Greenbottle Blue Tarantula (Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens) Care Sheet

The Greenbottle Blue tarantula is one of the most stunning tarantulas in the world and a personal favorite of mine.

While “blue” tarantulas are always popular in the hobby, I would argue that the green bottle blue is one of the very best. It manages to combine amazing colors with ease of care, making it a great pet.

Growing to around 5 inches or so in legspan these aren’t the largest tarantula around. This modest size is definitely made up for by their orange rumps, metallic green carapace and almost unbelievable metallic blue legs.

It’s not just these colors that make them a great display tarantula; they also tend to sit out in the open more than many other species, and produce copious amounts of webbing too, for added interest.

Having kept this species for over 20 years now, I feel I have a healthy amount of experience to share with you in my Greenbottle Blue care sheet…

Wild Greenbottle Blue Tarantula Habitat

A close-up of the stunning green bottle blue tarantula.

It is well-known that this tarantula hails from Venezuela in South America. As a result of this, many keepers in the past have assumed that green bottle blue tarantulas require a very humid tropical environment but this isn’t necessarily the case.

In reality the GBB comes for a small peninsula on Venezuela, located in the Caribbean Sea. Known as “Paraguana” the climate here is anything but humid.

The WWF reports that the area is surprisingly arid, representing largely dry desert scrubland.

Broadly speaking these are sturdy spiders, which have evolved to live in a relatively harsh environment. This makes for a very forgiving species in captivity.

The most important golden rule for Greenbottle Blue care, however, is giving them a nice dry habitat. A GBB kept in overly wet conditions is unlikely to thrive.

GBB Cages & Housing

Some disagreements exist in the tarantula hobby as to whether the greenbottle blue is terrestrial or arboreal as it seems these adaptable spiders will adjust to almost any captive conditions.

Studies of their wild habitat suggests these are almost exclusively terrestrial, so we would suggest attempting to replicate this in captivity.

At a very minimum I would suggest a cage measuring 12 inches (30cm) x 8 inches (20cm) for adults, but larger is likely to be better.

Personally I have had good results with Exo Terras and ReptiZoos and now use them almost exclusively for my small collection of adult specimens. These provide great visibility, allow plenty of ventilation and offer practical front-opening doors.

REPTIZOO Glass Mini 8 Gallon Reptile Terrarium 12" x 12" x 12", Small Habitat Cage Breeder Enclosure for Leopard Gecko Tarantula Young Lizard Insects, Top Screen Ventilation & Feeding
  • Features with full view glass, this small 8 gallon glass terrarium is convenient for feeding and having fun with your reptile or small animal pets.
  • Compact and flat-packed design mini reptile tank with top opening to prevent escape and easy feeding. With a transparent PVC tray in the bottom for holding water and substrate
  • The full screen top ventilation with thinner mesh wire allows more UVA UVB and infrared heat penetration.

For juveniles I use the “Kritter Keeper” style of plastic cages with well-vented lids. These make it easy to maintain the dry conditions in which Greenbottle Blues do so well, though don’t make such attractive displays as the Exo Terras.

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

Heating & Temperature for GBBs

Close-up of a greenbottle tarantula (Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens)

Greenbottle blues are used to difficult wild conditions, so will adapt to a range of different captive conditions. My spider room is kept at an ambient temperature of around 72’F / 22’C during the winter months, while the temperature can naturally rise a little in the summer. I’ve successfully reared numerous spiderlings to adulthood in such temperatures.

Related:  Why Do Tarantulas Lay on Their Backs?

On the other hand, I do find that larger specimens sometimes go off their food and stop eating for periods of time. As a result I’ve recently experimented with a range of different habitat temperatures.

I placed adult specimens into very large cages with a huge thermal gradient so find out their “preferred” temperature. I was amazed to find that almost without exception they chose the hottest area – which clocked in at an incredible 86’F / 30’C.

Due to the fact that they tend to burrow to avoid heat, underfloor heating is unlikely to be the most appropriate solution, and instead a mat pad can be attached to one side of the cage.

In this way a thermal gradient will be created, and the spider will be able to make its lair in the area with the most appropriate temperature.

Water and Humidity

Green Bottle Blue tarantulas hails from semi-arid grassland areas so requires a lower humidity than perhaps many other commonly-kept species. Indeed, an overly moist or wet cage is the quickest way to a dead Greenbottle Blue.

I now keep all my specimens in dry conditions. Humidity naturally sits in my spider room at 50-60% and this seems to work perfectly. I recommend you either provide a water dish (small deli cups work well) or gently pour some water onto the webbing every week or two, before allowing it to dry out again.

Cage Furnishings

Standard tarantula substrates work well for GBBs. My favorite substrate for Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens is coir (coconut fiber) for my specimens but some other keepers use potting compost. The substrate doesn’t need to be overly deep, as none of my specimens seem to try and dig

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

Besides this it is wise to add a number of potential hides for your pet, in order to allow them some privacy. This also gives them “attachment points” for their web building. Suitable options include curved pieces of cork bark and plant pots.

Zoo Med Natural Cork Bark, Round, Medium
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Feeding Greenbottle Blue Tarantulas

Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens is a voracious feeder and quite a fast-growing species. Their appetite is almost never-ending, and with their lightning-fast reflexes you are almost guaranteed a great show when throwing in some live insects.

Related:  How to Move Aggressive or Fast-Moving Tarantulas

Green bottle blue tarantulas will take all the normal insect prey, such as crickets, roaches and mealworms. An adult female can easily down an adult locust when in the mood.

All my specimens are fed once or twice a week, with any uneaten food being quickly removed to avoid stressing the spider.

Handling Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens

Stunning Chromatoplema cyaneopubescens tarantula.

Green Bottle Blue tarantulas are known for their reasonably docile attitudes. That said, this species is quite skittish and when surprised or scared can move with surprising speed.

As a result, while the chances of being bitten are minimal, most keepers choose not the handle this species. It would be all too easy to drop such a spider if it makes a break for freedom, which can result in a ruptured abdomen and consequently death.

Rearing Greenbottle Blue Spiderlings

Typically the cheapest way to buy a Greenbottle Blue tarantula is as a spiderling or juvenile, which can look quite different to the adults.

They start off a beautiful pink and black color, adopting their adult colouration at around one inch (2.5cm) or so in leg span. Here you’ll start to see the orange abdomen appearing, together with those famous blue legs, though it can take a few moults for the final effect to show.

Fortunately, GBB spiderlings are just as easy to rear as the adults, and will grow rapidly when fed well. Rearing up some youngsters therefore really shouldn’t represent a challenge for most moderately-experienced keepers.

Got any questions not answered above? Just use the comments section below and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible…

The greenbottle blue tarantula - often known simply as the GBB - is one of the most colorful pet tarantulas available in the trade. Hailing from Venezuela, this care sheet reveals exactly how to keep greenbottle blue tarantulas as pets.
Richard Adams

14 thoughts on “Greenbottle Blue Tarantula (Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens) Care Sheet”

    • Unlike some other tarantulas I have found that the change doesn’t happen all at once; instead GBBs tend to change color slowly over multiple moults. Keep your eyes peeled – it’s great fun to watch!

      Reply
    • I find that Greenbottle Blues are “hungry” spiders with a healthy appetite that will eat far more often than many other tarantulas. Generally speaking my youngsters get fed twice a week. Adults get fed roughly once a week. That said, I find that my adult females often go off their food for some months over winter, at which point they’re offered food every few weeks. As with any other tarantula, aim to remove any uneaten food rather than leaving it in the tank “just incase” your spider gets hungry.

      Reply
  1. My 5.5 inch female GBB is an absolute devil. She won’t hesitate to kick hair and I’ve received a threat pose from her a couple times. I’d never attempt to handle her. She recently molted so she is one big and beautiful girl.

    Reply
  2. My new GBB had webbed up the front opening doors …this is how I was intending to change her water dish..what is the best way to change and add water ?

    Reply
    • It’s a constant problem with GBBs Shannon! I feel your pain! There really is nothing you can do – GBBs will web all over no matter what you do. I’m afraid you’ll have to damage the web to keep the water topped up. Luckily it shouldn’t cause any issues for your spider. If the bowl itself has been webbed over you can either try to remove it using long forceps, clean it, and replace it. Or, if you don’t want to do too much damage then of course your option is to add a second water bowl to the cage.

      Reply
  3. I have my first GBB my husband and I are new to this and every website I go to has a different humidity level. When we first brought her home she was on display all the time. Since her first molt she has retreated into her web tube and never comes out. She molted a second time just last week. Every once in a while a leg will emerge from the tube but that’s it. Temp is currently about 75 and humidity at 50%. What am I doing wrong?

    Reply
    • Hi Cynthia – Most experienced keepers agree that GBBs prefer a “dry” environment so a 50% humidity should be perfect acceptable. I’d also say that temperature should be perfectly acceptable. Based on what you’ve said I can’t see anything obviously wrong with your setup.

      Reply
  4. I’ve bought a Colbalt Blue, early last year, and she has made an underground den for
    herself, and hardly ever see her, Sometimes wondering if she is still alive, my only way
    of knowing for definate, is to put a cork in front of her opening, and it gets knocked
    over, when she comes out late at night. When she comes out to feed, not saying she
    is idle, but she just waits on the glass of the tank, above the water dish. Not a spider
    for show, as she hides away too much.

    Reply

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