Megaphobema Pocock, 1901 is represented by four species and all are large terrestrial spiders ranging from Central and South America. All with thrive in a
typical terrestrial set-up (deep substrate to allow for burrowing, cork bark/flowerpot hide and water dish) with average temperatures and humidity (some prefer it drier, se below for more
Common species in captivity:
M. mesomelas (O. P.-Cambridge, 1892) - Costa Rica
A stunning species as adults being overall brown/black with orange/red colouring to the patella of the legs. The black abdomen is clothed with red hairs and the carapace has a velvet-like appearance (some specimens show colour variation and some are more brightly coloured than others). Slightly nervous in temperament, it will benefit from a retreat and enough room to burrow if required although it prefers lower than normal temperatures and humidity. Due to it's desired colour, a much sought after species that remains relatively scarce in collections.
M. peterklaasi Schmidt, 1994 - Costa Rica
Very similar in overall build to M. mesomelas but darker in colouration, the legs having a reddish flash down the metatarsus of all the legs. Again, very velvet-like in appearance and nervous in disposition. Captive breeding is still rare so prices remain high.
M. robustum (Ausserer, 1875) - Colombia
A freshly moulted specimen of M. robustum is a striking sight. The entire body is clothed in fiery orange hairs and these are especially apparent on leg iv. A very nervous species that will readily assume a characteristic offensive position with abdomen raised at the slightest disturbance. For this reason a suitable retreat is essential as it needs to feel secure in it's environment. There is wide colour variations within this species and some show very little orange colouration, being simply drab brown even when freshly moulted. A copious hair-kicker, M. robustum will often be completely bald unless rarely disturbed and definitely not recommended for the beginner or handling. Despite their disposition, breeding is usually a clam affair with the male rarely being attacked. It is only recently being bred in any great numbers so still quite sort after, prices remain high.
M. velvetosoma Schmidt, 1995 - Ecuador
Similar in build to M. robustum but coloured a more uniform brown. A nervous species that with kick urticating hairs readily often resulting in a bald abdomen. A retreat is recommended to make the spider feel more secure. Not often available as captive bred spiderlings, M. velvetosoma is relatively rare in collections due to lack of breeding success.