Cyriopagopus minax
-Thailand Big Black

(Previously Haplopelma minax)

Common names: Thailand Black | Big Black | Thailand Big Black

Adult Size: 12 to 13cm

Type: Old World, Fossorial (Burrower)

Growth Rate: Fast

Temperament: Not for beginners. Defensive to aggressive.

Lifespan: Females (11 to 13 years) | Males (2 to 4 years)

Origin: Burma, Northern Thailand, Malaysia

Recommended Climate: 24-26°C (Summer), 20-25°C (Winter)

Recommended Humidity: 75-85%

Basic Enclosure Requirements: Fossorial setup with at least 4 x the size of the spider in horizontal space, 15cm to 20cm (or more) of substrate to allow for burrowing with the customary shelter and a water dish.

Photo Credit: &

Video Credit: Martin Hüsser, birdspidersCH

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Scientific Name: Cyriopagopus minax

Common names: Thailand Black | Big Black | Thailand Big Black

Not for beginners. The epitome of an Old World species… Cyriopagopus minax (previously Haplopelma) is extremely defensive, will turn aggressive and has no problem delivering a bite. When I first got in to this hobby, the “minax” was talked about like a whispered legend. One of those species you might see in an advanced collection owned by very experienced hobbyists. The reason is simple, this tarantula simply takes no prisoners and should be kept by experienced keepers only. End of story.

They can move extremely fast and are far more aggressive than any bird spider we’ve seen in person. Even Stromatopelma calceatum – Featherleg Baboon which is known to be one of the most defensive and aggressive species to keep, does not quite match the “minax” for bold aggression. If you are trying to nudge a Thailand Black Tarantula along with a tweezers, a chopstick or any device used to usher a taranula out of the way or in to a new enclosure, instead of bolting, moving skittishly or hunkering down, they will immediately flare in to a threat pose, try and grab the threat, try and face the threat or even attacking with a wide fanged bite instantly. Sure, not all specimens are this aggressive, but they can sure get there in a flash.

Sadly no more than a pet hole in most cases (but not all) this fossorial (burrowing) old world species loves spending it’s time below ground and only surfacing late at night or when food items are on offer. They eat very well and grow fast, capable of growing from sling to a mature male in one year flat without power feeding. When they are out and about, they are extremely sensitive and defensive. It doesn’t take much to see a threat pose displayed by the Thailand Black tarantula or it’s family members.

Even during mating (as you will see in the video below), males are too afraid to simply approach a female and mate with her. Males take it pretty slow, attempting to distract the female with large slapping action from their front pair of legs. They will tap/drum on the ground a little at first and then add a bigger “slap”, slowly getting closer, tapping the female’s feet, then legs, keeping the female distracted by all the tapping and slapping motions while slowly getting closer until he feel safe enough to engage her and make a mating attempt.