Avic slings--a few questions


Jul 11, 2006
I currently have a large a. versicolor sling that I've had for over a year, and will soon be getting a purpurea of about the same size. I figured this would be a good time to ask a few questions I've had on the brain for a while.

1) What's the best substrate to use, and where can I find it? I'm currently using some "jungle earth" dirt and moss. I'm near Petco, and Home Depot--but it's in the middle of a large city so I don't know how much gardening stuff they carry. Buying online works for me.

2) How often should the enclosures be cleaned? My versicolor has made quite a mess, with some white stuff on the walls (which I can only assume is poop) and buried molts inside its web. But the web is so nicely built...I feel bad messing it up.

3) How the !@#% do people actually handle their avics anyway? I took my versicolor out once or twice to try to get a picture of it, and it was so jumpy and fast I was sure that it would escape into the wilds of my apartment. Now I'm terrified to take it out again, but I see people taking pictures of avics on their hands all the time. :?

4) How big do they have to be before they can be sexed?

Last edited:

P. Novak

Old Timer
Sep 12, 2005
You chose some gorgeous Ts to have, congrats!

Peat moss is the best to go with, but if you can't find that vermiculite or the substrate blocks that are sold at Petco will do fine.

Tarantulas cages don't really have to be cleaned at all, just make sure you get prey remains so it doesn't mold or attract ants. The white stuff on the walls is indeed poop and can be wiped off. The molts can actually stay with the T it's whole life if need be. Usually the T kicks it out after a couple of weeks/days.

Avicularia spp., in my experince are the best for handling because of that. They don't like to stay still and will leap/jump sometimes. If you decide to hold your avic wait until it gets a little bigger so if it does jump and go running you'll be able to find it easier. Caution: Try not to breath at or anywhere near the T when handling it, that sets them off like a gun shot for a horse race.

I'd say around 2 or 3" is when they can be sexed. If you have a good microscope then even smaller.