Mike's Basic Tarantula
A Basic Site for the Tarantula enthusiast
Poecilotheria rufilata
Common name: Red Slate 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 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 vial, 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 Red Slate 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. My girl is seven inches (7"). (MOLT)
Temperament: This is a very fast moving spider when startled. 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.
I love the color in the spider. It sports a greenish to brick red color with subtle markings. This is another very large secluded Pokie, what a shame. It is not prone to bolting as an adult.
It is reported that the toxin from this tarantula is stronger than most tarantulas. Because of its speed, and toxin, this species is not recommended as a beginner tarantula.
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