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Mexican Blonde Tarantula
Aphonopelma chalcodes

In the United States there are two attractive tarantulas and the Mexican Blonde Tarantula is one of them. They formerly were referred to as the Arizona blonde or Palomino tarantula. These tarantulas are usually found in the northern Mexico or southern Arizona areas.

The adult males is slate blue of colour with a pale carapace and reddish abdomen, while the adult female and immature, is a pale, tawny colour with dark basal leg segments. The sexually mature Blonde tarantula female and male have to be one of the most differently marked of any adult tarantula.

These tarantula spiders dig a deep, cylindrical barrow straight down into the hard gravelly soil. The burrow mouth is almost perfectly round with a fine mat of silk around the edge. The mouth of the burrow is closed with a fine mesh of silk during the day. The burrow can be over 60cm (2 feet) deep.

With research made on the burrow they found out that the temperature at the bottom are very mild compared to the surface temperature. The burrow opening is covered by a fine mesh of silk during the day. The Blonde tarantulas in Arizona will plug their burrows for six months during the year, from October to May.

During July and August you will see large groups of adult males grossing the highways in search for females. The spider lings live under dead and decaying Cacti, until they are large and strong enough to dig their own burrow.

These tarantulas take 9 to 10 years to mature. The adult female live an additional 20 years or more, while the adult male usually only live through the summer of their maturity.

The Blonde tarantulas are extremely hardy captives, and will do fine in a simple cage with a sandy substrate. These tarantulas are very docile and can usually be handled freely. An additional advantage to owning the Blonde tarantula is that their urticating hairs are usually not irritating to humans.

The Mexican blonde tarantulas will eat a variety of insects. They have such a low metabolism and can store so much fat in their abdomens that they often go off feed for months, particularly during winter time. These spiders are capable of prolonged feats of fasting and are known to have gone over two years without food.

Breeding in captivity is tricky and usually not successful.

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