Psalmopoeus irminia

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Psalmopoeus irminia

Psalmopoeus irminia, also known as the Venezuelan suntiger, is a species of tarantula endemic to Venezuela, Guyana and Brazil.

This is a beautiful arboreal species with bright orange patterns on its abdomen and metatarsus and tarsus parts of the leg. The colour is brighter at an early age and is it grows larger it develops a greenish shade on its carapace which is most noticeable after a moult. The sexual dimorphism of this species is noticeable as mature males lose most of their dense bright markings and have an overall dark grey colouration and fuzzy appearance.

It can be easily mistaken for Psalmopoeus cambrigdei except it is smaller in size. In captivity you need provide a typical arboreal set up with plenty of hiding spaces. This species prefer darker enclosures, you may want to attach some black paper or bin bag to a couple of the sides of the enclosure.

They also require humid conditions so a thick layer of substrate and water bowl for drinking is needed along with regular misting. Inhabiting dense humid forested areas it leads an arboreal style of life constructing silken tube retreats beneath leaves, tree trunks and tree bark, usually not to high off the ground. It has also adapted to cohabiting with humans and can be found making nests in house walls.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
  • Family: Theraphosidae
  • Genus: Psalmopoeus
  • Species: P. irminia
  • Binomial name: Psalmopoeus irminia

Habitat

As the common name suggests, Psalmopoeus irminia hails primarily from the rainforest areas of Venezuela. In 2016, however, they were also identified in Brazil, so their range may actually be considerably larger than we know now.

Interestingly, the environmental conditions seen in much of Venezuela is very similar to that reported in Trindad, where their cousin Psalmopoeus cambridgei lives. Temperatures tend to stay relatively stable throughout the year, generally in the region of 26-28’C.

While the annual cycle is marked with a wet season between May and December, followed by a dry season from January to April, humidity tends to remain quite stable. 80% relative humidity is typical in this part of the world.

Life expectancy: Females become up to 12 years old. Males are given a shorter lifetime of 3-4 years.

Behavior

The spider will try to flee at first, persistent provocation can result in multiple bites. Psalmopoeus irminia is notorious to being very defensive and unpredictable. Looking for an escape route, they’ve been seen falling and making little jumps. Psalmopoeus irminia makes a beautiful tubular web retreat.

Housing

For slings, the old 32-oz clear deli cup does the trick well. Start with a couple of inches of moist substrate, a piece of cork bark leaned at an angle against the side, and some sphagnum moss. Personally, I like to put the moss behind the cork bark to give the spider some material to work with if it wants to build a burrow and some “dirt curtains” for privacy. Upon being housed, mine quickly constructed a little home behind its bark, only to venture out at night.

Psalmopoeus irminia for sale

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