Orange Tree Spider or Pseudoclamoris gigas is a species of spider belonging to the Theraphosidae family. This animal is usually kept as a pet and is commonly bred by keepers worldwide. The first known species of this tarantula was initially described by an Italian arachnologist, Ludovico di Caporiacco in 1954.
This animal originated from French Guiana. They can also be found in Ecuador, Venezuela and Suriname. Orange tree spiders are categorized as New World Tarantula and have arboreal characteristics. Primarily, they dwell in elevated areas in the wild, more particularly, on trees.
This animal is known for being aggressive, swift and acrobatic. Hence, too much handling is not recommended. They are very active and agile animals which can easily break free from the enclosure. In fact, they can move fast from one place to another in just a blink of an eye.
The Orange tree spider is a relatively medium spider, with a body length reaching about 5.5 inches. Basically, adult females are larger than their male counterparts. This fast-growing tarantula may also exceed the average size when provided with appropriate conditions.
Orange tree spiders are easily identified because of their vibrant orange coloration. This fascinating animal has a bright tangerine color on its legs and abdomen. The carapace which is the hard portion of the tarantula’s body has lighter orange coloration. The carapace which is the frontal part of its body contains the eyes and is located in front of its head.
This animal also has urticating hair around its body. This serves as a defensive mechanism to protect them from their predators. They also use their urticating hair whenever they feel threatened or afraid. When the bristles or hair are ejected by this tarantula, it is directed to the attacker and once it is embedded in the skin, it causes discomfort, irritation or itching.
Orange Tree Tarantula lives on trees and elevated areas as they are arboreal animals. Their bodily structure is designed for climbing well and reaching higher surfaces. In their natural habitat, they hide in tree holes and other hallow compartments for security and comfort. They usually fix their nest near vertical space so that they can easily move in and out of of their nest.
What they eat
Orange Tree Spider is a fast-growing animal. They basically feed on crickets, cockroaches and grasshoppers for their diet. They can also feast on other insects such as mealworms, dubia roaches and superworms.
Insects must be gut-loaded so that your pet will have optimal health. Essentially, they are placed in the container and they only depend on the insect for nutrition. Hence, the same should contain essential vitamins and minerals to compensate for the lacking nutrients in the insect feeders.
Tarantulas also lose their efficient ability as it is old. In the same manner, the capacity of the body to process the nutrients from its diet is reduced.
To make them thrive and be happy, give them a sufficient diet in form of healthy insects. They need it to keep their body strong and their immunity at its optimal level. Make sure that when you’re feeding your tarantulas, you must remove leftovers to keep their tank clean.
Also, remove live insects especially during molt because they can cause harm to your tarantulas.
Their appetite for eating can be hampered by the instance of molting. Normally, tarantulas in pre-molt stop feeding. This may occur for a few days for some juveniles while it would take weeks for adult ones. Tarantulas are very vulnerable during molt. In fact, during molting, they will just lie on their back in order to push their dead skin. A more stunning and fascinating tarantula arises after the molt and the same is bigger and more vibrant than ever!
How long do they live
Tarantulas experience several molts before they reach the maturity stage. Given the proper condition and adequate nutrition, your Orange tree tarantula can live up to their maximum age.
In particular, female species can reach 14 to 18 years. This is quite longer than the male species who only live an average of 4 years.
Type of enclosure
Providing a tall cage is essential for this tarantula since they are tree-dwelling animals. The length of the case is significant for their well-being and happiness. Enclosure size can be 20 by 20 by 30 centimetres but bigger enclosures are much preferable. Placing lots of climbing materials will keep them active inside their tank.
The enclosure must have sufficient holes for ventilation. Holes can be drilled on the sides of the enclosure. Holes will prevent extra moisture from building inside causing harmful effects like the growth of bacteria. Aside from placing holes, you may also use screen mesh as the upper covering of your tank, Using screen mesh enables you to monitor your pets inside their enclosure.
Hides are also essential elements for tank decoration. Here, they can hide or relax whenever they feel threatened or stressed. For the substrate, you can add chemical-free compost or rainforest substrate for your pets. At least 2 inches deep is enough to serve as a ground for your spiders.
Orange tree spiders enjoy high humidity in the wild. The same must be within 65 to 75%. The humidity level can be managed by means of misting once a week or by using a high-quality substrate which is great for retaining moisture. You may also add a water dish to increase the humidity.
The temperature inside the tank may vary. You can place a temperature gradient so that your tarantulas can properly regulate their body temperature. You can add warm or cool areas on the opposite side of the enclosure.
The warm area must be within 24 to 26 degrees Celsius during the daylight. The temperature drops at the night.
In setting up the enclosure, decorations must also be a priority since this will make them feel secure and active while they are inside their tank. Creative hobbyists usually place miniature trees to maximize vertical spaces. This will allow your pets to climb and exercise their muscles. Placing climbing materials makes them feel that they are in their natural habitat. Vining plants like photos can also be added to the tank. This will provide extra security and humidity.
Sexing and Breeding
The breeding process starts with the proper identification of true pairs. Females are usually gigantic compared to males. Once the breeding program has been successful, you will expect your female tarantulas to lay eggs in the egg sac.
The egg sack is a protective layer and is made up of silk. This is where they place their eggs during the reproduction stage. During this period they tend to be very protective and possess aggressive behavior. They guard their egg sac until the slings are hatched. This will normally contain 100 to 140 spiderlings.
Once the slings are hatched, they will stay for a few days in the mother’s nest until they are capable of managing themselves. T-slings are very skittish but their agility reduces as they reach mature maturity.
Orange tree spiders are exciting animals that last for a long period of time! They are excellent pets, especially for busy persons who don’t have much time to tend to their animals. They are generally hardy species and can be kept in a moderate-size tank. Accordingly, they are low-maintenance animals and don’t need special care in handling or feeding.
This type of tarantula is amazingly fast compared to other types of invertebrates. Hence extra care must be observed in handling them. Much more, in handling juveniles and spiderlings.
Orange tree spiders are fascinating animals because of their unique and interesting appearance. They are fun to watch arachnids especially when they gobble on their prey. More importantly, they can help reduce your stress from your daily life activities.