What do Suntiger tarantulas eat

Venezuela ornament tarantula

The Venezuela ornament tarantula (Psalmopoeus irminia) belongs to the tarantula family (Theraphosidae) to the genus tree tarantulas (Psalmopoeus). In English, the type Venezuelan Suntiger called.


Appearance and dimensions

The Venezuela ornament tarantula reaches a body length of about 5 to 7 centimeters as a female, while the male is much smaller. The female has a basic black color with a metallic bluish sheen. The prosoma in particular has a glossy, deep blue to blackish color. On the opisthosoma there is a striated orange pattern. The metatarsi have a small orange stripe. The tips of the feet are also tinted orange. On the posterior pairs of legs, the patella and tibia are shiny black and sparsely covered with pigeon blue hair, while the femors of the anterior pairs of legs are partially covered with thick black hair. The remaining leg segments are also of a pigeon blue color. In some cases, however, the tibia and patella of the front pairs of legs also appear shiny black. A special feature of the spider is the stridulation organ with which it can generate musical tones. Other special features of this spider are the slim, flat physique, the non-existent irritant hairs on the opisthosoma and the extensive adhesive pads on the legs. Because of the adhesive pads, she can run, jump and climb very quickly. The gray colored male differs very clearly from the female by its thickly hairy legs and by the not very clear, sometimes missing, markings on the abdomen. The male is sexually mature at around 2 to 3 years of age and only lives for several weeks or months after the last moult. The life expectancy of the female, on the other hand, is around 12 years.

Way of life

Venezuela ornament tarantula

The Venezuela ornament tarantula, like almost all tarantulas, lives solitary. It is an arboreal, very long-legged, nimble spider without irritable hairs of the opisthosoma and can jump more than 10 centimeters. During the day it is preferred to stay between the roots of fallen trees and on road embankments, while it becomes active in the evening. The web of living space is camouflaged with soil, parts of plants or similar substrates. You seldom see them outside of the web of living space. The female can easily become aggressive. Otherwise, this species is more of a peaceful spider that prefers to avoid confrontations and flee into its web of living space. When at rest it is often completely stretched out, with the first two pairs of legs and the buttons aligned parallel to the longitudinal axis of the body.


The Venezuela ornament tarantula lives in the Orinoco Delta and Gran Sabana in Venezuela. The Gran Sabana is a 450,000 square kilometer plateau in the southeast of Venezuela. This species feels very comfortable in a warm, humid climate. The Venezuela ornament tarantula lives in tree crevices that are spun inside. But it is also satisfied with other hiding spots, such as knotholes or root holes in fallen trees.


The Venezuela ornament tarantula feeds on insects in its natural habitat (Insecta) and from other small animals. In captivity, the diet can be varied and usually consists of crickets (Gryllidae), Locusts such as long-antennae terrors (Ensifera) and short probe horror (Caelifera) and from larvae of flour beetle (Tenebrio molitor).


The mating season takes place in the months of December to June. The Venezuela ornamental tarantula passes through several moults before sexual maturity. At this point, the male is already weaving a so-called sperm network into which it fills its sperm. This sperm is absorbed into the bulbs by the male pumping the sperm fluid into the bulbs with his pedipalps. Now it's time to look for a female. The male detects the presence of a female by sensing the chemical substances (pheromones) of the female. Once the male has identified a female, the male woos the female with his buttons through vigorous drumming and spasmodic movements of the third pair of legs, sometimes the male also drums with the first and second pair of legs and at the same time checks the willingness of the female to mate. Presumably, the seismic communication over the ground is produced by the stridulation of some organs. The vibrations triggered by the drumming (seismic, acoustic signals) are perceived through the auditory hair.

About eight weeks after copulation, the female seals the access to the nest and uses silk to weave an egg cocoon inside the nest. About three months after copulation, it lays around 100 to 150 eggs in its natural habitat in the cocoon. During this time the female takes care of the brood. Inside the egg cocoon, the nymphs go through several stages of development in which they moult twice. The nymphs are still hatching inside the egg cocoon. This happens after just three weeks. After a total of around ten weeks, the young spiderlings hatch, as they are called after they hatch. The spiderlings grow very quickly after hatching and can already have a considerable leg span. They shed their skin every two to three weeks and initially live on tiny insects. A few days after hatching, they leave the nest. The spiderlings are very vulnerable during this time. The female of this species can often build a second, sometimes even a third egg cocoon within a molting cycle. However, fewer spiderlings hatch than from the first cocoon.

Synonyms and chresonyms after Norman I. Platnick

Venezuela ornament tarantula

Update November 4, 2008 <1>


See also

Literature and sources

  • Günther Schmidt: The tarantulas, Westarp Sciences, 2003 ISBN 3894328991
  • Peter Klaas: Tarantulas: origin - care - species, Ulmer (Eugen); Edition: 3; 2007 ISBN 3800146606
  • Hans-Eckhard Gruner, Hans-Joachim Hannemann and Gerhard Hartwich, Urania Animal Kingdom, 7 vols., Invertebrates, Urania, Freiburg, 1994 ISBN 3332005022
  • Rainer F. Foelix, Spider biology, Thieme, 1979 ISBN 313575801X
  • [1]Platnick, Norman I. (2008): FAM. THERAPHOSIDAE Thorell, 1869: 25 [urn: lsid: amnh.org: spidersp: 002368], version 9.5. American Museum of Natural History.

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