Many tarantula species have a nasty attitude and dangerous venom, and within this wide range of species, we’d like to mention the poecilotheria ornata, also known as the Fringed Ornamental Tarantula. This tarantula has a very interesting coloration, but that’s not the only thing that makes it special. Their evasive and aggressive nature is something that makes it one of the hardest species of tarantula to handle.
The poecilotheria ornata is native to Sri Lanka, a country in the south of Asia. In the wild, they live in the jungle and are commonly found in tree holes covered in their spider web. They feed themselves in common insects and sometimes in small rodents.
They are considered one of the most dangerous member of the Poecilotheria family, not only because of their aggressive nature but also because of their potent venom. You wouldn’t want one of these buddies to bite you!
We weren’t lying when we said that they are very intimidating. The females can behave very aggressively towards the male during the copulation, but this is normal behavior among spider species. Besides that, they have a very aggressive nature in general, and, even though they can and will bite you when bothered too much, they will flee the first times and hide somewhere they feel safe.
Poecilotheria Ornata Lifespan and Physical Characteristics
They have a relatively short lifespan compared to other tarantula species. The females are known to live up to 12 years, and the males won’t last more than three years. While in the wild, they have an even shorter lifetime. Regarding their coloration, they have an extensive range of colors (which can vary from dark shades of brown, yellow, and purple; the last one is more prominent around the legs), but the most noticeable thing about their bodies, besides their size, is the star-like pattern that they have in the center of their bodies. The females can have a size of up to 8cm and a leg span of 25cm, and the males are very much tinier, having a total body-size of 4cm.
Like we have already mentioned, this is a very fast and aggressive tarantula. They are always in a defensive mood so you can expect them to try to flee every time you approach them. If you insist on bothering them, the result won’t be pleasant. While taking care of their terrarium, you should keep an eye on them to avoid all sorts of accidents.
Handling and Bite
Handling them is one of the things that shouldn’t be around your mind while taking care of this tarantula. As we’ve already mentioned, they have an aggressive nature and will consider almost everything that approaches them as a possible danger, so it’s better to keep them unbothered. Even if you have experience handling tarantulas, it’s better to avoid something bad from happening. The venom of poecilotheria ornata is known as the most potent among all of the tarantula species, so the symptoms of a bite are something that you wouldn’t want to feel. If you’re going to breed this kind of tarantula, you should keep in mind that they do not like to be bothered and will defend themselves almost immediately if they feel at risk.
They like to eat a lot, so be sure to provide them enough food (not that you will overfeed them, just the necessary!). They won’t get picky about the food and will accept anything that you give them, starting from the usual, such as cockroaches and crickets, but you can also try and give them small rodents once in a while.
Poecilotheria Ornata Care & Housing
Since they are a big-sized tarantula, you can expect them to need a big terrarium. The usual size of the perfect terrarium for the Fringed Ornamental Tarantula is of 30x50x30cm. As you’ve noticed, they require plenty of space, but they will spend most of their day hiding somewhere. You should provide a trunk so they can hide during the daylight, as tarantulas are nocturnal animals, they will be hiding during most hours of the day. While cleaning the terrarium, keep your eye on the tarantula – you don’t want a painful bite happening to you!
They will be hiding during most of the time, but you should take care of the temperature of their terrarium properly. They don’t like too hot temperatures, and the usual setup is of 26-27°C, but the overall temperature during the day can be set up to 30°C; in the night, you should adjust it to lower levels, from 22 to around 23°C. Make sure that your tarantula will feel comfortable by setting up the humidity to about 70-80%. While having low temperatures, you should put a higher level of humidity, around 85%. Remember that with high levels of temperature, a bunch of parasites can found a new home in your tarantula’s cage. Be sure to take care of it properly.
Poecilotheria Ornata Breeding
The mating is usually done quickly, and it generally doesn’t have any problem. Under some circumstances, the female might eat the male; it’s better to take the male out of the cage if you notice hostility in the female’s behavior while trying to get them to mate. Besides that, everything will run smoothly. Make sure that the female has already been fed at the moment you introduce the male to the terrarium. Remember that you should only introduce a sexually mature male to the female’s cage once the last one has done the first molting, if you do it too soon, the eggs will be unfertilized and the cocoon will be useless. After they’re done with the copulation, you can expect the female to produce a cocoon within the next two months (8 weeks, but it can take more time to be done). After the cocoon is constructed, you should store it somewhere with a temperature that can vary from 25 to 29°C and humidity that can go from 80 to 90%. You can expect from 100 to 200 eggs to hatch after 4-5 weeks under the specified conditions.
Some people consider them as a really dangerous kind of tarantula to have as a pet while others consider them as a lovely (if not the most) Poecilotheria member. Whatever your opinion is, you should keep in mind that this is a tough tarantula species, so you must be careful while taking care of them to avoid being bit by them. Their potent venom is known to have caused several hospitalizations; you don’t want to be bitten by this extravagant but dangerous tarantula!
If you are a beginner and are thinking of getting this tarantula, you should consider other species. Many others are easy to handle and won’t cause you any harm while trying to handle them; even for an expert, this is a tough task. Despite that, if unbothered, they can become excellent pets, and they are easy to take care of since they don’t get picky about the food or the weather. If you want to get this tarantula, please consider all of the above!