Togo Starburst Tarantula Care Guide
The Species: Togo Starburst Tarantulas (Heteroscodra maculata) also known as Ornamental Baboons, They are an old world species meaning they have a high venom count and are an incredibly aggressive species. This species is native to West Africa and is found primarily in Togo and Ghana, inhabiting tropical areas. All Tarantula species are solitary as are very territorial and aggressive towards one another, even putting them together for breeding can result in the females killing the male.
Enclosure: This species is arboreal and should be housed in plastic rub with good ventilations such as a faunarium or in a glass terrarium. As adults, these animals should be kept in an ideal enclosure size of 30x30x45cm however as slings (babies) or juveniles, 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 ProRep Spider or 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, caves 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 27-30 degrees celcius (81-86 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, red lighting can also make spiders more active so you can observe their behaviours more. 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 70-80% and should ideally not raise above that. When in moult, it is best to keep the humidity higher, closer to 80%. These humidity levels can be reached by spraying the enclosure daily with water but it should be kept in mind to not spray the animal directly as to not allow mould spores to grow on them.
Diet: Tarantulas are natural predators which actively hunt their prey. This means that they have to be given live food. They can be given a wide variety of insects for food starting with fruit flies for spiderlings (babies) and going up to a wider range including crickets, locust, cockroaches, morio worms etc. They should be given appropriate sized feeds dependant on the size of the Tarantula themselves, they should be fed every 2-3 days and at a minimum once a week. If there is still food in the enclosure from their previous feed, don't add more and if they are going into mould or have just finished it, they should be given a few days before feeding.
Water is also an extremely important aspect to an animals diet and constant water access should be provided in a water bowl and should be changed daily, we generally recommend RO water or mineral water due to tap water containing chlorine which can be harmful to some animals.