Black Beauty Stick Insect Care Guide
The Species: Black Beauty Stick Insects (Peruphasma schultei) are native to the Cordillera del Condor region of northern Peru inhabiting a tropical forest in a region of less than 5 hectares. They have become popular pets due to their success in breeding, these are social animals, naturally living in large colonies and should be kept in social groupings in captivity.
Enclosure: This species is arboreal and should be housed in glass terrariums. As adults, for a small colony these animals should be kept in an minimum enclosure size of 30x30x45cm the larger the colony, the larger the enclosure should be, they should be provided with appropriate sized enclosures not too large as to stress them out.
Being a tropical species they need suitable substrate made from a soil based substrate, we would recommend Arcadia Earth Mix however other substrates are also appropriate such as ProRep Bio Life Forest, we wouldn't generally using arid substrates such as sand or arid soils. They should be provided with a deep layer of substrate to give them the option to create a burrow within the substrate.
Various decor and apparatus should be included to provide as natural of an enclosure as possible. Woods, rocks and foliage are all suitable to use for this species along with a very small bowl for water should be readily available as well.
Heating: These animals should be kept at a temperature range of 17-25 degrees celcius (63-77 degrees farenheight). They should be provided with a hot and cool end and with a basking spot to reach peak temperatures. Heating should be provided by a nano heat lamp or a heat mat on a thermostat, all heating should be on a 12 hour cycle, turning off at night to provide a natural drop in temperature.
Lighting: Tarantulas don't require lighting such as UVB but providing them with a day/night sequence can help improve their wellbeing. This can be accomplished using UVB or LED lighting LED lighting can help with plant growth if live plants are included within the enclosure. All lighting should be on a 12 hour cycle.
Humidity: Being a species residing within arid grasslands, Brazilian Black Tarantulas should have levels of humidity of approximately 40-60% and should ideally not raise above that. These humidity levels can be reached by spraying the enclosure daily with water.
Diet: Black Beauty Stick Insects are herbivores only eating a select few foods including privet, Aucuba japonica and honeysuckle. They should have constant access to food, the most common way to provide them with food is to take cuttings from naturally growing plants and placing them in a small pot of water to keep it fresh for longer, this should be replaced every 3-7 days although this can be an effective way to provide them with food, it can cause some individuals to drown in the water if they fall in or get injured when replacing the old food for the new food. We would recommend buying a potted version of the plant and planting it within the enclosure to encourage it to constantly grow, therefore giving the insects constant access to their food.
Water is also an extremely important aspect to an animals diet. They can acquire their water by by drinking the water droplets after spraying the enclosure, we generally recommend RO water or mineral water due to tap water containing chlorine which can be harmful to some animals.