Venezuelan suntiger tarantulas are the exotic new world arboreal spiders. They are very attractive and gorgeous black spiders with orange chevron and leg markings similar to tiger stripes. . They are popular among hobbyist due to their voracious appetite and striking colouration. One can easily distinguish male from female of this species as they are sexually dimorphic. The male is smaller and has greyish brown colouration. They produce a large amount of web, especially before moulting. A lot of care is needed when handling them since they are fast-moving, so better use a soft paintbrush or a pair of forceps .
The scientific name of Venezuelan suntiger is Psalmopoeus irminia.
Venezuelan suntiger tarantula is endemic to Venezuela, North Brazil and North Guyana.
Preferred natural habitat
Venezuelan suntiger tarantulas are the inhabitants of rainforest and live in a moist and warm environment of the forest. As slings, they like to stay open in the ground and sometimes even make burrow of tubes webbing. When adult, as with most arboreal species they like to dwell in tree cavities at medium height and hide in holes in the barks.
Preferred food in the wild
Venezuelan suntiger are good appetite and can easily take down larger preys. Their typical food in the wild is insects.
The temperament of this specie is manageable as compared to other tarantulas. This species is typically defensive but lack urticating hair for defence mechanism and they make up for this by being lightning fast and agile. Sometimes, they tend to jump if that’s their way out, and when they do, they fall like parachutes.
Their bites are worst and have toxic venom than most of the new world species. Sometimes the reaction to bites can result in hospitalization.
Feeding as a pet
They have a healthy appetite and it is fun watching them hunt and eat. You can give them cricket, moths or any other live insects. Slings can be served food every 4-7 days and adult tarantulas every 8- 10 days. Extra care should be taken when the spider is moulting and shouldn’t be fed at least for a week after moulting.
Life span both male and female
The life span of male Venezuelan suntiger is up to 4 years whereas female spider has a greater life expectancy up to 12 years.
Pet enclosure type
Since Venezuelan suntiger is an arboreal species of tarantulas so you need to provide a vertical enclosure which is at least is 4 times the size of a spider. The temperature in the pet enclosure should be maintained between 74°-80° and the humidity level should be kept between 65% – 75%. You can install heat lamps, thermostats and heat mats to maintain adequate hot temperature.
Pet enclosure habitat layout
The enclosure should have an arrangement of branch to climb upon and hollow cork bark for hiding. Ensure the branches are fixed properly so they don’t fall or hurt the tarantula when it climbs onto them. You can even place the live plants in the habitat to make them feel secure. A customary dish should be placed with water inside but it shouldn’t be too deep to avoid drowning. The slings of this species like to hide and burrow so a 2-inch substrate is required. You can add vermiculite, coconut fibre, peat moss and dirt as substrate. The substrate usually needs to be watered every 7 to 14 days to maintain the moisture. But don’t over water it to avoid mould.
Mating / reproducing
Mating Venezuelan suntiger tarantulas is a smooth process however cannibalism can happen. Therefore make sure female Venezuelan suntiger tarantulas are well-fed before introducing her to make spiders. Female Venezuelan suntiger on average produces 50-200 eggs per sac; however, the fascinating thing is they drop double egg sac from a single mating. The fertile eggs from the second sac will be less usually up to 80 eggs.
The Venezuelan suntiger tarantulas have a good development rate especially when they reach maturity. Females Venezuelan stuntigers are larger than males up to 6 inches whereas male grows up to 5 inches.
Venezuelan suntiger tarantulas are exotic spiders to watch and own for any passionate hobbyist. They are usually shy and stay hidden but once they venture out they serve as muse and are definitely worth an investment.