The Poecilotheria metallica is a special kind of tarantula. This blue beauty is known by many names like gooty sapphire ornamental tree spider, gooty tarantula or the blue peacock parachute spider. Its habitat is very humid and can be found in central southern India.
With all its names, it’s very easy to tell that this species of tarantula is famous. Which also means that the demand is high, just like its price. You can get a peocilotbheria metallica at a price range of $100-$200 as spider-lings. But if you were to buy it as an adult spider, the price can go as high as $500.
This tarantula has a special trait or feature that separates it from other tarantulas. For instance, its distinctive blue exterior and the fact it lives in the burrows of a tree. Still, this tarantula shares several features and traits which are general to all tarantulas like its preference for high humidity and its high sensitivity to light.
Lifespan and size
Studies were done on tarantulas generally says that male tarantulas have very low life expectancy compared to the females. So the Poecilotheria metallica follows suit to this discovery. The female peacock parachute spider can live up 15 years while the males could only last for four years tops.
Sometimes the males do not even last up to four years, and there are a lot of reasons for this. One of the disturbing and wasteful reason is that the females devour their male mates before or after mating.
The size of both male and female are a bit similar. Although the male tends to be a lot smaller. Their size is within the range of 15cm-20cm.
Facts and characteristic of Poecilotheria metallica
Every tarantula possesses a specific feature or trait that differentiates it from the rest. It could be its physicality, longevity, behavior and so on.
Here are the interesting facts and characteristics of Poecilotheria metallica:
It has an attractive blue hue
The Poecilotheria metallica is entirely covered in a blue hue. A crystalline array of nanostructures produces the blue hue. The males blue is much more vivid and bright compared to the females. So you can say the look of the male blue peacock parachute spider is more attractive than the female.
Its venom is agonizing but not deadly
There has been no death recorded due to the venom of Poecilotheria metallica tarantula. But the venom is still considered a threat to one’s health. The reason is that the venom causes the victim to experience certain disorders which can collectively be very deadly.
The disorders include increased heart rate, constant sweating, stinging, swelling, cramping, and headache. They could all last for a week; sometimes they can go as far as months.
It is an endangered species
The Poecilotheria metallica is in trouble of going extinct. The international union discovered this for the conservation of Nature. They say the decline in the population of this species is purely due to the occurrence in their habitat. There is rapid degradation of the habitat; the causes are due to excessive water logging and firewood harvesting.
There is no record of the actual population size, but with evidence of several small natural range and habitat threats then there is sure to be a decline in their population.
It is doesn’t really enjoy much human handling
If this species of tarantula is kept as a pet its best to be careful when handling them, the reason is that they are liable to bite with their fangs which happens to be their only defense mechanism. There are no urticating hairs, so before it bites, it tries to evade.
Try to handle it with care, the bite of this one is not deadly, but the experiences during and after the bite is a terrible, nerve-racking one.
They prefer a few neighbors
The Poecilotheria metallica tarantula is arboreal-like in nature. They live in burrowed holes of trees. These species do not live in solitary; they would love a few neighbors. Some trees have lots of holes meaning there will be lots of neighboring spiders, a blue peacock parachute spider (Poecilotheria metallica) will not live in such a place.
They are night hunters
This is a trait possessed by all tarantula. Their sensitivity to UV lights is a major cause for them being nocturnal in nature. This means they hide or sleep all day and feed at night.
What do they prefer to eat?
Mostly insects such as crickets, moths and sometimes larger prey like rodents.
How do they feed?
Like any other tarantulas out there, it pounces on their prey from behind to inject the victim with its venom. After subduing the prey, the tarantula makes a web mat around it for easy consumption.
How you can feed them
Tarantulas are known to have a large appetite, but it can be controlled. As they are young, you can feed them as much as two crickets or any other insects per week. Once they turn adult, it should be replaced to one per week.
Please note: they prefer to hunt and pounce on the food/prey before eating.
Care and Housing
This species of tarantula is arboreal which means it lives in burrows on trees. With that fact in mind, the best way to remotely house them is with a large and enclosed vertically oriented container or cage with relatively high humidity.
You can get this easily by being creative with an aquarium by modifying with screen sides and screened top works.
Make sure to prevent the tarantula’s home from being too dry; it will affect the spider negatively. The best to avoid this is by installing 4-5 inches of substrate damp sand and peat moss along with several plants. Providing this will help the tarantula feel more like its habitat. Therefore housing making and laying of eggs will be a lot easier.
Clean up for the tarantula after it feeds
Sometimes the tarantula may not finish up its prey, and that can cause issues to its health. Once the tarantula is done eating and there still some leftovers, it could attract fungus, mites or molds which are significant threats to the tarantula. Make sure to clean up the tarantula’s enclosure thoroughly.
Once both the male and female are fully mature, then mating can begin. The male must have a robust tidal hook while the female must be fed well in anticipation of a large egg sac.
Before the mating, both the male and the female should be feed adequately, especially the female because they are known to have cannibalistic tendencies. After the male Poecilotheria metallica as fertilized the female’s eggs then he should be out of sight before the female decides to eat him.
How to mate them without issues
Once the male has deposited its sperm, you should make use of a tool that will help relocate the male spider from the female’s position in order to prevent cannibalism.
That is all the basics you need to know about the beautiful blue peacock parachute tarantula. They are beautiful but are not docile. Also, there are no urticating hairs to worry about which makes them easy to touch, unless you mishandle them and they will result in biting. This can cause painful disorders which could last for weeks, at worse a month.
The blue peacock parachute tarantula may be expensive to acquire, but their food and housing can be affordable. In the end, it can be that perfect pet you wish it to be.