Other common names: In their native land, they are simply called “Tree Spiders”
Scientific name: Poecilotheria fasciata
As its common name suggests, the Sri Lankan Ornamental Tarantula originates in Sri Lanka. These are arboreal tarantulas commonly found in the Sri Lankan rainforests. Some individuals of this species have been known to burrow.
Appearance / health:
The maximum known size for a Sri Lankan Ornamental is 8 inches. These tarantulas are dark overall with a broad cream colored bands edged in black, also creating oblique marks. The back is grey with cream markings. The legs are banded with black and white and has yellow on the undersize to warn off prey when in a threat pose.
Behavior / temperament:
These are fast, mean, and very nervous; not recommended for beginners. They commonly throw up threat postures and will bite repeatedly if provoked enough. They also can shoot away from you like a bolt of lightening, if spooked. Their venom has been known to be pretty high and have effects. This is a species for the more advanced and experienced spider keepers.
Since this is an arboreal species, whatever tank you use for it, make sure it has height rather than floor space. A 10 or 20 gallon high will work perfectly. Young and spiderlings can live in clear plastic container until they are big enough for a regular tank.
Temperatures for this species must be kept above room temp at 75-80F. Humidity levels are also high and should stay around 80-90%. Substrate should be a mix of peat moss and vermiculite or potting soil and should be 3-4 inches deep and kept moist to help keep humidity up. Tank décor should be things that will give this tarantula height. Fake plants, cork bark, driftwood, and other things may be used. Make sure what ever you use can withstand high humidity without molding. A large shallow water bowl is also needed and should be changed frequently.
Sri Lankan Ornamentals will eat almost any large insects. These include crickets, cockroaches, grasshoppers and others. Larger adults may also get an occasional pinkie mouse.