Acanthoscurria geniculata is also known as the Brazilian Giant White-Knee.
Acanthoscurria geniculata can reach 7-8.5" in length! Red abdominal "hairs" and bright white leg bands contrast its velvet black body. The species is fairly quick-growing and are known to have a good feeding response. We consider them to be quite hardy in captivity. For good reason this tarantula is currently one of our most popular beginner species. Well-started specimens over 3/4-1" or so can make a great first tarantula.
Spiderlings are slow to obtain their adult colors, but in my opinion experiencing the transformation is part of the fun of raising a tarantula. It will take a while, typically a few years, but around 3/4-1" leg-span spiderlings will typically start showing the first signs of adult coloring. After 1 1/4-2" or so the specimens adult coloring is usually more prominent. Keep in mind these are estimates and it does vary from specimens to specimen. What a joy it is to witness the transformation of an unassuming brown spiderling into a massive, colorful tarantula!
Origin: New World. This tropical species is native to northern regions of Brazil.
Adult Size: 7-8.5"
Growth speed: Medium
Longevity: Males 4-7 years, females 12+ years
Temperament: Docile yet skittish. If agitated they may flee and/or flick urticating hairs. Bites of this species are rare.
Bite potency: Mild
Urticating hairs: Yes
Ideal Temperature: 70 to 75°
Humidity: Medium to Medium-High
Interesting Fact: As of July 2020 A. geniculata is currently our best-seller. The well-started spiderlings are at that age where they're just large enough for a beginner, and they are just starting to show signs of adult color. They're more affordable than similar-size Brachypelma due to the species larger clutch size. They also grow fairly quickly and have a remarkable feeding response.
Large females can become more stocky with time, even if their leg-span doesn't change much with a molt. Although this characteristic is quite common among many species is it is certainly an impressive trait to see on such a large tarantula.
Enclosure: Good ventilation is a must and safety should be a top priority when choosing and designing your tarantulas enclosure. The enclosure should not be too tall as to give the spider an opportunity to fall and injure itself. For spiderlings under about 1-1 1/4" we recommend the Terrestrial Spiderling Enclosure Kit. For specimens over 1" to about 2" we recommend the Terrestrial Juvenile Enclosure Kit. Specimens over 2" and under about 4.5 can go into a 7x7x11" complete terrestrial enclosure. or 8x8x14" Adult Complete Terrestrial. As adults grow to be 7-8.5" we recommend the 10 x 10 x 20" Adult Tarantula Cage as a permeant enclosure for specimens over 4-4.5" or so. Click HERE to find out how to you measure a tarantula.
Substrate: While most adults will adopt a hide, slings often prefer to burrow. Cocofiber, vermiculite, peat moss and/or potting soil (or a mix) are all excellent substrate choices. Please make sure the substrate you choose is organic and chemical/fertilizer free. Do not use sand, pebbles, rocks or wood chips or anything else that could potentially cut or injure the tarantula.
In many cases a larger specimen would rather adopt or retrofit an existing hide than create it's own from deep substrate. Cork tubes half buried in substrate are what we use for our adult females. The specimen will excavate one side of the cork tube to it's liking. I like to think this makes the tarantula feel “at home” while minimizing the time and effort for the spider to settle in.
Spiderlings will often desire to create their own home by excavating a burrow. A tarantula with this talent and preference for tunneling is referred to as an obligate burrower. To encourage this natural behavior we recommend semi-moist substrate at least twice, and ideally three times as deep as the tarantulas DLS. Both the Terrestrial Spiderling and Terrestrial Juvenile Enclosure Kit can be set up to encourage burrowing.
Water: Larger spiders 2” and over should be provided with a shallow water dish in order to drink. The water bowl should be rinsed our every time it is refilled. Being a scrubland species they will not require as frequent misting as an arboreal species however, I recommend keeping one corner of the enclosure lightly misted, especially if there is no water bowl.
Feeding: Adults will eat every 6-14 days depending on the size of the spider and it's prey. Spiderlings should eat more often, every 5-10 days. Adults may be fed crickets, mealworms or roaches. Spiderlings under .75” can only eat food small enough for it to overpower. This includes pinhead crickets, flightless fruit flies & freshly hatched "pinhead" rusty red roaches. It is not advised to feed your tarantula wild-caught food. It could contain parasites or pesticides that could be fatal to your pet. Keep your tarantulas enclosure clean. food waste left in the enclosure will invite mold, mildew, mites, flies and other pests. It is advised to remove uneaten prey items after 3-12 hours. If using a feeder who will not “bother” a tarantula such as dubia roaches it is alright to leave them in the enclosure as long as they are not causing stress to the specimen. A more detailed feeding, misting & troubleshooting guide can be found here: https://jamiestarantulas.com/guides/
Acanthoscurria geniculata (Brazilian giant white-knee) Care Sheet
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