Avicularia versicolor
Mygale Matoutou/
Matou Falaise/
Martinique Pinktoe
Avicularia versicolor
One of the most stunning  tarantulas in appearance.  Mature adults are clothed in iridescent  hues of red, purple, green, and blue. Despite the name, they do not have pink "toes".
 2nd and 3rd  instar are a gorgeous sapphire color.  
Between 4th and  7-8th instars, they go through somewhat of an "ugly duckling " period.
 The males have no tibial spurs- just a row of barely noticable spines.
Supposedly, 19th centruy specimens were collected on Guadeloupe, but I know of none there today.  They are common on Martinique, particularly  the northwest of the island in the hills on the southern slope of Montagne Pelee.  Curiously, they are absent from Dominica (as are all Theraphosidae).  

 

Range: Currently only known from Martinique.
Habitat: Humid, mild, and breezy forest hills at about 1000-1500 ft in elevation.  It rains quite a bit there, especially in the summer. Mid-spring is the "drier" period, but it's never really dry.  
Size: Medium tarantula.  Fully mature, they're about 4 /1/2 to 5 1/2 inches in legspan. 
Attitude: In general, slightly more skittish/assertive than A. avicularia.  Juveniles are fond of spraying their feces as a defensive measure.  I've noted many individuals who are crepuscular in habits, preferring to feed, web, mate, etc. in the early morning or early evening hours.
Dwelling: Known to live in densley webbed hammocks among foliage, in dead trees, and sometimes using human structure such as eaves.

 

 

 Versicolor on hibiscus flower
A. versicolor in situ in ornamental planting (hibiscus), near high-traffic human structure.
versicolor spiderling 
Note the coloration of this 3rd instar baby.
versicolor color phases 

Avicularia versicolor has at least two distinct color phases, one with more reddish setae on the legs and abdomen with a blue-green carapace, and the other with a more greenish crapase and dense magenta setae.

 

Ideal Setup: Climbing space is more important than floor room. A vertically oriented container with about 2 gallon capacity and ventilation configured to maintain humidity is recommended.  The spider will need materials such as cork bark, fake (or real, easy to maintain plants) upon which to climb and affix web.  A couple inches of substate to maintain humidity is necessary. Keep temperature mild, between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Breeding is simple, with most males being well-tolerated by the female. However, I have noticed average sac size is slightly smaller than those of Avicularia avicularia.

Food: Any bugs that haven't been exposed to pesticides (equivalent of 3-5 crickets a week adults); small vertebrates (frogs, pinky mice, etc).  2nd instar spiderlings can be difficult to initiate a feeding response sometimes. Try small, pre-killed crickets or roaches.  Remove if not eaten after 24 hours, and retry in a couple days. Once they get established with feeding and making a web hammock, they feed quite readily.


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