Scientific Name: Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens (Strand 1907)
Common Name(s): Greenbottle Blue
Range: Northern Venezuela
Habitat: Scrubland and desert edges
Experience Level: Beginner/intermediate
Type: Terrestrial, burrower
Size: Leg span up to around 15cm (6″)
Growth rate: Medium/fast
Urticating hairs: Yes
Temperament: Generally docile but can be nervous and skittish. Doesn’t strike often, but can bite repeatedly if provoked, and some like to flick hairs.
Greenbottle blues (often just called GBBs) are a beautiful and interesting species of new world tarantula, with bright coloring and markings. The abdomen is orange with striped markings, while the carapace is green and the legs are bright metallic blue making for a really striking spider. Even slings are quite colorful, but their markings darken and brighten with each moult.
These are terrestrial burrowers, and quite heavy webbers. They like to web all around their burrows, and will renew their webs on a regular basis.
Keeping Greenbottle Blues in Captivity
C. cyaneopubescens makes a hardy and low maintenance pet. Their care requirements don’t stray far from those of most “beginner species” and one of these could certainly be regarded as suitable for a first tarantula, but I’ve marked them as beginner/intermediate due to their slightly skittish and nervous nature. They are also quite fast, so GBBs should only be considered as a first T by confident keepers who won’t be put off by a fast and possibly nervous spider.
For general care requirements, read the beginner’s guide to tarantula care page which gives a good overview of tarantula husbandry.
As a ground dwelling burrower, your green bottle blue will need a glass or plastic enclosure with more floor space than height, with a deep dry substrate (2 – 3 inches of coconut coir, or dry potting soil), and plenty of ventilation. Provide a hiding place (such as half a flower pot, coconut shell, or a piece of cork bark), and a shallow water dish. As already mentioned, this species like to web heavily so will appreciate a variety of textures such as plastic plants and cork bark in the enclosure as webbing anchors. Many specimens will pretty much fill their entire enclosure with webbing, even as slings. Humidity should be kept fairly low, with occasional misting.
A diet of crickets, cockroaches and locusts is ideal. As with all tarantulas, feed prey items of a suitable size – no larger than the spider’s abdomen.
Stanley A. Schultz, Marguerite J. Schultz. The Tarantula Keeper’s Guide (2009)