Red Slate Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria rufilata)

Old World, Poecilotheria No Comments »

The Red Slate Ornamental tarantula is a species from India that spends most of its times up in trees or plants of the Indian forests. It is a very rare species to come across due to the rare breeding of it, spiderslings tend to be very delicate and require a lot of maintenance until reaching full adult size. In addition they are scarce in the wild due to their natural habitat being threatened due to cutting of trees and plants and deforestation in India. They are most definitely a species for the more experienced of hobbyists. They tend to grow between 7 to 9 inches in length and get to be anywhere from 4 to 9 years old.





The Red Slate Ornamental Tarantula is an arboreal species who likes to spend its time up in trees in the wild. You will need an  enclosure of about 10 to 15 gallons that is more tall then it has floor space. About 3 inches of substrate should be used. We recommend a coconut fiber and peat moss mixture, make sure it is heavily damp. A nice piece or pieces of bark should be added for your tarantula to climb up on. It will end up webbing its home at the top of your enclosure. A fresh water dish should also be available and always overflowing with clean water. Misting is not needed but you can still do so once or twice a week. Just be sure to not spray directly on top of your tarantula but more towards the panels of the enclosure. You should have a temperature of about 68 to 75 degrees and a humidity level of about 75%.



The Red Slate Ornamental Tarantula is an easy eater and will devour pretty much any insects you can mix up its diet with. You can feed them either crickets, cockroaches, locusts and moths. A feeding of once a week should be just fine. As always should you see that your p. rufilata has not eaten its prey within 24, remove the prey. It could be that it has no appetite or in some cases could be in pre-molt stages. Do not stress out your tarantula by having the prey stay in the enclosure.



These are very skittish animals and can easily get startled. They are quite fast as slings or juveniles and only slow down as they reach adulthood. They do not come with urticating hairs and their primary line of defense is their bite. Though their venom is not lethal it still has a medium toxicity level that can cause moderate pain, muscle cramps and sometimes fever like symptoms. They are not as aggressive as other old world tarantulas but will easily go on the defense should they feel threatened.


We would not recommend this species for a beginner tarantula keeper but for more advanced and experienced hobbyist. It is very rare and great species to have.

Spiderling Care

Care Sheet No Comments »

Spiderlings or slings are young or baby tarantulas ranging anywhere from .25 inches to 1.5 inches in length depending on how old it might be. The reason why so many people now opt in to buying a spiderling is due to the fact that they are usually a lot cheaper then adults and it is fascinating to watch them grow. As for growth rate, some species are very fast growing while others are extremely slow growing. It is best you chose which species is right for you. If your a beginner tarantula hobbyist we would recommend you start with a 1.5 inches or bigger spiderling. However here are some steps you can take to care for your sling.



Depending on your species of tarantula spiderling it is key to know what enclosure and environment to have for your sling. Some common examples are

  • Terrestrial Tarantulas (Chilean Rosehair, Mexican Redknee, Brazilian Fire Red, etc): Smallest enclosures possible such as small pill jars of different sizes depending on your sling’s size until you can eventually move it into a deli container and eventually a 5 gallon tank (once a juvenile over 2 inches).
  • Arboreal Tarantulas (Pinktoe, Red Slate Ornamental, Pokies, etc): Small enclosure with height such as tall pill jars in different sizes depending on your sling’s size as they do love to climb and be up from the ground. As they get older you can switch them into tall spice jars until big enough to eventually switch to taller terrariums (once a juvenile over 2 inches).

You will find that slings do tend to burrow a lot more then your average tarantula, so be sure to add a extra substrate to the enclosures so they have enough space to do so. It is also important to make sure that each lid of your enclosure have air holes in them to provide your tarantula with adequate air to breathe. Make sure these holes are not big enough to where your sling can escape.



Feeding can be difficult as these spiderlings require much smaller prey then a full grown tarantula. You can crush a small cricket and leave that in their enclosure so they can eat off of it. As they do start to grow a little you can eventually just add smaller insects such as small juvenile or pinhead crickets as well as fruit flies. Once you see your sling getting closer to 1.5 to 2 inches you can start feeding it slightly bigger prey.



Spiderlings that are less than 1.5 inches cannot drink from waterbowls, they will surely drown. It is best to just water the substrate slightly (in which we do recommend eco-earth) or even just put some droplets to rest on top of the substrate or you can simply add a small plant leaf with a couple of water droplets on it. Once your tarantula does grow closer to 2 inches you can use a plastic bottle cap as a water dish in its small enclosure before being able to move to a big water dish. This all should provide plenty of water and humidity for your young tarantula.



For spiderlings just make sure they are kept in a warm room. Being that they are so small it is not recommended to use a heating source on them as this might end up being too hot for their small enclosures. In addition do not place them under direct sunlight as this tends to stress out your tarantula. A room temperature of about 75-85 degrees should be adequate for them. You do not have to worry about light as most tarantulas actually prefer the darkness over light.


Following these instructions will most definitely help you with your sling. As always we are all here to help so feel free to drop us a comment for any additional help.

Costa Rican Tiger Rump (Cyclosternum fasciatum)

Cyclosternum, New World 3 Comments »

This new world tarantula is both native to Costa Rica and Guatemala. These spiders are known for their beautiful colors and stripes. These are very active tarantulas and spend most of their time spinning webs and or burrowing. The Costa Rican Tiger Rump is a fast grower but usually will not grow larger then 4 inches in size. They are great display spiders due to their heavy webbing. Males live to be about 5 to 6 years while females live a lot longer and well over 10 years.





We would recommend an enclosure with e temperature between 70 to 80 degrees and humidity level of 75 to 85 percent. These animals burrow a lot so make sure your substrate has a depth of at lest 3 to 4 inches. We would recommend something such as eco-earth with maybe some additional peat moss. Your enclosure size should be between 5 to 15 gallons in size depending on the size of your tarantula. For slings we do recommend you mist/spray your enclosure once a week. Having a small plant leaf with a few droplets of water on it also works well. As for full adults make sure to have a water dish full at all times in addition to spraying/misting the enclosure a few times a week.



Full grown adults are known to eat quite a bit. A steady diet of crickets and roaches should do the trick just fine for your adult costa rican tiger rump. As for slings (spider-lings) we recommend you try feeding them small pinhead crickets. They are also known for being scavengers and you can feed your sling a pre-killed crickets to feast on.



Though you can handle them we would not recommend it. They are very skittish and are defensive animals who do not hesitate to kick back some urticating hairs. Handle with utmost care.


All in all the Costa Rican Tiger Rump is a beautiful pet to have and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Just be careful if you are to handle him.