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onsdag den 23. april 2008

Emerald Skeleton (Ephebopus uatuman)

This spider has a somewhat inappropriate "common name", as the emerald sheen about the carapace and the greenish tint to the anterior dorsal side of the abdomen fade quite quickly after a molt. Likewise, the "skeleton" stripes are not evident. Most of the time, they are generally a khaki to olive color. Fresh after a molt, the green hues are more evident, and the inside of legs I have a purple/blue tone.
Mature males are richer in color, with an overall ruddy coloration.

Range: From near the Uatuma Biological Reserve in Brazil and north to Guyana; some claim northeast into central French Guiana (unconfirmed).
Habitat: Tropical forest floor
Size: A small tarantula. E. uatuman females mature at about 4". Males are tiny, similar in stature to mature male P. murinus.
Attitude: Somewhat defensive. Many will defend themselves by biting if hiding from a potential threat won't work. In my experience, they become tractable over time, but are too skittish for handling. Breeding is quite easy, and eggsacs are produced rapidly (approx. 40 days). While docile toward her partner initially, the female may eat the male quickly after fertilization.
Dwelling: Burrows in humid earth; nooks among the roots of vegetation.

Ideal Setup: A 3 to 5 gallon container with enough peat/potting soil for digging in (fill it about 4-5 inches deep). Supply a water dish and lightly moisten the substrate once or twice a week or so to keep a good amount of humidity. Keep the temperature around 75-85 degrees F if possible.
Food: Any bugs that haven't been exposed to pesticides (3-5 crickets a week for adults).

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