Hapalopus is a genus of spiders in the Theraphosidae family. It was first described in 1875 by Ausserer. As of 2017, it contains 8 South American species.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Chelicerata
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
- Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
- Family: Theraphosidae
- Genus: Hapalopus
- Type species: Hapalopus formosus
The Pumpkin Patch Tarantula is classified as a dwarf tarantula and is one cute little spider, it appears to have a few pumpkins tattooed on its abdomen. When they first emerged on the South African market around 6 years ago they often sold at around R1200 each. Fortunately a few local egg-sacs have brought the price down considerably.
There is a lot of controversy over the scientific name of this little beauty. When initially sold in South Africa and America, they were sold as Hapalopus formosus. This confusion may have arisen over a picture posted by Rick West of a H. formosus, which resembled the Pumpkin Patch we have in the hobby. There are, however, actually 2 distinct species of the Pumpkin Patch. None of these are believed to be true Hapalopus formosus; which actually more closely resemble the H. triseriatus.
There is not much room needed for these little guys. As spiderlings you should be able to easily keep them in small vials and later on in deli cups. As full adults they would only need at most a gallon sized critter keeper. They are known burrowers and an ample amount of damp substrate would suffice.
We recommend you use coconut fiber but simple damp soil would do the trick just fine. A piece of bark or wood would make a great initial hide as they try to burrow. This species is known for being a very heavy webber and you can count on it webbing the entire enclosure once it feels at home. Temperatures should be kept at about 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of about 70%. We recommend you keep one side of the enclosure dry and the other side damp.
As slings you can feed them flightless fruit flies as well as small crushed up crickets. As they get older you can keep them on a steady diet of pinhead crickets and any type of roaches. The Pumpkin Patch Tarantula can also eat mealworms and superworms with ease. Make sure that you do remove any sort of prey that does that get eaten within 24 hours. These guys being burrowers you might not be able to tell when they are in pre-molt stages or even molting and would not want to cause harm to them by stressing them out and leaving prey in their enclosures.