The Pumpkin Patch Tarantula is classified as a dwarf tarantula and is one cute little spider, it appears to have a few pumpkins tattooed on its abdomen. When they first emerged on the South African market around 6 years ago they often sold at around R1200 each. Fortunately a few local egg-sacs have brought the price down considerably.
The Germans, who first bred them, have usually named them Hapalopus sp Colombia (gros) meaning large and Hapalopus sp Colombia (klein) meaning small. There is a noticeable difference in size between the 2 species. While the small variant usually only grows to around a maximum of 7-8 cm, the large variant has been recorded by an American keeper at just under 12cm. That’s a huge difference. At almost 12 cm that is quite a big “dwarf tarantula”
While it’s great to acknowledge that there are potentially 2 separate species, because these were originally sold as one species (H. formosus) they will more than likely have been inter-bred several times. These hybrids would possibly now be separated by size alone and it is highly unlikely that we have any pure specimens in the hobby over here.
They often spin quite impressive webs and make really good display spiders. Larger spiders will not usually burrow and will often be seen “out on the prowl” or can be seen “just chillin’” out in the open. Possibly, hoping to be overlooked as a mini pumpkin patch.
Care is similar to most ground dwelling spiders. A good humidity can be maintained by spraying the enclosure once a week and keeping the substrate slightly moist. Allowing the substrate to dry out before wetting again helps to break the cycle of moulds, funguses and several parasites. Good ventilation also helps to reduce mould, but you may then need to add an extra spray a week to keep the humidity up in the enclosure, especially in the dryer areas of the country.
Spraying the web once a week supplies sufficient water for smaller slings, but as they grow a small water bowl is advised.