Cobalt Blue Tarantula (Cyriopagopus lividus) Caresheet

The stunning cobalt blue tarantula is one of the best-known species thanks to their amazing blue color. If you've ever dreamt of keeping cobalt blue tarantulas then this care sheet reveals all you need to know to look after this fantastic exotic pet.

Cobalt Blue tarantulas are one of the most impressive tarantulas available in the pet trade.

It gained notoriety from its incredible coloration. Under artificial lighting this tarantula can appear quite plain and dull, being clothed in black and gray hairs. Closer inspection however – especially in natural sunlight – reveals that this species has incredibly irridescent deep blue legs.

Indeed, the Cobalt Blue tarantula was arguably the first commonly-available “blue tarantula” in the pet trade. While other species are now available which present blue coloration (such as the Green Bottle Blue) this has remained a popular tarantula as it is impressively stocky in appearance and is frequently available.

While captive breedings are now reasonably common, the species is frequently imported at adult size, so can be bought quite cheaply.

Cobalt Blue Wild Environment

The secretive Cobalt Blue tarantula, hiding away in it's web.

The Cobalt Blue tarantula has a relatively large home range, though evidence suggests that population numbers may be struggling due to increased loss of habitat.

Broadly speaking this species hails from the warm and humid jungles of South East Asia, notably Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Here it digs deep burrows, where it spends the majority of its time. The spider generally only leaves its lair to feed or to find a mate, and are known in captivity for their secretive nature.

This is arguably just as well, as people in this part of the world are known to catch and eat large tarantulas of the Cyriopagopus genus, further impacting the wild population.

This has a number of impacts on how Cyriopagopus lividum should be kept in captivity. In essence your spider will require a warm and very humid environment, ideally with plenty of substrate in which to burrow.

Keepers should also be aware that while the species is beautiful, thanks to a combination of its burrowing tendency, the way in which is spins extensive webbing and it’s generally secretive nature this is a tarantula that you might not see very often.

Cobalt Blue Caging

The cobalt blue tarantula makes a stunning pet.

Cobalt Blue tarantulas are a medium-sized species, generally growing to around 5″ in legspan. They’re also not overly active and, as stated, will spend most of their lives hiding in their burrows. That said, a decent-sized cage is likely to be beneficial.

There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, larger cages mean that your pet can burrow more naturally, and so feel happier in captivity.

Secondly, it is important to note that these spiders can move very fast. As a result, a larger cage gives you more time to get your hands out of the way and close the lid if your spider makes a break for freedom during routine tank maintenance.

Most experts agree that providing a good depth of substrate is important for this species, with a depth of 4-6 inches of substrate recommended as a minimum (ideally more). For this reason you’ll want to select a tank that allows a considerable depth of substrate.

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The Exo Terra, which I use with most other species of tarantula, is therefore not ideal for the Cobalt Blue. Instead, try purchasing a specialist tarantula tank – or use a Kritter Keeper – in order to provide the necessary depth. Arboreal tarantula tanks may be utilized as the height enables a large amount of substrate to be added.

Lee's Kritter Keeper, X-Large Rectangle w/Lid(Assorted colors)
  • Rectangular Kritter Keepers have self-locking lids with hinged viewer/ feeder windows
  • Capacity: 5.90 GAlarge. Size: 15 3/4-inch large by 9 3/8-inch width by 12 1/2-inch height
  • Kritter Keepers have well-ventilated lids in assorted colors

Note that as these spiders are both fast-moving and quite aggressive a close-fitting lid is essential. This is certainly not a tarantula you would want on the run around your home!

Heating

A temperature of around 25’C seems to work well for Cyriopagopus lividum, though a small drop at night is perfectly acceptable.

A small digital reptile thermometer can be a useful investment for monitoring cage temperatures, and at just a few dollars in price are well worth the peace of mind (and happy spider!) that they bring.

Water & Humidity

The stunning Cobalt Blue Tarantula is one of the worlds most attractive tarantulas. Full care guide provided.
Cobalt Blue Tarantula (Cyriopagopus lividum).

A shallow water dish should be provided at all times, but attention should be paid daily to ensure the water is fresh and that the bowl hasn’t been frustratingly buried (again!).

Cage Furnishings

As a burrowing species there is little need for any fancy cage furnishings. Indeed, attempting to create a beautifully-landscaped tank can be a most frustrating experience as your spider is likely to quickly rearrange everything in the tank, quickly rendering all your hard work null and void.

When keeping Cobalt Blues therefore it is wisest to prioritize a deep layer of substrate measuring at least 6″ deep. Either coir or a mixture of potting compost and vermiculite provides a substrate which is excellent at retaining moisture while allowing for burrowing.

Josh's Frogs Coco Cradle (10 liters)
  • ECO-FRIENDLY ORGANIC and 100% BIODEGRADABLE unlike some reptile substrates that are contributing to deforestation and then go to the landfill
  • INCREASES HUMIDITY for animals that need moderate to high humidity
  • ABSORBENT composition allows it to soak up messes and odors, leaving a cleaner habitat for your pet

Your spider will likely produce copious amounts of web around the burrow, which can make observing your spider more problematic. However do not be tempted to remove this, as it provide a useful barrier between your spider when it moults and any remaining insect prey which can disturb them.

Feeding Cobalt Blue Tarantulas

Cobalt Blue tarantulas are aggressive feeders, and feeding time is likely to be one of the few times that you see your spider. They will feed on all the usual livefood suspects such as crickets and locusts.

Try to place the food close to the entrance of the burrow if possible, where your Haplopelma lividum will be most likely to sense its presence. Prepare to jump as your spider comes thundering out of its lair to grab the poor unsuspecting prey item!

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Handling Cobalt Blues

While Cobalt Blue tarantulas possess no urticating hairs, they are not a species recommended for handling. This species is known to be fast moving and to be quite aggressive. It is considered one of the species more likely to bite when provoked than many other more handleable species.

In addition to this it is worth noting that the venom of Cyriopagopus lividum is considered more toxic than that of many other species. Scientific studies report severe pain and inflammation with arthritic stiffness which can last for several weeks. Severe muscle spasms are also observed in some individuals when bitten.

All these factors combine to suggest that only the bravest (or most fool-hardy) individuals should consider handling the species.

In cases where the spider needs to be moved the following process should be utilized:

  • Place the tarantula tank into a bath or similar holding place, so that an escaped specimen can be more easily caught.
  • Gently open the cage and, using a long object (such as 12″ forceps) gently try to coax the spider from its lair. Take care to keep fingers out of harms way at all times.
  • Being gentle and patient, try to direct the spider into a plastic tub before (carefully) securing the lid.
  • Upon replacing the spider in its cage, it is generally safest to place the tub into the cage, gently remove the lid of the container and then close the cage lid. The spider will make its own way out of the tub in good time, which can then be removed without startling the spider.

In the case of a bite it is advisable to seek medical advice due to the potential impacts of a bite from this species.

Cobalt Blue Tarantula Pictures

We have gathered a selection of Cobalt Blue tarantula photos on a special Pinterest board for your pleasure. Feel free to click on any of the photos below to see them in full size, or click over to Pinterest directly to enjoy the photos.

       Follow Keeping Exotic Pets’s board Cobalt Blue (Haplopelma lividum) Pictures on Pinterest.

Cobalt Blue Facts

Cobalt Blue Facts
Adult Size: 5″ legspan

Latin Name: Haplopelma lividum

Urticating Hairs: No

Tibial Spurs? Yes

Attitude: Aggressive, fast-moving, strong venom

Suitable for: Experienced tarantula keepers

Alternative Names:
Electric blue tarantula
Cobalt tarantula

The stunning cobalt blue tarantula is one of the best-known species thanks to their amazing blue color. If you've ever dreamt of keeping cobalt blue tarantulas then this care sheet reveals all you need to know to look after this fantastic exotic pet.

Images c/o Stefan Muth &  Jim, the Photographer

Richard Adams

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