Amazon Sapphire Tarantula (Ybyrapora diversipes): Care Guide

The Amazon Sapphire Tarantula (Ybyrapora diversipes) receives her name thanks to her vibrant colors. This New World arboreal species is new in the hobby, making her difficult to find, but that makes her all the more desirable for some collectors.

She’s also skittish and defensive, which means beginners shouldn’t handle her. However, she’s still a popular option for her stunning colors. If you’re interested in getting one of these beautiful arboreals, we’ve gathered all the information you need to know if it’s the right fit for you.


Amazon Sapphire Tarantula Care Sheet

Name of SpeciesYbyrapora diversipes
FamilyTheraphosidae
Common namesAmazon Sapphire Tarantula
Native locationSouth America
CategoryNew World
TypeArboreal
Leg span5.5 inches
Growth speedFast
Urticating hairsYes, type II
DietInsects, primarily roaches & crickets
SocialSolitary
Temperature70 to 80 °F
Humidity65 to 75%
Life spanFemales: 12 to 14 years / Males 3 to 4 years
Experience levelIntermediate

Amazon Sapphire Tarantula Overview

The Ybyrapora diversipes is known by hobbyists as Amazon Sapphire Tarantula (AST) or the Amazon Sapphire Pinktoe Tarantula.

She’s an arboreal bird eater, with a shy and defensive demeanor which makes her unpredictable.

The AST is found in almost all of South America, with a substantial population in Brazil and Peru.

She’s prone to flicking hair when she’s threatened, and she’ll even resort to biting sometimes, so she’s not a good spider for beginners. For more experienced hobbyists though, she’s a beauty that many want to add to their collection.

Appearance

Juvenile AST. Quengsalinas, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Amazon Sapphire Tarantula, as it happens with related arboreal tarantulas, is particularly fluffy. It’s certainly one of its appeals, but it doesn’t compare with its bright colors.

Slings and juveniles of this species are famous for having green bodies covered with blue and reddish-pink setae. Their legs are electric blue with pink segments in their articulations. They have a green cephalothorax, often having pink stripes on both sides.

However, the biggest charm lies in the abdomen, where they have pale pink divided by blue horizontal lines at the side and a deep blue vertical line at the center topped by a bright reddish-pink stripe.

The Ybyrapora diversipes are famous for their appearance when they’re young. Sadly, they don’t remain that way when they enter adulthood.

Nonetheless, they still look beautiful in their mature appearance, remaining a beauty to behold even with less vibrant colors than their younger counterparts.

Their green bodies are covered with pink setae that are often stronger in their abdomen, providing a beautiful contrast. The ends of their legs are often clear, sometimes bright pink, which earns them their name Amazon Sapphire Pinktoe Tarantula.

Male and female specimens are very similar, with the only difference being that males are slightly smaller. Therefore, the only way to accurately identify these spiders is to examine the inside of their molts.

They’re an average-sized species, topping out at about 5.5 inches in leg span.

Price

The AST is relatively new to the hobby and hard to find, so she’s more expensive than most tarantulas.

Slings and juveniles can be found for around $60, even though prices sometimes reach $100.

Adults of any sex are almost non-existent in the market, but this is expected to change in the future as they become more popular among breeders and hobbyists.

Behavior and Temperament

The Amazon Sapphire Tarantula is more defensive than most Versicolor tarantulas. Their first instinct tends to be to run away from conflict; however, they will assume a threat stance and flick hairs if they feel threatened.

They’re also known to bite if cornered, but thankfully their venom is on the weak side even for New World tarantulas.

They also have a particular line of defense; they’re known for throwing feces at their predators. This is harmless to humans, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it.

Slings and juveniles of this species are known for being more skittish and aggressive than adults, so be careful during any rehousing procedure to avoid escapes that could harm the spider.

Caring for an Amazon Sapphire Tarantula

Temperature and Humidity

As the name indicates, the Amazon Sapphire Tarantula lives in a tropical rainforest. It’s used to a climate with high temperatures and humidity.

In captivity, they do well in temperatures between 70°F and 80°F, with a humidity of 65% to 75%.

Substrate

The Amazon Sapphire Tarantula isn’t a burrower; therefore, it doesn’t need too much substrate to feel comfortable.

About 1.5 inches of substrate is enough for an AST, either a spiderling or an adult.

As for the composition, a mixture with peat moss would be great to maintain moisture in the soil.

Tank

The Amazon Sapphire Tarantula needs enough vertical space to be comfortable. You should get a tank that’s taller than long and deep to allow them some space to move vertically in their enclosure.

Adults need tanks of at least three gallons, but larger is better as it’ll make this species more comfortable.

You must place a vertical structure over which the spider could climb, such as a piece of cork bark or an empty log.

Make sure there are small holes on both sides of the enclosure to allow for good ventilation too; it’s vital for an AST’s viability.

Watering

As long as your tank is adequately ventilated, your AST will thrive in a moist environment. Spray the substrate at least once every ten to fourteen days, more if the AST is a spiderling or a juvenile.

A watering dish must be introduced once they reach adulthood; it could be superglued next to the bark to allow for easy access. Just be careful not to place it between the bark and the wall, as sometimes the AST loves creating webs at this location.

Feeding

The AST doesn’t climb down very often, so it’s best to feed it with insects that are prone to climbing up the branch and sides of the enclosure.

Spiderlings should eat a small cricket or a flightless fruit fly twice a week.

Juveniles eat a medium cricket or a small cockroach every four to seven days.

Adults eat once every week, and they could have a medium or a large B. dubia roach for every meal.

Pay attention to any abdominal size changes to make sure you’re not overfeeding or underfeeding the tarantula. Furthermore, make sure that you remove uneaten food in a timely matter. The humid environment can lead to mold and bacterial growth if uneaten food is not removed quickly enough.

Lastly, you have to make sure that you do not feed your spider for several days after a molt to give their fangs adequate time to harden.

Interesting Amazon Sapphire Tarantula Facts

  • The Amazon Sapphire used to be called Avicularia diversipes until very recently, so you’ll still find plenty of information about this species under that name.
  • Since the AST has so many different colors, owners report that it’s a pleasure to watch them grow. Every molt looks different from the previous one, even if it’s just a little.
  • The Ybyrapora diversipes is very similar to the Arvicularia arviculara. The latter is known for being able to live communally, so there’s the possibility that the AST is also suited to live with other tarantulas. However, there’s still a lot to know about this spider, so there’s no definitive conclusion regarding this subject.

Final words: Is the Amazon Sapphire the right Tarantula for you?

Most people looking for an Amazon Sapphire Tarantula are drawn to its colors. It’s a great choice for a pet if you have experience with other tarantulas, but not recommended for absolute beginners. If you’re a beginner who wants to own a colorful species, the Antilles Pink Toe is a great choice. They’re more docile and just as colorful, so they’re a great way to get started with the hobby.

However, if you’ve got some experience already and the beautiful colors of the AST are appealing to you, you should definitely not overlook this species.

We hope this article gave you all the information you need to decide what the right choice is for you!

Jesse A.