Poecilotheria formosa
-Salem Ornamental

Common Names: Salem Ornamental Tarantula

Adult Size: BIG 18 to 20cm

Type: Old World Arboreal

Growth Rate: Fast

Temperament: Not for beginners. Can be defensive and even aggressive.

Lifespan: Females (12 to 15 years) | Males (3 to 4 years)

Origin: Southern Sri Lanka, Ratnapura

Recommended Climate:  25-27°C (Summer), 20-22°C (Winter)

Recommended Humidity: 70-80%. Lower temperatures to (22-24°C) when raising up humidity (85-90%) from time to time.

Basic Enclosure Requirements: Arboreal setup with at least 4 x the size of the spider in vertical space, 5cm to 10cm of substrate, a vertical shelter like hollow cork bark or bamboo and a customary water dish.

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Scientific Name: Poecilotheria formosa

Common Names: Salem Ornamental Tarantula

Not for beginners. As with all Poecilotheria species, these are Lightning fast from sling to adult and will grow large and gorgeous. Most notable on Poecilotheria formosa, are the purple hues that shine through here and there on a mostly black and white spider. Although there is a fair amount of light yellow coloration on the underside of this tarantula’s legs, it’s not as prominent or attractive as say, Poecilotheria regalis – Indian Ornamental Tarantula.

However, this does not at all detract from the beauty of any of the Poecilotheria species because, well, in our opinion they’re all a work of art, especially if you inspect the carapace of any one of them carefully, the intricate patterns are gorgeous. Check out this link for an amazing image showing the color variations on these species.

Keep in mind that Poecilotheria are an old world species that grows very large, has huge fangs and a venom that has had many keepers spend the night at an emergency room in intense pain. Their venom is potent, thought to have medical significance and further studies still need to be conducted.

Not necessarily aggressive or defensive and might even hunker down if disturbed rather than show a threat pose or bite, but don’t push it. From sling to adult, these tarantulas move invisibly fast when they decide to run for it, so extreme care is necessary as their bite is significantly unpleasant. Most bites occur when a hobbyist is careless during maintenance and the spider attempts to escape to safety, but the hobbyist gets in the way… A bite from any Poecilotheria species should be avoided at all costs. It hurts. A lot.


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