Venezuelan Redslate Pink Toe Tarantula (Avicularia minatrix)

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Venezuelan Redslate Pink Toe Tarantula
Avicularia minatrix
Venezuelan Redslate Pink Toe Tarantula (Avicularia minatrix)
Name Venezuelan Redslate Pink Toe Tarantula
Name Lat. Avicularia minatrix
Family Tarantulas
Family lat. Theraphosidae
Order Spiders
Order lat. Araneae
Origin South America
Habitat Forest
Diet Live insects
Humidity 70-80 %
Behavior Nocturnal, semi-aggressive
Keeping Individual
Care Level Difficult
Housing Humid terrarium
Breeding Moderately difficult
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 4 cm
Temperature Day 20-24 °C
Temperature Night 18-22 °C
Housing Size 30 x 30 x 40 cm
US Units
Size 1.6"
Temperature Day 68-75 °F
Temperature Night 64-72 °F
Housing Size 10" x 10" x 15"

Distribution and habitat

The venomous Minatrix bird spiders are crepuscular to nocturnal tree dwellers. They are native to the forests of Venezuela, where they live mainly in tree cavities and the funnels of bromeliads.


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

You will need a terrarium structured with vertical cork tubes, roots and branches (hiding places and privacy screens), a solid 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. Daily the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but better is a rain or mist system

Temp. day: 20-24 °C Temp. night: 18-22 °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 small crickets, cockroaches, house crickets, maggots and grasshoppers and other arachnids. Houseflies are preferred. The prey animal is injected with a digestive juice with the biting tools (chelicerae), which liquefies the protein components and the prey can be sucked out (extracorporeal digestion). Young animals can be offered food 1-2 times a week, adults only every 1-2 weeks. They should not be overfed under any circumstances, 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 50 eggs in her burrow lined with webs 4-5 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. Females can live for over 10 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.


Their irritant hairs break off when touched. 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 by the substrate (safety goggles). A bite is very painful, the poison corresponds 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. They change color slightly with each molt. Special attention should be paid to good ventilation, as they are very sensitive to stagnant air.

Before purchasing, a terrarium should be prepared that meets the species specific needs. Good ventilation without drafts is necessary, as well as equipment for measuring temperature and humidity. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and should 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. Special attention must be paid to thorough hygiene and impurities must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: Franz Lowak

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