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Psalmopoeus irminia Care Sheet PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 August 2006

Care Sheet

 Psalmopoeus irminia - Venezuelan Sun Tiger


Common Name:
Venezuelan Sun Tiger  
Scientific Name:Psalmopoeus irminia
New World Arboreal*


Max Size:
aprox 6"
Speed:Ultra fast
reclusive, unpredictable
Growth Rate:


Long legged and large, Sun Tigers are impressive tree spiders that live slightly elevated from ground level in bushes and trees in the rainforest areas of Venezuela. They possess orange chevrons down their backs over a velvet black opsithosoma. They also have distinctive orange stripes at the ends of their legs, and are built primarily for speed.


In the wild they live in hollows and crevices high in trees, so in captivity, Sun Tigers require a tall arboreal setup, with deep substrate of peat moss or vermiculite (for retaining humdity) and lots of climbing surfaces. Vermiculite can stick to arboreal spiders' feet, so you can cover it with a layer of either sphagnum moss or cork bark chips. A heat mat is essential as they like temperatures above 80F. They also like the dark and will spend a lot of timein it if they can, so a portion of their tank should be lined outside with black material to keep them truly happy, and give them somewhere safe to run to during tank maintenance.

Temperature is best kept around 85F, and they like humidity very high at around 80%. Regular gentle misting, and a large wide water bowl will be required to maintain that amount of humidty. Ventilation, whilst important, is not as vital for this species as it is with Avicularia spiders, making their enclosures slightly easier to set up.

As well as substrate and water bowl, you will need lots of cork bark on which to climb and bask, and offer hide opportunities like wide bamboo tubes. They need to climb, so artificial plants can be added for texture variation when they do. The webbing they produce is thick, complex and tube like, and will often cover the entire tank. Changing irminia tanks is a mission and a half. It is a good idea to have a tank with 2 entrances for this species...

Sun Tiger's will eat lots, though on their own schedule, not yours, and readily take to a diet of crickets and roaches.


Psalmopoeus have a bit of a reputation for being aggressive (defensive, more accurately), and are famous for being totally unpredictable - moreso than most spiders. However, they would far rather hide than attack, if given the choice, and bites have occurred in the past when the spider has been taken by surprise, and has not had time to flee to the safety of its tube hide, or web.

In spite of this, additional care must be taken with this species, as they are rush-happy, and are possessed of really quite serious speed with which to do it. If they do bite, it is likely to be several times in a row, and the venom is reported to be most unpleasant, and the effects potentially long-lasting. 


Irminia are a new / old world brdge species of tarantula, and do not possess urticating hairs. They also jump and glide, and can happily walk upside down on wet glass. They almost never fall unless nearing a moult, when their tarsal scopulae are a little worn down, and don't work as efficiently.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 May 2008 )
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