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This photo is not colored, brightened, or otherwise enhanced- it's fresh after a molt.
Cobalt Blue
Haplopelma lividum
These are fiesty yet very shy bugs with legs that appear black under certain lighting and then seem to be a deep metallic blue at another angle. Note also the long and thick rear legs, unique for a Haplopelma (except H. longipedum). Their abdomens are grayish and they have gray to coffee-colored carapaces. Their undersides are black.  The mature males are less spectacular and sport brownish carapaces and dark, striped legs that don't have as much of a bluish tint.

Range: H. lividum comes from SE Asia, particularly the border between Thailand and Burma.

Habitat: Burrows in tropical forests and humid clearings. They experience a long summer rainy season that commences in April and doesn't end until September.

Size: Medium tarantulas. Fully grown, they're about 5 1/2" inches in legspan.

Attitude: Very, very shy and defensive when need be.  They will bite repeatedly if annoyed and can't retreat to their burrow. Like most terrestrial Asian species, they like much privacy and get defensive if their space is intruded upon.

Dwelling: Notorious for digging burrows and hiding in there for weeks, the cobalt blue needs plenty of substrate. They are very secretive and need lots of private time. In fact, mine won't eat when watched.  If caught with prey in their "mouths," they'll stop "chewing" it.  If one's webbing something, she'll stop moving until I go away.

Ideal Setup: Keep it humid (perhaps around 60-80%) by supplying a water dish and lightly moistening the substrate about twice a week. They like a decent amount of humidity and temperature at about 75 to 85 degrees F. Once it gets below 70 degrees, they seem to go into a hibernation-like state. Adults do well in most deep containers with adequate covering to prevent humidity loss.  Depth is actually more important than floor space when considering their penchant for burrowing. Be sure to clean up food remains promptly and watch closely to prevent fungus and/or mite infestations.

Food: Any bugs that haven't been exposed to pesticides (equivalent of 3 to 5 full-grown crickets a week for adults); they'll eat pinky mice and mine absolutely love small lizards, but one must be attentive when feeding such items to a burrower that lives in humid earth.


This male isn't quite as blue as seen in the photo above. The flash highlighted the remaining blue tinge.  Anyway, he is knocking at the female's door, and you can see her leg in the upper right as she decides to answer.

Here's a gravid female enjoying a 5" male anole lizard.

Here's what I usually get see of them, right before they dart back in their burrows.

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