One of the most beautiful arboreal Tarantulas available. In you can imagine a 20cm+ metallic purple / blue spider with long red hairs and pink toes you nearly there! There appears to be a very low ratio of females to males in egg sacks (1 female to every 5 males so I have been told) so females are hard to come by. I have yet to see a photograph do this species justice, we tried for hours but never really got a perfect match, the photos just don’t seem to capture the purple only the blue. This species needs to be kept in a relatively large arboreal set up with vertical hides. They also like quite dark enclosures. Spiderlings tend to burrow until bigger. This species is a must for all arboreal and Asian keepers or anyone who just likes stunning spiders!
The colour of the this species varies depending on original locality. They vary from a beautiful bright orange colour to tan with a starburst pattern covering its body. It is very interesting in both its behaviour and habits. Not a beginners species but definitely one of those species you need to keep sooner or later. They do not require high humidity and can be kept on slightly moistened substrate with a water dish. They are best kept in a terrarium that is set up with both arboreal and terrestrial hides. If given enough substrate they may even dig a burrow. They are very heavy webber’s and will not only cover a dense layer of web over their retreat but also over the entire enclosure, establishing elaborate silken tunnels. Care needs to be given when moving them and maintaining the enclosure as they are very fast and will not hesitate to bite or escape.
This species is a real monster, it is a giant, robust, heavy bodied, fast and powerful Spider. This is probably the most popular species in the Hobby. Uniformly dark brown in body colour covered with dense short setae (hair) which gives it a beautiful suede appearance. There are also some longish reddish hairs on the abdomen and legs. It is interested to observe the changes of coloration of this giant from moult to moult as it can vary from jet black to pale orange. In wild it inhabits very moist (even swamp) deep rainforests where it lives in deep burrows. They feed on any capable sized prey: insects, small mammals, frogs, lizards and has also been recorded to feed on lethal venomous snakes (West, 1992). In captivity it needs a very ample terrarium with a thick layer of humid substrate. and a big water bowl for drinking. Regular misting of the terrarium provides an increased humidity which is critical for this species. It readily utilizes artificial retreats and you can also decorate the enclosure with artificial plants. This species doesn’t spin much web. In spite of the this Tarantula often being bred as spiderlings it is very hard to breed. The mating is usually successful but females do not produce the eggsacks, or if they do the eggs are often infertile. Eggsacks usually contain less than 100 eggs but the offspring are rather large and around 2cm. There are a few points about this unique species a potential keeper must bear in mind. Humidity is important to this species and require regular misting, however it also important to have good ventilation so that the enclosure does not get stagnant as this can also be harmful. This species is a voracious eater and fast grower – it can eat and eat and eat and eat…. until the abdomen looks fit to burst, so try not to overfeed it to much. This species also has urticating hairs (type III) which are considered the nastiest among tarantula fauna and can cause serious irritation to the skin. Just the slightest movement of one rear leg rubbing against the abdomen of the is monster raises a whole cloud of this hair. It is also not a docile pet, they have 1.5 – 2cm fangs and can strike a very painful bite. When this monster is distributed it will stridulate which is a hissing sound let you know it is annoyed.
Its always good to come home to find a nice surprise in the spider room – this time it is a Poecilotheria striata eggsac. This female was paired over 6 months ago and I was almost starting to give up hope of her ever dropping. We’ve had striata eggsacs previously this year but have been eaten within the first three weeks. Fingers crossed that this one will go the distance.
I’m especially happy with this sac as it seems like there aren’t many people breeding this species of pokie at the moment.