Haplopelma Vonwirthi or Asian Chevron Tarantula
Like most southeast Asian tarantulas, these are feisty burrowers with a “tiger stripe” pattern on the opisthosoma.
The females are generally all black after a molt, with the exception of their fuzzy orangish-brown abdomens. This coloration, coupled with their disposition, has garnered them the pet trade names of “Thai Tiger” and “Thai Earth Tiger”.
It is commonly imported and often mistakenly sold as Cyriopagopus paganus.
It digs, webs a fair amount, acts very defensively, and enjoys a good amount of humidity.
According to Volker von Wirth and Boris Striffler, this spider is quite similar to Haplopelma minax, but obviously different from the traditional “Darth Vader black” H. minax in outward appearance.
Range: The Asian Chevron comes from Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
Habitat: Burrows in tropical forests.
Size: Medium tarantulas. Fully grown, they may attain 6″ in legspan.
Attitude: Very defensive; even the mature males will readily strike to squelch a threat. Like most terrestrial Asian species, they like much privacy and get irritated if their space is intruded upon and they cannot flee. They are rapid sprinters in addition to their predilection for biting.
Dwelling: This species will make deep, web-lined burrows if supplied with enough substrate. They also use ready-made shelters such as cork bark laid on its end.
Ideal Setup: Keep it humid by supplying a water dish and lightly moistening the substrate about twice a week. They like a good amount of humidity and temperature at about 75 to 85 degrees F. I’ve seen individuals of this species get catatonic very rapidly at temps lower than 70 degrees.
Adults do well in most deep containers with adequate covering to prevent humidity loss. Give them plenty of dirt for digging in and be sure to clean up food remains promptly to prevent fungus and/or mite infestations.
Food: Any bugs that haven’t been exposed to pesticides (the equivalent of 3 to 5 full-grown crickets a week for adults); they’ll eat pinky mice, but, unlike my H. lividum, the H. sp “Vietnam” in my care seem indifferent to small lizards. One must be attentive when feeding such items to a burrower that lives in humid earth.