Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Antilles Pinktoe Tree Spider

(Avicularia versicolor)

Habitat and Distribution: Found in the forests of the Guadeloupe and Martinique Islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Size: Up to 6 inches long. Males are thinner and have longer legs; females are bulkier and less spindly.

Wild Diet: Insects, small lizards, and tree frogs

Predators: Birds, mammals, and reptiles

Lifespan: Males die shortly after maturity (3-4 years), while females can live over 12 years.

Reproduction: Females lay eggs that hatch into spiderlings up to an inch long.

Behavior: Antilles pinktoe tree spiders build thick, silky tube webs in trees and bushes. Their bodies are covered with barbed hairs that are used to sense food and can also irritate and deter a predator when embedded in its skin. They use these hairs to protect themselves, especially after molting.


Conservation

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Antilles pinktoe tree spiders need trees to survive, so deforestation may eventually pose a threat to their populations.

Did you know?

  • When threatened, if they are unable to jump or run away, they can shoot excrement at their attacker. Adults can fire with good accuracy up to 3 feet.
  • Spiderlings are bright blue when they hatch and change color with each molt.The abdomen turns from blue to light pink and then to bright red, while the carapace turns from blue to metallic green and lavender.
  • Unlike other tarantulas, the Antilles pinktoe tree spider can live with others of its own species.