Scientific Name: Acanthoscurria geniculata
Common names: Giant White Knee | Brazilian White Knee | White Banded Birdeater
Acanthoscurria geniculata is well known in the tarantula hobby and a favourite choice when hobbyists are looking for a great display specimen. They’re always out when your friends arrive and are voracious eaters, growing relatively fast between molts considering the sizes they reach. Seeing a full grown specimen up close is nothing short of impressive, quickly drawing the eye with it’s striking black and white leg striping.
They grow to a formidable size around the 20cm (8in) mark. Acanthoscurria geniculata also get bolder as they get bigger. They don’t scare easily and with many specimens you really have to annoy them before they flick urticating bristles or start getting defensive. You will find that they often stand their ground and face whatever is bothering them. If using large tweezers or other tool to nudge a full grown specimen along during maintenance, don’t be surprised if it spins around and takes it from you, hoping for a meal.
This species really is quite strong at full size. You should make sure that their enclosures close properly and even latch because a full grown female is more than capable of lifting the lid of her enclosure if she can get her fangs under it.
Breeding is straight forward with this species and they don’t require any special treatment to induce egg laying except raising humidity to a constant 80% or slightly more. Females can be very aggressive towards males during mating and due to their sheer strength, you will have a hard time protecting him if she chooses to attack. During mating, stay close with a tool you can use to protect the male, like your tweezers or 30cm ruler and be alert at all times.
Once the egg sac is produced, you may choose to pull it away from the female at around 6 weeks for manual incubation. An egg sac may contain anywhere upwards of 500 eggs, sometimes 800 and more.