Ivory Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria subfusca)
The Ivory Ornamental (Poecilotheria subfusca) is a rare and beautiful old world tarantula. Due to its limited numbers in captivity they can go for a hefty price. They are native to Sri Lanker where they can be found in the mountains or in the lowland areas. You only need to give this tarantula a glance to see why it is given such a name. With a dark base and striking cream starburst design across its abdomen and legs, with blond hairs covering its body. This gives it a slightly fuzzy look.
Depending on whom you talk to, what forums you go on, which enthusiasts you ask; there is debate on the size of a full mature adult. Someone will say comfortable around 4 inches, others will gush that their female in a relaxed pose can comfortable span 7 inches.
The temperament of the Ivory Ornamental does not make for a good beginners or intermediates pet. Along with their exotic name they come with a toxic and nasty bite. They are generally quite skittish and easily spooked; preferring to dash and run off rather than attack, but if they decide to it is said that they will hold on. This makes for a particularly nasty bite and hospital treatment is highly recommended.
This dazzling exotic beauty prefers all kinds of nooks and crannies, even within human reach which is worrisome.
This species of tarantula is known for its hearty appetite. You should not have a problem feeling this beauty once you can guess what it prefers. Nothing unusual here, anything smaller than itself; crickets, mealworms etc. Due to its very healthy and enthusiastic appetite; it would be easy to over feed and kill your tarantula with kindness.
Nothing too unusual. The females of the species can live up to the ripe old age of 15, while the males live a much short 4.
This species is notoriously difficult to breed, this could account to why they are difficult to come by and highly priced. Potential breeders will have to make a lot of preparations before even considering mating a pair. In order to mimic their natural environment it is suggested that a breeder should imitate a winter. The female will not be in a rush to create her cocoon and you could be waiting a fair while before she decides to do so. Some breeders have reported to have had to wait 9 months after mating their females for her to create a cocoon.
A terrarium or set up that is more vertical than horizontal. This species prefers to be off the ground so height will be appreciated.
Wishing to keep their feet off the ground, a log, branch or some other objects will be appreciated. Somewhere they can burrow under or hide in. Due to their natural habitat having a high level of humidity; it would be wise to keep their housing as such. However this leaves their housing open to fungus and parasites etc. Due to this species not spending much time on the ground level, you do not need to go overboard with the substrate. Two inches is more than sufficient. The Ivory Ornamental is a very shy species; so a portion of its housing that is left in the dark which be greatly appreciated.
You will not have to wait long for this spider to grow. Thanks to its very hearty appetite this is a very fast growing species. From a spiderling to a year old; a female can easily achieve 3 inches.
This species can easily tolerate an average temperature of around 23 degrees centigrade with average to high humidity of around 70%
This species of tarantula is best of be observed from a distance. If cared for properly and given its due respect; then it can make a truly wonderful addition. However it will most likely not tolerate attempts to handle it, chances are it will try and dash of at lightning speed which could end up seriously hurting or killing your tarantula. Worse still; if your tarantula is feeling rather brave it could latch on and give you a long and nasty bite for your troubles.
If you are a one of the few that can get a successful mating then you are very lucky. Anywhere from 4-9 months after courtship your female will create an egg sac. If kept in the correct conditions this egg sac will produce up to 60 spiderlings. Due to the complex nature of the artificial incubation period, this is not a tarantula recommended for beginners to the hobby.