Psalmopoeus irminia

Psalmopoeus irminia

Psalmopoeus irminia Saager, 1994, also known as “Venezuelan sun tiger” or “Sun tiger”, is a beautiful tarantula due to its speed, pattern and behaviour from Venezuela. With the orange pattern on the abdomen, she’s a pleasure to watch. However she’s easy to keep, Psalmopoeus irminia can be fast and unpredictable. She was solely found in a dense region around the borders of Venezuela, Guyana and Brasil. The species, however, was encountered in 2016 in the Paracaíma region in Brasil, living 1m60 above the ground in a typical tubular web retreat. Climate and vegetation in this region is similar to the region as described by Saager in 1994, which explains her presence. 


I. SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Scientific name: Psalmopoeus irminia.

Subfamily: Aviculariinae.

Common names: Venezuelan sun tiger, Sun tiger.

Previous names: /

World spider catalog

Type: Arboreal bird spider.

Category: New world tarantula.

Urticating setae: No.

Venom: Depending the location of the bite and the amount of venom released, this might be a painful experience. However, no valuable scientific research has been done yet (bite report).

OriginVenezuela, North-Guyana, North-Brazil, Paracaíma.

Body length: ≤ 5/6cm.

Span width: ≤ 12/14cm.

Growth rate: Fast.

Life expectancy: Females become up to 12 years old. Males are given a shorter lifetime of 3-4 years.

Behavior: The spider will try to flee at first, persistent provocation can result in multiple bites. Psalmopoeus irminia is notorious to being very defensive and unpredictable. Looking for an escape route, they’ve been seen falling and making little jumps. Psalmopoeus irminia makes a beautiful tubular web retreat.

Accessibility (1/beginner, 10/expert): 8.


II. INFORMATION FOR KEEPERS

>>> First aid

Psalmopoeus irminia lives in tropical warm and humid area, with dense vegetation. Temperatures almost daily reach levels up to 30°C. Please be informed of the fact the spider will protect itself against the burning sun in tree crevices, hollow branches and leaves. Do not overheat the terrarium. Humidity drops from february until april. However they’re arboreal species, they can be found closer to the surface as well.

Environmental factors

Temperature: 25-28°C (day), 21-25°C (night).

Humidity: 70-90%. During 4 consecutive months a year this may drop to 60-70%.

Terrarium

Adult: LxWxH: 20x20x40. 3-4x span width in heigth.

Smaller than adult: Min. 2,5x span width in height.

* Provide a piece of hollow tree trunk or cork bark. Fill it halfway with moist substrate.

Substrate

Adult: 1x body length.

Smaller than adult: 1x body length.

* During 6-9 months the spider lives in rather humid area. Note that cages with high humidity levels are very sensitive for mites and other parasites. Please take your precautions.

Climate

Wet season: May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.

Dry season: February, March, April.

Warmest month: April.

Coldest month: December, 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.

Psalmopoeus irminia found in Brazil 

Grey area: Habitat known to Psalmopoeus irminia.

Black dot: Psalmopoeus irminia recently found in Brazil (2016). Vegetation and climate in the Paracaíma region is similar to the Northern region. 

More info: Source.

Psalmopoeus irminia location


III. INFORMATION FOR BREEDERS

Mating the Psalmopoeus-genus normally runs smoothly. Male and female are sometimes kept together for several weeks. Cannibalism, however, might happen in these circumstances. If you decide to seperate male and female after mating, introduce the male 2/3 times a week. Stop this from the moment you’ve noticed the female responds rather agressive. This might be an indication at least one previous copulation was successful.

• 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 hiding places and an escaping route for the male.

• A few weeks after a successful mating the female won’t leave her burrow anymore. Don’t bother her at all.

• 1-5 months after mating Psalmopoeus irminia will start making her cocoon. Deprive the cocoon, when desired, 6 weeks later. Store the eggs at a humidity of 70% and a temperature of 26-29°C. Expect 100-150 spiderlings to come out.

• It’s not unusual that Psalmopoeus irminia creates a second cocoon 4 months after the first one. The amount of fertilized eggs will probably be less than the first cocoon (40-80). This, however, is not the rule.


IV. DID YOU KNOW… 

• The grey-brown fluffy males of Psalmopoeus irminia and Psalmopoeus cambridgei are very similar?

Psalmopoeus reduncus is the only one of the genus never producing a second cocoon?

Psalmopoeus spp. is mainly distributed on the Western part of the continent. They are absent (or very rare) in other regions of South America?


V. LITERATURE

First record of the genus Psalmopoeus (Araneae, Theraphosidae) in Brazil.


VI. COPYRIGHT

• Text: Dennis Van Vlierberghe (facebookgroup and –page)

• Photography: Dennis Van Vlierberghe