North American Tarantula Species


Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula (Aphonopelma seemani) Jon Fouskaris

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

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The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is a great pet tarantula. It is a hardy, inexpensive spider with wonderful colouration! Even though it is a generally docile species, you shouldn't get the impression that this spider can be held. Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas can display incredible speed if startled by the slightest occurrence. Although it is known as the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula, there is a different colour phase to this species, that is not found in Costa Rica. This colour phase is dark brown with tan striping on the legs, and is from Nicaragua, as opposed to the Costa Rican form of black with white striping on the legs. The Costa Rican form is shown to the left. Both colour phases require the same conditions in captivity. The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is a good choice for a beginner or an expert.

Photo Description: ADULT FEMALE - Specimen provided by Carlos Viquez. - Photo taken by Carlos Viquez..


Southern United States to Costa Rica, Nicaragua and possibly areas in Guatemala, and Panama in tropical forests on the Pacific coast with secondary cleared land and hillside highland tropical forests.




Spiderlings eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, other large insects, and an occasional pinkie mouse.

Full Grown Size:

4 to 4.5 inches.

Growth Rate:

Medium speed.


70 to 85? F.


Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 2.5 to 5-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.


Docile and nervous.


75 to 80%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3" leg span may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.


4 to 5 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.


No decorations are really needed, but you can add a log, or cork bark. Moss can be added for floor cover, but leave some areas open for burrowing in the substrate.

Other Names:

Zebra Tarantula, Stripe Knee Tarantula, and Stripe Kneed Tarantula.

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