Anyone keep/interested in Phormictopus?

thedragonslapper

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Feb 1, 2018
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It seems to be a genus that doesn’t get much attention in the hobby. Though I can’t understand why. From what I’ve read about them they somewhat remind me of Lasiodora, though they get a little more colorful and only slightly smaller. Indeed the only species I personally knew of was P. cancerides as of a 6-7 years ago. And from what I’ve seen the genus seems a bit...cloudy shall we say?

My first and so far only experience with these was a large P. cancerides I bought a Repticon years ago. It didn’t last long in my care unfortunately. Long story short it molted about a month after I got it, I came home one morning and found it unmistakably dead a remain at a loss of explanation for it.

I didn’t think much more about this genus since then, until I started wanting another T for the first time in years. I don’t think there many, if any, CB Phormictopus in the hobby at time, but that seems to be changing as of late. In my pursuits I came across this article that’s making me want to give this genus/species another try.


Who has experience? Preferably better ones then mine lol
 

BoyFromLA

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I keep one young Phormictopus cancerides. Such a great eater. I have not seen it refusing to eat unless it is in pre molt or in post molt.

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Pyrelitha

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I like them but never see them really at shows. I did just find one though and got it immediately. I now have a small sling P auratus and I'm super excited for this golden beauty
 

nicodimus22

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My Phormictopus collection isn't as extensive as Tom Moran's, but I have 6 species (9 specimens.)
 

Tarantuland

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I have a phormictopus cancerides. It's a good eater and has molted at least twice in like 4-5 months of having it. Probably around 1 inch now
 

spideyspinneret78

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I have an AF P. auratus and a Phormictopus sp. Dominican purple sling. The P. auratus has been relatively shy and skittish, but she is absolutely stunningly beautiful. Her colors become more pronounced the larger she grows. She also has a very strong feeding response. The sling so far has some serious attitude. Gave me a threat posture at less than an inch in size! Tackles prey its own size with ease and is growing quickly. This genus has some absolutely gorgeous species and the cool thing about them is that females are also very colorful, unlike Pamphos where it's mostly the males that are brightly colored.
 

ConstantSorrow

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Feb 21, 2020
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I have a P. sp. "South Hispaniola" sling. Growth rate has been good. It prefers to kick hairs at its food or occasionally just slap the crap out of it rather than tackle it outright. Temperament can best be described as "surly". It tends to hang around the plants but it doesn't hide or burrow.
A nice little T.
 

RevS

Arachnopeon
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Jun 19, 2019
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Did someone say Phormictopus?

I've been interested in the genus ever since doing my initial research on Ts before I got into the hobby but quickly realized those are not initial starter Ts.
Those are large, beautiful Ts with a bit of a bad rep - if you look around (even in some old threads here) you'll find some people claiming that they're the "evil" NWs.

I don't think the bad rep is deserved (which is probably true to all animals with bad reputation) but they are definitely not suitable for beginners.

First of all - the genus is a mess and keeping your specimen labelled is necessary. For example there are three different kinds of green Phormictopus (P.sp."green",P.sp."green (gold carapace)" and P.sp."green femur").
This genus is in dire need of review.

They can differ quite a bit when it comes to temperament but my first specimen - P. sp. "green (gold carapace)" - which I got as my 3rd T was a learning eqperience. It's very skittish, quick to throw hairs and quick to do a threat pose + it never burrowed and used to get scared of prey more than 1/2 of it's body size which made it a nuissance to feed as a sling. Other keepers told me they had similar experience with "green femur" species.

Surprisingly my specimen calmed down quite a bit when I put him on display where he was far more likely to notice movement around his enclosure (it can still go into panic mode when surprised by prey item however).

Lately I got two more specimen - both Phormictopus sp. "Bayahibe" and those are a bit different. I haven't seen them throw hair yet and they are voracious eaters - willing to pounce prey their own size. Still - when disturbed they will start to bot and can be surprisingly quick for a NW.

In short - a very interesting genus that requires more attention - both in the hobby and from the scientists. Not a good choice for a beginner but great pick if you need to learn how to deal with something more... Unpredictable.
I think the "unpredictable" is the right word here. Definitely better than "evil".
 
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