A closer look at: Tapinauchineus violaceus

Storm76

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A closer look at....Tapinauchineus violaceus


General background:
As with all „Tappies“, as they are called by most hobbyists, these are extremely agile and fast tarantulas, reaching beween 4“ to 5“. Although described as arboreals, these will behave much like Psalmopoeus spp. in captivity, constructing almost always a chamber underground their provided hides.

T. violaceus displays a very beautiful metallic-greenish carapace, purple abdomen and legs when adult – except for the toe-tips who look very dark, almost black. These do not have any urticating bristles and rely mainly on their speed and agility to escape dangerous situations.

Behavior:
Like already mentioned, these are true teleporters! This particular species seemingly isn't very defensive, though. Disturbances cause them to either run frantically around in their enclosure doing laps, or vanish immediately from sight into their hiding place. They are generally very skittish and it is highly advised to keep a catchcup ready when doing rehousings or maintenance / feedings at all times! Being very nervous, they don't necessarily make for the best display spider, although many calm down some to the extent of not disappearing on the slightest vibration felt.
My own AF „Saranyu“ sometimes even keeps sitting in her spot when I move her enclosure. It should be noted that this particular species seems to be very photosensitive and as such shouldn't be stressed out with shining a flashlight directly at them too often. My girl already freaks out when I turn on the main lights on the ceiling, instead of the one on the nightstand – so be reasonable.

Enclosure setup:
Tapinauchineus violaceus comes from the area around Cacao, south of the capital Cayenne in French Guiana. It's a tropical rainforest and the climate in that area is seldomly going below 21°C and peaks at around 26-27°C, with most humidity from December – July and least from August – November.

Picture of the habitat in that area: CLICKY
Village of Cacao: CLICKY
You can find a climate-diagram here: CLICKY

In captivity, these animals do well well between 20°-25°C, an enclosure size of (HeightxWidthxDepth) 10“x10“x10“ is sufficient for these and you can essentially even go down to 8“x8“ for adults since most max out around 4.5“ when adult. A hide in the form of a corkbark slab leaned against one side, or a corkbark-tube, will be used in most cases. Substrate-wise I'd either use cocofiber or eco-earth – personally I favorize the first. Provide them with around 3" since they will burrow to a degree usually. Some plastic-plants to achor webbing onto round out the setup. Although they hail from a rainforest region, the same rules as with Avicularia spp. apply: Good cross-ventilation makes for a happy Tappy! Water-dish should be provided and keeping the substrate slightly(!) moist for them works just fine.


Feeding:

Don't ever make the mistake of dropping a prey-item straight onto them! Chances are high you get an extremely freaked-out Tappie that will teleport around – and often out of the enclosure in which case you'll have fun trying to catch the bugger! Tappies catch prey very accurately and with tremendous speed – but they don't react too well to getting surprised by feeders! I've offered crickets, maelworms and even small superworms or locusts and she went after all of them. However, her personal favorite seem to be redrunner roaches and it's absolutely awesome to watch her catch 2-3 of those once the lid is closed!

Personally, I never had a problem with her when she was a tiny ~0.75“ spiderling – live prey in the form of pinheads or small crickets was taken down with gusto and no problems at all. It takes around 1-1.5 years to raise them to adul-hood with normal temps and feedings, so their growth-rate can be described as fast.

Toxicity:
Mild to moderate according to reports. While bites from members of the genus are reportedly painful (quite a few bitten subjects made the comparison to „feels like a red hot glowing nail, slowly driven into your skin and turned around“), the effects seemingly only last for a few hours with no systemic effects like vomitting or muscle cramps. The localized pain, swelling and at the most: Pain in the bitten extremity is apparently the worst about it. Still, these should be treated with respect, as escapes are likely to happen in case of irresponsible care.

Bottom line and personal opinion:
From all the Tappies available in the hobby, I favorize these for their beautiful looks. As long as the keeper is alert and careful when dealing with them, they're a great genus overall to keep. Newer keepers may want to try their hands on Avics first, since the speed of Tappies can be intimidating and problematic during rehousings, as well as making it easy for them to take a run for it and escape if not used to it. In addition, many are more on the defensive side. Other than that, great genus and species to keep with their fast growth-rate.


Some picture of my own female "Saranyu":

As sling:


Adult female at ~4.25"



Close-up:


In catchcup during cage-transfer:


With dud-sac:


Short vid I took mid 2013 of her:





Scientific Data taken from the World-Spider-Catalogue v17:

Taxonomic references
Ephebopus violaceusMello-Leitão, 1930b: 56, f. 4 (Df).
Avicularia violaceaLucas, Silva & Bertani, 1992: 163 (Tf from Ephebopus).
Tapinauchenius purpureusSchmidt, 1995c: 11, f. 1 (Dmf) [urn:lsid:nmbe.ch:spidersp:002485].
Tapinauchenius purpureusSchmidt, 2003l: 206, f. 617 (f).
Tapinauchenius purpureusPeters, 2005b: 111, f. 353-356 (f).
Tapinauchenius violaceusWest et al., 2008: 39, f. 21-22 (f, Sm).


As usual, if you find any errors feel free to correct them. Additional information is always appreciated, too! Hope this helps a few people looking for information about this species!

Best
~Jan
 
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lalberts9310

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Great info Jan! I think the whole Tapinauchenius genus is pretty underrated overall. Every specie I've come across has never failed to wow me, these are absolutely beautiful spiders.
 

Storm76

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Great info Jan! I think the whole Tapinauchenius genus is pretty underrated overall. Every specie I've come across has never failed to wow me, these are absolutely beautiful spiders.
I agree. Most people stick with T. gigas or sanctivicenti for some reason, whereas theres many more colorful species in this genus IMO. I do really like my girl, she's easy to take care of and very beautiful.
 

Andrea82

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Thank you so much for putting this up! Love love love the pics. I have a T.violaceus for a month now, and I absolutely adore and enjoy her. She seems to be more...dark purple than yours though...is it the lighting?
Mine is a confident little lady, around 4 cm bodylength, not fully grown. She doesn't care if i move her enclosure, or if i turn on lights, she will just sit there and continue doing what she was doing before the interference. Great eater/hunter too! I made the mistake of dropping the cricket on her only once...there was a purple flash, and i only saw the cricket after that...Tappie had teleported her to the back of the enclosure. Another flash and the cricket was gone, and the tappie back..awesome!
She seems somewhat less nervous than expected, maybe i got lucky ;)
 

lalberts9310

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Here I've only seen T. gigas, T. cupreus and T. sp. Colombia available. I like T. cupreus too, I love the look of their setae, looks like satin. They are quite expensive and not always available here, but if I can ever aquire a confirmed female, I'd be more than happy to pay the price and buy it.
 

Storm76

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Thank you so much for putting this up! Love love love the pics. I have a T.violaceus for a month now, and I absolutely adore and enjoy her. She seems to be more...dark purple than yours though...is it the lighting?
It's probably the light, yeah. I've raised my girl from an unsexed 0.75" sling and she looks like on the pictures nowadays. Yours could be in need of a molt perhaps, they dull out somewhat and look very shiny again after molting :)

I see mine daily as she sits out often, though disappearing if something bothers her. Perhaps you lucked out with yours in terms of temperament - I guess once it comes to rehousing she might show a different side of herself :)
 

Andrea82

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Already had a rehouse with her...she was...curious to what I was doing, there's no other word for it. I rehoused her with the catch-cup method, and she did some laps in the cup, but not when taking her out of the old home and putting her in the new one. The breeder told me he selected the less nervous for me, since it is my first Tappie. Guess he did a good job :)
She did show her fangs once, when I had to get a bolus out, and I had to brush her aside a little. Nothing fast, just reaaaaally slow. She stood her ground and didn't budge, lol. Needless to say i left the bolus for the next day...
I tried to take a picture of her, but the camera couldn't focus for some reason. She's more of an...eggplant (we call it aubergine) colour.
 

Storm76

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Then perhaps you may have lucked out with her personality, indeed. No two tarantulas are the exact same - part of the beauty in this hobby :)
 

BobBarley

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Awesome!! Just wondering, how do the Taps' venom compared to the Psalmos' venom?
 

awiec

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Awesome!! Just wondering, how do the Taps' venom compared to the Psalmos' venom?
Psalmos are somewhat odd as their venom binds to the same receptors as capsaicin(chemical in hot peppers) does so their bite is oddly strong compared to other New World species. From what I've researched, Taps do not have such a venom and are considered pretty mild from the few bite reports I've seen; it appears they much rather run than bite.

Didn't mean to hijack your thread storm

I agree. Most people stick with T. gigas or sanctivicenti for some reason, whereas theres many more colorful species in this genus IMO. I do really like my girl, she's easy to take care of and very beautiful.
I picked up T.gigas due to them being very common one year, the next year they seemed to have vanished and now everyone is dumping their males off in the sales section. I would have liked violaceus but there just was none to be found when I was on the market for some. Once I get the rest of my Taps to adulthood I'll probably hunt for more of the genus as my AF T.gigas (was my second tarantula) is a very laid back specimen compared to the other 5 which are putting me through my paces as they are very bite and bolt happy.
 
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Storm76

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T. cupreus and T. violaceus are probably the most beautiful in the genus - in my personal opinion. They're overall pretty much like Avics, except that their behavior is more that of an Iridopelma and not as relaxed.

@awiec T. gigas are more commonly available, that's true. But if you search a little, you'll find violaceus or the other more vibrant species of the genus offered ocasionally, too.
 

eminart

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Thanks for this! I've actually been researching these lately. My local breeder has some slings. I may get one.
 

Rogerpoco

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My only experience is with the T. gigas,one of my favorite,most interesting kind of T-I think the females are beautiful,and the males,a little drab,are pretty nice looking too.
Wasn't sure I wanted more Taps,but that is a pretty T,may look into it.
 

Storm76

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My only experience is with the T. gigas,one of my favorite,most interesting kind of T-I think the females are beautiful,and the males,a little drab,are pretty nice looking too.
Wasn't sure I wanted more Taps,but that is a pretty T,may look into it.
While you're at it...check cupreus & plumipes out, too. You won't be disappointed.
 

gottarantulas

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Kudos/props for this post! Very informative. Your post is consistent with the husbandry that I maintained. A year or so ago, I had a number of sub-adults....this post makes me want to go back and start another Tapinauchineus breeding project, lol.
 

awiec

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T. cupreus and T. violaceus are probably the most beautiful in the genus - in my personal opinion. They're overall pretty much like Avics, except that their behavior is more that of an Iridopelma and not as relaxed.

@awiec T. gigas are more commonly available, that's true. But if you search a little, you'll find violaceus or the other more vibrant species of the genus offered ocasionally, too.
I usually buy from local vendors to keep my costs low and the condo association is pretty spray happy here; I lost 7 animals one time so I'd prefer not to repeat that again.
 

viper69

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Psalmo Psalmo Psalmos ;)

Very informative, appreciate the pics and links. Didn't know they could be so blue/purple though! That's a beauty for sure.

Great info!
 
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awiec

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Psalmo Psalmo Psalmos ;)

Very informative, appreciate the pics and links. Didn't know they could be so blue/purple though! That's a beauty for sure.

Great info!
From what I can tell, most Taps are quite metallic blue or copper, T.gigas is an oddball in that it is an orange furry thing
 
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