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Old World T, good beginner?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Chat' started by port513, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. port513

    port513 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    What is a good species to start with in the OW T:s?
  2. David Burns

    David Burns Arachnoprince Old Timer

    As long as you do your research before you buy, I would say a Haplopelma lividum or a Citharischius crawshayi. Maybe a Poecilotheria sp..
  3. Do you want a species that is usually visible? Terrestrial OW Ts tend to hide most of the time. Although P. murinus "usumbara" are quite pretty and may be relatively visible, I would not recommend tham. Even though they are very inexpensive, they can be the most difficult to deal with. Haplopelma lividum has quite an attitude as well and tends to hide all the time. Some of the African species and the Asian Haplopelmas tend to be rather nervous and "aggressive" and do not make a good first OW T. The calmer terrestrial OW Ts are fairly secretive and they would much rather stay inside their burrow, so there really isn't much difference in dealing with a terrestrial OW or a very shy NW T. You're mostly dealing with a hole in the dirt. Except, of course, when you change the substrate or need to transfer the T to a larger cage and then you need to worry. You should read some of the posts on how to safely capture an "aggressive" T. Also, check out the bite reports section for information.

    In my collection, I have some OW Ts. I have 2 Cyriopagopus schiodtei; they are secretive as slings but usually become more visible as they get older. I had a Chilobrachys fimbriatus that was often visible as an adult but I believe that is somewhat odd behavior for that species. You should probably stay away from the "aggressive" OW arboreal species like Stromatopelma calceatum. Poechilotheria regalis is not inclined to bite but their venom is fairly strong so many people do not keep any Poechilotheria species. Personally, I don't think that they are dangerous but I treat them with respect. In any case, you may wish to start with a small sling and get used to its behavior before purchasing any adult OW Ts.

    Karen N.
  4. port513

    port513 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Thanks for your answers.
  5. vulpina

    vulpina Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I have 2 Chilobrachys fimbriatus that are visible most of the time and do not seem as defensive as an H. lividum. But yes, most of the O.W. species are fairly secretive and you would not see much of them.

  6. Michael Jacobi

    Michael Jacobi RETIRED/RARELY USE AB Arachnosupporter

    In my opinion, the best "beginner" Old World species is Eucratoscelus pachypus - the "Stout-legged Baboon". It is an interesting looking spider that has a calmer temperament than just about any other OW species and is inexpensive.

    I strongly disagree with the suggestion that either Haplopelma lividum or any Poecilotheria species would be good starter species. The former is highly defensive and proper care involves keeping it housed so that it has a deep burrow and is almost never seen. The latter has a comparatively potent venom and although I think most people are overly cautious about adding one to their collection, experience with other "less potent" fast-moving and nervous species should be acquired first.

    I do agree that Citharischius crawshayi would be a reasonable first OW species - as long as you treat it as a display spider that you don't "interact with". Still, this is a very large and defensive species that makes a formidable opponent to the novice keeper.

    I also agree that the "Orange Bitey Thing" - Pterinochilus murinus RCF would be a good choice. Spiderlings can reach adult in not much more than a year. They are gorgeous and interesting as they create extensive silk tunnels and burrows. If you are ready for dealing with their temperament they are a fine choice.

    Any of the "horned baboons" - Ceratogyrus species - could also be considered. As with most OW tarantulas, they are defensive and not hesitant to bite, but they are calmer than most Asian species and some Africans. They will create deep burrows if given the substrate depth, but kept on shallow substrate they will use silk for retreats and remain visible.

    The African genus Augacephalus would make a good choice, but they are fairly scarce in the trade.

    In general, I would recommend African species over those from Asia, many of which are from humid areas and will suffer without the opportunity to burrow. Chilobrachys fimbriatus would be a reasonable first Asian.

  7. Lopez

    Lopez Arachnoking Old Timer

    Nicely put Michael.
    I agree, particularly with regards to Haplopelma lividum, this really is one of the worst Haplopelma species to start off with, along with the sp"Vietnam" that are so so cheap to buy at the moment (particularly in America where they are normally sold as Vietnam Bird Eaters)
    Both are very highly strung members af a generally highly strung genus.
  8. moricollins

    moricollins Arachnoprince Old Timer

    I concur with Michael on many points, particularly that members of the Ceratogyrus family would make a nice addition as a first OW tarantula. My first old worlders were a Ceratogyrus marshalli and a Heteroscodra maculata (who I NEVER see).

    My P. murinus sling eats like a pig, easily the best eater of any of my slings, but it is a bit on the fast side (either that or my reflexes are going already :))

    I always thought that Eucratoscelus pachypus were extensive diggers, much like H. lividums...

    Hope this helps

  9. port513

    port513 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    I really don't care if I see them or not, I keep T:s for my own experience and for that I don't have to see them all the time.

    What do you prefere when you keep OW? A front opened terrarium or a top opened terrarium?

    I only have front opened at the moment.
  10. Windchaser

    Windchaser Arachnoking Old Timer

    With respect to seeing them, understand that with some of these OW T's, it is not a matter of seeing them sometimes, but virtually never. As you say, it may not matter much to you but I just wanted to make sure you were clear regarding this aspect. I have a H. lividum that I see out of its burrow at most once a year. I will occassionally see her legs sticking up near the entrance to the burrow, but as soon as I get near her tank, she retreats to her burrow. The only way I am able to see her at all is that she was very accomidating and built her burrow right along the glass. So, I can sort of see her through the webbing she has lined her burrow with.

    Also, I think a top open tank would be best for any burrowing tarantula. It gives you greater depth for your substrate.
  11. DracosBana

    DracosBana Arachnosquire Old Timer

    A lot of the species listed as good beginner OW T's are terestrial burroweres. Are there any good Arboreals for a first Old World T? I have some Avic versicolors, Avic purpureas, a rosie, and an A. geniculata. I was thinking of getting a P. regalis after the holidays, but now I'm not so sure.
  12. USMuscle9403

    USMuscle9403 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    I really don't think you can go wrong with P. murinus. You CAN NOT kill these guys (not that you'd want to), they are incredibly hardy and good eaters so that makes them a perfect 'beginner' T for those who won't touch their spiders. They can be on the quick side though so that's really the only thing you'd need to watch out for. If you're caution-minded, they're awesome. Very inexpensive and beautiful spiders, too. I recommend giving them the benefit of both arboreal and terrestrial habitat, mine have preferred both. They web nicely, I always liked spiders that did lots of webbing.

    Dracos, a Pokie is a far cry from A. versicolor. I have never known them to be particularly aggressive but they are some of teh fastest Ts and it's said that they can cause some fairly significant side effects with a bite, moreso than your average T. They are pretty much an advanced species. There aren't many OW arboreals that I'd recommend to someone that's only kept very gentle arboreals and terrestrials.
  13. Michael Jacobi

    Michael Jacobi RETIRED/RARELY USE AB Arachnosupporter

    In a word, NO. Experience should be gained with fast and defensive OW species that are not large or known for there strong venom first. For example, The OBT/Usambara Orange.

    All three of the main OW arboreal genera - Heteroscodra and Stromatopelma from Africa and Poecilotheria from India/Sri Lanka are thought to possess the strongest venom amongst the theraphosids.

    The third African genus - Xenodendrophila - is very rare.

    Asia possesses some "semi-arboreal" species such as Cyriopagopus schioedtei and Cyriopagopus sp. 'Singapore'.

    When you think you are ready for an OW arboreal I suggest starting with Heteroscodra maculata, which tend to stay near the bottom in dense silk and are less likely to run out the cage on you or Poecilotheria regalis, which is more calm than most other "Poecs" and is the genus "classic". If you have the money, I consider Poecilotheria miranda to be the calmest "Poec". Avoid P. fasciata and P. ornata until you have experience with other "Poecs" - these are, IMO, the most nervous species.

    Cheers, Michael
  14. From reading the above postings, it's pretty obvious that there isn't a perfect first OW T. I realize that Michael has a lot more experience but I tend to disagree with him that an "usambara" would be a good first OW T, because some individuals are very feisty. If you can find one, a small C. crawshayi sling might be the best choice for a non-arboreal OW T since they're not particularly fast. Of course, you'll have to wait years for it to grow up. I have a 1.5 inch sling in a clear plastic container and I see it all the time. At that size, they are very attractive and look similar to the adults. It might be hard to find one since this species is very difficult to breed.

    Karen N.
  15. Scott C.

    Scott C. Arachnofloater Arachnosupporter

    I don't agree with the C. crawshayi being a good starter OW T. I've had the pleasure of being charged by a rather large one, and if that was my first exp. with a T I don't think I'd be where I am now(The T wouldn't be where she's at either).
  16. BugToxin

    BugToxin Arachnoknight Old Timer

    This is a very interesting thread. Thank you port513 for bringing this up. I took a look at some pictures of the Chilobrachys fimbriatus and must say that this is a truly handsome species. The other spider that keeps being listed on this thread is the Citharischius crawshayi . I have thought about getting one of these myself, but heard about them digging a hole and never coming out. Is this true? I would be interested in what are the most VISIBLE old world species. I do have a P. murinus sling and they do seem to grow fast, eat well, and mine stays visible in it's corner web all the time although it also has a little hole dug directly beneath it's web. What about the Hysterocrates gigas?
  17. 8leggedrobot

    8leggedrobot Arachnoknight Old Timer

    What's wrong with the wonderfully fuzzy, generally (don't gut me here, I *did* say generally) nicer and slower NW species? :D I've got an A. braunshaunseni (sp? too lazy to double check, lol), Zoe, I can pick up by (rubber-gloved) hand and stick in the container so I can dig those blasted super worms out. She's about 7" now and moulted once since I've had her. My only OW T, P. lugardi, is so nasty. I call him (and one rosehair) my "EBTs" -- Evil Bitey Things. :)

    I am still nervous about moving the P. lugardi, it's such a switch from having NW Ts. When people on this board have made a big deal about the differences in NW and OW species I can see why. There is a stupid worm loose in the P. lugardi's, enclosure and since I've only had him for a week I'm still getting used to dealing with him. :8o Luckily he doesn't seem to be close to moulting, but then again I am used to looking for signs in the NW, which I've read are easier to detect because of the balding abdomen.

    sigh. :? I love the look of many OW Ts but I'm just not ready to care for them I guess. If we can decide on a good first OW T I am definately listening though. :)
  18. cricket54

    cricket54 Arachnoangel Old Timer

    I haven't had any problems with superworms being in a T's tank burried somewhere. They just find a place and stay then become beetles after a while which my tarantula will eat or I remove the beetle and give it to another one of my tarantulas. I have some that love to eat these beetles.

  19. 8leggedrobot

    8leggedrobot Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I recently had a superworm hole up next to the glass of the aquarium and start morphing into beetle form! It was amazing to watch. Then, the other superworm escapee, found it... total carnage, let me tell you! :eek: LOL! It ate the still soft beetle, starting with it's legs. Gory but fascinating, also. So I've read about superworms lost in the soil harming moulting Ts, and after witnessing that I'd rather not take any chances. This happened in the container of my rosehair Sheelah who just moulted, and I was on the lookout for than ravenous worm, LOL :rolleyes: Out of all of my Ts there are 2 lost superworms, one still in Sheelah's cage and one in the P. lugardi's. :8o Upto 7 Ts now, 6 NW and 1 OW.
  20. DracosBana

    DracosBana Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Thanks Michael. I think I'm going to go with a P. regalis. That's the one I was thinking of originally. I prefer slings (or whatever the young are called) with any animals I keep, so that should give me plenty of time to get used to speed and attitude of whichever I finally decide on.