Pterinopelma sazimai is a relative newcomer to tarantula keeping. Described by Sazima in 2011, P. sazimai was introduced to the US two years later, with spiderlings commanding a high price. Fortunately, widespread captive breeding led to a drop in prices. Now this scientifically unique and aesthetically pleasing species is more affordable. It is easy to predict it will become a hobby staple.
The Parque Nacional da Chapada Diamantina is entirely within Brazil’s eastern, Atlantic state of Bahia. Chapada refers to cliffs and highland plateaus, home to P. sazimai. Bedrock is mainly sedimentary, and not surprisingly the area is dotted with caves and steep escarpments, both the result of weathering by water. Depending on altitude (1500 – 3000 ft) and water distribution, temperatures and vegetation vary. Dry, sparsely treed grasslands dominate the plateaus, yielding along streams and at lower elevations to Brazilian Atlantic forest, the dominant terrestrial biome of eastern Brazil. Night-day temperatures range from 60-80F midwinter to 70-90F midsummer.
We have grown P. saizmai from spiderling to adulthood. Growth has not been particularly fast, but fragility, always a concern with new species in captivity, has proven not to be the case. Even spiderlings are quite hardy. They thrive within the range of mild dryness to moderate humidity with short-lived substrate dampness. Juveniles and older P. sazimai show more tolerance to extended dryness.
P. sazimai spiderlings are tan-brown. As juveniles, dark blue with reddish hairs on the abdomen become evident. At a leg span of 2.5″, post molt blue can be very bright. Over months the blue darkens, until the next molt restores a brighter blue. The cycle repeats itself.
The photo above is of a 2+” post molt female.