Category Archives: Poecilotheria Rufilata

Collection Reduction

In order to focus on my Brazilian boa breeding ambitions more seriously, I’ve decided to reduce my tarantula collection. I found a fellow enthusiast on Craig’s List who was happy to have all the individuals I’d tagged for re-homing.

I’m disappointed to see the spiders go, but the boas are a larger priority. Maybe I will be more inclined to keep up with this blog with a smaller collection. Ha! More likely, this will become a blog about my pets in general. Oh well. I had good intentions when I started. =P

Some Issues with Mold & Updates

Though it’s usually dry in Denver, these last couple weeks have been humid. Little gardens of mold began growing in many of my enclosures. The store was out of coco-fiber when I went, and bark was all they had. I swapped out the coco-fiber substrate with some Repti-bark (temporarily) to protect my T’s from mold. I assume mold, or the conditions under which it grows is more harmful than a few days exposed to some fragrant bark chips.

Red Slate Ornamental P. rufilata on temporary bark.

I’m not even sure how harmful Repti-bark is to tarantulas. I read all the time that pine and cedar are not good for them, but can’t seem to find a detailed explanation as to why. Often, sap is mentioned as being toxic, but that an issue with Repti-bark? I should ask my fellow hobbyists at

As for the delay in updates… I have no excuse. It’s not that I’ve been busier than usual, I just forget to  measure, photograph, and write updates for all my specimens.

Tarantula Profile: Poecilotheria sp.

Maximum Size

  • Females can reach up to 20 – 23 cm / 8 – 10 inches.
  • Fast growth rate, males mature in 1.5 – 2 years.


  • Somewhat Reclusive


  • Defensive or quick to flee, but generally mild mannered if unprovoked.


  • Old World Arboreal, but juveniles remain close to the ground, burrow, and add substrate to hides of their own construction.
  • Most species thrive at warmer temperatures, but tolerates domestic climates. P. rufilata, P. smithi, and P. subfusca do best when kept without (or with minimal) supplemental heating, at room temperature.
  • Thrives with light to moderate humidity, substrate should not be kept bone-dry. P. fasciata and P. regalis are from dry climates and are more tolerant.

Hide Construction

  • Adults prefer to hide in a space where they can rest vertically on a surface, so provide upright hiding places where they can retreat from light. Juveniles will remain less visible, hiding themselves in a dirt covered web, sometimes below the substrate. A shorter piece of cork bark at a less than upright angle is perfect.

(Last reviewed March 2014)

Red Slate Ornamental [002] Feb2014 Monthly Update

This little darling is doing great. I can’t believe how fast she’s growing. Poeci‘s are wonderful that way. She’s just shy of 3 inches, but her length is mostly legs. The genus’ body size is significantly smaller than a Psalmopoeus of equal measurement. Her colors came in nicely at her last molt, which was on the first of the month.

As for her temperament, she is no longer content to sit still when I pick up her pot, and runs around like a bloody fool, same as my P. metallica. After a few laps, she eventually makes her way into her log.

Those gorgeous pink hairs are really apparent now.
Front legs and markings.

Acquired: Red Slate Ornamental [002]

Brought this little wonder home from a reptile expo on November 9, 2013. Poecilotheria rufilata is the species I knew I absolutely wanted in my new collection as I jumped back into the hobby: an Old World arboreal that prefers cooler temperatures compared to other Poeci’s. And they are so visually unique in their genus, adult females being easily identified.

I am hesitant to measure her at a whole inch because she’s so leggy. So I pegged her at 0.75 inches. She has molted three times with me so far.

Molt (1): November 16, 2013 @ 7 days from acquisition
1 inch

Molt (2): December 23, 2013 @ 37 days
1.3 inches

Molt (3): February 1, 2014 @ 40 days
1.75 inches

Here she is the day I brought her home.

Minutes after her first molt.