Salem Ornamental Tarantula
Salem ornamental tarantulas are the beautiful parachute spiders. They got the name Salem because they are found in Salem, India. These arboreal tarantulas grow large with intricate patterns. You will find gorgeous purple sheens here and there on the white and black tarantula. There is also light yellow coloration underside the legs of Salem Ornamental.
If you are new to tarantulas then Salem Ornamental tarantula is not recommended for beginners as they are extremely fast and can escape easily. A lot of care is required while during their maintenance as they have huge fangs, their bite can be very unpleasant and their venom is potent.
The scientific name of Salem Ornamental tarantula is Poecilotheria formosa. Poecilotheria refers to Asian tarantulas. They are old world arboreal species of tarantulas that grow large in size. They are commonly called ornamental tarantulas because of their speed, toxin and vivid color patterns in comparison to other tarantulas.
The origin of Salem Ornamental tarantula is Southern Sri Lanka, Ratnapura and Salem, India. They can be found in southeastern Ghats between Tirupathi and Saleem. This species is endangered due to loss of habitat as Indian and Srilankan forests are at risk. Their commercial demand of being traded as a pet has also threatened their existence.
Preferred natural habitat
Salem Ornamental tarantula love to live high on trees. They hide within the tree trunk, under the barks, in natural tree cavities or in living and dead trees. However, with the rise in need of firewood, their natural habitat is at serious risk.
Preferred food in the wild
Salem Ornamental tarantula ambushes their prey instead of catching them in their web. They are carnivores and can eat small reptiles, mammals or anything that goes up into the trees.
From sling to adult they are lightning-fast. So you have to be very careful during shifting or maintenance as they can escape very easily. They are nocturnal as they prefer to stay hidden during the day and come out at dusk. They are also known to be aggressive and can most likely bite if provoked. Their venom is toxic and several cases of bite have resulted in hospital.
Feeding as a pet
This species is an excellent eater and you can feed them with crickets, cockroaches or even house geckos. If multiple Salem ornamental tarantulas are being kept in the same enclosure and not being fed properly there is a risk they might eat each other especially if one of them is molting. However, there are mixed views about keeping this species together.
Life span both male and female
Male Salem Ornamental Tarantulas mature early and die before female tarantula. The male lives up to 4 years whereas Female Salem Ornamental Tarantulas live longer up to 15 years. However, the mortality rate of Poecilotheria formosa before reaching maturity is quite high.
Pet enclosure type
Since Poecilotheria formosa is an arboreal species of tarantulas so they require a vertical enclosure which at least is 4 times the size of a spider. The temperature in the pet enclosure should be maintained between 780– 820 and the humidity level should be kept between 65% – 75%. You might need heat lamps, thermostats and heat mats to provide an adequate hot temperature
Pet enclosure habitat layout
The enclosure should be equipped with a branch to climb upon and hollow cork bark to hide under. Make sure the branches are fixed properly so they don’t fall when the tarantula climbs onto them. You can even keep the live plants in the enclosure. The substrate in the closure should be 5cm to 10 cm deep.
You need to place a customary dish with water inside. They don’t like wet places and do well in the dry substrate so moist the substrate only once a month and mist it weekly.
Mating / reproducing
Breeding Poecilotheria formosa needs a lot of patience. Many times the females end up eating the male Poecilotheria formosa. The reproduction rate of
Salem Ornamental tarantula is quite low, nearly 100 eggs per yearly egg sac.
The Salem Ornamental Tarantulas have a fast development rate and can grow fairly large up to 8inches as adults.
So if you are a hobbyist planning to pet Salem Ornamental you should be patient and very careful during their maintenance because of their speed, defensiveness and toxin.