Poecilotheria rufilata - additional info wanted

Cordialis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
4
Dear fellow Arachnoboarders!

First off: I'm not a wizard when it comes to using the search engine on here, but I've been searching and reading about 100 threads about P. rufilatas dating back to 2010. I've learned a lot, but am still wondering a few things. If I've missed something, I welcome any thread links since like I said - I'm not a wizard with the search engine and apologize if I'm regurgitating old questions.

Background: I currently have 15 NW's, arboreals and terrestrials, of varying speed and skittishness. I've kept T's for three years now. Some I got as juvies, one as an adult and some as slings (who obviously aren't adults yet). I'm looking into maybe attaining a P. rufilata as I find their appearance really hard to resist. I'm well aware of their speed and their potent venom. I know their theoretical needs regarding their husbandry (temperatures, hides and such) and also know they need to be treated with great caution and respect (as all other living things) and are not for handling (I don't handle any of my T's, except that one time when my Euathlus sp. red calmly stepped out of her enclosure and onto my hand). I know to use tongs (long ones) for maintenance and feeding, as well as keeping catch cups and other necessary tools of the trade at the ready when opening the enclosure and/or rehousing. I've learned about their origin and also know that this species is one of two XXL pokies with MF measuring up to about 9". If I do end up getting one, I plan to get it as a sling for two reasons: a) to gain experience as it grows and b) having the privilege of following it through the vast majority of its lifespan. Sorry for lengthy description, but I imagine it might be easier to reply with more background.

Questions: On to the point. A couple of things I want/need to know and wish to hear your experiences on:

1) I have a general idea of rufilatas enclosure size when adults and I know the recommendations vary somewhat between keepers. Some of these recommendations are covered in other threads, but what kind of enclosure do you recommend and why?
(Reason being I've seen some keep this genus in tall RUB's for instance, to get more space to work around while doing maintenance without disturbing the T too much and still be able to provide it with an arboreal setup)

2) Pokies are flighty and would rather flee than fight, from what I've read on these forums and from other sources (ofc there's always that individual being the exception to the general rule), but how many times have you had a rufilata escape its enclosure and/or what have you done to prevent escapes?

I guess that's it. Wall of text for ya and I'd be willing to bet someone will find an old thread to smack me on the nose with :angelic: Anyway, thank you all in advance for sharing your experiences on these 2 questions! :D
 
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CyclingSam

Arachnoknight
Joined
May 22, 2016
Messages
220
I can't speak for #1.

#2: Never. My P. rufilata likes to hang out a lot in its dirt curtain tent it made. If I make any movement by it enclosure it rushes in. If it is hungry it will stick its feet out its hole and wait for me to drop food.
 
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Cordialis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
4
I can't speak for #1.

#2: Never. My P. rufilata likes to hang out a lot in its dirt curtain tent it made. If I make any moment by it enclosure it rushes in. If it is hungry it will stick its feet out its hole and wait for me to drop food.
Thank you! :) Aaaw, that sounds so cute! I love their little T feet <3

As for #1, what if I rephrase this question to "what kind of enclosure size and brand do you use and why?" ;) Or is the reason for you not being able to speak for that maybe depending on you not yet having an adult specimen? :)
 

campj

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2009
Messages
286
I'm not doing old world spiders for the time being due to small children in the home, but I had four or five rufilatas at once about five years ago, and they seemed to me to be the most nervous of the pokies I had, ranked up there with ornata. We kept all the bigger arborials like that in ten gallon upturned tanks with plexiglass "lids" (is it a lid if it's turned up on its side? Haha) and never had any rufilatas escape, but there were a couple "oh crap" moments of rapid movement inside the tank, a fluttering of legs, and my arm performing an immediate abort mission. I'd say that if you aren't ready for something big, fast, agile, and venomous (which maybe you aren't, seeing as you seem a bit nervous about owning them), just wait until you've got more experience. Either that or buy spiderlings so that you gradually get used to them.
 

Cordialis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
4
My girl is 3 inches. I put her in this box I made in this video:

Here she is! View attachment 242153
@CyclingSam Oh my... she is one gorgeous T!! :kiss:

Thank you for the link too! Very informative, so two thumbs up for sharing!

We kept all the bigger arborials like that in ten gallon upturned tanks with plexiglass "lids" (is it a lid if it's turned up on its side? Haha)

I'd say that if you aren't ready for something big, fast, agile, and venomous (which maybe you aren't, seeing as you seem a bit nervous about owning them), just wait until you've got more experience. Either that or buy spiderlings so that you gradually get used to them.
Thank you so much for your reply!

I guess I'd call it "door", but probably wouldn't have thought too much of it unless you'd pointed it out :p

About the assumption that I'm a bit nervous about owning them - you're spot on! :rolleyes: I actually was planning on getting a sling once I do get one, so my experience can grow with the T. Totally forgot to put that in the thread post, knew there was something I forgot! :rofl: I think the "sling approach" is good not only for gaining experience in a good way but also to get to follow them throughout their lives which is really cool! The drawback of course being chancing it with whether or not you turn up with a male or female specimen.
 

Lucashank

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
71
Dear fellow Arachnoboarders!

First off: I'm not a wizard when it comes to using the search engine on here, but I've been searching and reading about 100 threads about P. rufilatas dating back to 2010. I've learned a lot, but am still wondering a few things. If I've missed something, I welcome any thread links since like I said - I'm not a wizard with the search engine and apologize if I'm regurgitating old questions.

Background: I currently have 15 NW's, arboreals and terrestrials, of varying speed and skittishness. I've kept T's for three years now. Some I got as juvies, one as an adult and some as slings (who obviously aren't adults yet). I'm looking into maybe attaining a P. rufilata as I find their appearance really hard to resist. I'm well aware of their speed and their potent venom. I know their theoretical needs regarding their husbandry (temperatures, hides and such) and also know they need to be treated with great caution and respect (as all other living things) and are not for handling (I don't handle any of my T's, except that one time when my Euathlus sp. red calmly stepped out of her enclosure and onto my hand). I know to use tongs (long ones) for maintenance and feeding, as well as keeping catch cups and other necessary tools of the trade at the ready when opening the enclosure and/or rehousing. I've learned about their origin and also know that this species is one of two XXL pokies with MF measuring up to about 9". If I do end up getting one, I plan to get it as a sling for two reasons: a) to gain experience as it grows and b) having the privilege of following it through the vast majority of its lifespan. Sorry for lengthy description, but I imagine it might be easier to reply with more background.

Questions: On to the point. A couple of things I want/need to know and wish to hear your experiences on:

1) I have a general idea of rufilatas enclosure size when adults and I know the recommendations vary somewhat between keepers. Some of these recommendations are covered in other threads, but what kind of enclosure do you recommend and why?
(Reason being I've seen some keep this genus in tall RUB's for instance, to get more space to work around while doing maintenance without disturbing the T too much and still be able to provide it with an arboreal setup)

2) Pokies are flighty and would rather flee than fight, from what I've read on these forums and from other sources (ofc there's always that individual being the exception to the general rule), but how many times have you had a rufilata escape its enclosure and/or what have you done to prevent escapes?

I guess that's it. Wall of text for ya and I'd be willing to bet someone will find an old thread to smack me on the nose with :angelic: Anyway, thank you all in advance for sharing your experiences on these 2 questions! :D
1. I like ten gallon tanks converted vertically for arboreals. I like these because it is safer for me to have a little extra room, and it provides more hiding spaces for the tarantula.
Making doors like this is very simple, is cheaper, and works better than a pre-made Exo-Terra or whatever manufacturer's enclosure. (I made a large scratch near the hinge :artist:)

2. I have a P.regalis, rather than the rufilata, but mine always has a safe area to retreat to when I open this enclosure. I have never had anything near an escape, but I have seen it search the edges of the door and the vents at night, so I wouldn't be surprised if it were looking to escape.
 

Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
675
I'm a fan of the up-turned 10 gallon aquariums, too! You can get them super cheap, and make an acrylic door with holes drilled out.

My rufilata is around 6 inches now. Never had an escape, or even near escape with her. When you first rehouse them, give them about a week or two to set up camp in their enclosure. Once they establish territory and feel secure, the odds of them dashing out are actually pretty slim. They're much more likely to dash back into their hole. Mine has made a nice burrow under the cork slab. It's really neat when I sneak up on her at night and she's sprawled out on the slab above her hole. Also, feeding is a cinch. I just place a roach on the slab, and they naturally crawl downward, right into Lucille's waiting fangs! It's like feeding a kraken:jimlad:

As a general rule, pokies tend to move downward when frightened.
 

14pokies

Arachnoprince
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
1,722
To answer your first question right now I have a 6 or so inch female in a rubbermaid style enclosure that was originally meant to hold dog food .. It has a hinged top that flips open.Why? Because I had it already and I knew it would work perfectly for her for the time being..

Soon enough she will be housed in a Zoo-Med 18x18×24 just like my eight inch P.ornata..

Why? Reason #1 because Zoo Med enclosures are cheaper than Exo-terras. The quality in caging is the same.. I dont think either is better than the other..
Reason #2 My P.ornata makes use of every inch of her enclosure.. She is allways roaming around checking out her territory.. My rufilata acts similar..
She is almost allways out of her hide.. I don't catch her roaming all that much though but I believe that is in part because her enclosure is rather small.. It's only about 5 gallons( ish) I would say in total volume.. I think in a larger enclosure with more cork flats and fake foliage she would explore alot more or atleast hide out in the open if she had various surfaces to do so on.

Which brings me to your second question.

I think rufilata is less likely to bolt then most species of poecs.. IME they rely on there camouflage more than any species of poec I have ever worked with.. I have accidentally bumped my rufi while she was out in the open on her hide while pulling out her water dish and she didn't move ..
If that was my ornata,any one of my regalis or the resident P.met that I help look after they would of run and hid.. About a month after I had her I bought her a new cork round to replace the hide she was using and when I stuck a straw behind her to nudge her into the cup she came running out so damn fast and hit the back of the cup so hard I was a little startled..
It was like she realised OK this thing is in my home and has seen me and is now purposely touching me time to go! Where as when I bumped her accidentaly she didn't react because she assumed I didn't see her..
So if you invade there hide prepare for them to bolt.. She has never attempted to run when I open her enclosure or do maintenance while In her hide or outside of it.. So it seems that If they think you can't see them they are generally less skittish than most poec sp.

I'm also raising a male for my Nephew ( we will get to the reason behind that in a minute. It's an important observation IMO) He is a spazz but he is young maybe four inches at most.. So I think as he grows larger he will calm down some as most poecs do. He doesn't try to bolt out of the enclosure though he runs down into his hide.

The reason I am raising him in my bedroom is the same reason as my female rufi more or less. The main T-room is cut off from the central air.. It's hot low to mid 80s. Upon recieveing my girl and his male we set them up in there.. Everything was basically fine for about a month.. Then she stopped feeding.. Soon after she stopped coming out of her hide.. Her abdomen started to
shrink.. She looked very stressed out.
She molted a month before I picked her up so I doubted it was premolt. At this same time we noticed that his rufi was constantly skinny.. It would eat 3-4 crickets a week l but not bulk up at all.. It was drinking fine acting fine just scary thin.. I immediately thought the temps were too high in that room for this species.

I took my female in my room where it stays between 70-74 and within 3 days she was back to hanging out on her hide.. About a week after thst she started to feed again.. Matter of fact she is eating right now. After seeing the positive effects of the cooler temps he asked me to house his male in my room also.. It's abdomen has doubled in size over the last week..
Now Im not saying this species needs cooler temps but from what I have observed the higher temps can be troublesome for some individual's.
 
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Anoplogaster

Arachnodemon
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
675
I think rufilata is less likely to bolt then most species of poecs.. IME they rely on there camouflage more than any species of poec I have ever worked with.. I have accidentally bumped my rufi while she was out in the open on her hide while pulling out her water dish and she didn't move
I will definitely agree with that! When I walk past the enclosure and notice she's out, I can get real close with a light and take pictures, and she's still as a statue. But if I walk away and come back, she's gone. I call that "phantom spider."
 

Cordialis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jul 4, 2014
Messages
4
First off, thank you all for your replies! Yay! Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, let's get down to business ;)

I have never had anything near an escape, but I have seen it search the edges of the door and the vents at night, so I wouldn't be surprised if it were looking to escape.
That's one nice enclosure you've got there! :) Not ExoTerra terrarium but ExoTerra light ramp ;)

Glad you've had nothing near an escape. I've heard of some spideys that will try and bolt at every opportunity no matter how well done your enclosure is to meet their needs. And others, like my Euathlus sp red, just didn't want to stay in there so she stubbornly moved close to the lid each time I came close and then calmly tried to walk right out as soon is the top came off :p

Maybe she's secretly Houdini reincarnate just waiting for her big moment? :D

My rufilata is around 6 inches now. Never had an escape, or even near escape with her. When you first rehouse them, give them about a week or two to set up camp in their enclosure. Once they establish territory and feel secure, the odds of them dashing out are actually pretty slim. They're much more likely to dash back into their hole. Mine has made a nice burrow under the cork slab. It's really neat when I sneak up on her at night and she's sprawled out on the slab above her hole. Also, feeding is a cinch. I just place a roach on the slab, and they naturally crawl downward, right into Lucille's waiting fangs! It's like feeding a kraken:jimlad:
Sounds comforting with yet another person who has had no idea escapes or escape attempts. Thank you for sharing! Haha, like Kraken huh? You should give her Lovecraft as a last name.

Zoo Med enclosures are cheaper than Exo-terras. The quality in caging is the same.. I dont think either is better than the other..

I think rufilata is less likely to bolt then most species of poecs.. IME they rely on there camouflage more than any species of poec I have ever worked with.. I have accidentally bumped my rufi while she was out in the open on her hide while pulling out her water dish and she didn't move ..

So if you invade there hide prepare for them to bolt.. She has never attempted to run when I open her enclosure or do maintenance while In her hide or outside of it.. So it seems that If they think you can't see them they are generally less skittish than most poec sp.

After seeing the positive effects of the cooler temps he asked me to house his male in my room also.. It's abdomen has doubled in size over the last week..
Now Im not saying this species needs cooler temps but from what I have observed the higher temps can be troublesome for some individual's.
Sadly I haven't seen any Zoo Med enclosures around over here. That's really too bad. It seems that ExoTerra have somewhat of a monopoly in the glass enclosure market over here unless you want to venture into a little diy and get an aquarium.

Yet another with the experience of rufilatas running into their hides or camouflaging rather than make a run for it, provided they get the right setup. This just keeps getting better. :D Particularly the part about them being pretty calm unless you actively invade their space, which differs from some individuals who sit by the door preparing to take off ;)

That's more information than I asked for... I like when that happens! :) That's really good to know. I think I've read some discussions about that in other threads as well, definitely something to have in mind!!

I will definitely agree with that! When I walk past the enclosure and notice she's out, I can get real close with a light and take pictures, and she's still as a statue. But if I walk away and come back, she's gone. I call that "phantom spider."
*singing* Beware the phantom of the.... enclosure? Roflmao :smug:
 

Lucashank

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Messages
71
First off, thank you all for your replies! Yay! Now that we've gotten the formalities out of the way, let's get down to business ;)



That's one nice enclosure you've got there! :) Not ExoTerra terrarium but ExoTerra light ramp ;)

Glad you've had nothing near an escape. I've heard of some spideys that will try and bolt at every opportunity no matter how well done your enclosure is to meet their needs. And others, like my Euathlus sp red, just didn't want to stay in there so she stubbornly moved close to the lid each time I came close and then calmly tried to walk right out as soon is the top came off :p

Maybe she's secretly Houdini reincarnate just waiting for her big moment? :D



Sounds comforting with yet another person who has had no idea escapes or escape attempts. Thank you for sharing! Haha, like Kraken huh? You should give her Lovecraft as a last name.



Sadly I haven't seen any Zoo Med enclosures around over here. That's really too bad. It seems that ExoTerra have somewhat of a monopoly in the glass enclosure market over here unless you want to venture into a little diy and get an aquarium.

Yet another with the experience of rufilatas running into their hides or camouflaging rather than make a run for it, provided they get the right setup. This just keeps getting better. :D Particularly the part about them being pretty calm unless you actively invade their space, which differs from some individuals who sit by the door preparing to take off ;)

That's more information than I asked for... I like when that happens! :) That's really good to know. I think I've read some discussions about that in other threads as well, definitely something to have in mind!!



*singing* Beware the phantom of the.... enclosure? Roflmao :smug:
Thank you, and yes, the light fixture is made by them. If I could easily build a nice decorative fixture, I would. I just can't see myself spending over $100 for an enclosure when I can set up a similar one myself for less than $30.
Hopefully my spider is just wandering or hunting, and not actually unhappy with its environment.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
12,499
and/or what have you done to prevent escapes?
Never had an escape. I give certain genera or species a good amount of distance from me, and a good place to hide too. In the wild Poki's live can live in trees inside a deep hole within the tree.

but what kind of enclosure do you recommend and why?
Whatever gives them security and space from you.
 
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