Orange Baboon Tarantula: Facts, Lifespan, Care, Feeding, & Breeding

Another fast and aggressive tarantula that is definitely not adequate for beginners. This time, we’re going to talk about the Pterinochilus murinus, better known as the Orange Baboon Tarantula. It has many other nicknames; for example, due to their nature, one of the most popular is the “Orange Bitey Thing” or OBT Tarantula for short.

This is a medium-sized tarantula. Their leg span can reach a maximum of 15cm while their bodies can’t grow more than 6cm. Their prominent color is the orange (as their name suggest) and they have a very defensive nature (that’s why they call it the “orange bitey thing), adding the fact that they also are very fast, this tarantula isn’t suited at all for beginners.

The P. murinus is commonly found in Africa, especially on the center and the southern regions.

They are always aware of their environment, so you can expect them to be in a defensive state most of the time. Handling them without enough experience is not a good idea as they have strong venom that can cause several unpleasant sensations depending on the amount of venom and the location of the bite. They may look gorgeous, but they’re actually pretty dangerous and should only be kept by those who have great experience handling moody tarantulas.

Lifespan and Physical Characteristics

Compared to other species of their size, they have a relatively long lifespan. The females can live around 10-15 years if you take care of them properly, and the males have a very short lifetime with a maximum of 4 years. You can expect them to grow to a size that can vary from 12 to 15 cm; and, as usual, the males are a bit tinier than the females.

Despite its nickname, their coloration has 4 variants; each one of them is known by a different name:

  1. There is the Typical Color Form or TCF, which has a golden coloration around their bodies and some shades of green around their legs. Another fact of this variation is that they’re capable of growing their hair longer than the other ones.
  2. The Usambra Mountain Variant or UMV has the typical orange color that we’ve been talking about during the whole text.
  3. The Red Color Form or RCF which presents an even more intense orange coloration. They are commonly mistaken by the UMV because of their similar shades of orange.
  4. The Dark Color Form or DCF, which has a black and grey coloration.

Characteristics

This is a very defensive species, adding the fact that they are very fast; you can expect them to try to escape from you if you try to pick them at first. If you keep bothering them, you can get bitten, and that is something you don’t want. These tarantulas are known by building really spectacular webs. If given the proper environmental conditions, you can expect them to build one in the terrarium in no time.

Handling and Bite

Their venom is strong enough to cause several unpleasant sensations to the human body depending on the bitten zone and the amount. A strong bite can result in symptoms such as spams, nausea, vomiting, and fever at high levels, to mention a few of them. Handling them without enough experience is something that shouldn’t cross your mind; don’t keep this tarantula if you’re a beginner.

Feeding

Make sure that your tarantula gets enough food during the day. This species is known to be very gluttony, so you have to provide them with enough food, even more, if you are trying to get them to mate, so, the female doesn’t eat the male. You can give them the usual: crickets, cockroaches and sometimes tiny rodents once in a while. They will eat almost anything that approaches them and is not bigger than their bodies.

OBT Tarantula Care & Housing

Habitat

The Orange Baboon Tarantula is medium sized, so finding the perfect terrarium size for them shouldn’t be too difficult. A very good size for an adult can be of 40x30x30 cm, younger specimens can use a tinier cage, but you should consider changing them after they reach their maximum size. You don’t have to put too much decoration around the cage, a pair of rocks or anything that they can use to hide should be enough. Provide enough substrate, so your tarantula feels comfortable around their new home.

As they are very fast and evasive, make sure that they can’t escape from the terrarium. As mentioned above, they often commit cannibalism, so it’s better to keep one specimen alone and only introduce another one when you try to mate. Even when that happens, you should make sure that your female tarantula is well-fed, so she doesn’t eat her partner.

Temperature

This Orange Bitey Thing likes relatively balanced temperatures. During the day, you should adjust it from 24°C to 28°C (75.2°F to 82.4°F); during the now, lower the levels and put them around 20 – 24°C (68 °F to 75°F).  If the temperature levels aren’t adjusted properly, your tarantula can get stressed and, overtime; they will show strange behavior (they will stop eating and will stay in a single place, in a lethargy state) and eventually will die. The humidity levels should be around 40-60%. 

Orange Baboon Tarantula Breeding

It’s very common for the females to commit cannibalism once the mating is done. As mentioned above, it’s much recommended to keep the female well-fed during the mating time so the male can still survive after the copulation is finished. After around 8 or 12 weeks, the female will make a cocoon somewhere in the terrarium. When possible, you should take the cocoon out of the terrarium and keep it somewhere else under a temperature than can vary from 24° to 28°C (75.2°F to 82.4°F). After some time, there will be from 50 to 150 spiderlings hatching from it. You can expect a second cocoon to be laid by the female after the first one, but can’t expect more spiderlings than the first one to be born from it.

Conclusion

Having this tarantula can be a tough task, even for an expert. There is a common joke among the breeders that says that this spider can “teleport,” that’s just how fast they are! Having them outside can be dangerous if you don’t know how to take care of them properly during that state. They will become very defensive when threatened, but at first, they will try to escape from the “foe.” If you keep bothering them, the result won’t be pretty at all. We have already mentioned the effects of their venom, which can cause several unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting, spams, and fever; you definitely don’t want that to happen to you! Better to keep them unbothered if you think that you can’t handle them.

Besides their hardy nature, this tarantula is easy to keep if you don’t try to handle them. They will eat almost anything that you give them and is not bigger than them so you can trust that any diet that you can afford for them will be enough. You should be careful when taking care of their terrarium, as they are very fast, you don’t know when they will try to escape.