Harpactira pulchripes “Golden Blue-legged Baboon”
FOR THE VIDEO VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE CLICK THE LINK ABOVE!
Over the years, there have been dozens of newly introduced tarantulas species that have caught the eyes of hobbyists with their undeniable beauty and the illusion of being a rarity in the hobby. In the past, the Poecilotheria metallica and Monocentropus balfouri were two spiders that delighted keepers with their gorgeous blues while draining wallets with their steep costs for even the smallest slings. Even today, with both species being readily available in the hobby, they still command high prices.
When photos of the Harpactira pulchripes first circulated on the forums in 2012/2013, many keepers couldn’t wait to get one of these stunners in their collections. However, even tiny slings commanded exorbitant prices, with the first round of captive bred slings imported into the US selling for $500 and higher. When I acquired my first two specimens in the summer of 2015, it was the most I had ever paid for tarantulas. Today, many keepers consider the Harpactira pulchripes, a striking gold bodied and metallic blue legged beauty, to be one of the hobby’s crown jewels, and this species still pops up on many wish lists. Thankfully, as this species is easily bred, it has become readily available with slings now commanding between $50-$100 USD.
Harpactira pulchripes are Old World tarantulas found around the town of Makhanda (previously Grahamstown) on the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. This region experiences a temperate climate, with relatively warm weather all year round with high temps that reach 80 F (27 C) in the warmest month with lows of around 59F (15C). In the cooler months, temps rise only to around 68F (20C) in the daytime and drop to 42 F (5.6 C) during the chillier evenings. Rainfall ranges from about 3” (75 mm) in the wettest month and 1.3” (33mm) in the driest month. As a result, species care sheets that indicate this tarantula needs to be kept at higher so-called “ideal” temps should be ignored. Continue reading