Flame Rump Tree Spider (Thrixopelma ockerti)
The ‘Flame Rump tree Spider’, is a gorgeous bird spider which is best known for its vibrant hue and calm manners. While most people deem them to be ‘pet rocks’ for their relatively docile disposition, these same creatures can get pretty aggressive if you end up disturbing them in some way.
Widely found in the Peruvian regions, the ‘Flame Rump’ spider has a relatively dull color during its growing years. Over the time, it becomes slightly more vibrant while developing a striking greenish-blue hue along its carapace. Its bright pink abdominal setae, is equally attractive.
Being semi-arboreal and semi-terrestrial in nature, you’re likely to find them in the barks of trees or within the crevices of rocks. These species are rare and breeding them can be quite a task.
The ‘Flame Rump Tree Spider’ is native to Peru.
Preferred natural habitat
The Flame Rump prefers living in tropical and humid areas. The temperature of their ideal habitat ranges from 24 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius. When the temperature gets increasingly hot, these spiders protect themselves by hiding in the crevices of the trees or the hollows of the branches and leaves. So if you’re planning to keep them as a pet, do not over-heat their terrarium.
Preferred food in the wild
Flame Rumps are casual eaters and they usually thrive on a diet of baby crickets, earthworms, and other small insects. Since they are relatively calm in nature, they wouldn’t aggressively jump on their prey. They’d rather let their prey settle before suddenly grabbing and eating them.
Although they tend to be calm, these spiders can exhibit semi-aggressive behavior when disturbed. Depending on the intensity of the disturbance, they will point their abdomen upwards while sending a solid dose of urticating hairs to their potential agitators. That being said, their bite isn’t dangerous. Other than this annoying urticating hair, there is nothing much to be afraid of.
Feeding as a pet
If you’re planning to adopt a Flame Rump as your pet, start feeding pinhead crickets to your spiderlings. As you do this, make sure the head of the crickets are crushed, since their slings can otherwise hurt your baby spider. Once they start growing up, introduce bigger crickets and earthworms in their diet. Typically, the Flame Rump needs their meal of crickets and other insects at least five times a week.
Lifespan both male and female
While the male species tend to live for only 3-4 years, the females can survive up to 15 years in captivity.
Pet enclosure type
Since these spiders are semi-arboreal in nature, you’d ideally need an enclosure which is not just tall, but also equally wide. In most cases, an enclosure of 18 inches (height) and 12 inches (length) will suffice. Making the enclosure big and wide will allow the species to freely roam about without any possible obstruction. Since they tend to burrow a little, you can keep a small bark or a twig along with ample amounts of water.
Pet enclosure habitat layout
You’d need at least three inches of substrate in your vial and around four inches in the terrarium. You can always make this substrate with damp coconut fiber. Alternatively, you can also use a concoction of peat moss and vermiculite. In either case, make sure the temperature is within 21 degree Celsius to 28 degree Celsius along with humidity of around 60%. You can lower the temperature by one or two degrees during the night.
Mating / reproducing
Mating a Flame Rump isn’t the easiest task, and it often takes a lot of time. So make sure you’re patient enough during the entire process. When you first introduce the male in the vial of the female, he’d typically exhibit a cautious disposition. Don’t lose your cool and let him settle him for a while. Also, when you’re ‘actually’ pairing the duo, try doing that in a calm environment with little to no vibrations. This will keep both the parties completely focused and undistracted.
You can start breeding around four to six weeks after your female spider has molted. In case she happens to molt in the middle of the pairing and her cocoon, there’s a high possibility for the eggs to be unfertilized.
Once they’re done with the mating, separate the male and female species with a pair of tweezers. Do this immediately after they’ve mated. The female usually starts making her cocoon, within 1-3 months of mating. If you see the eggs, store them at a humidity of 70% and a temperature ranging between 24 degrees Celsius to 29 degrees Celsius.
These spiders grow at an incredibly fast rate. Within just two years your female Flame Rump can reach a size of 4.5 to 5.5 cm. The males, on the other hand, range around 3 to 5 centimeters.