Other common names: King Baboon Spider
Scientific name: Pelinobius muticus
The King Baboon Tarantula is a burrowing species that originates in Africa from the semi-arid or dry scrublands of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. This species is commonly found in deep burrows at the base of trees and rock piles. Pelinobius muticus was formerly known as Citharischius crawshayi.
Appearance / health:
The coloration of these tarantulas ranges from a deep red to a bright brown color. They are covered in short hairs which also gives them a velvet-like look. Their size ranges from 7-9 inches depending on the sex. Females are always bigger than males as adults.
Behavior / temperament:
King Baboon Tarantulas are highly aggressive. They will attack almost anything, whether feeding tongs, fingers, or anything else that gets close to them. They also make a hissing noise when startled. Since this is an overly aggressive species, it should only be kept by experienced keepers; these are not recommended for beginners.
Young tarantulas and spiderlings may live in clear plastic containers and adults do best in a 10-20 gallon tank. Floor space and depth is more important than height since these are terrestrial burrowers.
Temperature of the tank should be between 75-90F with humidity levels of 70-80%. A deep substrate is needed for this tarantula and should be at the least 7 inches deep. A mixture of peat and vermiculite will do best as it holds humidity well as well as shape. The substrate should always be moist, but never sopping wet. It shouldn’t drip if squeezed, but shouldn’t blow away if you blow on it. No tank décor is really needed unless you provide plant pots half buried to provide a shelter, or other things to hide and burrow under. A wide shallow water dish will help raise humidity and should be changed frequently.
These tarantulas need a variety in their diet. The diet should include crickets, grasshoppers, locusts, cockroaches and other insects. Large aggressive adults may also get small mice and pinkies once or twice a month.
Breeding isn’t always recommended as the female is always aggressive to anything that comes near her burrow. If breeding, the male must be carefully introduced into the females enclosure after he has made a sperm web. Be careful though, if the female is not interested she will almost instantly attack the male. If she is accepting, mating will occur. Males are almost always eaten after mating to ensure the female has proper nutrition and health during pregnancy. If the mating was successful the female will then produce an egg sac within the next few weeks.
intermediate tarantula owner, huge rear legs, massive body, colours, impressive size, reddish brown
burrowing, obligate burrower, aggressive old world, experienced keeper, visibility
My P muticus
Moose is my pet hole. Being an obligate burrower, he spends all his
time in his burrow and I never see him on the surface. Of course, I
expected this, but am amazed at how long he stays underground and spends
almost ZERO time at the mouth of the burrow like H. lividum. In fact,
he keeps covering the mouth and fills in the tunnel most of the time.
I've rigged his cage so that I can see inside the substrata (I use a
black paper cover on the outside and lift the flap to watch his
burrowing progress) but everytime I get a good view, he fills in that
section. It's very rare that he'll molt and carry the exuvium to the
surface, so I'm continually guessing what's up in his world. When it
comes to feeding, I find myself removing 95% of the crickets I give him
in the next day or two. So...he's a beauty, but he plays hard to get =)
I'll be giving him a new cage next week and I HOPE I find him alive and thriving....we'll see. .
From Arach222 Dec 24 2011 2:48PM
This tarantula, though a "baboon," is one of those that is least like what most become familiar with as a baboon.
The growth rate on these guys is extremely slow - one might even call it "glacial speed." They take several years to reach maturity. The upside to that is they do have a longer life span by comparison.
These are also much larger than your average terrestrial baboon. Adult females reaching 6" or better is not unheard of.
Care is much more labor intensive. Unlike other baboons, who are either terrestrial or semi-arboreal, this animal is an obligate burrower, requiring a lot of substrate for digging. They also like things much more humid whereas other baboons thrive in dry environments. Keeping a P. muticus in a dry environment is a death sentence for the spider.
Appearance wise, a full grown adult female is a sight to behold with their impressive size and huge rear legs. Coloration isn't all that impressive - they're really just a reddish brown. Spiderlings look like miniature adults.
Overall, if you're a baboon lover, it's probably something you want in your collection. If you just want old world, there are a lot more interesting ones out there..
From HeartlandInvert Aug 20 2014 6:19PM
this is a sought after T in the hobby originating from Africa that i, as an experienced keeper, have yet to understand why. it is an extremely aggressive old world tarantula(meaning it has no urticating hairs and its first defense is to bite). they spend 99% of there lives hidden in deep burrows, only coming out late at night in search of food. although they are attractive and reach massive body size(growing up to 10"), most keepers only get an opportunity to see it a couple times a year! this is not a spider to get if one wants to actually see there pet.
From Spiderdan Feb 13 2010 9:10AM