Brazilian Whiteknee (Acanthoscurria Geniculata)
Popularly touted as the ‘Giant Whiteknee’ or the ‘Brazilian Whiteknee’ tarantula, the Acanthoscurria Geniculata is a breathtakingly beautiful bird spider which is best known for its spectacular coloration and aggressive nature. This creature also grows pretty fast, achieving a leg-span of eight to nine inches in as less than two to three years.
When you spot the Whiteknee for the first time, you’d be blown away by its elegant chocolate brownish carapace, which is beautifully contradicted with the white stripes along its legs. Unlike many other bird spiders, the Whiteknee prefers aggressively hunting its prey. In fact, it is this creature’s aggression that makes it so strikingly attractive among experienced tarantula owners.
The Brazilian Whiteknee can be moody and pretty fast. So, if you’re planning to have them as pets- stay prepared for their quick movements, and changing temperaments.
The Brazilian Whiteknee is native to the Rio Branco region of Brazil.
Preferred natural habitat
As evident from its name, the Brazilian Whiteknee prefers living in the warm and tropical Brazilian rainforests. Their preferred temperature ranges between 23 degrees Celsius and 29 degrees Celsius. When the temperature gets extremely high for their tolerance (more than 30 degree Celsius) they’d immediately start finding retreats under massive tree trunks, holes of the branches, crevices of the rocks, and the likes of it.
Preferred food in the wild
The Brazilian Whiteknee is an aggressive bird-spider that’ll leave no stone unturned to suddenly pounce on a prey. In their natural habitats, they thrive on a meal of locusts, small lizards, large crickets, and small rodents (like mice).
The Brazilian Whiteknee can be pretty aggressive. So if you happen to disturb it in some manner, it will automatically assume a defensive position displaying its fangs right before you. In certain other cases, it might also bolster up the defense with its urticating hairs and lethal bite. Yes. The bite from Brazilian Whiteknee can be extremely lethal if it pierces the human flesh. They come with semi-powerful venom that might lead to severe cramps, swelling, fever, and pain. So if you’re planning to have them as pets, we’d recommend you to limit the tampering them. Keep them undisturbed, and they’ll serve as excellent pets.
Feeding as a pet
Although the Whiteknee happens to be a voracious eater, it is best to feed them only once a week. You can start with a meal of big crickets, medium locusts, large roaches, or small lizards (for variation). In case you’re looking to keep them fuller, try feeding your Whiteknee a steady dose of small mice.
Lifespan both male and female
While the males have a lifespan of four years, the females tend to live relatively longer. In most cases, the females achieve a lifespan of 18-20 years.
Pet enclosure type
You can start keeping your Brazilian Whiteknee in a large 10-15 gallon tank. These creatures are poor climbers because of their massive size. So if you’re really looking to keep them comfortably, try using a tank that’ll help them flip over without too much struggle. Since they are terrestrial in nature, you can keep barks, branches and tea trunks in your vial. Also, don’t forget a big container with fresh, clean water.
Pet enclosure habitat layout
You should keep plenty of loose substrate in the vial of your pet tarantula. Since they are opportunistic burrowers, 3-4 inches of a dry substrate will perfectly meet their needs. For the substrate, you can use your regular mixture of peat moss and coconut fiber. Keep the temperature between 24 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius and the humidity around 70 percent.
Mating / reproducing
Although the female Brazilian Whiteknee tends to be pretty defensive and docile around the men, their mating process is relatively smoother than many other Brazilian tarantulas. You should ideally start mating them around 4-6 weeks after the tarantula has molted. Make sure the female isn’t obese when she first meets the male. Finally, once they’ve mated, separate them with tweezers.
Since these species prefer burrowing right after mating, also make sure that you have more than 1X wide substrate. This will allow them to prepare for the cocooning process. During the first three months post-mating, drop the humidity during the day and increase it during the nights. This will automatically trigger the female to start making its cocoon. An average female starts making their cocoon around 4-7 months after they’ve mated. One cocoon will contain 600-1000 eggs.
The Brazilian Whiteknee grows pretty fast, achieving a leg-span of eight to nine inches in as less than two to three years.