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.
So every now and then a video will keep popping up in my social media feeds and over the years become extremely difficult to ignore any longer. This is one of of them. A young chap apparently getting bitten by different species of tarantula for “research” purposes…. what a crock of shite!
This spider, Pterinochilus murinus, is a defensive “old world” Theraphosid spider found in central, eastern and southern Africa and is affectionately known as the OBT or Orange Bitey Thing.
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.