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Care Sheet

The Sri-Lankan Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria fasciata)

poecilotheria_fasciata_bts.jpg (2718 bytes)This is a gorgeous spider, fast, colorful and such attitude!

Playfully called 'Pokies' by those that keep them, and those should only be keepers that have kept other old-world spiders as this is a quick and aggressive spider.

First described by Latreille in 1804 in its native habitat in Sri-Lanka (thick tropical forest) they are known locally as 'Tree Spiders'.

As you would guess from the local name these spiders are generally arboreal (tree-living). However there have been a number of reports that these spiders will burrow. There are some suggestions that they start life as burrowers and as they get older they become fully arboreal. [can anyone confirm/deny this?]

Colouring: A dark abdomen with a broad central cream band edged in black, plus five oblique marks. The carapace is grey with cream markings.

The legs are banded black and white, with yellow on the underneath of the first two pairs, which is used as a warning signal to would be attackers.

As with most tarantulas these are nocturnal creatures.

The requirements in captivity are:

As for keeping them as pets, many people keep these in large 12x12x12 (inches) tanks.

Like the other tropical species they require high humidity levels (above 80%) but you must be careful to avoid the air in the tank becoming stagnant as this appears to be the cause of some deaths in captivity.

As these are generally arboreal, the ideal substrate is peat or peat/vermiculite mix, this must be at least 3 inches deep, and there must be some shelter,cork-bark, twigs, etc. for web tubes to be hung from or created behind.

An open water dish is a must, as is regular mistings to keep that humidity level high!

Food: All standard invertebrates

Geographic Range: Sri-Lanka

Aggressiveness: Generally considered aggressive.

Temperature range: 75-80 farenheit.

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