Indian Ornamental Tarantula – Poecilotheria Regalis
It is not hard to see why this is such a popular species for enthusiasts. With a leg span of around 6 inches in females, the Indian ornamental (Poecilotheria Regalis) is a stunning treasure to add to the collection. Even though it is strongly recommended never to handle due to their defensive and aggressive nature, they make an excellent addition due to their striking beauty. With a pale ghost like appearance it is quite hypnotising. A mixture of dark and cream with a stunning starburst pattern. From underneath you will be surprised to find a bright yellow appearance.
Much like the Poecilotheria ornata, this is a tree dwelling species. It will make itself at home in the nook and crannies high in the trees, and wait on passing flying insects such as moths. It has been rumored that adults if pushed can live communally, but this has not been proven. Slings can live together before their first molt, after this they will cannibalize each other.
Enthusiasts will suggest you struggle to find much that this species won’t eat. Mealworms are a good choice for spiderlings. Slings can be a little intimidated and scared by live food, in this case it would be suggested to cut up a meal worm into smaller pieces, this will allow your spiderling to scavenge at its leisure. A larger mature tarantula will eat whatever it can get its fangs into.
A female that is loved, cherished and generally worshiped by her owner can live to around 15 years old. The sad story for the male as with many species of tarantula is that he will struggle to reach 5, averaging out at around 3.
To be on the safe side, it is suggested that an owner should wait just over a month after the female’s last molt to introduce her to a male. She should be kept well fed but not enough to make her overweight (yes tarantulas can get fat). Observance is key for the initial introduction. If the female is not in the mood she will appear angry. If this happens do not force it and remove the male. After further feeding and a week or so after try again. If things appear to be going well leave the male in there and do not disturb them. After around four weeks with any luck you will be able to retrieve the male in one piece and have a mother to be.
This is a species you can get really creative with. Taking advantage of their striking appearance and being arboreal, one can make a centre piece out of its enclosure. Being arboreal you will want an enclosure that is tall. A cylinder shaped enclosure would be idea. This way you can create a stunning showcase piece and give your tarantula an environment suitable for its needs.
A layer of substrate obviously. Something to climb on. For tiny slings a little branch of something similar will be ideal. For an adult a large piece of bark, cork, or similar would be fine. If you wish to get creative you can put multiple objects in of various sizes and heights. This will give your tarantula plenty of explore and somewhere to hide. Some enthusiasts have got creative and attached a water dish to the bark or whatever they are using.
This is open to interpretation, but the general thought is this is a very good eater with a great appetite. A growth of anything between an 1 inch to three inches can be achieved within 12 months.
Much like the Ornata, a temperature sitting in the late 70s or early 80s and anywhere in-between is ideal. High humidity will help recreate their natural setting.
Again, not as psychotically aggressive as a species such as the OBT, but nowhere near as laid back as the Chilean rose. If left alone this is a lovely species to observe. However it will not tolerate being disturbed, poked and prodded. Changing the water dish will become a battle of wills and nerve. Even though it would prefer to run from any potential threat, it will not hesitate to charge and give a very nasty bite. This is another reason you should take careful consideration into an enclosure. A side opening will leave you vulnerable to attack, however with this species a steady hand and plenty of respect will go a long way.
If all has gone well with the mating the female should create an egg sac just over a month after mating. However this is a rough estimate, sometimes more, sometimes less. A month after this you can attempt to extract the egg sac if you wish and incubate them yourself. This is a task that should only be taken on by experienced keepers. The egg sac can produce up to a thousand spiderlings, but how many that survive to the hatching stage can range from 100 to 1000.