Gooty Sapphire Ornamental – Poecilotheria metallica
Much like its name, the gooty sapphire ornamental has a stunning base colour of metallic blue, bright yellow stripes on the legs and blond starburst design. It is hard to believe this is actually how it looks. However this is only at certain stages. It is normal to expect the female to model this stunning colour, but it is actually the males.
Perhaps not surprising but sad none the less is to know that this species is endangered. This means they are far more challenging to find, and if you do very expensive. But they are considered a treasure to own because of their rarity and stunning beauty.
Being a arboreal tarantula, they will make home inside holes of trees. Though it is not normally supposed to be kept with other tarantulas, in the wild if space is tight, they will tolerate and live communally with others.
In their natural habitat this species would hide up in the nooks and holes in trees and wait to prey on flying insects such as moths. However as this tarantula grows quite large, after maturity it can be given the occasional pinky (baby mouse). This is in addition to the normal staple for most tarantulas; crickets, cockroaches, mealworms etc.
A well cared for and loved captive female can live up to around give or take 12 years old. The male significantly less than this.
The same care should be given as with the mating process of most tarantula species. The female should be well fed as to helpfully stop her seeing her potential suitor as lunch. A slow introduction once the male has created a sperm web is wise. The owner, if brave enough can attempt to oversee proceedings without disturbing and be ready to intervene if the female shows signs of aggression, this giving the male a chance to back away and escape before being killed and eaten.
Being an arboreal species it is important to consider a tank that is more vertical. This will recreates a more natural habitat.
This species loves to climb. Of course a layer of substrate comes as standard. Some tree bark would be ideal; this will allow them to climb. However somewhere to hide is also handy. One can get imaginative and creative in creating the ideal layout. Keeping all the above in mind; climbing space, something to climb, and somewhere within that object to hide.
This is a topic argued within the tarantula community. Some say this is a nice and fast grower, others say not so much. On average it is said that it takes between a year and two years for both the male and female to reach full maturity. For the female this means she can reach to around six inches.
To keep this species happy and healthy, the temperature of the enclosure should be kept around the late 70s or early 80s with a high level of humidity. This would accurately recreate their natural habitat. Having the correct temperature also aids in successful molting and mating attempts.
Though it does not share the ultimate level of aggression a species such as the Pterinochilus murinus has, much like its “Pookie” counterparts it comes under the aggressive category. The bite has no records of having killed a human being; however it is pretty much guaranteed to win you a trip to your local emergency room. The bite is said to be agonising, causing muscle cramps, weakness and nausea. So it is safe to say that handling is out the window. When choosing a suitable enclosure it would be wise to keep this in mind. Even though it might not charge at you with lightening speed in the way an Pterinochilus murinus would, it will deliver a nasty bite if disturbed. This is a large spider do you do not want penetrating you with its fangs.
If mating has been successful, the mother to be should be well fed. She will produce an egg sac which can contain up to 1000 light purple coloured slings.