Ephebopus cyanognathus

Ephebopus cyanognathus

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Ephebopus cyanognathus

Ephebopus cyanognathus, known as the blue fang tarantula, is a species of tarantula (family Theraphosidae). It is endemic to French Guiana.

Ephebopus cyanognathus West & Marshall, 2000, also known as “blue fang skeleton tarantula” (often abbreviated as “blue fang”), is a very remarkable bird spider due to its coloration and behavior from French Guiana. However she’s named after her wonderful blue chelicerae, the overall coloration is incredible, esp. on spiderlings.

She’s very similar to Ephebopus uatuman, but the species is different in the coloration of the female, esp. the metallic blue chelicerae, and the shape of the genitalia in both sexes. Ephebopus cyanognathus is considered to be a classic burrower, creating enlarged chambers underneath a classic entrance covered in leaf litter. The genus, however, belongs to the subfamily of the Aviculariinae, which mostly consists arboreal bird spiders. Spiderlings from the genus have been observed living semi-arboreal.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Genus: Ephebopus
  • Species: E. cyanognathus
  • Binomial name: Ephebopus cyanognathus

Feeding

The Blue Fang Skeleton Tarantula is an excellent eater and should be fed once a week. Being an insectivore, a steady diet of nutritious live crickets, cockroaches, locusts, moths and even meal worms should be fine to keep your tarantula well fed and happy.

Habitat

The climate of French Guiana is tropical, with a annual temperature of 26.7° C (80° F). Cool, onshore breezes in the coastal zone fail to mitigate the effects of the high humidity. The dry season from June to November is succeeded by torrential rains achieving maximum intensity in April and May. The average annual rainfall at Cayenne is about 3,200 mm (about 126 in).

Behavior

Ephebopus cyanognathus is very nervous, defensive and (at younger ages) as fast as lightning. The spider will try to flee at first. Persistent provocation can result in the use of urticating setae or a bite. The spider will dig a burrow underground, not as deep as other burrowing species, fortifying the entrance with whatever she can find a few centimeters above the surface (video). Ephebopus cyanognathus must be given the oppotunity to burrow and climb, esp. at younger ages, due to the fact they might show a semi-arboreal lifestyle.

Attitude

Though new world the blue fang is known for sometimes having a nasty attitude. They are extremely fast and we do not recommend trying to handle them as they can easily have you chasing them around your room/house. They do come equipped with urticating hairs as most New World species do. they rather retreat to their hide but if all else fails might bite. Their venom though not potent to be lethal to humans can still affect you if you have certain allergies.

Facts

  • Chelicerae of adult females and immature species of both sexes are blue, where chelicerae of a mature male are rosy/purple?
  • Urticating setae of Ephebopus spp. occupy a small field of 1–2 square mm on the medial side of the palpal femora? This is very uncommon.
  • Ephebopus uatuman, Ephebopus cyanognathus and Ephebopus foliatus share the presence of yellow rings on the legs?

Ephebopus cyanognathus images

Ephebopus cyanognathus

Ephebopus cyanognathus

Ephebopus cyanognathus

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