The Cyriopagopus lividus was one of the first blue tarantulas to hit the hobby scene due to its impressive colouration and feisty attitude. Even with more blue tarantulas catching hobbyists eyes, it remains a popular favourite amongst experienced keepers. They were initially described by Andrew Smith as the Haplopelma Lividus in 1996 but later changed to Cyriopagopus lividus.
Cyriopagopus lividus is a stunning medium-sized tarantula that has iridescent blue colouration with hints of grey on their prosoma and abdomen. Male and females look identical until they hit maturity when males will get more of a brown colouration, while the females remain blue. C.lividus are covered in black hair which can take some of their blue colours away, but under natural or specialised lighting, you get a perfect view of that famous blue.
Cyriopagopus lividus was previously named Haplopelma lividum, so they are often miscalled this, as well as being called Cyriopagopus lividum.
They are most famously referred to as the Cobalt Blue Tarantula.
Location and availability
C.lividus are spread widely across south-east Asia, being found in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Unfortunately, due to deforestation, which has caused a strain on population, their natural habitat is becoming smaller by the day.
In the wild, you can find them in the tropical forest deep in burrows, and only out at night to hunt prey. Tarantulas of the Cyriopagopus genus have been known to be eaten by people; this may be another contributing factor to their drop within the wild. Luckily, they are readily available within the tarantula hobby, meaning it is a lot easier to get your hands on one, as most are captive bred.
Please, if it can be helped, do not buy a wild caught species of any tarantula as this can cause a massive impact on their availability in the wild.
Like all tarantulas, females will live longer than males, with an average lifespan of 15 years, although it has been reported that some females have lived for up to 25 years.
Males typically have a shorter lifespan at around ten years, which is still a long time for a male.
As mentioned previously, they are naturally found in tropical forests; they are a timid, fossorial species, which enjoy deep moist substrate. If housed efficiently, you may not see them unless they’re hungry. Due to their natural habitat, it is advised to keep them around 25.5°-27.8°C with about 70-80% humidity. The size of the enclosure will depend on the size of your tarantula, but you will need a large surface area with deep enough substrate (around 8”) for them to make their tunnels and web up, which is a brilliant sight to see.
Another reason why it’s advised to keep them in a larger enclosure with plenty of space to burrow is that they are extremely fast. Giving them an option to bolt into their hide is much better than giving them the only option to run out. As slings, they are kept like most, on a moist substrate, with the opportunity to burrow.
Set your mind on the attitude of an OBT, then double it and you have the Cyriopagopus lividus. These are an incredibly feisty species with a nasty bite; they are also very swift. As they are an old world species, their venom has a stronger potency compared to a new world species. C.lividus are more likely to hit a threat posture and attempt to bite, rather than flee, and as they don’t have urticating hairs, there won’t be any hair flicking.
Like most slings, they can be fed on Drosophila hydei, small roaches or a pinhead once a week. Once their size has increased, they can be introduced to mealworms and larger prey insects. They are a ravenous species, and will only turn down food when they’re in premoult (in most cases).
The C.lividus is a very fast growing species which will moult often. As they spend the majority of their time in their burrows, it is likely that they will keep the moult in their hide, rather than bringing them out as some species do; this may make it harder to keep track of their moulting cycle. You can expect your cobalt blue to reach maturity within two years if fed correctly and maintained at the correct temperature.
As adults, females typically hit around 5 inches, with males being slightly smaller.
To summarise, yes you should add a Cyriopagpus lividus to your collection if you’re experienced enough. Don’t expect a show tarantula because you won’t be getting one; what you will be getting is a tarantula that will impress you with underground mazes, webbing, and a ‘fight me’ attitude. They are a favourite amongst the majority, and if they’re not a favourite of yours yet, they soon will be. They are the perfect representation of an old world tarantula.