The King Baboon Spider is a large tarantula that is covered over its entire body with a velvety burnt orange coloration. It has enlarged back legs as do most of its baboon spider relatives. It also has large black shiny fangs and is not afraid to use them!.
They average about 5.5 - 6" (14 - 15 cm), though a mature female may exceed 7.8" (20 cm). Mature males are smaller than females. Males are very hairy and slender and have no tibial hooks to aid in breeding.
Care and Feeding:
There is a tendency by keepers to feed their large, aggressive species lots of live mice. We suggest feeding the King Baboon Spider a diverse diet consisting of adult crickets, grasshoppers, Tenebrio larvae, and only occasional feedings (once or twice a month) of mice. This variety more closely mirrors the diet of this tarantula in nature and will keep them healthy.
In nature the King Baboon Spider is found in deep burrows associated with rock piles or the bases of trees. In captivity they should be kept in a 15 to 20-gallon terrarium with a secure lid. This enclosure should have a deep substrate of at least 10” of compacted sand and peat moss or potting soil. They should be allowed to dig and maintain a burrow which will help meet their need for a warm, humid retreat.
Temperature and Humidity requirements:
Warmth in the 78° to 82° F range and a humidity of 75 to 85% is best for this burrowing species.
The King Baboon Spiders are very aggressive and best housed singly. With the slightest disturbance they can become defensive. They make a hissing noise by rubbing the hairs on their front legs together, and they will rear up on their hind legs with fangs bared, and bite.
This species is very aggressive / defensive and should not be handled under any circumstances. The bite can be medically significant for some people. We suggest using a paint brush or other tool to corral the King Baboon Spider when moving it from enclosure to enclosure for cleaning, maintenance, or for breeding attempts.
Hmm...I wonder what the spider my friend had a few years ago was then? There is a Goliath spider that doesn't sound quite as bad as the King Baboon, but his was quite friendly and would sit happily on your hand. She certainly wasn't aggressive at all.
On a related note, a friend of my husband's brought a tarantula to our wedding - apparently he was going to pick it up that day anyway and we were on the way back!!
He casually took it out of his bag (in a perspex box) and put it on the table, expecting all the occupants to run away screaming, and they all went 'oh, that's lovely' and all wanted a look. Hah! (he was...very odd...)
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