Colombian Giant Redleg (Megaphobema robustum)

Megaphobema, New World No Comments »

The Colombian Giant Redleg tarantula comes from the tropical rainforests of Colombia and Brazil. Considered an average sized species they reach sizes of 6″ to 8″ in leg span at full growth. Known for their velevet black and red colors they are most definitely a beautiful species. They are fairly quick growers with males reaching maturity within 3 to 5 years and females growing to be up to 15 years old. 

Megaphobema RobustumMegaphobema Robustum

Photo Credit: @Andrea.Arachnid


Habitat: The Colombian Giant Redleg is a terrestrial tarantula but can be an obligate burrower. Though their sizes can differ and mature species can be anywhere between 6″ to 8″ we recommend you keep them at full growth in a 10 gallon tank. Make sure you have at least 6″ of substrate to allow your tarantula to burrow should it feel the need to in addition to having a nice startup hide for it. As slings these can be kept in vial and later on a deli cup. Though the more hardier of Megaphobema sp. we recommend you keep the Megaphobema robustum at a slight lower temperature as most tarantulas. We recommend temperatures of 75°F to 84°F with a humidity of 70 to 85%. They do not do well with higher temperatures and a close eye on them should be kept. As always an overflowing water dish should always be kept in the enclosure.


Feeding: Overall great eaters we recommend flightless fruitflies when small slings and later switching it over to small pinhead crickets. Feel free to crush their heads to prevent them hurting your spiderling. You can feed your Megaphobema robustum a mixed variety of crickets, roaches, meal worms and locusts. Be careful of your tarantula being in pre-molt and not wanting to eat. If prey is not eaten within 24 hours of being placed in the enclosure feel free to remove and leave your tarantula alone for at least 1 week as she or he can be ready to molt.


Attitude: Though not aggressive, Megaphobema robustum have urticating hairs which they carry in both their abdomen and back legs. As a defense mechanism they tend to raise their abdomen and flick off a lot of urticating hairs compared to many other species. A fairly shy tarantula they prefer to run then to to show threat posture. They can bite, though harmless, can be equivalent to a bee sting.


A great tarantula overall and definitely should be part of any collection!


Hissing Cockroach Starter Colony

DIY, Feeders No Comments »

The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach (Gromphadorhina portentosa) or also known as hisser roaches are one of the largest cockroach species in the world. They are well known for their size and hissing noises that come out of them. The Madagascar Hissing Cockroach makes an ideal insect pet due to it being easy to care for, inexpensive and can even be produced to be great feeder insects. Adults reach sizes of 3 to 4 inches in length, can live to be a few years old and they are known to produce like crazy! Below we have compiled a tutorial for you to be able to create your own Hissing Cockroach Starter Colony!


Step 1: Getting the right size enclosure for your hissers! The rule of thumb is that you use 1/2 of a gallon per pair of hissing roaches. The pictures below are for 70 pairs (140 hissing roaches). I went with a 60 gallon plastic container/enclosure because I am trying to get my hissers to breed.



Step 2: Drilling holes into your container/enclosure. You can either drill hundreds of small little holes all around the top rim and lid or you can do what I did which is drill 2″ vents all around the top part of the enclosure. Make sure you have proper ventilation. Note that I did drill starter holes so that my 2 inch drill bit would easily align each cut accordingly. Plastic can be slippery with a drill bit!

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Step 3: Make sure your vents fit nicely. These are 2″ vents that I bought at my local hardware store for dirt cheap. they come in a dozen bag for about $3. I also ended up experimenting with 4″ inch vents for better cross ventilation as shown in the 2nd picture thought his is not required.

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Step 4: Filling up your container. Though you can go and use egg cartons and empty paper towel rolls I prefer using a mix of wood chips and substrate for the bottom of my enclosure and lay down bark pieces for the hissers to hide under or crawl over. Be sure to also have a nice food dish and water bowl readily available.

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Step 5: Unlike many other cockroach types, the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach can climb plastic and glass with no trouble at all. To prevent this from happening you simply have to coat about 2″ of the inner top of the container with some petroleum jelly. This prevents them from being able to climb out of your enclosure as shown in the picture. A secure lid is also a plus when making your hisser colony.

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Step 6: Putting your roaches in and making sure they have plenty to feast on and drink. I recommend you using water crystals for your hissing cockroach starter colony as this has less chance to evaporate due to the high heat of the enclosure. A diet of steady greens, fruits and even cat kibble should be perfect to keep your hissers healthy, fat and happy.

Adult Madagascar Hissers

Adult Madagascar Hissers


Pro Tip: Though hissers do well in regular room temperature, they do grow and breed much faster the warmer it is. You can heat your container/enclosure to up to 95 degrees and have a very productive colony! For this you can use an external heat source such as a heating pad or heating lamp.


Sexing: You can tell the gender of your hissers by simply looking at them up close! Males have large horns on their head while females have a much rounder shape to their head. This can be seen as early as 3 months of age.


These simple steps can easily help you in the growth of your colony. For any additional questions or help feel free to reply below in the comments.

Kilimanjaro Mustard Baboon (Pterinochilus chordatus)

Old World, Pterinochilus No Comments »

The Kilimanjaro Mustard Baboon Spider is an old world tarantula from the eastern part of Africa and can be found in Tanzania and Sudan. They grow to be about 4 to 5 inches in length with females living to be as old as 20 years old and males living to be about 3 to 5 years old. The true colors of the Kilimanjaro Mustard Baboon is dark grey and black with a thin orange tint at the knees however there is a light color form of this species that is orange/brown and black.

pterinochilus chordatus


Habitat: As full grown adults the most you will need for the kilimanjaro mustard baboon a 5 gallon enclosure. They are obligate burrowers though do just fine with a startup hide or piece of bark to live under. They are pretty good at webbing. Though not heavy webbers like their distant cousin the OBT. We recommend you give them 5 to 6 inches of damp substrate in the event your baboon does end up burrowing. Temperatures should be kept in the higher 70’s Fahrenheit with humidity levels of about 60 to 65 percent. As slings they do just fine in vials and at 1 inch in size can easily be transferred to deli cups.  As always a good water source should always be available in their enclosure whether its a water dish or spraying.


Feeding: These guys are voracious eaters. As slings you can feed them fruitflies and pinhead crickets with their heads smashed in. One of the few species that personally goes out to hunt instead of waiting for you to throw prey towards them. You can feed them a variety of meals such as crickets, roaches, mealworms, superworms and even locusts. Feeding once a week would be ideal.


Attitude: Being old world they come packed with attitude. Though not as fast and aggressive as their cousin the P.murinus. You should still use caution when opening their enclosure to feed or do maintenance. Their bite can bring a world of pain and they have potent venom. Though not lethal it can induce muscle pains, cramps, headaches and nausea. We recommend you to not handle this tarantulas!


All in all a definite beauty to have and most definitely a less aggressive alternative to the OBT if you are planning on getting a good hardy African tarantula.