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Name: Monocentropus balfouri or "Socotra Island Blue Baboon Tarantula" has a scientific name that broken down means "one central foot". If you look at the Greek and Latin roots of the genus name, its common name is much easier to decipher; they hail from Socotra Island, which is located Northeast off the coast of Somalia, and they have wonderful navy blue coloration to their legs.
Recommended Enclosure Size & Setup: These lovely spiders prefer to live most of their lives below ground. Babies usually like a good 3 inches of substrate to burrow in, while adults would be perfectly content with around 8 inches. Given less substrate they will web extensively, but may be more defensive. Good substrate options include ABG mix, coco cradle, or Dig-It, but our Pet Bug Team prefers ABG all the way!
For floor space, 3 to 4 times the spider’s diagonal leg span in either direction is appropriate. Their prolific webbing habits do give a bit of padding against falls, but there should still be no more than 2 times the spider's diagonal leg span of "head space" above the substrate.
Temperature (°F): A comfortable range for them is 73-77 degrees. Temperatures consistently under 60° or over 85° should be avoided for long term safety of the spider.
Humidity: 50%-60% is the ideal humidity range for this species. This can be easily achieved by keeping a portion of the substrate moist but not soaked. An occasional overflow of the water dish can help aid in moisture retention. Additional misting to maintain this may be necessary depending on your home climate or the season.
Size: At time of sale these spiders are at least 0.25 inches. As adults they range from 4-6 inches, and grow at a medium rate for tarantulas.
Age: At least 3 months at time of sale. This species has been documented to live 10-15+ years if females, while males average about a 3-4 year life span.
Feeding: At the time of sale, these Monocentropus balfouri are eating melanogaster fruit flies. As they grow, the size of prey should be increased as well, using the size of the spider's carapace (hard upper 'shell' of the cephalothorax, a.k.a. the front part of the spider) as a guide.
A good snack for this tarantula would be a hornworm of appropriate size, but not as a staple diet.
Sexing: Due to age, Monocentropus balfouri sold by Josh's Frogs are unsexed. As they approach maturity, specimens may be sexed using a molt. Females will have spermatheca and a uterus externus between the top set of book lungs that will catch and "flap" if a pin is run down the inside of the abdomen. Males will have a much more plain slit that does not budge with attempts to manipulate it.
Coloration/Patterning: Babies are an almost steel gray color with dark legs. As they age, this turns into a more creamy greige base coloration with dark blue legs.
Social Behavior: Monocentropus balfouri are social creatures! Communal setups are likely to be successful with appropriate prior research.
Breeding: It is usually recommended that spiders for breeding purposes should remain supervised when together and should only be attempted well fed.
Mature males can be put in the enclosure of a mature female for courtship/mating. Remove male promptly after insertion is observed, or immediately if female is less than receptive. This is best done around a month after the female molts, as a freshly molted female is less likely to molt out of a pairing.
Due to the communal nature of this species, breeding is a bit more lax and while it is still a good idea to supervise courtship, it is also ok to cohabitate using your best judgment as to the pair's response towards each other.
Natural Range: Monocentropus balfouri are found on the island of Socotra, which is located Northeast off the coast of Somalia, and South of Yemen, its mother country.
Links of Interest:
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