Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Poecilotheria miranda
Common name: Bengel Ornamental
Indigenous: India
Habitat: India’s hot and dry season reaches its most oppressive stage during May, when temperatures as high as 49°C (120°F) are commonly recorded in the northern plains. Temperatures in the southern peninsula are somewhat lower, averaging 35° to 40°C (95° to 104°F). At higher altitudes, as in the Western Ghats and the Himalayas, temperatures are considerably cooler.
Temp/humidity: I keep the temperature between 78°-82°F (25.5-27.8cm) and the humidity at 65%-75%. The substrate in the terrarium is kept dry; I mist once a week and monthly, I moist the substrate, than allow it to dry out completely.
Enclosure: This is a aboreal tarantula. As spiderling or juvenile, I put a twig in  the vial so it may climb. When they get between three and four inches (7.62-10.16cm), I housed them in their permanent enclosures. They should be given a vertical branch or cork to climb upon. Their enclosure should be taller than longer. I use a round, vertical, critter cage for their terrarium.
Substrate: one inch (2.54cm) of substrate in deli cup  for spiderlings, and two inches (5.08cm) in a terrarium for sub-adult to adult. (I use a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite, coconut fiber and dirt for firmness, as the substrate).
Retreat/Hide: A ten inch (10") vertical bark leaned against the cage .
Food Consumption: I introduced one-forth inch (0.635cm) baby crickets to the spiderlings. Now I give my Bengal Ornamental two (2) -one inch B. dubia roaches or seven (7) adult crickets weekly. This species is a excellent eater. For variety, I give my girl one (1) house gecko every six (6) months.
Water Requirements: I glued a small container for water to the bark and mist.
Growth Rate: This is a fast growing tarantula. I bought her at one inch (2.54cm). The first year she attained a leg length of three inches (7.62cm).
Adult Size: I read that this tarantula can reach a leg length of seven inches (25.5cm). I've had my girl for eight (8) years and she is seven inches (25.5cm).
Temperament: This is a very fast moving spider. It is not what I would consider a defensive tarantula, but will probably bite if provoked.
Comments: As an introduction to this species, I suggest you get a large, Avicularia species. The species in the Avicularia Genus will give you an experience with a large fast moving arboreal without the potent toxin.  This is a personal favorite. It is white black and grey markings with a purplish sheen. It is reported that the toxin from this tarantula is stronger than most tarantulas. This species tend to stay out in the open, thus making it a good display arboreal tarantula. Because of its speed, and toxin, this species is not recommended as a beginner tarantula.
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