Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas

a Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula blending in on a piece of wood

Are you considering getting a pet, but don’t know where to start? The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula might be the perfect pet for you! This species of Tarantula is native to Central America and is known for its unique black and white striped legs. It’s a popular choice for those looking for an exotic pet that’s relatively easy to care for.

The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is a great choice for those who are new to owning pets. They’re relatively low maintenance and don’t need a lot of space or special equipment. They can be kept in an enclosure as small as 10 gallons, and all you need to provide them with is a substrate, such as coconut fiber or peat moss, and some hiding places .

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas are native to Central America and are one of the largest tarantulas available today, averaging about 5 inches long. They have been bred specifically for their striking coloration, and it’s not uncommon to see them in zoos.

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas are very docile, and are usually calm around people. Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas are very docile and easy to handle. They are also very gentle, and aren’t likely to hurt anyone who tries to pick them up. 

These tarantulas are also quite docile and make great family pets. They’re not aggressive and rarely bite, so they’re a good choice for those who want to handle their pet. They can be handled with care, but it’s important to remember that they are still wild animals and should be treated with respect.

They are easily frightened, and will try to run very quickly if they get frightened. If they start running they can be extremely difficult to catch, making them not so great for children to handle.

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas are very easy to care for and handle. They mainly eat crickets but they can eat other insects as well. They don’t need a fancy type of enclosure. A regular aquarium or terrarium is perfect for them.

Terrariums are ideal for keeping Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas. These Tarantulas aren’t too expensive and you can expect to pay between $20 and $40 for a single Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula.

When it comes to feeding , the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is an opportunistic feeder. They’ll eat a variety of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. It’s important to give them a varied diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

Overall, the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is an excellent pet for those who are looking for something exotic and relatively easy to care for. They’re docile, low maintenance, and make great family pets. With the right care and attention, they can live up to 10 years in captivity. So if you’re looking for a unique pet that won’t require too much work, the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula might be the perfect choice for you!

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula Information

  • Average Length: 5 inches
  • Average Weight: 2 to 4 ounces
  • Skin Appearance: Hairy with white stripes
  • Skin Colors: Black to Brown. 
  • Grooming Needs: Low
  • Shedding: Molts every 9 to 15 days
  • Sensitive to Touch: No
  • Biting Tendency: No
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: No 
  • Good Pet: Yes
  • Safe with Children: No
  • Good with Other Pets: No
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Weight Gain: Normal
  • Health Concerns: Abdominal Fractures, Dehydration, and Molting Problems
  • Average Life Span: Males – 6 years, Females – 20 years

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas are native to the Central American countries of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Physical Appearance of Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas

a Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula on the hunt for some food

Young Costa Rican Zebra spiderlings are a light brown but their skin darkens as they age. Fully-grown adults have a jet black body with sandy colored hairs on their back. They have cream colored stripes on their legs and are sometimes called Striped-Knee Tarantulas.

They have bluish tints on the front side of their jaws.

Costa Rican Tarantulas have yellow or orange spinnerets, the place where silk is produced. Their spinnerets look like two small tubes and are located on their underside all the way in their back

Their leg span can be up to 5 inches long, males will be a little less because they’re slightly smaller than females.

Temperament of Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas

While Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas are generally slow and docile, they can move fast. When threatened they don’t attack, but run away quickly. Because they can move fast we don’t recommend that they be held. Trying to catch or hold them without hurting them can be difficult.

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas should be housed alone because they will fight with each other.

Tarantulas release urticating hairs when they feel threatened. These urticating hairs are very thin hairs that act as their defense mechanism. Because the hairs are very thing they can cause skin or eye irritation in humans.

Their Compatibility with Children

Children should not handle Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas because they move fast. These tarantulas release urticating hair that can cause skin or eye irritation in children. Have children wash their hands if they interact with your Tarantula or their cage. Washing their hands should remove any urticating hairs that children could have come in contact with.

Living Space for Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas

a Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula on a piece of wood in their enclosure

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas should be kept in a well-ventilated enclosure. Plastic or glass tanks are good choices. Avoid using enclosures with mesh tops because Tarantulas like to climb and your Tarantula can get caught in the mesh, fall and get hurt.

Cage Size

A small 5 to 10-gallon tank is a good size for them. The general rule is for the enclosure to be three times the length of your Tarantula’s leg span.


The substrate should be 3-4 inches deep. A deep substrate should give them enough room to burrow. A mixture of peat moss, vermiculite or soil work well as substrate. They’ll hold in moisture to keep their enclosure humid, but still be loose enough to let them burrow.


Your Tarantula’s enclosure should have several hiding spots. Cork, hollow logs, clay flower pots or spider houses are all good choices for hiding spots. Artificial plants and vines should be used to give your Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula things to climb on.

Water Source

A shallow water bowl should be placed inside their enclosure. The water bowl will give your Tarantulas water to drink and keep their tank humid. Their water bowl should be cleaned and replaced with fresh clean water every day.

Best Climate for Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas

a close up of a Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula


Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas prefer a temperature kept between 70°F and 85°F. If your home is kept in this range then no heating equipment will be needed.

If your room temperature is colder, then using an under tank reptile heat mat is a great way to give your Tarantula some extra warmth. The heat mat should only be placed under one side of their tank because it will help create separate warm and hot areas inside your Tarantula’s tank.


They need very high humidity, it should be kept between 75 and 80 percent. Evaporation from their water bowl will not be enough to keep the humidity in this range. A combination of a moisture retaining substrate needs to be used as well as misting the tank.


Tarantulas are nocturnal and don’t need lighting equipment. Their cage should be kept at a location that doesn’t get direct sunlight because it can overheat them. If you want to use lights so you can watch your spider we suggest using an LED strip and keep it on a dim setting.

Because these spiders are nocturnal UV lights are not needed.

The Attention a Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula Needs

As mentioned before handling your Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas can be difficult because they move fast. Not many of these Tarantulas will let their owners handle them regularly.

Apart from that Tarantulas generally don’t need a lot of attention. Most of their attention needs have to do with keeping the temperature and humidity high enough, and keeping their cage clean. Using a few thermometers and a hygrometer will help you monitor the conditions in their tank.

Health Issues

Abdominal Fractures

Insect abdominal fractures are a very common injury in both wild and domestic insects. Common causes of abdominal fractures include physical trauma like being stepped on, falling from too high, or being hit by an object. Other causes of abdominal fractures in insects can be due to the presence of disease or parasites that weaken their exoskeleton.

Symptoms of Insect Abdominal Fractures

Insect abdominal fractures can be quite difficult to identify, but there are several signs to look out for. One of the most obvious symptoms is hemorrhaging or bleeding from the area of the fracture. A fractured insect can appear to be immobile or lethargic, and could also have difficulty walking. In cases where the fracture is more severe, the insect might have signs of paralysis.

Oral Nematodes

Oral nematodes are a group of parasitic worms that feed on the tissues of insects. They are typically found in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach, as well as other internal organs. There are hundreds of species of these nematodes, which vary in size and shape. While most species are harmless to humans and other animals, some can pose a serious threat to crops and livestock. Some species of insect oral nematodes are known to be vectors for a number of diseases, including Bartonella, Onchocerca volvulus, and Thelazia californiensis.

Symptoms of Insect Oral Nematodes

Symptoms of Oral Nematodes vary depending on the species of nematode present. Generally, infected insects will have irritation and inflammation in their mouth, esophagus and stomach, which can lead to problems eating or drinking. More severe cases of infection can cause the insect to become lethargic and anemia caused by blood loss from the parasites. In some cases, the infection can even be fatal.


Insects are particularly susceptible to dehydration because their bodies are made up mostly of water. In order to survive in an arid environment, they must be able to conserve water and stop it from evaporating out of their bodies. To hold onto water, insects have several strategies for dealing with dehydration.

First and foremost, many insects have developed thick cuticle layers that help reduce the amount of water that is lost through evaporation. This cuticle layer is often made up of waxes, oils and other substances that act as a barrier to prevent water loss.

Insects also have mechanisms for controlling their water intake. Some insects are able to regulate their water intake by closing off the opening in their trachea when environmental conditions become too dry. This helps stop the insect from becoming dehydrated.

Molting Problems

Molting is a process where insects shed their exoskeleton in order to grow and develop. While this process is integral for insect survival, it can also cause some major problems. Insects can have molting problems due to environmental factors, diet or genetics. These issues can lead to incomplete molts, malformations, developmental delays and even death.

Incomplete molts are a common molting problem. If an insect does not shed its exoskeleton completely, the new one can become stuck. As a result, the insect will not be able to grow or develop properly. In some cases, the old exoskeleton may even suffocate the insect if it’s not removed quickly enough.

Diet can also play a role in molting problems. An inadequate or unbalanced diet can cause the insect to be unable to molt properly. Some insects are sensitive to certain foods or chemicals and these substances can interfere with the molting process.

Genetics can also cause molting issues. Some insects have genetic mutations that can cause malformations or developmental delays. These issues can lead to problems during the molting process and can even be fatal if the insect is unable to shed its exoskeleton completely or in time.

General Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas Care

Tarantulas don’t need a lot of care except for having their tank cleaned regularly.

Their tank should be spot cleaned every other day. The entire enclosure should be deep cleaned with the bedding changed about once every six months.

Feeding A Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas prefer to eat live food. Crickets should be what they regularly eat, but grasshoppers, beetles or cockroaches are all good food choices for them.

Make sure the insects you feed them are pesticide free. If raising live insects for your Tarantulas, gut load the insects before feeding. Gut loading involves feeding insects with nutritious food. When Tarantulas eat these insects the nutrition passes on to them.

Young spiderlings should be fed twice a week and adults once or twice a week. The size of their food should be the same size of their carapace or smaller.

They should not be fed when they are molting.

Remove uneaten food a few hours after feeding them.

Related Questions:

Why is My Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula Lying Upside Down?

Beginner Tarantula owners may find this surprising but they generally lie upside down when they are molting. Lack of humidity is another reason they might do this. Slightly increasing the humidity by misting their tank should help.

Are Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas Available in Pet Stores?

Yes, earlier they were not so popular and were not bred as much. Because they are becoming more popular they are now available at most pet stores and online.

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Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.