King baboon spider
The king baboon spider ("Pelinobius muticus") is a tarantula species native to East Africa. The king baboon spider can grow up to 20 cm in leg span. It is a slow growing species. The spider is often rusty brown or orange in colour. As a burrowing species, the back legs are very thick and used for digging burrows. It is popular among tarantula collectors but is highly defensive and not suitable for beginners. They also have very strong venom (although none of the tarantulas is known to have a bite that is deadly to humans); a bite from a baby (1 cm body length) of this species caused sharp pain and the place of the bite remained itchy for five days.
The king baboon spider is a burrowing spider. It puts silk at the burrows entrance to detect vibrations. These spiders hunt beetles, cockroaches, and other spiders, although they can kill mice, lizards, snakes, and birds. Like all old world spiders, the king baboon tarantula has no urticating hairs, and can be very defensive. When provoked, they rear up, and strike down repeatedly. This is one of only a few Theraphosid spiders that can stridulate as a major defense mechanism. The stridulation sound effect is produced by rubbing the femurs of the 1st and 2nd pair of legs, which when combined with rearing up, produces a formidable defense. The king baboon spider is predated by birds, baboons, and other mammals.
The king baboon spider normally lives in scrubland or grassland, where they dig burrows.
Adult Pelinobius muticus can be kept in converted aquarium and provided with plenty of ventilation and a very deep substrate (at least 25 cm deep). Spiderlings can be kept in small containers such as pill tubs and waxworm tubs. Slightly larger specimens can be kept in livefood tubs.
- Platnick, Norman I. (2009). The world spider catalog (version 9.5 ed.). American Museum of Natural History.
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