1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Ornithoctoninae care and info

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Nightstalker47, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    Relevant genera:






    This thread will cover the care for all species and genera in the Ornithoctoninae subfamily. These spiders are commonly referred to as “Earth Tigers” due to their burrowing tendencies and striped patterns on the abdomen, being Asian tarantulas, their dispositions tend to be on the hyper defensive side.

    The venom that they come equipped with is very serious; bites are extremely painful and can have long lasting effects…sometimes symptoms will persist weeks after a bite. On top of that, they are lightning fast, and tend to be on the skittish side…making them a terrible candidate for new keepers. Please avoid these if you are somewhat inexperienced, there’s no need to rush into advanced species and risk disaster.

    Care and husbandry:

    The difference between these spiders and most other Asian arboreals lies mainly with their burrowing tendencies, now some of the species in this subfamily are strictly fossorial, such as Ornithoctonus aureotibialis, Cyriopagopus lividus, minax, vonwirthi, etc…and others are not(Phormingochilus, Lampropelma, C.shioedtei, C.sp. Sumatran tiger, C. sp Hati hati,etc…). If you have any questions on one species or genus in particular, feel free to ask.

    These are a highly moisture dependent group of tarantulas, across the board. They should be kept on deep moist substrate, the top can be allowed to dry a little, but the deeper layers should always remain moist. Best way to maintain the correct parameters in the enclosure would be to periodically pour water directly in the sub, do so as you see fit, and be mindful not to overdo it. Too much moisture is just as bad as not enough. Now unbeknownst to most, good ventilation is of paramount importance to the good health of these spiders. Stuffy conditions will inevitably lead to a sick and dying specimen, so make sure your enclosures have good airflow…stagnant air is always a bigger concern in moist setups. There are many options as far as ventilating goes; cross vent has been my preference.


    Now this will depend entirely on which species you are working with, some will do fine in a classic fossorial setup while others should have more of an arboreal type enclosure. The housing of each species will vary. For arboreals, aim for the same basic enclosure you would have for any other tree spider, slanted cork bark to perch and hide one, as well as lots of extra sub depth for them to dig in. Many of these spiders will also web fairly heavily, typically prior to a molt.

    Growth rates:

    Very fast growers, some specimens may mature in less than two years. Temperatures in the range of 70-85 would be ideal. I would also recommend only heating during the day, and letting the night time temps dip…this mimics their natural environment and will stimulate more nocturnal behavior. If you want accelerated growth, feed often and generously. I don’t necessarily believe that constant higher temps equates to faster growth, there should be some fluctuation.


    Lots of variation from species to species, with some of the smallest maxing out at around 5-6”, and the largest of the spectrum growing to the 8-9” range. If you’re looking for a more specific answer on an individual species, ask away.

    I think I covered all the important bits. If anyone else would like to shed some light on the topic, feel free to contribute to this thread. As usual, pictures of any members within the subfamily are more than welcome.
    • Informative x 5
    • Like x 4
    • Helpful x 2
    • Agree x 1
    • Love x 1
  2. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    L. sp. Borneo Black - Immature male.
    L. sp. Borneo Black - Mature female.
    L.violacepes - Immature male
    C.shioedtei - Immature female
    C. sp. Hati hati - Immature male
    C. sp. Hati hati - Immature female.
    C. sp. Hati hati - Mature female
    Phormingochilus everetti - Immature female
    • Like Like x 5
    • Love Love x 2
  3. boina

    boina Lady of the mites Arachnosupporter

    I've quite a few of the more arboreal inclined of these spiders and I have been experimenting with keeping them somewhat dryer, as in half dry half moist, even letting them completely dry out for a short while, and they seem to be doing exceedingly well with that. But all except one of mine are fully adult and I live in a rather humid environment.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    I let things dry out more and more as they grow. The smaller ones can be a little less tolerant of dry conditions though.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. Ungoliant

    Ungoliant Malleus Aranearum Staff Member

    I will be including this in the section on care guides.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. There's a section for care guides?
  7. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnoreaper Arachnosupporter

    Ornithoctonus aureotibialis - Juvenile female

    Lampropelma nigerrimum - Subadult female

    Lampropelma nigerrimum - Juvenile male

    • Like Like x 2
  8. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    Should be up soon, Ungoliant is working on it.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Venom1080

    Venom1080 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    believe Phormingochilus pennelhewletti is about 3" for adults.

    should probably also add Lampropelma is the most frustrating genus ive ever kept. slings, juvies, even larger subadults will sometimes drop dead out of nowhere...
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    I had no idea this species even existed, just found the page on FB, thanks George.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. chris0220

    chris0220 Arachnopeon

    Big shout out to everyone who plays a part in building these threads. I’m sure they are time consuming but they are extremely helpful and convenient.
    • Love Love x 1
  12. Realistically, if you can raise one asian you can raise them all.
    Im curious which of them tend to be more "arboreally inclined" because 99% of my collection is asian and none of them are ever up or out...

    Well maybe my adult akcaya female, but thats about it
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    IME its been Lampropelma, Phormingochilus, and the Hati hati's that are almost always out nightly on their wood perches, although they do have extensive burrowing systems beneath them.
  14. I have had a few everetti that id see legs, i have a huge adult sabah blue i NEVER see, my female rufus is occasionally visible, but as mentioned the only one Phormingochilus i see regularly is akcaya.

    Lampropelmas all hide almost cosistantly, Cyriopagopus are invisible, i swear i keep expensive jars of dirt
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. 20190121_193719.jpg 20190107_200927.jpg 20190121_193719.jpg 20190107_200927.jpg
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    I guess I got lucky with mine then lol. ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  17. ^ thats a 4.5"-5" female Ornithoctoninae sp Mindanao "central". She used to be a pet hole but now that shes getting larger shes coming out and exploring.

    Weird enough, my female mindanao south rarely ever leaves her amazing burrow. Maybe the variants size differe ce
  18. toshiiiiiiii

    toshiiiiiiii Arachnopeon

    She's a very beautiful T! I'm so excited as I am getting 2 of this beautiful T tomorrow. This care and info is very timely and helpful.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Congrats @toshiiiiiiii theyre an extremely rare species even in your country
  20. Nightstalker47

    Nightstalker47 Arachnoking

    Do you have any pictures of your ackaya? Have a hard time finding any photos online.