Natal Brown Bird Eater (Acanthoscurria natalensis)
The Natal Brown Bird Eater is a rare Brazilian tarantula that is best known for its dazzling coloration. This species has a rusty brown shade on its carapace which is perfectly complemented by the caramel brown stripes along its knees. Albeit reclusive, the ‘Natal Brown’ can be moderately aggressive, flinging its urticating hair if you happen to disturb them at any point. So if you’re planning to pet them, only do so if you’re an experienced hobbyist. That being said, these species won’t really hurt you, if undisturbed. In most cases, they prefer hiding in their retreats, instead of being defensive and fighting.
Unlike many other tarantulas from Brazil, the ‘Natal Brown’ has a pretty slow growth rate. However, they do assume a decent leg span. Within one to four years, they’ll assume a leg span of three to five inches. For best results, you’ll have to keep them in the right temperature and feed them at least twice to thrice a week.
The Natal Brown Bird Eater is widely found Brazil, Guyana and some parts of Peru.
Preferred natural habitat
Since the ‘Natal Brown’ is a terrestrial tarantula, you’re likely to find it in rock crevices, small holes and barks of trees. Native to Brazil, the species thrives best in a temperature ranging from 23 degree Celsius to 28 degree Celsius. Their preferred level of humidity ranges between 65-75%.
Preferred food in the wild
Semi-aggressive and reclusive, this tarantula is an aggressive eater. In the wild, it survives on a meal of pinhead crickets, earthworms and small roaches.
Like I already mentioned, the Natal Brown Bird Eater is a semi-aggressive and docile tarantula. Although it might display some urticating hairs if disturbed, in most cases, it prefers burrowing in its small retreat than standing up in defense. They’ll make good pets once they start getting accustomed to the setting and the food.
Feeding as a pet
If you’ve got this tarantula for the first time, you can start off with a meal of small pin-head crickets. Once they start growing up, replace the pin-head crickets with baby crickets. You can also add roaches, once in a while, for variation. The Natal Brown Bird Eater voraciously devours any food given to it. So you can always feed it twice to thrice a week.
Life span both male and female
Both the male and female species have a lifespan of more than 7-10 years.
Pet enclosure type
While choosing an enclosure for your pet Natal Brown Bird Eater, make sure the tank comes with enough floor space. Since these species spend plenty of time burrowing, you should also provide a deep substrate that’ll aid them in the job. In addition to this, try allocating a good and spacious retreat for them. You can use a bark of a tree for the job. The temperature in the tank should range between 21 degree Celsius and 30 degree Celsius. Likewise, it should also have a humidity of around 65-75%.
Pet enclosure habitat layout
Since these tarantulas are aggressive burrowers, you should have at least four inches for the substrate in their terrarium. You can make this substrate by mixing peat moss, coconut fiber, sand, and dirt. While you can always keep a plate with water, these creatures don’t really tend to drink that often.
Mating / reproducing
You can start breeding your tarantulas three to five months after the female has molted. Make sure the female is well-fed, and then slowly introduce the male to her. Since these species prefer hiding, it might take them a while to get accustomed with each other. In most cases, they’re likely to mate within a week or two after you’ve introduced the male. Once they’ve mated, separate the male with a tweezer, and lower the temperature in the female’s tank. This will spur its process of fertilization. Within the next couple of months you can expect an egg sack, which can be later kept in your incubator.
Under the right temperature and proper feeding intervals, the Natal Brown Bird Eater will reach a leg span of three inches within a year. An adult female usually develops a leg span ranging from five to six inches. However, for best results, you’ll have to heat the tank once in a while and regulate the humidity and temperature levels as recommended.