Davus pentaloris (Simon, 1888), als known as “Guatemalan tiger rump”, is a stunning bird spider due to its coloration and pattern from Mexico and Guatemala, Alta Verapaz. With an avarage span width around 11-12cm she’s rather small compared to other bird spiders. The distinct coloration, in combination with the pattern, should just like wasps scare possible attacker. That’s why she is sometime named as “wasptarantula”. The genus Davus was considered to be a synonym of Cyclosternum, but that’s no longer accepted. Don’t confuse Davus pentaloris with the Davus fasciatus either, commonly known as “Costa Rican tiger rump”, native to Costa Rica (San Carlos, Province of Alajuela). This is another species of which only a few people have had one (source). The difference between both species becomes visible in the color of the carapace, black in Davus fasciatus versus orange in Davus pentaloris, and the different pattern on the spider’s abdomen (picture). However you might have bought a “Cyclosternum fasciatum‘, as Davus pentaloris was referred to for years, the possibility you got a real Davus fasciatus (picture) is almost nonexistent.
I. SPECIFIC INFORMATION
Scientific name: Davus pentaloris.
Common name: Guatemalan tiger rump.
Previous name: Crypsidromus pentaloris Simon, 1888b, Hapalopus ruficeps Simon, 1891a, Hapalopus pentaloris F.O.P.-Cambridge, 1897b, Pseudoschizopelma pentalore Smidt, 1995, Davus pentalore Schmidt, 1998h, Davus pentaloris Peters, 2003.
Type: Terrestrial bird spider. Opportunistic burrower.
Category: New world tarantula.
Urticating setae: Yes (abdomen).
Venom: Probably mild. No valuable scientific research has been done yet.
Body length: ≤ 4-5 cm.
Span width: ≤ 11-12 cm.
Behavior: The spider will try to flee at first. Persistent provocation can result in use of urticating setae. Their responses are quite fast.
Growth rate: Fast.
Life expectancy: Females can become up to 10-11 years old. Males are given a shorter lifetime of 3 years.
Accessibility (1/beginner, 10/expert): 5.
II. INFORMATION FOR KEEPERS
>>> First aid
Davus pentaloris lives in warm and temperate area with a rainy season during 6 consequtive months. Local temperatures rarely exceed 28°C, with highest temperatures measured during rainy season from may until october. Minima never go below 15°C during rainy season by night, sometimes dropping down to 11°C when between november and april. Please be informed of the fact the spider will protect itself against extreme temperatures underneath tree trunks, branches, leaves and abandoned burrows. Do not overheat the terrarium.
Temperature: May-Oct: 22-25°C (day), 17-20°C (night). Nov-Apr: 19-21°C (day), 13-15°C (night).
Humidity: May-Oct: 75-85%. Nov-Apr: 60-70%.
Adult: LxWxH: 25x25x25. Min. 3x span width in surface.
Smaller than adult: Min. 3x span width in surface.
Adult: 1-1,5x span width. Min. 1,5x span width when breeding.
Smaller than adult: Min. 1x span width.
* The spider lives in tropical forests. Provide many branches and leaves. She’ll use it to create her burrow.
* The spider is an opportunistic burrower. Do not deprive her this opportunity in your terrarium.
* The spider lives in wet area. Note that cages with high humidity levels are very sensitive for mites and other parasites. Please take your precautions.
Wet season: May, June, July, August, September, October.
Dry season: November, December, January, February, March, April.
Warmest months: April, May.
Coldest month: January.
For more information about the local climate: Click here.
* You might like to consider an adjustment of these data with your local climate. Do not exceed minima or maxima and, if necessary, organize the year making your bird spider experience different seasons. This is very important form the moment you’d like to start breeding.
1.0 Davus pentaloris, mature
0.1 Davus fasciatus O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1892
• You might be surprised, as all of the internet is telling different, but Davus fasciatus has a black carapace.
III. INFORMATION FOR BREEDERS
Breeding Davus pentaloris is not always that easy. They’re, however, being bred successfully plenty of times in the hobby. Enough substrate, branches, leaves and a constant temperature between 23-25°C should do the trick. Cannibalism may occur.
• Only start breeding 4-6 weeks (or later) after the spider molted. If the female molts between pairing and cocoon, the eggs will remain unfertilized.
• Make sure the female is well-fed (not obese) before you introduce the male.
• Provide an escape route for the male.
• Plan mating in autumn and let the cage dry out for 3 weeks. Raise up humidity and temperatures for 2-3 degrees.
• The female will start making the cocoon 4-6 weeks after mating. Deprive the cocoon, when desired, 4 weeks later. Store the eggs at a humidity of 90% and a temperature of 24-26°C.
IV. DID YOU KNOW…
• People often confuse Davus pentaloris (Mexico, Guatemala) with Davus fasciatus (Costa Rica)?
• Davus fasciatus has a black carapace and a different pattern dorsally on the abdomen?
• People often use the name Cyclosternum fasciatum, because Cyclosternum was considered to be synonym of Davus for many years?
• The possibility you own a Davus fasciatus is almost nonexistent?
• Photography: Yvonne Kindl (flickr)