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Poecilotheria Rufilata - Red Slate Ornamental Tarantula


Poecilotheria Rufilata - The Regal Red Slate Ornamental Tarantula

Introduction: Meet the Poecilotheria Rufilata, also renowned as the Red Slate Ornamental Tarantula. This arboreal beauty is a true gem in the tarantula world, boasting striking patterns and a mix of green, black, and subtle red shades. Native to the lush forests of India, the P. Rufilata is not just a visual spectacle but also an engaging species for intermediate-level tarantula enthusiasts.

Care Details:

  • Temperature: Optimal conditions range from 75 to 85°F (24 to 29°C). These temperatures promote healthy growth, frequent molting, and robust feeding behaviors.

  • Humidity: The P. Rufilata thrives in humidity levels of around 65-70%. While water dishes are optional, I personally do not use them, but they can be included safely.

  • Housing:

    • Babies: I provide a small vial (up to 5 inches tall and 2 inches in diameter) with proper ventilation for baby tarantulas, available for free at checkout upon request.
    • Juveniles and Adults: A 7-8 inch tall enclosure is ideal for those larger than 2 inches, while adults need a space ranging from 12 to 16 inches tall to accommodate their arboreal lifestyle.

Diet: My P. Rufilata enjoys a varied diet of crickets and different cockroaches, including Dubia and Red-runner roaches. Baby tarantulas do well with baby crickets and roaches. It's fine if you have access to only one type of prey.  An occasional pinky or hopper mouse can be a treat, but should be offered sparingly for the larger specimens.

In-depth Facts:

  • Latin Name: Poecilotheria Rufilata
  • Common Name: Red Slate Ornamental Tarantula
  • Locale: Found in the forested areas of India
  • Category: Arboreal; known for creating intricate webs
  • Size: Females can reach up to 8-9 inches, males slightly smaller
  • Urticating Hairs: No
  • Growth Rate: Moderately fast
  • Life Span: Females can live over 12 years, while males have a shorter lifespan of about 3-4 years
  • Recommended Levels: Best suited for keepers with the love for the poecilotheria species.

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Safety Disclaimer

Experiencing a tarantula bite is an extremely rare occurrence, and it's important to note that there have been no recorded fatalities due to a tarantula bite. The venom potency varies across species, with Old World tarantulas generally having stronger venom than their New World counterparts. Within the Old World category, the Poecilotheria genus is known for having particularly potent venom.

It's crucial to approach tarantulas with respect and understanding. If you happen to get bitten, which is unlikely, the key is to stay calm. In most cases, the discomfort is superficial and subsides within a few minutes to a few hours. However, bites from species with more potent venom may result in symptoms lasting up to a week. Remember, larger tarantulas tend to have more venom than smaller ones.

Please be aware that I cannot assume responsibility for bites. Tarantula handling should be done at your own risk. In my 11 years of experience with these creatures, I have only been bitten once, by a species with highly potent venom. While the experience was painful, the symptoms had completely disappeared after a week.

Handle tarantulas responsibly, and always prioritize your safety and the well-being of the tarantula.