quickly add it to their “bucket list” of species they want to keep – and for good reason.
There can be few who would deny that Caribena versicolor is truly one of the most beautiful tarantulas known to science. As youngsters, they start off a rich, deep blue.
With time, as they mature, they develop the adult coloration; the metallic blue/green carapace and rich plum-colored abdomen. Add to this the fact that C.versicolor is a very “fluffy” tarantula and grows to a healthy 5″ of so in legspan and its little wonder that so many tarantula fanatics go weak at the knees when they see one.
If you’re considering purchasing your first Caribena versicolor and are looking for advice then read on for the ultimate care sheet on keeping this species in captivity…
Martinique Pink Toes are known for being one of the more difficult species to keep.
Stories abound of high mortality rates, especially among youngsters, so this species should ideally be seen an an intermediate to advanced species, rather than one suitable for the beginner.
That said, an examination of their wild habitat may serve to offer some tips as to why so many keepers struggle to rear this species successfully in captivity.
One of the most critical elements to keeping tarantulas successfully in captivity is an understanding of their wild environment. Many tarantula species have evolved over millennia to perfectly adapt to a specific way of life, so by understanding their wild habits we can more accurately attempt to replicate these in captivity.
Martinique’s climate is notable for its stability. Annual temperatures rarely deviate more than a few degrees from the average, sitting at around 82-82’F (28’C). It is interesting to note that this is considerably higher than the temperatures that most tarantula care sheets advise, and may suggest that a warmer captive environment might lead to improved husbandry results.
Humidity is also relatively stable, sitting at between 80% and 90% around the year, with mild seasonal fluctuations. While rainfall may occur at any time of the year, the island is occasionally lashed by cyclones.
This provides a good initial guide to the environmental conditions required by Caribena versicolor in captivity; a warm and humid environment but with suitable ventilation to prevent stagnant air and mould growth.