Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Poecilotheria ornata
Common name: Fringed Ornamental
Indigenous: Sri lanka
Habitat: Because Sri Lanka is situated near the equator, the climate is generally hot and humid. The hill and mountain areas, however, are cool, and the humidity is relatively lower in the dry zone. The average annual temperature is about 32°C (about 90°F) in the lowlands and about 21°C (about 70°F) in the higher mountainous regions.
Precipitation is characterized by wide seasonal and regional variations. The monsoon season in the southwest is from May to November, at which time the rainfall is exceptionally heavy. In the northern dry zone the main precipitation of about 1,020 mm (about 40 in) annually occurs during the monsoon season, which begins in the first week of November.
Temp/humidity: I keep the temperature between 78°-82°F 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 arboreal tarantula. As spiderling or juvenile, I put a twig in  the vial so it may climb. When they get between three and four inches (3"-4"), 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 (1") of substrate in deli cup for spiderlings, and two inches (2") 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 (1/4") baby crickets to the spiderlings. Now I give my Fringed 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 (1"). The first year she attained a leg length of three inches (3").
Adult Size: I read that this tarantula can reach a leg length of nine (9") inches, making it one of the largest of the Pokies. My girl is eight inches (8").
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, in my opinion, the most colorful species in the Genus. They can be an olive green to a purple hue and many colors in between, with beautiful markings. This species is more secluded than the other Pokies and is more likely to bolt.
It is reported that the toxin from this tarantula is stronger than most tarantulas. Because of its potential speed, and toxin, this species is not recommended as a beginner tarantula.
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