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Desert Blonde Tarantula Care Sheet

Common name : Desert Blonde Tarantula 
Species name : Aphonopelma Chalcodes
PR keeper level: 1 
PR handler level: 1

Species background or natural 
history : The A. Chalcodes is a popular first tarantula and is collected by both experienced and novice keepers. It is a favored species due to it's extreme hardy nature and long life span.. The A. Chalcodes is also known for it's docile temperament. 

Physical description : this species has a beautiful blonde color on it's carapace and lower legs , and has black hairs on it's femurs and brown hairs on it's abdomen. Adults get around 5 inches with males being leggier than females. 

Distribution : this species is found through out Arizona , California , and Mexico. This species is found in dry desert and scrubland areas.

Life span : this is a very longed lived species. It is not uncommon for a female to live up to 30 years , males live 5 -10 years. And die soon after they sexually mature.

Caging: You can keep this species in a 5 gallon enclosure as adults , Slings can be kept in a pill bottle and moved up to a deli cup as they grow. Enclosures that don't have mesh tops are recommended , because many tarantulas climb to the top and may get their tarsus caught and can potentially loose a leg . High levels of substrate are also recommended because tarantulas do climb and fall , and a fall from a few inches could be fatal. Zoomed eco earth is a great substrate to use for this species.

Cage decor if any : this species requires a hide to minimize stress , the zoomed medium Habba hut is a great choice. At times. this species makes a burrow and ignores it's hide, but this varies from specimen to specimen. 

Temp: this species should be kept at 70-85 degrees

Heating and lighting : this species doesn't need any heating or lighting as long as your house stays at 65°-80°F. If your hose drops below that , a small portable heater is recommended to heat up the room. 

Humidity and water : this species doesn't require any humidity due to the arid environment it comes from . The medium exo terra kidney dish is a great water bowl for an adult specimen. A bottle cap can be used for smaller specimens with a leg span of over 3 inches.

Diet and feeding : this species can feed on crickets , super worms , locust , and roaches as long as the prey item is of an appropriate size. 

Supplements : tarantulas do not need supplements 

Breeding : this species isn't bred in captivity very often and are usually wild caught. You have to have a mature male and a mature female to breed. You must put the male in the females enclosure , if all goes well he will hold the females fangs with his tibial hooks and inject his sperm into the female. You must be ready to separate them once they are done mating , if not the female might try to eat the male. If the breeding was successful the female with produce an egg sack. When the time comes you will have to take the egg sack from the female , put in an incubator and cut the egg sack when its ready. You must then separate each sling and put them in individual containers. 

Handling your new pet : the A. Chalcodes is a overall docile species , but temperament varies from specimen to specimen. This is a new world tarantula so it does have the ability to flick urticating hair.