Aphonopelma seemanni, the Costa Rican zebra tarantula, also known as the striped knee tarantula, is a species of tarantula inhabiting most of western Costa Rica and other parts of Central America, such as Honduras and Nicaragua, and possibly Guatemala. It is usually black with white stripes near the leg joints, but a brown color form also exists for the spider.
Zebra tarantulas are deep-burrowing spiders. They live in open, semiarid scrublands, and are often found in large aggregations. Their deep burrows keep the temperature below the highest daytime temperatures, and retain humidity. Conversely, as temperatures drop at night, the burrows buffer away from the lowest temperatures.
Zebra tarantulas can grow to about 10–13 cm including leg span. Females can live up to 20 years. Males, however, tend to live a much shorter life – up to five years, with about a single year of maturity. In the wild, they eat a wide variety of insects such as grasshoppers and cockroaches. In captivity, they eat crickets.
Costa Rican zebras move very fast, making them a less likely candidate for those who like to handle their pet spiders. While docile in demeanor, this spider displays darting speeds when startled and is hard to catch and difficult to contain. Trying to capture and pick up this type of tarantula can lead to injury, should the spider fall into its cage or onto the floor from a substantial height. However, with daily socialization and gentle handling, the Costa Rican zebra tarantula can become moderately tamed to suit your lifestyle.
The most important thing about the Costa Rican Zebra tarantula tank (terrarium) is that it needs to be wide and long, and not high. The Costa Rican Zebra tarantula is a great escapist which means that they can move very fast and escape. So, you must secure the top part of the tank and be sure that the tarantula can’t climb and get away. Further more, the next important thing is the humidity. They live in rainforests, so they are in need of fresh water at all times. Make sure to have a container and chance the water daily.