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Barylestis variatus Care & Notes

Discussion in 'Other Spiders & Arachnids' started by Liquifin, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. Liquifin

    Liquifin Arachnoangel Active Member

    Finally I'm deciding to do a care sheet on this species, which is actually very simple in a sense. I've gotten my female from a friendly third-party vendor as an South Africa import. Which ID credits go to @NYAN for ID. This care is a bit simplified, but it's because they're not very hard to keep and this species is easier to keep than the Heteropoda species.

    Scientific Name- Barylestis variatus
    Common Name- Variatus Spotted Huntsman Spider

    I made the common name since there wasn't one around, but I hope it sticks around.

    These guys are very easy too keep, as slings can be kept in small vials as they are very tiny as slings (1/4'' and maybe a little smaller as slings) and even adults are quite small since they max a 2'' (2 inches). Adults can be kept in 32oz delicups with no issues. All they need is basic ventilation (your preference), a piece of cork/driftwood for them to climb on since they're huntsman spiders (arboreal). I've kept my female in a 64oz container from the dollar store just to be nice, with a piece or two of driftwood to climb on and around. Slings are master escape artists since they're very small. For ventilation for these slings, I just get a small pin and poke holes on the vial caps for ventilation.

    This is a 64oz container. This is not her enclosure, but it gives a general idea of the size.
    Her enclosure with babies (This set-up uses 2 pieces of driftwood and a shallow water dish)

    Sling Vial Enclosures

    Temps and Moisture/Humidity
    These guys are a little less reliant on moisture/humidity than its cousin the B. scutatus and thrives better in a drier enclosure with a small shallow waterdish for adults/juveniles and a light spray for tiny slings for moisture/humidity. Slings are not as tolerant to higher moisture/humidity levels than adults. Which when I first had my first sac, about half of the slings died from being kept a bit too moist, despite having plenty of ventilation. So a small shallow water dish for adults/juveniles and a light spray for slings is good enough for moisture/humidity, with the exception of molting/post-molt for these guys (Molting Topic). I give a light spray every 3-4 days for slings and juveniles and full water dish with one spray for my adult female during maintenance.

    Temperatures are better on the warmer side ranging 75-80 for these guys. While they can do very well in low 70's, I find that they eat better at warmer temps. B. variatus are very easy to maintain in terms temps and moisture/humidity. So this part shouldn't really be an issue.

    I found that the best way to rehouse this species and any huntsman in general is to just place and open the old enclosure into the newer enclosure and let it go out itself. Because the typical tarantula catch cup method doesn't exists if you're dealing with huntsman spiders due to their presence and god-like speed. So just place the old enclosure into the new larger enclosure and just open the old enclosure and close the new enclosure and just let it do it's own rehouse. Then just take out the old enclosure later. If any huntsman escapes, it's most likely going to near impossible to catch or find.

    Juveniles and adults are good eaters and can eat and hunt just fine. Just like most huntsman spiders, they don't really bother with pre-kill prey and would just prefer to hunt prey a little smaller than them in general. I've fed my adult 2'' female B. variatus one red runner roach about 1'' every 1-2 weeks and she plumps up quick.

    Slings of this species are not good at all on eating pre-killed prey. I've tried pre-killed mealworms, red runners, dubias, and superworms, but they won't eat them. These guys have only taken flightless fruit flies in my care so far, which is what I normally use for huntsman slings. They've been eating flightless fruit flies very well and can plump up with just one to three feedings of flightless fruit flies. These slings are a mix when feeding sometimes, as some may chase a prey like apex predators and some may just wait instead for an ambush on a prey, which takes a while.

    Sometimes it's hard to tell if this species is going to pre-molt/molt just by looking. These guys are quite hard to tell if they're going to pre-molt sometimes. As the only sign is the refusal of food or a bit sluggish behavior so far in my experience with my slings and young juveniles. Molting for these guys are just like any other huntsman with the typical molting downwards and whatnot. After molting (post-molt), this is the best time for water or moisture for a spray since they're going to be dehydrated whether they have a water dish or not.

    I can't speak for this, because I've never been bitten by this species or any huntsman in general. I've had slings, small juveniles and even my female run up my arm sometimes because of their speed during maintenance, but they never bitten me and just mainly do a typical flight response.

    There really isn't much to add on to this besides just being the typical bolting, fast-pacing, huntsman spider behavior. Just like most huntsman spiders they're are mostly visible if not bothered or flashed with light often. The only additional thing I can add on about this is that I can predict when my female Barylestis variatus going to lay a sac based on how reclusive she becomes. If she's hiding and not showing herself, I'm pretty certain she's going for another sac.

    Females and Reproduction
    I've not bred this species and my female was a WC South Africa import given to me. So I don't have any experience breeding this species, but females have insane eggsac laying. So far my female has produced 4 successful sacs one after another. Each sac hatched between 20-25 days each and I've taken some notes on this as well. There seems to be 2 weeks to 1 month and half that a sac is reproduced after the previous sac had hatched. My female eats heavily after a sac hatches and within two-three good feedings she is plump and slowly prepares herself. Every time my female is going to lay a sac, she goes and hides behind her driftwood where it's dark and she focuses on preparing/laying her sac. So she goes into reclusive mode for sac laying. Females can also be fed while guarding their sac which my female still ate while guarding her sac. She's also a bit defensive on her slings sometimes after they hatch, but will run if scared enough. The best time to separate slings from the mother is when the slings are starting to separate on their own. Slings can be fed with mom with flightless fruit flies after 5-7 days post-hatching.

    Notes on Barylestis variatus sacs
    Sac #1 (retrieved on 7/13/2019)
    Laid:? (given to me with sac)
    # of Slings: 83

    Sac #2
    Laid: 8/4/2019
    Hatched: 8/25/2019
    # of Slings: 57

    Sac #3
    Laid: 9/15/2019
    Hatched: 10/15/2019
    # of Slings: 74

    Sac #4
    Laid: 11/3/19
    Hatched: 11/22/2019
    # of Slings: 60-65 (didn't count this sac properly, but close estimate)

    Slings eating flightless fruit flies together.

    Conclusion So Far
    I think this is about all I can say about this species so far. It's one of the easier huntsman spiders out their to care for once they hit the juvenile stage. I don't have any plans on breeding this species since one female is all that is needed. I do suspect a 5th sac coming soon, but we'll wait and see.

    Here's where they are right now in my collection
    B. variatus collection.jpg
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  2. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    Just a nitpick, these don’t come from South Africa. They come from West Africa. I think an export from Ghana was where they come from.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Liquifin

    Liquifin Arachnoangel Active Member

    Could be. I'll ask him next time for more specific answers. Thanks for the heads up.
  4. Liquifin

    Liquifin Arachnoangel Active Member

    Update- She laid sac #5 earlier this week 3 days ago on the side of the enclosure, so a little late on the update.

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