Aphonopelma seemanni

Posted by

Aphonopelma seemanni

The Costa Rican zebra tarantula, also known as the striped-knee tarantula (Aphonopelma seemanni), is a species of tarantula inhabiting most of western Costa Rica, as well as other parts of Central America, such as Honduras and Nicaragua, and possibly Guatemala. It is usually black with white stripes near the joint, however a brown color formation also exists for the spider.

Zebra tarantulas are deep-burrowing spiders. They live in open semi-arid scrublands, and are often found in large aggregations. The deep burrows keep the temperature below the highest daytime temperatures, and retain humidity. Conversely as temperatures drop at night, the burrows buffer away from the lowest temperatures.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Suborder: Mygalomorphae
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Genus: Aphonopelma
  • Species: A. seemanni
  • Binomial name: Aphonopelma seemanni


The climate of Costa Rica ranges from tropical on the coastal plains to temperate in the interior highlands. Average annual temperatures range from 31.7°C (89°F) on the coast to 16.7°C (62°F) inland. A rainy season lasts from April or May to December.


The Costa Rican Zebra tarantula is a carnivore like all spiders. This means that it eats that they eat only live prey. Their diet is mostly made of crickets, cockroaches, grasshoppers, small lizards, small beetles, pinkie mice and other insects that they might catch.


Male Zebra tarantulas are smaller that the female ones. After the male reaches maturity, they make a web and rub themselves on it in order to release semen. After that they get it on their front pincers and if they meet a female, they give mutual signal that they are ready for reproducing. The male injects the semen from his pincers into the abdomen of the female. The female than lays eggs (50 to 2,000) and protects them with web. After 6 to 8 weeks, the eggs hatch and the spiderlings feed of the remaining of the eggs.


Costa Rican Zebra tarantulas tend to be naturally nervous and easily scared. They need to be handled with a lot of care and it’s not recommended to be held up. Even though their venom is light and doesn’t have big impact on humans, their hair is a natural weapon and can cause irritations, rashes and even blindness if it gets in the eyes. They are really fast movers, so keep an eye at them and make sure that they can’t get out of the terrarium easily. They also are nocturnal animals – they are active at night time and sleep most of the day.

Aphonopelma seemanni images

Also more:

Reference site:

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.