Avicularia purpurea (Purple Pink Toe) 0.5" | 1"+
Avicularia purpurea (Purple Pink Toe) 0.5" | 1"+

Avicularia purpurea (Purple Pink Toe) 0.5" | 1"+

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The gorgeous Purple Pinktoe Tarantula, Avicularia purpurea (Kirk), is a must-have member of the subfamily Aviculariinae for anyone who appreciates colorful spiders. The species epithet “purpurea” refers to the incredibly metallic purple-blue hairs covering the carapace, legs and chelicerae of this tarantula. The spiderlings start out purple, fuzzy and “cactus-like,” but gain an increasingly metallic purple splendor with each molt. Technically, these are structural colors that refract light, rather than true pigments. While it is not known why many tarantulas have evolved such incredible structural colors, not all animal eyes can detect this brilliant display- so we are extra lucky to be able to appreciate this species. A. purpurea is a shy arboreal that builds its silk hammocks in tree hollows and cavities in Amazonian lowland rainforests of Ecuador. This species grows a bit more slowly than other Avicularia, reaches 4-5” (10-12.5cm) in leg span, and can be maintained similarly to other members of the genus. A tall, vertical arboreal enclosure with cross ventilation and dry substrates is best. Excellent air circulation is imperative for all Avicularia, and higher humidity can be maintained through periodic misting of a cage corner and/or providing a water bowl. A long cork slab can also be used for the tarantula to attach its hammock web. A. purpurea are not highly defensive but can flick urticating hairs, are flighty, and lightning fast. This and other pink toe tarantulas are excellent at parachuting out of trees and can run swiftly across the surface of high waters in flooded forests- something good to remember as they leap off your arm and make a b-line toward a drain hole. Although this species can be handled, they react to the slightest breeze and larger juveniles and adults have an unfortunate defensive mechanism of launching excrement  2-3 feet when they feel threatened. So, best to keep this spider in its cage for showing off to a recovering arachnophobe or impressing that special someone…   

Subfamily : Aviculariinae

Genus : Avicularia

Type Locality: _______, Ecuador

Etymology : The specific name refers to the metallic purple-blue iridescence seen on the dorsal surface of the spider in natural light.

IUCN Redlist: Not Evaluated

Kirk, P., 1990. Avicularia purpurea, a new species of theraphosid spider from Ecuador. The British Tarantula Society Journal, 6(1), pp.15-19.



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