These are fast-growing (and fast-moving) spiders with black markings on their abdomens and a starburst pattern on the carapace.
Orange Baboon Tarantula – Habitat, Lifespan and More!
They’re generally orange with very reflective scopulae on their tarsi and metatarsi, and they have chocolate-colored undersides. Some are more reddish overall and some are golden.
The “Golden Starburst” and “Usambara Reds” are of the same species, though they may be encountered in the pet trade under many different names (i.e., Pterinochilus murinus or Pterinochilus mammillatus, Pterinocihilus sp., etc.). This variation of P. murinus is often called “RCF”, or “Red Color Phase”.
Leg I is noticably thicker than Leg IV, and slightly longer.
There are six types of Pterinochilus spiders (seven, if you include P. leetzi) found in Africa, from Kenya to South Africa.
Range: The Usambara Baboon comes from east-central Africa, usually found in the highlands of Kenya and Tanzania (the Usambara mountains).
Habitat: Semi-dry highlands, more humid climes in northeast Tanzania, under eaves, in piles of wood. . .this species is very adaptable.
Size: Not a large tarantula. Fully mature, they’re about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches in legspan. I’ve bred females at slightly under 4″, and I’ve had the same girls attain legspans of 5 1/2″ before their deaths of old age.
Attitude: Very defensive once they reach 2″ or so. If a retreat is available, they’ll usually go to it when threatened. However, they will attack if provoked enough and can’t get away from a threat. They may bite the living sin out of you if you harass them, so don’t.
In my experience, their bites are similar to the lingering, nagging, achy warmth caused by a wasp’s sting. They are fast movers and will also stridulate when annoyed.
Dwelling: These are some constructive bugs! They will build elaborate, silk-lined tunnels through the substrate. Sometimes they’ll make impressive spires of web and dirt- they can’t seem to decide if they’re arboreal or terrestrial. One of mine lives in a sort of termite mound that it built in under 12 hours.
Ideal Setup: An enclosure with approx. 200 sq. in. of floor space with enough peat/potting soil for digging in (fill it about 4-5 inches deep). Supply a water dish. Even the adult ones from the more tropical highlands can deal with sparse humidity (anywhere from a normal air-conditioned room average of 40% to an outdoor setting of 70% is fine.
I have spiders from the same sac that thrive under both circumstances regarding humidity), so don’t bother misting or moistening the substrate too often as long as you keep the water dish full.
Give spiderlings without a dish some moistened substrate and a bit of misting once or twice a week. Keep the temperature around 75-80 degrees F if possible.
Basically, these are very hardy arthropods that will do quite well in just about any environment a human could survive in.
Food: Any bugs that haven’t been exposed to pesticides (3-5 crickets a week for adult Usambaras); baby mice. Spiderlings love to eat and will take on prey their size quite readily.