have been bit by the pokie bug..:)

Gillian

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Hi all,
Ok, I admit it. I've been bit. However, in my typical fashion, if I do get one, it will be awhile, as I don't know an awful lot about them, other than their breath-taking beauty. So, sorry for the questions, but, here goes:
1. The constant labels of VENOM! Have me understandably a bit leery. Is the venom issue a serious one?
2. Temperament wise, how are they? In so far as moving for cage cleaning, and such.
3. Are they a pretty much straight forward, easy to care for species?
Anything else anyone can think of, would be a great help.

Peace,
Gillian
 

arachnopunks

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We only have one Pokie, a P. fasciata that we have had for about a year and a half. I was a big nervous about the whole venom issue, because I had read that they are the most venomous of all the tarantulas. There is a bite report in the "bites" forum from a P. ornata that seems kinda scary. Our P. fasciata is about 5 inched now and really sticks to the bottom or walls of her enclosure. She has plenty of height, but chooses not to use it. Anytime we open her enclosure, she tries harder to stay away from us than we do of her. She is a bit of a spaz though; Sometimes when I rotate her enclosure to make sure she is still in there (she can completely blend into her environment) she will sometimes run laps around her enclosure, much like some people say H. lividums do. I have to say the most stressful thing about keeping he has been all the times I look in her enclosure and don't see her right away. There is nothing worse than thinking that your pokie is MIA. Luckily she is like a ninja, after carefull inspection I can usually make out a spider leg blended in with the substrate and sticks. Overall, she has been a lot easier to care for than I once thought and has really not shown too much agression. We only have the one, maybe others' experiences are different, but I am glas we have the Pokie and really want a P. rufilata. All the recent photos have only made me want one more.
 

conipto

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Gillian,

I have two of them, a spiderling P. formosa, and a juvenile P. regalis. The sling obviously doesn't give me any trouble, but moving the regalis was quite a task. The one thing I can say about these, is that they are pretty fast. Generally if disturbed, both mine will go into burrows. However, it's my understanding adults don't spend as much time burrowed. Time will tell. As for venom, I'd say don't get bit ;) there is a whole 30-someodd post thread about it in here somewhere though.

I hope you decide to pick a few up, every one I've seen so far I've been unable to resist ;)

Bill
 

atavuss

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Originally posted by Gillian
Hi all,
Ok, I admit it. I've been bit. However, in my typical fashion, if I do get one, it will be awhile, as I don't know an awful lot about them, other than their breath-taking beauty. So, sorry for the questions, but, here goes:
1. The constant labels of VENOM! Have me understandably a bit leery. Is the venom issue a serious one?
2. Temperament wise, how are they? In so far as moving for cage cleaning, and such.
3. Are they a pretty much straight forward, easy to care for species?
Anything else anyone can think of, would be a great help.

Peace,
Gillian
IME, give them a secure place to hide (I use cork branch tubes) and they will stay there or run in their hide if disturbed, I have never seen a threat display or a spaz attack from mine.
Ed
 

Vayu Son

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><

Venom can be an issue. There are a wide variety of opinions on this and no scientific backing. However, tarantulas of subfamily Poecilotheriinae, Stromatopelmiinae, and Selenocosm(iinae?) are likely to have more potent venom than your other spiders. There are bite reports that you can search for, but thats about all we have to go on.

That said, unless you are an idiot or very unlucky you will not get bitten by your pokey. The key term here is defensive, and not aggressive per se. Collective experience shows that they are much more likely to hide from you and pretend your not there than aggress. And even at that point to do more than a dry warning strike.

They are very quick and IMHO a little more clever than most other T's, but if you are a careful keeper and you have not been bit before, it will most likely not be the pokey that gets you.

-V
 

mebebraz

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How come it would be awhile before you get one?
I have two, a red slate or slate red ornamental, she is about three inches and has a twin turbo with nitro, but when she does rocket around, its usually to her hide. My other in an ornate ornamental, about an inch, she is still in a small container, so moving her will be coming up soon.
As far as their venom, treat them with respect and you shouldnt have any problems.
 

invertepet

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Poecs are my favorite tarantula genus... Just jawdropping as adults and pretty easy to rear (except a couple of somewhat tricky ones as juveniles, like P. rufilata or subfusca).

Be mindful of the potential venom toxicity and you ought to be fine. I've kept Poecs since 1990 and never had a problem. I had one escape, but they don't live long on the loose (at least not in moderately dry environs such as the inside of a house). They aren't terribly aggressive in the same way Stromatopelma or some species of Psalmopoeus are, but they can be quite flighty and lightning-fast. The few bites that have been reported have mostly been a result of the spider dashing up a hand or arm during feeding, cleaning or other maintenance.

It's also fun just setting up Poecilotheria... The cork bark, vertical enclosure, getting creative with artificial vines or leaves, etc. Some species like regalis can actually adjust fairly well to moderate to low humidity and temp, if slowly introduced to it. I have a 8"+ regalis female and she's kept bone dry and room temp all the time -- does great. I don't suggest that for juveniles or new specimen, though.

For 'starter' Poecilotheria (which is a bit of a contradiction in terms), I'd suggest P. regalis, fasciata or formosa. They're fairly tough members of the genus and as with the rest, grow fast when fed regularly. Others such as rufilata and ornata are also pretty hardy when started well (over 2-3") and kept with proper moisture and air current (as with most arboreals, it's an important balance to strike between airflow and humidity).

The only really tricky ones can be younger rufilata and subfusca, which have been known to not respond well if their vivaria becomes too dry or stagnant. Subfusca is probably the most striking of all tarantulas except perhaps P. metallica, at least in terms of patterning. Healthy adults are mind-boggling - I have one of Martin Huber's awesome subfusca pics as my desktop wallpaper! :D

At any rate, good luck! They're definitely worth the extra effort and research.

bill
 
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Hamadryad

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P.ornata really does blend in with their enviroment!!!

yeah, I second that statement from Arachnopunks that the Pokies are like ninja spiders...my 2 inch P.ornata sling blends in totally with the substrate and is very,very good at being impossible to spot in her enclosure.I have to admit it DOES make me a tad nervous wondering where she is but if I try hard enough I can usually spot a leg or something to confirm where she is before I crack the lid to toss in some crickets or mist her.

She did get away from me when I was unpacking her and she was extremely fast...it was a miracle that I managed to catch her.She actually took a flying leap thru the air from my invert table and landed on my bed and then turbocharged...it was rather amazing to see her soaring thru the air...I have never really witnessed that before.I can see how arboreal tarantulas are capable of stuff that would kill a terrestrial tarantula.

I am very cautious about the venom issue but I use extreme caution with almost all of my tarantulas being that most of my collection is Asian species...I really do not handle any of my spiders with the exception of one of my Rose Hairs and a Chaco that is a real sweetheart.The rest are hands off so I think I will be ok with this Pokie of mine...esp now that I know how fast they are!!!!!!!

The Spider Hunter
 

Lasiodora

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I think everyone has covered everything about maintenance. I have two pokies right now (P.smithi & P.penderseni). I provide them with pvc tubes as hide spots. When I disturb them, they run in there. I then cover the entrance and pull the whole thing out with forceps. They have never tried to run out of their hide. This method has never failed me. It works well when using cork bark curls too. They are beautiful spiders. Once you cross into the pokie realm you will not turn back. You will find yourself wanting to work with every species of pokie that is out there. let us know what you decide on.
Mike
 

invertepet

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Here's a breakdown of what's available:

Indian Ornamental (P. regalis): The staple, probably the most common Poec and also one of the nicest. Striking contrasts, classic variegated 'ornamental black & white' (which was their original common name) with bright yellow on the ventral side of the front legs. Fairly robust and gets pretty large, I have an 8" female.

Sri Lankan Ornamental (P. fasciata): Almost identical to regalis except lacking a ventral cream colored lateral stripe on the abdomen. Also a bit more brownish. Males of this species I've seen are a bit smaller on average than regalis males.

Salem Ornamental (P. formosa): Rather unique among Poecilotheria as the variegated leg banding pattern is more regular, almost like a kingsnake. Not quite as contrasty as regalis but still very pretty with bright purple highlights when freshly molted. A bit lighter shade overall, too.

Ivory Ornamental (P. subfusca): Darker overall than regalis, but with intense yellowish-cream and deep black patterns with more contrast and distinct leg markings, especially the bright yellow striping on the tibia and P. irminia-like orange spotting-striping on the met and tarsus. Harder to maintain and a bit more finicky than other members of the genus, but well worth the effort. Until P. miranda and metallica arrive, this is probably the priciest Poec and one of the hardest to find.

Fringed Ornamental (P. ornata): Another darker species with nice reddish hairs on the palps, greenish tinge to the dark bands and like subfusca, striking orange-yellow markings on the tib, met and tarsus. Gets very leggy, very impressive. I've seen 7-8" females.

Redslate Ornamental (P. rufilata): And again, one of the darker ones, but with more greenish tinge to both the dark and light markings. Some specimen have more of a bluish tinge. When immature, these spiders have a distinctly reddish 'fringe' to them which probably earned the name. They're one of the jumpier and more defensive of the genus, too... As well as being somewhat sensitive to dehydration and temp. Suspected to be the biggest of the Poecs - 8-9"+ as adults.

Mysore Ornamental (P. striata): This is what P. formosa was initially thought to be back in the early 90's. Similar to regalis, but a bit more greyish and a darker carapace. Still rather rare in collections, these have a slightly orangy cast to them as juveniles (hence their original common name, 'Mysore ornamental orange legs'). I'm not sure how big they can get, but probably similar to regalis.

Pedersen's Ornamental (P. pederseni): Also similar to regalis, although it's more greyish. Also very rare still in collections, sometimes available as captive bred spiderlings.

Yellowbacked Ornamental (P. smithi): Another recently bred species, and also somehwat similar to regalis/fasciata. Femorae have more white/light grey than some other Poecs. Again, rare and expensive, when you can find them.

Gooty 'Blue' Ornamental (P. metallica): The 'holy grail' of Poecilotheria from Gooty, S. India has been the talk of the hobby since Rick West and Peter Kirk revealed pictures of subadult females on the internet. Initially described by Pocock in 1899, the preserved specimen didn't give this spider justice until they 'mysteriously' started appearing in European collections. This spider has sparked lots of controversy about smuggling and illegal export/import ethics and laws. Basically similar to subfusca but lacking much of the 'traditional' variegated banding, which is replaced with bright metallic blue iridescence and bright yellow striping on the tibias. It's unclear if adult females retain this bright blue coloration, although rumor has it they do, at least partially. Not currently available in the hobby, but private breedings are allegedly taking place.

Bengal Spotted Ornamental (P. miranda): The lightest of the Poecs with the dark patella bands missing and lighter patterning overall. The one available (Rick West) photo thus far shows fairly intense violet iridescence, but this could be attributable to a fresh molt. Spiderlings have been produced and should be available shortly, making this the newest Poec available, and the most expensive by far.

Mannar Olive-yellow Ornamental (P. vittata): Little is known of this species other than the picture on Rick West's site and that the description is currently pending resurrection, presumably after being synonymized with something else. If Rick's reading this, perhaps he can chime in? Anyway, not presently available in the hobby. Looks to be a slightly murky, greenish Poec slightly similar to the usual regalis patterns.

Sri Lankan pale legs (P. uniformis): A few pics have circulated of what is suposedly this species, but Strand's 1913 description is apparently vague and I doubt anyone has ID'ed it with any definite proof. Not currently available in the hobby to my knowledge.

...Well, that's about it with the Poecs that we have in the hobby (or don't). There's been some talk of P. pococki and some pics posted, but I don't believe there have been any formal revisions or descriptions including that species.

bill
 

Steve Nunn

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Re: ><

Originally posted by Vayu Son
However, tarantulas of subfamily Poecilotheriinae, Stromatopelmiinae, and Selenocosm(iinae?) are likely to have more potent venom than your other spiders.

-V
Hi,
Sorry to be a stickler but Poecilotheriinae isn't a subfamily. The Poecilotherieae Simon 1889, Phlogieae Simon 1892 and the Selenocosmieae Simon 1889 are subgroups under the one subfamily, Selenocosmiinae. Refer to "The Spider Infraorder Mygalomorphae (Araneae): Cladistics and Systematics" R.J.Raven. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. Volume 182:Article1.

I know it's a bit stiff and I apologise for being so.

Cheers,
Steve
 

atavuss

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Originally posted by invertepet
It's also fun just setting up Poecilotheria... The cork bark, vertical enclosure, getting creative with artificial vines or leaves, etc. Some species like regalis can actually adjust fairly well to moderate to low humidity and temp, if slowly introduced to it. I have a 8"+ regalis female and she's kept bone dry and room temp all the time -- does great. I don't suggest that for juveniles or new specimen, though.
bill
I also have an adult female regalis about 7"+, I keep her in an enclosure that has bone dry substrate, but there is a 5 oz. deli cup that is kept full. if you want to see her enclosure look in the other thread "tank setups" and the second enclosure from the right on the bottom shelf is the regalis, the cork branch tube is where she hides. my regalis will readily accept rat pups, anyone else try this?
I DON'T recommend that everyone keep their pokes bone dry, just mentioning that it works for me. Bill's adult female regalis has a kick butt setup! how bout a pic, Bill?
Ed
 

Gillian

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thanks!

Thanks everyone...You've helped me alot. Mebebrez? The reason it will be awhile, is the simple fact that I don't know absolutely everything about them (which is a big pre-requisite I put on myself before I get a pet). However, with the memory of my A. avic's limb removal still fresh in my mind, I'm not sure about arboreals.

Peace,
Gillian
 

mebebraz

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Well, I can probably speak for most of us here in saying that we all make mistakes, I know, bowing head, I have accidently killed a sling or two learning, whether it be humidity, feeding or whatnot, and also accidently amputating limbs on a rosie, I wouldnt dwell on the avic. Good luck.
 

Ropes4u

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Sep 6, 2002
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Edited to note that I answered the wrong f*%$ng thread here..

I keep my Ts in the living room and kitchen.. more out of convienence than anything. I enjoy watching them and I spend most of my time in those two rooms. I guess one of these days I will have to clean out the extra bedrooms and convert one for spiders..

Ropes
 
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