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.
This was a total surprise. I have not paired this female so the sac may be infertile – what we call a phantom eggsac. BUT, the spider is wild caught so there is still a small chance it may be viable.
This is the best bit of spider news I’ve had this year as these spiders are not kept commonly in the hobby, they are pretty rare. If this is a viable eggsac AND they make it to spiderlings, I’ll most probably keep all the offspring or sell just a handful.
So I thought I’d be a clever bugger and pair up three different species in the same night (after midnight)
I was especially keen to get the Davus pentaloris project started to get a time under my belt – me and Martin from “The Tarantula Cave” have a competition going to see who’s male Davus is the bigger stud muffin. Rules are simple, time starts when the male enters the enclosure and touches the substrate and quickest time to get at the female and connect.
Totally underestimated how long this would take. I heard from Martin that his was long…… BUT after 3 hours I gave up. Looks like I’ll have to try again soon for a better time.
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.
This is probably my favourite dwarf species at the moment. There have been a few females available over the years but I have personally never seen a mature male in the flesh.
Those that watch the channel will remember that I was given these by Lee from http://www.thespidershop.co.uk with the plan to breed them in the future – I didn’t expect a male to mature so fast. There are another two unsexed spiders here that may be worth a punt pairing up (if female) but I’m thinking my best bet to get an adult female with be at the BTS exhibition in a few weeks.
In the meantime, have a look at this weeks video of when I found the male – the excitement is real.