After 17+ years of keeping a G. porteri, and with no idea that the tarantula hobby had exploded over the past two decades, I decided that I wanted to see what kinds of species were currently available. To say the number of animals available in the trade was overwhelming would be an understatement, and I soon found myself compiling lengthy lists of potential candidates. After several months of research, I decided on two slings; a Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens (GBB) and a Lasiodora parahybana (LP).
I purchased my LP sling in October of 2013 at a size of about 3/4″ or so. This species has a reputation for being a very fast grower with some keepers reporting their LPs reaching 4″ in a year. Mine has molted five times in the time I’ve kept it, and in that time, it has grown to about 1.75″. I wouldn’t say this is the fastest-growing T I keep, but it molts like clockwork every two months, and puts on a little size each time.
Besides their awesome adult size (8″ is the norm with 10″ possible), it was their rather simple husbandry that attracted me to this species. I keep mine fairly dry and only moisten the substrate in the corner once a week, letting it dry out in between. I’ve provided my 3″ female with a water dish, which I overflow to provide a moist spot. Usually, it quickly ends up filled with dirt. The substrate is a 50/50 mix of coco fiber and sphagnum peat moss, and for the slings, I give them several inches of depth as they like to dig.
For the first five months I kept my LP, I rarely saw it. The little guy had dug an extensive burrow beneath the surface, and he would only pop out to snatch a prey item. There was a two-month period where I never saw it at all. When entering premolt, it would often close off the entrance of its burrow for weeks at a time. Eventually, the hole would reopen, and I would catch a glimpse of my slightly-larger LP.
I keep my LPs at the same temps as my other Ts; high 70s during the day and low 70’s at night. They are great eaters, only refusing a meal if in premolt. Like my P. cancerides, they usually attack their prey with gusto, often rushing at it from across the enclosure.
As slings, LPs are quite skittish, and will quickly bolt or dash down into their hides with the slightest disturbance. My female is a bit more brave, often sitting right out in the open instead of using her hide.
I know keep three LPs; two slings and the gorgeous female my wife gave me for my birthday. I look forward to the day that these beasties mature into an 8″+ behemoths.
Below is a recent feeding video featuring my 1.75″ juvenile.