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Poecilotheria fasciata Care Sheet PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 August 2006

Care Sheet

 Poecilotheria fasciata - Sri Lankan Ornamental

 


Common Name:
Sri Lankan Ornamental  Poecilotheria fasciata
Scientific Name:Poecilotheria fasciata
Origin:
Sri Lanka
Type:
Old World Arboreal
Temperature:85F
Humidity:

75%

  
Max Size:
aprox 8"
Speed:Ultra fast
Temperament:
Easily startled, shy
Venom:Strong
Growth Rate:
Very Fast - 1 yr for males

Description

A supremely beautifully patterned arboreal tree spider from the rainforests of Sri Lanka, these animals are large, attractive, and fast growing. They move like greased lightning, and can jump, so are not a beginner species. They are also superb climbers, and can easily walk upside down on glass with almost zero risk of falling...

Housing

In the wild they live in hollows and crevices high in trees, so in captivity, Poecilotheria require a tall arboreal setup, with minimal substrate and lots of varied-texture climbing surfaces - cork bark is ideal. A heat mat is essential and postioning it well can persuade them to bask out in the open. They also like the dark, so a good portion of their tank, including any hides should be lined outside with black material to keep them truly happy, and give them somewhere safe to run to during tank maintenance, and to recline in during daylight hours.

Temperature is best kept around 85F, and they like humidity at around 70%. Regular gentle misting will be required to maintain humidty despite good ariflow.

As well as substrate, you will also need a large water bowl (although they probably won't use it for direct drinking), lots of cork bark, and offer hide opportunities like wide bamboo tubes. They need to climb, so artificial plants can be added for texture variation. The webbing they produce is thick, complex and tube like, and will often cover some or all of the tank. Be ready to clean lots of spider-poo from the glass.

Pokies eat furiously, and lots when growing, something they do extremely fast, giving males a rather short lifespan of perhaps 1-2 years. They like standard spider fare: crickets, roaches, and maggots, but will happily tackle anything they think they can overpower, even if it is much bigger than themselves.  

Temperament

Fasciata are not easy spiders to maintain, and demand a great deal of respect. They are very easily spooked, prone to sudden bolts of speed, and have been known to threat posture, and bite repeatedly if not then left alone, although I am delighted to admit that mine has never done either, and remains quite calm, even in the face of severley intrusive tank changes. A spider to keep your eye on at all times though, especially bearing in mind the strength and effects of the venom. The best approach when doing maintenance I have found is to lightly tap the container without opening it, or announce your presence in some other gentle way, and this will give the spider time and the option to hide and feel safe before you then open up and go in to add food / water etc... another strategy is to only open the tank during the day, when yu will usually not see your spider, and it is already hiding.

Notes

The camouflage abilities of this species are nothing short of astounding. It is very hard to see a pokie on cork bark, and they seem to seamlessly blend in with a great variety of natural surfaces. This, coupled with their instinct to hide at the slightest disturbance, and the fact that they only tend to come out at night, makes them very difficult to photograph, but as they get older, they tend to be out on display more, and can be great explorers of their environments.

 

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 07 May 2008 )
 
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