Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens-- Arboreal vs Terrestrial

viper69

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I've long thought about some species many of us own and whether they are arboreal or terrestrial etc. I'm also aware captivity can induce unnatural behavior not observed in the wild. When coupled with a Ts amazing ability to adapt I have often wondered at times "what is natural" for certain species when they are in captivity.

In that context, I asked a biologist who has studied Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens in the wild if they are terrestrial, arboreal, semi-arboreal. Also of interest is the last comment about the many theraphosid taxa.

Below is what I learned from this person. I hope you all find this as informative and interesting as I did.

Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens live in extreme xeric conditions in sandy thorn tree/cactus forests on the Paraguana Peninsula of Venezuela. This species is an "opportunistic burrower", whereby, they will make their silken retreats in the dried fissures of the ground, in old dried and piled up cacti, at the base of large thorny trees or up in the natural cavities of those thorny acacia tree ... basically, wherever the prey availability forces them to make their retreat.
The trees are rarely higher than 12 feet and either cracks in the tree or natural tree cavities are never above 6 feet.

There are MANY theraphosid taxa that live high in trees that are not true arboreals AND there are true arboreals that have been found living in fossorial ground burrows or under fallen logs lying on the ground.
 

EulersK

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Very interesting, thank you for sharing. It seems as if even when making their hide in a tree, from what you've described, they still act like a terrestrial. Just a terrestrial that is willing and able to climb a tree to get to their hide.

Did he mention a possible preference? As in, more individuals living on the ground rather than trees?
 

gypsy cola

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I have always wondered this, how do you replicate a fissure in the ground in an enclosure? I have always wanted to try this
 

WeightedAbyss75

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I have always wondered this, how do you replicate a fissure in the ground in an enclosure? I have always wanted to try this
Couldn't you just put something like a crack in the middle of the ground and press the sub in and let it dry? Then when stable, pull it out and you have a hole in the ground that looks like a crack?
 

gypsy cola

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Couldn't you just put something like a crack in the middle of the ground and press the sub in and let it dry? Then when stable, pull it out and you have a hole in the ground that looks like a crack?
Possible. Just never seen anyone do it before
 

viper69

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Did he mention a possible preference? As in, more individuals living on the ground rather than trees?
No mention of that. I found the part about the taxa at the very end the most interesting.
 

EulersK

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No mention of that. I found the part about the taxa at the very end the most interesting.
Do you have examples of terrestrials living as arboreals? I can think of a few arboreals living as terrestrials, but not the other way around.
 

shining

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Possible. Just never seen anyone do it before
It's not possible with straight coco fiber or peat, I've only been able to do it with sand and clay. You'll need the clay for the structural strength and also because it's a very good medium to manipulate.

I've achieved the cracks and fissure look with sand and clay. It took forever and got ruined even by my P. liosoma that decided it wanted flat ground and and filled it all in with it's burrow scraping.

What I did:

Mixed my sand, eco earth, and clay with a ratio of 60/10/30 (my numbers aren't exact and the clay ratio needed to be more).

Then dumped and packed down some of the wet mix into the enclosure for the base.

Dumped some more into a long and wide sterlite tub and packed it down.

It took seemingly forever to bake in the sun (about a week or two).

When the Sterilite was completely dried I grabbed both ends and bent it to spread the bonds the substrate made. That caused cracks and chunks.

Then moistened the top layer of the enclosure's sub. Picked out pieces from the Sterilite tub and placed them in there as the top layer.

I then placed a some pieces of plexiglass in parts I wanted to be more straight and jagged.

I misted pieces of the crevices to break up parts or smooth them out and sprinkled sand on the wet parts to not make it look so tampered with.

Let it all dry. Delicately removed the plexiglass pieces with a spray bottle, some wiggling and an exacto knife to chip away stubborn bonds.

After the plexiglass was removed I misted the cracks and sprinkled some more sand to cover my tracks.
 
Last edited:

bryverine

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It's not possible with straight coco fiber or peat, I've only been able to do it with sand and clay. You'll need the clay for the structural strength and also because it's a very good medium to manipulate.

I've achieved the cracks and fissure look with sand and clay. It took forever and got ruined even by my P. liosoma that decided it wanted flat ground and and filled it all in with it's burrow scraping.

What I did:

Mixed my sand, eco earth, and clay with a ratio of 60/10/30 (my numbers aren't exact and the clay ratio needed to be more).

Then dumped and packed down some of the wet mix into the enclosure for the base.

Dumped some more into a long and wide sterlite tub and packed it down.

It took seemingly forever to bake in the sun (about a week or two).

When the Sterilite was completely dried I grabbed both ends and bent it to spread the bonds the substrate made. That caused cracks and chunks.

Then moistened the top layer of the enclosure's sub. Picked out pieces from the Sterilite tub and placed them in there as the top layer.

I then placed a some pieces of plexiglass in parts I wanted to be more straight and jagged.

I misted pieces of the crevices to break up parts or smooth them out and sprinkled sand on the wet parts to not make it look so tampered with.

Let it all dry. Delicately removed the plexiglass pieces with a spray bottle, some wiggling and an exacto knife to chip away stubborn bonds.

After the plexiglass was removed I misted the cracks and sprinkled some more sand to cover my tracks.
Do you have any pictures?
 

shining

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Do you have any pictures?
I did but unfortunately my daughter threw that phone in the toilet and my scorp ruined the details by the time I had a new one. It needed more clay and needed to be a bigger enclosure to withstand the long haul. :/
 

bryverine

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I did but unfortunately my daughter threw that phone in the toilet and my scorp ruined the details by the time I had a new one. It needed more clay and needed to be a bigger enclosure to withstand the long haul. :/
A likely story, I bet your dog ate your homework too...;)

If you ever decide to do it again, be sure to post some pics!
 

shining

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A likely story, I bet your dog ate your homework too...;)

If you ever decide to do it again, be sure to post some pics!
"Yeah, fairies wear boots and you gotta believe me
Yeah I saw it, I saw it, I tell you no lies
Yeah Fairies wear boots and you gotta believe me
I saw it, I saw it with my own two eyes"
 

Steve123

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Brilliant Chris. The biologist's observations have just opened up an entirely new horizon for people who, like you, wonder how far tarantulas can adapt. Thanks for sharing.
 

TreeSpider

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Thanks for the share. I yearn to own this species again, my last C. Cyaneopubescens spent just as much time climbing as she did on the ground as I recall.
 

Storm76

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Do you have examples of terrestrials living as arboreals? I can think of a few arboreals living as terrestrials, but not the other way around.
I just have to think of Joyce's Homoeomma sp. "blue" - that thing lives pretty much arboreal rather than terrestrial in the cage she had set up for it. Perhaps she'll comment on this too.
 

Jeff23

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Jul 27, 2016
Messages
621
It's not possible with straight coco fiber or peat, I've only been able to do it with sand and clay. You'll need the clay for the structural strength and also because it's a very good medium to manipulate.

I've achieved the cracks and fissure look with sand and clay. It took forever and got ruined even by my P. liosoma that decided it wanted flat ground and and filled it all in with it's burrow scraping.

What I did:

Mixed my sand, eco earth, and clay with a ratio of 60/10/30 (my numbers aren't exact and the clay ratio needed to be more).

Then dumped and packed down some of the wet mix into the enclosure for the base.

Dumped some more into a long and wide sterlite tub and packed it down.

It took seemingly forever to bake in the sun (about a week or two).

When the Sterilite was completely dried I grabbed both ends and bent it to spread the bonds the substrate made. That caused cracks and chunks.

Then moistened the top layer of the enclosure's sub. Picked out pieces from the Sterilite tub and placed them in there as the top layer.

I then placed a some pieces of plexiglass in parts I wanted to be more straight and jagged.

I misted pieces of the crevices to break up parts or smooth them out and sprinkled sand on the wet parts to not make it look so tampered with.

Let it all dry. Delicately removed the plexiglass pieces with a spray bottle, some wiggling and an exacto knife to chip away stubborn bonds.

After the plexiglass was removed I misted the cracks and sprinkled some more sand to cover my tracks.
I am still a newbie, so I don't know much about T substrate, but the part on clay in that description matches well with cracking. I lived in Georgia for quite a few years. Georgia is known for its red clay and muddy lakes and rivers. I remember seeing lots of cracking on dried up mud puddles (and dried lake beds during the droughts).
 

Nephrite

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Call me EulersK because my hair is turning noodle black, and my love for terrestrial tarantulas is growing.

pls dont kill me
 

viper69

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Call me EulersK because my hair is turning noodle black, and my love for terrestrial tarantulas is growing.

pls dont kill me
Noodles are black? I've never seen a black piece of pasta.
 
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