Colombian lesserblack tarantula

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Colombian lesserblack tarantula

The Colombian lesserblack tarantula[1] (Xenesthis immanis) is a tarantula originating from Colombia. It is a relatively large spider with a body length reaching 6–7 cm, and frequently displays a commensal mutualistic relationship with the Microhylid Frog Chiasmocleis ventrimaculata.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Genus: Xenesthis
  • Species: X. immanis
  • Binomial name: Xenesthis immanis


Xenesthis immanis (Ausserer/1875), also known as the “Colombian Lesserblack”, is a very stunning bird spider due to its size and coloration from Bogota, Colombia, clothed with deep olive-black woolly hairs on mature species. Especially mature males are shining stars with their bright and colorful appearance. As in Megaphobema spp. and Pamphobeteus spp. spiders from genus Xenesthis lack stridulating organs at the base of the pedipalps and the first leg. People easily confuse Xenesthis spp. with Pamphobeteus spp.

due to the fact they appear to be the same by the typical purplish-red patches behind the eyes on the carapace. Nevertheless both genera are easily distinguished by the scopula pads on leg 4. All Xenesthis spp. show a larger scopula pad on the inner side of the fourth leg’s femur (ref. “The annals of magazine of natural history, 1901, Pocock, page 546”), where scopula pads on Pamphobeteus spp. are only apically present.


The climate of Venezuela is tropical on the Llanos and along the coast and temperate in the mountainous regions. The average daily temperature range in January is 15° to 26°C (59° to 78°F) in Caracas and 23° to 32°C (73° to 90°F) in Maracaibo; in July the range is 17° to 26°C (63° to 80°F) in Caracas and 24° to 34°C (76° to 94°F) in Maracaibo. Most precipitation falls from May through November, with the northern mountain slopes receiving less rain than those on the south.

Basic Care

Xenesthis immanis have relatively basic care requirements. As a terrestrial tarantula floor space is much more important than vertical space. They tend to burrow quite readily so provide plenty of substrate. Humidity should range on the higher side between 55% and 65%. Provide plenty of cover and hides such as plants and bark to simulate its natural environment and reduce overall stress/skittishness.

Life expectancy

Females become up to 12-15 years old. Males are given a shorter lifetime of 3-4 years.


The spider will try to flee at first, probably striking of urticating setae in the meanwhile. To do so they typically raise their abdomen. When kept properly Xenesthis immanis will be waiting at the entrance of her burrow by night for unexpecting prey to pass.


  • In the wild Xenesthis immanis has been observed in mutualistic relationships with Chiasmocleis ventrimaculata, a small species of frog. The frog eats ants and other small pests while the tarantula’s leftovers attract more bugs for the frog to eat. Here’s a link to a scientific paper on the subject
  • Xenesthis immanis is one of the few tarantula species in which the male is more brightly colored than the female.

Colombian lesserblack tarantula images

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