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Keeping Avicularia species - Updated with Pictures

octanejunkie

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I keep several different arboreal species of tarantula but not all of them require the same care. The general care and keeping of the various avicularia-type arboreal species differs from all other arboreal and terrestrial species; but it's not complicated.

A little history
I lost my first avicularia sling (at the time it was called Avicularia versicolor, today Caribena versicolor) after a month and a molt, I never knew why. It was devastating for me, and the T. I had been successful with a few terrestrials and even though I thought I had done my research and was ready, something about my keeping wasn't.

I decided I didn't want to give up on arboreal keeping, I needed to learn from my experience. I did a lot more research, adjusted my husbandry and care, and decided to give it a try again. I have been 100% successful keeping various avicularia sp since. It's not complicated or super involved, but there are some basics for arboreals, and more for avicularia sp; but it's easy. Avicularia are not 'dangerous' like old world arboreals can be with medically significant venom, but they can be just as quick.

Orient your care and husbandry around what will make the T most successful, and always be respectful.

Like any species tarantula, you must meet its housing and hydration needs at all times. Always offer clean fresh water. A water dish is a given with any and all tarantula species. The easier for you the water dish is FOR YOU to access, clean and change, the better for your T.

Just like mother nature provides water in the form of rain, you should occasionally drip water into their webbing where they can readily get to it. A small hole or two in the top of the enclosure allows you to drip water in. Avoid spraying water for many reasons; mostly because it startles the crap out of the tarantula and sends them bolting. Pipettes are handy for watering slings and juveniles.

Feed avic slings in or as close to their webbing for best success. You can easily confirm they are feeding, vs prey hiding in the enclosures, and avics are not always the stealthy hunters terrestrial and non-avic arboreals tend to be. I rarely see my avics hunt. Just like any pet, don't overfeed. Ts can go much longer than we can without food and just like a fish tank, it's better to underfeed tarantulas.

If you are comfortable in a t-shirt, your tarantula will likely be comfortable, too.

Avics do not need HIGH humidity, this was a common misconception at one point in the hobby and probably resulted in more avic deaths than under-watering. If you keep the water dish full at all times, and overflow it once every week or two, allowing the substrate to dry between soakings, your T should be fine. Depending on your climate, and time of the year, you may need to do this more often than any set schedule. Get in the habit of always checking your Ts water dish when looking at your T.

EDIT
Another way to stave off excess humidity is ventilation. Avics live in trees where there is good airflow. More ventilation (holes in the enclosure) allows airflow, and will allow humidity to escape the enclosure rather than stifle and potentially kill your avic. See about enclosures below.

Avics do not need HIGH temperature either. Just like most tarantulas, if you are comfortable in a T-shirt, your T will likely be comfortable, too. If supplemental heat is required, you are better off heating the area your T enclosure(s) are in than the single enclosure. Avoid heat mats and heat lights and heat projectors that blow hot air. These will all dry out the enclosure and may irritate, or worse, dehydrate your T.

It's kind of all about the enclosure...

Unlike terrestrial Ts that appreciate substrate depth, arboreals favor above ground and often on the ground. Many arboreal species will burrow as slings; avicularia however do not. Avicularia are true arboreals. An avicularia sling on the ground is not what you want to see, it often means a stressed or troubled avic; but they sometimes do choose to go to ground. I've seen avics and non-avicularia arboreals come to ground to drink from water dishes but in their native lands they see lots of rain, and so does their webbing; plus the ground is where hungry predators are (in the wild.) It's very common for tarantulas to drink from their webbing in the wild so there is no reason you cannot water into their webbing - but don't spray, drip.

Avics in general tend to go to the top of the enclosure, to web and live - you should allow them to make that space exclusively theirs. Top-opening lids tend to wreck webbing and upset slings more than necessary. I avoid Top-opening enclosures for any avicularia over 1/2-3/4" in size.

Here are the features for avicularia enclosures I've found most successful:
  • Good cross ventilation
  • Taller enclosure (not wide and low)
  • Bottom opening enclosure
  • Diagonal cork bark from opening to top
  • Foliage at middle of cork bark (leave top of enclosure open
  • 25-30% substrate depth to enclosure height ratio
  • A non disruptive way to open the enclosure
    • A feeding port at the top can be handy, but not required
Here's a few enclosures I use with good success for avics

Small n Tall amac boxes, inverted and drilled for avics with plenty of cross ventilation.
-note foliage near top with open areas for the T to web and chillax
avic amac small tray.jpg


Here's a 3/4-1" sling proving me wrong, it's at the ground, lol
It's not uncommon for them to bring dirt and stuff up into their webbing for various reasons
avic amac sling to ground.jpg

Look bottom left :) little sucker

This is a 2x4 tall amac box, inverted
IMG_20200422_090805.jpg
IMG_20200422_090846.jpg

Lifting the top off the base and the T stays in the top, with its bark and webbing and leaves making water dish maintenance easy

This is a 24oz inverted deli cup in a cup lid and base following instructions in Tom Moran's DIY avic enclosure/husbandry video
IMG_20200422_145056.jpg

It's basically one deli cup stacked on top of the other with a lid on the inside cup. Holes in the outsider cup and the inside one is cut off allowing 1-1.5" substrate depth. Stacked condiment cups make swapping water dishes easy. The bottom cup is glued to the lid it's sitting on, soil filled in around it.

EDIT
I have since found ways to use top-opening enclosures successfully for avics that I will discuss in a reply below.

Match the enclosure size to the size of the tarantula, smaller is often better

Avics are medium sized arboreals when full grown compared to other arboreals, usually not exceeding 4-5", or 5-6". The largest enclosure an adult avicularia will probably need is something like the Exo Terra Nano Tall, 8x8x12.

Here is Rebecca, our adult Avicularia metallica (Avicularia avicularia morphotype 6 (M6)) in her ETNT
(Avicularia metallica is one of the largest avic species)
Avic ET Nano Tall.jpg
IMG_20200704_174217.jpg


Can you go larger? Sure, the T may not fare any better tho and in fact, larger enclosures tend to be problematic. The less your T needs to hunt for foot the more you can control and monitor it's nutrition needs by ensuring it eats when you feed it. The more the T can sense the boundaries of their realm, the more confident and comfortable they are. Tarantulas are solitary, somewhat sedentary creatures and like their space. They tend to be much more comfortable in a studio apartment than a mansion.

Last word about enclosures, truthfully almost any container can be made to work. I've had good success with slings and juveniles in the few enclosures posted here, but there are other keepers using a ton of other containers with equally as much success. Do your research, try things out. Always favor ease of maintenance.

Here's a few tips for first time avic sling keepers:
  • Don't drive yourself crazy, obsessing over its care, it's not that complicated
  • Do not disturb or stress your sling by checking on it a hundred times an hour (set up a cam if you must)
  • (get more than one sling at a time to avoid new tarantula syndrome)
  • Don't let the substrate go dry for days on end, avics are not arid species
  • Don't over water, let the substrate dry out before wetting it again
  • Don't let the water dish dry out!
  • Don't just refill a dirty water dish, clean or replace it
  • Don't overfeed your T, remove uneaten or unconsumed food items after 24 hours
  • Don't go crazy cleaning the enclosure, and stressing out your T in the process
  • Don't worry it it doesn't web on day 1 (they sometimes won't web for weeks or months)
  • Always be patient, there are seldom any real "tarantula emergencies" saving escapes
  • Get the basics right and be consistent

Good avic husbandry need not be complicated, nor stressful, for either the keeper nor the kept.

Get the basics right and everything else becomes less critical.


Just like my juvenile A. avicularia (M1) Mikey here, keep it simple, yo

avic rollin meme.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Messages
51
Location
Malaysia, Nilai
Wonder
I keep several different arboreal species of tarantula but not all of them require the same care. The general care and keeping of the various avicularia-type arboreal species differs from all other arboreal and terrestrial species. But it's not complicated.

I lost my first avicularia sling (at the time it was called Avicularia versicolor, today Caribena versicolor) after a month and a molt, I never knew why. It was devastating for me, and the T. I had been successful with a few terrestrials and even though I thought I had done my research and was ready, something about my keeping wasn't.

I decided I didn't want to give up on arboreal keeping, I needed to learn from my experience. I did a lot more research, adjusted my husbandry and care, and decided to give it a try again. I have been 100% successful keeping various avicularia sp since. It's not complicated or super involved but there are some basics for arboreals, and more for avicularia sp; but it's easy. Avicularia are not dangerous like old world arboreals can be with medically significant venom, but they can be just as quick.

Orient your care and husbandry around what will make the T most successful, and always be respectful.

Like any species tarantula, you must meet it's hydration needs at all times. Always offer clean fresh water. A water dish is a given with any and all tarantula species. The easier for you the water dish is to change and clean, the better for your T.

Just like mother nature provides water in the form of rain, you should occasionally drip water into their webbing where they can get to it. A small hole or two in the top of the enclosure allows you to drip water in. Avoid spraying for many reasons, mostly because it startles the crap out of the tarantula and sends them bolting. Pipettes are handy for watering slings and juveniles.

Feed avic slings in their webbing for best success. You can easily confirm they are feeding, vs prey hiding in the enclosures, and avics are not the stealthy hunters non-avic arboreals tend to be. I rarely see avics hunt. Just like any pet, don't overfeed. Ts can go much longer than we can without food and just like a fish tank, it's better to underfeed tarantulas.

If you are comfortable in a t-shirt, your tarantula will likely be comfortable, too.

Avics do not need HIGH humidity, this was a common misconception at one point in the hobby and probably resulted in more avic deaths than under-watering. If you keep the water dish full at all times, and overflow it once every week or two, allowing the substrate to dry between soakings, your T should be fine. Depending on your climate, and time of the year, you may need to do this more often than any set schedule. Get in the habit of always checking your Ts water dish when looking at your T.

Avics do not need HIGH temperature. Just like most tarantulas, if you are comfortable in a T-shirt, your T will likely be comfortable, too. If supplemental heat is required, you are better off heating the area your T enclosure(s) are in than the single enclosure. Avoid heat mats and heat lights and heat projectors that blow hot air. These will all dry out the enclosure and may irritate, or worse, dehydrate your T.

It's kind of all about the enclosure...

Unlike terrestrial Ts that appreciate substrate depth, arboreals favor above ground and often on the ground. Many arboreal species will burrow as slings; avicularia however do not. Avicularia are true arboreals. An avicularia sling on the ground is not what you want to see, it often means a stressed or dying avic; but they sometimes do choose to go to ground. I've seen avics and non-avicularia arboreals come to ground to drink from water dishes but in their native lands they see lots of rain and so does their webbing. It's very common for them to drink from their webbing.

Avics in general tend to go to the top of the enclosure, to web and live - make that space theirs exclusively. Top-opening lids wreck webbing and upset slings more than necessary. I avoid Top-opening enclosures for any avicularia over 1/2-3/4" in size.

Here are the features for avicularia enclosures I've found most successful:
  • Good cross ventilation
  • Taller enclosure (not wide and low)
  • Bottom opening enclosure
  • Diagonal cork bark from opening to top
  • Foliage at middle of cork bark (leave top of enclosure open
  • 25-30% substrate depth to enclosure height ratio
  • A non disruptive way to open the enclosure
    • A feeding port at the top can be handy, but not required
Here's a few enclosures I use with good success for avics

Small n Tall amac boxes, inverted and drilled for avics with plenty of cross ventilation.
-note foliage near top with open areas for the T to web and chillax
View attachment 54264

Here's a 3/4-1" sling proving me wrong, it's at the ground, lol
It's not uncommon for them to bring dirt and stuff up into their webbing for various reasons
View attachment 54265
Look bottom left :) little sucker

This is a 2x4 tall amac box, inverted
View attachment 54266View attachment 54267
Lifting the top off the base and the T stays in the top, with its bark and webbing and leaves making water dish maintenance easy

This is a 32oz inverted deli cup in a cup lid and base following instructions in Tom Moran's DIY avic enclosure/husbandry video
View attachment 54268
It's basically one deli cup stacked on top of the other with a lid on the inside cup. Holes in the outsider cup and the inside one is cut off allowing 1-1.5" substrate depth. Stacked condiment cups make swapping water dishes easy. The bottom cup is glued to the lid it's sitting on, soil filled in around it.

Avics are medium sized arboreals when full grown compared to other arboreals, usually not exceeding 5-6". The largest enclosure an adult avicularia will probably need is something like the Exo Terra Nano Tall, 8x8x12.

Here is Rebecca, our adult Avicularia metallica (Avicularia avicularia morphotype 6 (M6)) in her ETNT
View attachment 54271View attachment 54270

Can you go larger? Sure. The T may not fare any better tho. The less your T needs to hunt for foot the more you can control and monitor it's nutrition needs by ensuring it eats when you feed it.

Last word about enclosures, truthfully almost any container can be made to work. I've had good success with slings and juveniles in those few style enclosures posted here, but there are other keepers using a ton of other styles with equally as much success. Do your research!

Here's a few tips for first time avic sling keepers:
  • Don't drive yourself crazy, obsessing over its care, it's not that complicated
  • Do not disturb or stress your sling by checking on it a hundred times an hour (set up a cam if you must)
  • (get more than one sling at a time to avoid new tarantula syndrome)
  • Don't let the substrate go dry for days on end, avics are not arid species
  • Don't over water, let the substrate dry out before wetting it again
  • Don't let the water dish dry out!
  • Don't just refill a dirty water dish, clean or replace it
  • Don't overfeed your T, remove uneaten or unconsumed food items after 24 hours
  • Don't go crazy cleaning the enclosure, and stressing out your T in the process
  • Don't worry it it doesn't web on day 1 (they sometimes won't web for weeks or months)
  • Always be patient, there are seldom any real "tarantula emergencies" saving escapes
  • Get the basics right and be consistent

Good avic husbandry need not be complicated, or stressful, for neither the keeper nor the kept.
Get

I keep several different arboreal species of tarantula but not all of them require the same care. The general care and keeping of the various avicularia-type arboreal species differs from all other arboreal and terrestrial species. But it's not complicated.

I lost my first avicularia sling (at the time it was called Avicularia versicolor, today Caribena versicolor) after a month and a molt, I never knew why. It was devastating for me, and the T. I had been successful with a few terrestrials and even though I thought I had done my research and was ready, something about my keeping wasn't.

I decided I didn't want to give up on arboreal keeping, I needed to learn from my experience. I did a lot more research, adjusted my husbandry and care, and decided to give it a try again. I have been 100% successful keeping various avicularia sp since. It's not complicated or super involved but there are some basics for arboreals, and more for avicularia sp; but it's easy. Avicularia are not dangerous like old world arboreals can be with medically significant venom, but they can be just as quick.

Orient your care and husbandry around what will make the T most successful, and always be respectful.

Like any species tarantula, you must meet it's hydration needs at all times. Always offer clean fresh water. A water dish is a given with any and all tarantula species. The easier for you the water dish is to change and clean, the better for your T.

Just like mother nature provides water in the form of rain, you should occasionally drip water into their webbing where they can get to it. A small hole or two in the top of the enclosure allows you to drip water in. Avoid spraying for many reasons, mostly because it startles the crap out of the tarantula and sends them bolting. Pipettes are handy for watering slings and juveniles.

Feed avic slings in their webbing for best success. You can easily confirm they are feeding, vs prey hiding in the enclosures, and avics are not the stealthy hunters non-avic arboreals tend to be. I rarely see avics hunt. Just like any pet, don't overfeed. Ts can go much longer than we can without food and just like a fish tank, it's better to underfeed tarantulas.

If you are comfortable in a t-shirt, your tarantula will likely be comfortable, too.

Avics do not need HIGH humidity, this was a common misconception at one point in the hobby and probably resulted in more avic deaths than under-watering. If you keep the water dish full at all times, and overflow it once every week or two, allowing the substrate to dry between soakings, your T should be fine. Depending on your climate, and time of the year, you may need to do this more often than any set schedule. Get in the habit of always checking your Ts water dish when looking at your T.

Avics do not need HIGH temperature. Just like most tarantulas, if you are comfortable in a T-shirt, your T will likely be comfortable, too. If supplemental heat is required, you are better off heating the area your T enclosure(s) are in than the single enclosure. Avoid heat mats and heat lights and heat projectors that blow hot air. These will all dry out the enclosure and may irritate, or worse, dehydrate your T.

It's kind of all about the enclosure...

Unlike terrestrial Ts that appreciate substrate depth, arboreals favor above ground and often on the ground. Many arboreal species will burrow as slings; avicularia however do not. Avicularia are true arboreals. An avicularia sling on the ground is not what you want to see, it often means a stressed or dying avic; but they sometimes do choose to go to ground. I've seen avics and non-avicularia arboreals come to ground to drink from water dishes but in their native lands they see lots of rain and so does their webbing. It's very common for them to drink from their webbing.

Avics in general tend to go to the top of the enclosure, to web and live - make that space theirs exclusively. Top-opening lids wreck webbing and upset slings more than necessary. I avoid Top-opening enclosures for any avicularia over 1/2-3/4" in size.

Here are the features for avicularia enclosures I've found most successful:
  • Good cross ventilation
  • Taller enclosure (not wide and low)
  • Bottom opening enclosure
  • Diagonal cork bark from opening to top
  • Foliage at middle of cork bark (leave top of enclosure open
  • 25-30% substrate depth to enclosure height ratio
  • A non disruptive way to open the enclosure
    • A feeding port at the top can be handy, but not required
Here's a few enclosures I use with good success for avics

Small n Tall amac boxes, inverted and drilled for avics with plenty of cross ventilation.
-note foliage near top with open areas for the T to web and chillax
View attachment 54264

Here's a 3/4-1" sling proving me wrong, it's at the ground, lol
It's not uncommon for them to bring dirt and stuff up into their webbing for various reasons
View attachment 54265
Look bottom left :) little sucker

This is a 2x4 tall amac box, inverted
View attachment 54266View attachment 54267
Lifting the top off the base and the T stays in the top, with its bark and webbing and leaves making water dish maintenance easy

This is a 32oz inverted deli cup in a cup lid and base following instructions in Tom Moran's DIY avic enclosure/husbandry video
View attachment 54268
It's basically one deli cup stacked on top of the other with a lid on the inside cup. Holes in the outsider cup and the inside one is cut off allowing 1-1.5" substrate depth. Stacked condiment cups make swapping water dishes easy. The bottom cup is glued to the lid it's sitting on, soil filled in around it.

Avics are medium sized arboreals when full grown compared to other arboreals, usually not exceeding 5-6". The largest enclosure an adult avicularia will probably need is something like the Exo Terra Nano Tall, 8x8x12.

Here is Rebecca, our adult Avicularia metallica (Avicularia avicularia morphotype 6 (M6)) in her ETNT
View attachment 54271View attachment 54270

Can you go larger? Sure. The T may not fare any better tho. The less your T needs to hunt for foot the more you can control and monitor it's nutrition needs by ensuring it eats when you feed it.

Last word about enclosures, truthfully almost any container can be made to work. I've had good success with slings and juveniles in those few style enclosures posted here, but there are other keepers using a ton of other styles with equally as much success. Do your research!

Here's a few tips for first time avic sling keepers:
  • Don't drive yourself crazy, obsessing over its care, it's not that complicated
  • Do not disturb or stress your sling by checking on it a hundred times an hour (set up a cam if you must)
  • (get more than one sling at a time to avoid new tarantula syndrome)
  • Don't let the substrate go dry for days on end, avics are not arid species
  • Don't over water, let the substrate dry out before wetting it again
  • Don't let the water dish dry out!
  • Don't just refill a dirty water dish, clean or replace it
  • Don't overfeed your T, remove uneaten or unconsumed food items after 24 hours
  • Don't go crazy cleaning the enclosure, and stressing out your T in the process
  • Don't worry it it doesn't web on day 1 (they sometimes won't web for weeks or months)
  • Always be patient, there are seldom any real "tarantula emergencies" saving escapes
  • Get the basics right and be consistent

Good avic husbandry need not be complicated, or stressful, for neither the keeper nor the kept.
Get the basics right and everything else becomes less critical.


Just like my juvenile A. avicularia (M1) Mikey here, keep it simple, yo

View attachment 54269
Thank you friend. A very resourceful tips and advices for new member like me to learn from. Well done mate...keep posting.
 
Messages
51
Location
Malaysia, Nilai
I keep several different arboreal species of tarantula but not all of them require the same care. The general care and keeping of the various avicularia-type arboreal species differs from all other arboreal and terrestrial species. But it's not complicated.

I lost my first avicularia sling (at the time it was called Avicularia versicolor, today Caribena versicolor) after a month and a molt, I never knew why. It was devastating for me, and the T. I had been successful with a few terrestrials and even though I thought I had done my research and was ready, something about my keeping wasn't.

I decided I didn't want to give up on arboreal keeping, I needed to learn from my experience. I did a lot more research, adjusted my husbandry and care, and decided to give it a try again. I have been 100% successful keeping various avicularia sp since. It's not complicated or super involved but there are some basics for arboreals, and more for avicularia sp; but it's easy. Avicularia are not dangerous like old world arboreals can be with medically significant venom, but they can be just as quick.

Orient your care and husbandry around what will make the T most successful, and always be respectful.

Like any species tarantula, you must meet it's hydration needs at all times. Always offer clean fresh water. A water dish is a given with any and all tarantula species. The easier for you the water dish is to change and clean, the better for your T.

Just like mother nature provides water in the form of rain, you should occasionally drip water into their webbing where they can get to it. A small hole or two in the top of the enclosure allows you to drip water in. Avoid spraying for many reasons, mostly because it startles the crap out of the tarantula and sends them bolting. Pipettes are handy for watering slings and juveniles.

Feed avic slings in their webbing for best success. You can easily confirm they are feeding, vs prey hiding in the enclosures, and avics are not the stealthy hunters non-avic arboreals tend to be. I rarely see avics hunt. Just like any pet, don't overfeed. Ts can go much longer than we can without food and just like a fish tank, it's better to underfeed tarantulas.

If you are comfortable in a t-shirt, your tarantula will likely be comfortable, too.

Avics do not need HIGH humidity, this was a common misconception at one point in the hobby and probably resulted in more avic deaths than under-watering. If you keep the water dish full at all times, and overflow it once every week or two, allowing the substrate to dry between soakings, your T should be fine. Depending on your climate, and time of the year, you may need to do this more often than any set schedule. Get in the habit of always checking your Ts water dish when looking at your T.

Avics do not need HIGH temperature. Just like most tarantulas, if you are comfortable in a T-shirt, your T will likely be comfortable, too. If supplemental heat is required, you are better off heating the area your T enclosure(s) are in than the single enclosure. Avoid heat mats and heat lights and heat projectors that blow hot air. These will all dry out the enclosure and may irritate, or worse, dehydrate your T.

It's kind of all about the enclosure...

Unlike terrestrial Ts that appreciate substrate depth, arboreals favor above ground and often on the ground. Many arboreal species will burrow as slings; avicularia however do not. Avicularia are true arboreals. An avicularia sling on the ground is not what you want to see, it often means a stressed or dying avic; but they sometimes do choose to go to ground. I've seen avics and non-avicularia arboreals come to ground to drink from water dishes but in their native lands they see lots of rain and so does their webbing. It's very common for them to drink from their webbing.

Avics in general tend to go to the top of the enclosure, to web and live - make that space theirs exclusively. Top-opening lids wreck webbing and upset slings more than necessary. I avoid Top-opening enclosures for any avicularia over 1/2-3/4" in size.

Here are the features for avicularia enclosures I've found most successful:
  • Good cross ventilation
  • Taller enclosure (not wide and low)
  • Bottom opening enclosure
  • Diagonal cork bark from opening to top
  • Foliage at middle of cork bark (leave top of enclosure open
  • 25-30% substrate depth to enclosure height ratio
  • A non disruptive way to open the enclosure
    • A feeding port at the top can be handy, but not required
Here's a few enclosures I use with good success for avics

Small n Tall amac boxes, inverted and drilled for avics with plenty of cross ventilation.
-note foliage near top with open areas for the T to web and chillax
View attachment 54264

Here's a 3/4-1" sling proving me wrong, it's at the ground, lol
It's not uncommon for them to bring dirt and stuff up into their webbing for various reasons
View attachment 54265
Look bottom left :) little sucker

This is a 2x4 tall amac box, inverted
View attachment 54266View attachment 54267
Lifting the top off the base and the T stays in the top, with its bark and webbing and leaves making water dish maintenance easy

This is a 32oz inverted deli cup in a cup lid and base following instructions in Tom Moran's DIY avic enclosure/husbandry video
View attachment 54268
It's basically one deli cup stacked on top of the other with a lid on the inside cup. Holes in the outsider cup and the inside one is cut off allowing 1-1.5" substrate depth. Stacked condiment cups make swapping water dishes easy. The bottom cup is glued to the lid it's sitting on, soil filled in around it.

Avics are medium sized arboreals when full grown compared to other arboreals, usually not exceeding 5-6". The largest enclosure an adult avicularia will probably need is something like the Exo Terra Nano Tall, 8x8x12.

Here is Rebecca, our adult Avicularia metallica (Avicularia avicularia morphotype 6 (M6)) in her ETNT
View attachment 54271View attachment 54270

Can you go larger? Sure. The T may not fare any better tho. The less your T needs to hunt for foot the more you can control and monitor it's nutrition needs by ensuring it eats when you feed it.

Last word about enclosures, truthfully almost any container can be made to work. I've had good success with slings and juveniles in those few style enclosures posted here, but there are other keepers using a ton of other styles with equally as much success. Do your research!

Here's a few tips for first time avic sling keepers:
  • Don't drive yourself crazy, obsessing over its care, it's not that complicated
  • Do not disturb or stress your sling by checking on it a hundred times an hour (set up a cam if you must)
  • (get more than one sling at a time to avoid new tarantula syndrome)
  • Don't let the substrate go dry for days on end, avics are not arid species
  • Don't over water, let the substrate dry out before wetting it again
  • Don't let the water dish dry out!
  • Don't just refill a dirty water dish, clean or replace it
  • Don't overfeed your T, remove uneaten or unconsumed food items after 24 hours
  • Don't go crazy cleaning the enclosure, and stressing out your T in the process
  • Don't worry it it doesn't web on day 1 (they sometimes won't web for weeks or months)
  • Always be patient, there are seldom any real "tarantula emergencies" saving escapes
  • Get the basics right and be consistent

Good avic husbandry need not be complicated, or stressful, for neither the keeper nor the kept.
Get the basics right and everything else becomes less critical.


Just like my juvenile A. avicularia (M1) Mikey here, keep it simple, yo

View attachment 54269
Friend, will the mesh top of this Exa Terra Nano 8x8x12 ...put a danger to your Ts as their leg might stuck into it ?
 

DustyD

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Nicely done. Good information to have. Hopefully i may try arboreals in the future.

I am curious ( and too lazy to look it up) but Rebecca seems to have little to no webbing, as opposed to your Caribena versicolor. Is that because it is a new enclosure she hasn't broken in yet or is she just not as prolific a web spinner?
 

Oursapoil

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Friend, will the mesh top of this Exa Terra Nano 8x8x12 ...put a danger to your Ts as their leg might stuck into it ?
I would agree that the metal mesh represents a danger for terrestrials trying to climb as they are indeed getting stuck (large clear tape does the trick) but at the same time, with 15 8x8x12 enclosures I never experienced any issues with my arborials as they walk on it without any difficulties and end up most of the time using the mesh as anchor for their webbing (especially avicularia, Caribbean and GBB).
AE35B8CE-F353-43E2-866D-9B861981E69A.jpeg
2228BDD5-D060-4235-9DAE-ED582F2AAD7B.jpeg
 

octanejunkie

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Nicely done. Good information to have. Hopefully i may try arboreals in the future.

I am curious ( and too lazy to look it up) but Rebecca seems to have little to no webbing, as opposed to your Caribena versicolor. Is that because it is a new enclosure she hasn't broken in yet or is she just not as prolific a web spinner?
She was just slow to get started
PXL_20210214_135609166.MP.jpg
PXL_20210214_135709426.MP.jpg
 

ilovebrachys

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I would agree that the metal mesh represents a danger for terrestrials trying to climb as they are indeed getting stuck (large clear tape does the trick) but at the same time, with 15 8x8x12 enclosures I never experienced any issues with my arborials as they walk on it without any difficulties and end up most of the time using the mesh as anchor for their webbing (especially avicularia, Caribbean and GBB).View attachment 56709View attachment 56710
This looks really cool set up.. Apart from the wonky label! :eek:lol
 

timc

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@octanejunkie this is an outstanding thread, sir, and thank you for putting in all the effort. I think it should be expanded to include Avicularia behavior as well, that way readers, especially new keepers, will get an even better idea of what to expect. And I think the fun part can be, since we all have our own experiences this can become a living thread that all of us can add to over time.
So, I’ve noticed over the years on this forum, the unspoken forum, YouTube and other resources, that Avicularia sp. have a reputation as cute, fuzzy, almost friendly pets. While they are cute and fuzzy, they’re still tarantulas that need to be respected just as a Poecilotheria or Pslamopeous. While I’ve never been bitten, I have experienced or observed other defense mechanisms they deploy.
In another recent thread I mentioned my Avicularia sp. peru purple (or juruensis M6 or whatever ridiculous thing at this point) shot poop at me. And he did. Twice. With little warning and remarkable accuracy. What’s interesting about this is actually the “threat posture” he gave (of which I regrettably have no pictures). He flattened his carapace, raised his abdomen straight up, spread his legs and chelicerae, but his fangs were still underneath him. Well I learned that means he’s about to shoot poop at you after the second time he did it. What can I say? I’m a slow learner lol. Both times he hit me…yeah, in the face. Not my proudest moments, but undeniably outstanding for a tarantula, an animal that is basically blind! How he did it, I’ll never know but it’s definitely something for Avicularia keepers to be aware of.
I also had some years ago a Y. Diversipes that was downright mean. OBT mean. Cyriopagopus mean. Smallest spider I ever got a threat posture from, at roughly 3/4”. And it got worse as she got older. Angry as all get out. Rehousing her, the two times I did, was an absolute nightmare. Sure, she was cupped easy enough, but getting here out took time, effort, a lot of patience, and most assuredly, a drink or two after. Slaps, bites, you name it. Poor thing passed to a bad molt for which I’ve never forgiven myself actually…
I have only one “true” Avicularia remaining, A aurantiaca, who is actually do for a rehouse this week, her first. I’ll be glad to share what happens with the community here when all is said and done. Hoping for something more manageable than the diversipes lol.
I really don’t mention any of this to scare people off or tarnish the reputation Avicularia have, they’re outstanding tarantulas every keeper should at least try. I just want to put out there that they are capable of defending themselves, and will absolutely do so. On the flip side, I have kept Avicularia avicularia, whatever Avicularia metallica is now and Caribena versicolor specimens that are total sweet hearts that wouldn’t hurt a fly. Well, they would totally hurt a fly but that’s besides the point.
I’d really like to hear from the community here their experience of Avicularia behavior, not just defensive, but also during feeding rehoming, watering, and all the aspects of keeping them. Thanks again OJ for starting this thread, we can and should make it into a compete Avicularia care thread that will help and inform anyone interested in keeping this outstanding group of spiders.
 

octanejunkie

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What a great addition @timc , thank you so much for your shared experiences and accolades.

I really struggled keeping avicularia in the beginning of my keeping career and wanted to share my successes, when in retrospect the adjustments I made were all so simple, more of me managing my husbandry techniques as well as my own expectations to best meet the needs of the genera.

What would make this thread even better, would be the contributions of other season keepers like yourself. Thank you.
 

timc

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What a great addition @timc , thank you so much for your shared experiences and accolades.

I really struggled keeping avicularia in the beginning of my keeping career and wanted to share my successes, when in retrospect the adjustments I made were all so simple, more of me managing my husbandry techniques as well as my own expectations to best meet the needs of the genera.

What would make this thread even better, would be the contributions of other season keepers like yourself. Thank you.
Completely same page. Lost me first versi (Avicularia at the time) years ago.and it really turned me off to keeping them. I did my research and still ended up losing the sling. What part of my problem was a lot of the information, especially at the time, was just described in text and there wasn’t a lot of good photo documentation to follow. Looking back, my ventilation could have been better, and I probably had too much moss in the enclosure causing stuffy conditions. I was one of those people 12-13 years ago who just thought they were super fragile, but really it was my fault. Since I got back on that horse, about 7 years ago I haven’t had an issue, but it took a lot of reading. What I like about your post is it very succinctly outlines the correct way to care for these animals without a lot of fat that could otherwise be trimmed. Like you said, take care of the basics and everything else falls into place.
 

octanejunkie

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Top opening enclosures for avics

Obviously this is the easiest because most containers we can buy open from the top, especially if not hobby-specific, and I know I told you in the first post this was not ideal; but you can make top openers work.

People are inherently lazy, especially me, and since I have way too many spiders to make custom enclosures for I started experimenting with top opening enclosures for avics and here is what I found...

If you place a diagonal structure like a branch or sliver of cork bark from top to bottom and place "a platform"mid-span, like a leaf or similar, the spider will most likely make that surface it's home base for webbing vs going to the top exclusively.

Here are a few examples of top openers I've gotten to work with avicularia, from smallest to largest

The Souffle Cup
PXL_20211211_153019212.MP.jpg
Great for hatchlings* and small slings, a 1 oz cup with holes around the sides and 4 in the lid, substrate on the bottom 3rd and an oak leaf on the diagonal. This gives the spider choices of where to hang out and web. I water through the top holes and open a smide to drop a feeder in. I buy these at Smart and Final.

The Dram Vial
PXL_20211211_153047325.MP.jpg

For slightly larger slings up to an inch or so the vial is great. Substrate at the bottom 5th, some moss and a diagonal oak leaf. Same concept as above but I didn't bother drilling or melting holes in the vial walls, I just perforate the lid and be careful not to saturate with water. Open the lid a smidge or take it off to feed and remove exos.

The Snack Cup
PXL_20211211_152953609.MP.jpg

Same concept as the souffle cup but 4-5 oz in size. This is not my favorite but is good for slings up to 2" in size. The nice thing about both these snack cups and the smaller souffle cups is that you can stack them.

The Deli Cup
PXL_20211211_154016763.MP.jpg

Favoring 32 oz size, this is now my GO TO or slings over 2" and they can live here through juvenile and into adulthood. Diagonal structure with diagonal or leaning structure and a mid-span platform, like that leaf. There's moss at the bottom of this one but that's optional as it's a good hiding place for feeders. A 3/4 oz souffle cup can be placed in here as a water dish.

You can see the shadow of an M5 male who is just about 3" - he is on the side and made a web tunnel on the other side between the wall and the bark/leaf.

Here is a larger M6 female, she webbed the crap out of her setup. She is nearing 5" in size and will be rehoused on her next molt.
PXL_20211211_153834029.MP.jpg

PXL_20211211_153919814.MP~2.jpg
The lids are super ventilated and I water directly through the lids. I will often see spiders upside down, drinking from the water on the lids.

Communal Deli Cup* (asterisk from above)
PXL_20211211_153801373.MP.jpg
PXL_20211211_154040342.MP.jpg

Yup, that's right. Avicularia avicularia, living harmoniously, a dozen at a time in a 32 oz deli cup. Once avic hatchlings hit 2i I move them to a setup like this, but communally, just like they were in the sac. I do this for OBTs too, but in smaller cups since they are smaller slings (species).

I put more surfaces in here for them and while they will web right up to the lid, the don't web to it and they don't all try to run when I open it to feed. They are actually very chill.
They web eat and thrive in this setup until they start crowding each other and then get moved to their own 32oz

So that's it. That's the update. Try it yourself, or don't. This is what is working for me and while these are not as "display worthy" as an Exo Terra or similar, they are cheap, super functional, reusable/disposable and the spider doesn't give a darn - it's home.
 

JoJo

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Top opening enclosures for avics

Obviously this is the easiest because most containers we can buy open from the top, especially if not hobby-specific, and I know I told you in the first post this was not ideal; but you can make top openers work.

People are inherently lazy, especially me, and since I have way too many spiders to make custom enclosures for I started experimenting with top opening enclosures for avics and here is what I found...

If you place a diagonal structure like a branch or sliver of cork bark from top to bottom and place "a platform"mid-span, like a leaf or similar, the spider will most likely make that surface it's home base for webbing vs going to the top exclusively.

Here are a few examples of top openers I've gotten to work with avicularia, from smallest to largest

The Souffle Cup
View attachment 61863Great for hatchlings* and small slings, a 1 oz cup with holes around the sides and 4 in the lid, substrate on the bottom 3rd and an oak leaf on the diagonal. This gives the spider choices of where to hang out and web. I water through the top holes and open a smide to drop a feeder in. I buy these at Smart and Final.

The Dram Vial
View attachment 61862
For slightly larger slings up to an inch or so the vial is great. Substrate at the bottom 5th, some moss and a diagonal oak leaf. Same concept as above but I didn't bother drilling or melting holes in the vial walls, I just perforate the lid and be careful not to saturate with water. Open the lid a smidge or take it off to feed and remove exos.

The Snack Cup
View attachment 61864
Same concept as the souffle cup but 4-5 oz in size. This is not my favorite but is good for slings up to 2" in size. The nice thing about both these snack cups and the smaller souffle cups is that you can stack them.

The Deli Cup
View attachment 61858
Favoring 32 oz size, this is now my GO TO or slings over 2" and they can live here through juvenile and into adulthood. Diagonal structure with diagonal or leaning structure and a mid-span platform, like that leaf. There's moss at the bottom of this one but that's optional as it's a good hiding place for feeders. A 3/4 oz souffle cup can be placed in here as a water dish.

You can see the shadow of an M5 male who is just about 3" - he is on the side and made a web tunnel on the other side between the wall and the bark/leaf.

Here is a larger M6 female, she webbed the crap out of her setup. She is nearing 5" in size and will be rehoused on her next molt.
View attachment 61860
View attachment 61865The lids are super ventilated and I water directly through the lids. I will often see spiders upside down, drinking from the water on the lids.

Communal Deli Cup* (asterisk from above)
View attachment 61861View attachment 61857
Yup, that's right. Avicularia avicularia, living harmoniously, a dozen at a time in a 32 oz deli cup. Once avic hatchlings hit 2i I move them to a setup like this, but communally, just like they were in the sac. I do this for OBTs too, but in smaller cups since they are smaller slings (species).

I put more surfaces in here for them and while they will web right up to the lid, the don't web to it and they don't all try to run when I open it to feed. They are actually very chill.
They web eat and thrive in this setup until they start crowding each other and then get moved to their own 32oz

So that's it. That's the update. Try it yourself, or don't. This is what is working for me and while these are not as "display worthy" as an Exo Terra or similar, they are cheap, super functional, reusable/disposable and the spider doesn't give a darn - it's home.
What a wonderful idea!
It seems that if given enough room, they can be kept communally into adulthood, as well; knowing that there is always an inherent risk, albeit perhaps low, of occasional cannibalism.
I may look into this further and which species are best suited to this setup.
Great information!
Really helpful info!
 
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