Brazilian Black & White (Nhandu coloratovillosus)

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Brazilian Black & White
Nhandu coloratovillosus
Brazilian Black & White (Nhandu coloratovillosus)
Name Brazilian Black & White
Name Lat. Nhandu coloratovillosus
Family Tarantulas
Family lat. Theraphosidae
Order Spiders
Order lat. Araneae
Origin South America
Habitat Forest, grassland
Diet Live insects
Humidity 70-80 %
Behavior Nocturnal; semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual
Care Level Difficult
Housing Semi humid terrarium
Breeding Moderately difficult
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 7 cm
Temperature Day 24-28 °C
Temperature Night 20-22 °C
Housing Size 40 x 30 x 30 cm
US Units
Size 2.8"
Temperature Day 75-82 °F
Temperature Night 68-72 °F
Housing Size 15" x 10" x 10"

Distribution and habitat

The venomous, ground-dwelling Brazilian tarantulas are native to the warm, moist forests and grasslands of Mato Grosso and Para, Brazil. There, the crepuscular to nocturnal animals live mainly in self-dug burrows and termite burrows, which they usually only leave to search for food.


For 1 animal a terrarium with a minimum size of 40 x 30 cm and a minimum height of 30 cm can be recommended as a guideline. The terrarium should be placed in a quiet place without sunlight.

You need a terrarium structured with cork tubes, roots and branches (hiding places), a solid, 10-15 cm deep substrate of sand-clay-peat mixture, a small, shallow drinking vessel and for decoration artificial or potted plants (e.g. Ficus repens, Scindapsus aureus). A large part of the substrate should always be kept slightly moist. Several times a week the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but a rain or mist system is better.

Temp. day: 24-28 °C Temp. night: 20-22 °C Humidity: 70-80

The lighting duration should be 8-12 hrs. depending on the season. A conventional light source (fluorescent tube, incandescent bulb) is sufficient. Special lamps with high UV content are not necessary.


The food supply should consist of crickets, cockroaches, house crickets, maggots and grasshoppers as well as other arachnids. The prey animal is "injected" with the biting tools (chelicerae) with a digestive juice, which liquefies the protein components and the prey can thus be sucked out (extracorporeal digestion). Young animals can be offered food 1-2 times a week, adults only every one to two weeks. Under no circumstances should they be overfed, the basic rule being that the abdomen should be no more than 1½ times the size of the cephalothorax. Unaccepted food must be removed after 1-2 days. Refusal of food may indicate a natural phase of starvation or an impending molt. No food animals should be in the terrarium during molting, they could injure the spider. A regular and varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The smaller males can be recognized by their bulbs folded in towards the body. The female lays up to 700 eggs in her burrow lined with webs about 2 months after mating. The eggs are spun into a dense cocoon in which the larvae develop and are guarded by the female. After the third molt, the young leave the burrow and feed on their own. The life expectancy of the females can be up to 15 years.

Obligation to report

Make sure to inform yourself about any regulations on keeping or bans on keeping this animal in your state or home municipality (e.g. public order office). Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.


They are rather quiet and shy, but are sensitive to disturbances. In defense, they hurl irritant hairs with their hind legs against the attacker (bombard). These cause skin irritation and may cause corneal damage in the eyes, as well as asthma-like symptoms. Care should also be taken when cleaning the terrarium, as irritant hairs can be stirred up from the substrate (safety goggles). A bite is very painful, the venom is equivalent to that of a bee or wasp. Crushed or held legs can be thrown off at a predetermined breaking point and regenerate completely after 1-2 molts.

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Contamination must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: petdata

Source: ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Harri Deutsch Verlag; KLAAS (2007): Vogelspinnen- Herkunft, Pflege, Arten, Verlag Eugen Ulmer