Warning: strpos() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in /home/702414.cloudwaysapps.com/rmmdbvwrvr/public_html/wp-includes/blocks.php on line 20
Gooty Sapphire Tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica): Facts, Identification & Pictures Gooty Sapphire Tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica): Facts, Identification & Pictures
Home / Tarantulas / Gooty Sapphire Tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica)

Gooty Sapphire Tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica)

Ever seen a spider that’s blue and has cool patterns? Meet the Gooty Sapphire tarantula! This amazing spider lives in southern India and stands out because of its unique look. Stay with us, and we’ll share some fun facts about this colorful creature!

Scientific Classification

Gooty Sapphire Tarantula

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

  • Size: They are big in size, an adult spider growing up to a length of 6 inches (152.4 mm).
  • Color: Blue body (the only species in its genus to have such a coloration) which is more prominent in adult males than females. Patches of yellow coloration are seen on its legs.
  • Other characteristics: The males are seen with more slender bodies and longer legs in comparison to their female counterparts. Some of the blue-haired tarantulas could possess a flower-like structure on their hairs that helps in minimizing iridescence.  
Gooty Sapphire Tarantula Size

Eggs

The eggs are round, with thousands of purple slings contained in a single sac.

Spiderlings

The spiderlings are mostly lavender in color which fades away and are replaced with blue as they grow up.

The Web

They have asymmetrical and funnel-shaped webs that are made in the holes of trees where these spiders live.

Gooty Sapphire Tarantula Web

Photo Credit: Michael Baun

Are Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas Venomous?

Yes, Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas are venomous. They use their venom to capture their food, but it’s not very harmful to humans.

Can Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas Bite?

Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas can bite, but usually only if provoked. They often give “dry bites” without venom. While their bites can be painful due to their large fangs, there have been no recorded human fatalities. Symptoms might include mild swelling lasting about a week.

Gooty Sapphire Tarantula Habitat

Ecological Importance and Behavior of Gooty Sapphire Tarantula 

The Gooty Sapphire Tarantula is an important predator in its habitat, feeding on various insects, which helps to control the insect population. As arboreal spiders, they contribute to the health of the forest canopy by preying on pests that might otherwise damage the trees they inhabit.

Natural Predators: Natural predators of the Gooty Sapphire Tarantula include the Tarantula hawk wasp and larger wasps, which can overpower and paralyze these spiders for reproduction purposes.

Prey-Predator Dynamics: These tarantulas are a key part of the food web, serving as both predators of smaller insects and prey to larger, specialized hunters. This dynamic is crucial for maintaining ecological balance within their forest environments.

Relationship with Humans: While venomous, Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas are not lethal to humans, and their bites are rare unless they are provoked. Due to their stunning appearance, they have become highly prized in the exotic pet trade, fetching high prices, which unfortunately contributes to their status as critically endangered. Conservation efforts are needed to protect these tarantulas from overcollection and habitat destruction.

Poecilotheria Metallica Image

Quick Facts

Other namesGooty sapphire ornamental tree spider, Gooty tarantula, Gooty sapphire, peacock parachute spider, metallic tarantula, peacock tarantula
Lifespan Males: 3 to 4 years
Females: 12 years
DistributionIndia (Andhra Pradesh), Sri Lanka
HabitatThey are arboreal spiders, mostly living inside the holes of tall trees, in the dense deciduous forests.
PredatorsTarantula hawk, big wasps
DietSeveral insects like fruit flies, mantis, moths
IUCN Critically Endangered

Did You Know

  • They got their name from the place Gooty (in Andhra Pradesh), where they were discovered for the first time near a railway timber yard in 1897.
  • After their inception, they were rediscovered after about 113 years in the forest reserve which lies between the regions of Nandyal and Giddalur, and were seen for the last time in 2013.
  • People have kept them as pets and in the U.S. an adult costs more than $500, while the price of spiderlings varies from $100 to $200, with females costing more.
  • The limited area it is confined to, alongside being much sought-after by scientists and enthusiasts interested in keeping them as pets, makes these species highly endangered.

Poecilotheria Metallica Picture

In conclusion, the Gooty Sapphire Tarantula is a remarkable specimen of ecological importance and beauty, meriting efforts for its preservation.

Ever seen a spider that’s blue and has cool patterns? Meet the Gooty Sapphire tarantula! This amazing spider lives in southern India and stands out because of its unique look. Stay with us, and we’ll share some fun facts about this colorful creature!

Gooty Sapphire Tarantula

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

  • Size: They are big in size, an adult spider growing up to a length of 6 inches (152.4 mm).
  • Color: Blue body (the only species in its genus to have such a coloration) which is more prominent in adult males than females. Patches of yellow coloration are seen on its legs.
  • Other characteristics: The males are seen with more slender bodies and longer legs in comparison to their female counterparts. Some of the blue-haired tarantulas could possess a flower-like structure on their hairs that helps in minimizing iridescence.  
Gooty Sapphire Tarantula Size

Eggs

The eggs are round, with thousands of purple slings contained in a single sac.

Spiderlings

The spiderlings are mostly lavender in color which fades away and are replaced with blue as they grow up.

The Web

They have asymmetrical and funnel-shaped webs that are made in the holes of trees where these spiders live.

Gooty Sapphire Tarantula Web

Photo Credit: Michael Baun

Are Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas Venomous?

Yes, Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas are venomous. They use their venom to capture their food, but it’s not very harmful to humans.

Can Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas Bite?

Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas can bite, but usually only if provoked. They often give “dry bites” without venom. While their bites can be painful due to their large fangs, there have been no recorded human fatalities. Symptoms might include mild swelling lasting about a week.

Gooty Sapphire Tarantula Habitat

Ecological Importance and Behavior of Gooty Sapphire Tarantula 

The Gooty Sapphire Tarantula is an important predator in its habitat, feeding on various insects, which helps to control the insect population. As arboreal spiders, they contribute to the health of the forest canopy by preying on pests that might otherwise damage the trees they inhabit.

Natural Predators: Natural predators of the Gooty Sapphire Tarantula include the Tarantula hawk wasp and larger wasps, which can overpower and paralyze these spiders for reproduction purposes.

Prey-Predator Dynamics: These tarantulas are a key part of the food web, serving as both predators of smaller insects and prey to larger, specialized hunters. This dynamic is crucial for maintaining ecological balance within their forest environments.

Relationship with Humans: While venomous, Gooty Sapphire Tarantulas are not lethal to humans, and their bites are rare unless they are provoked. Due to their stunning appearance, they have become highly prized in the exotic pet trade, fetching high prices, which unfortunately contributes to their status as critically endangered. Conservation efforts are needed to protect these tarantulas from overcollection and habitat destruction.

Poecilotheria Metallica Image

Quick Facts

Other namesGooty sapphire ornamental tree spider, Gooty tarantula, Gooty sapphire, peacock parachute spider, metallic tarantula, peacock tarantula
Lifespan Males: 3 to 4 years
Females: 12 years
DistributionIndia (Andhra Pradesh), Sri Lanka
HabitatThey are arboreal spiders, mostly living inside the holes of tall trees, in the dense deciduous forests.
PredatorsTarantula hawk, big wasps
DietSeveral insects like fruit flies, mantis, moths
IUCN Critically Endangered

Did You Know

  • They got their name from the place Gooty (in Andhra Pradesh), where they were discovered for the first time near a railway timber yard in 1897.
  • After their inception, they were rediscovered after about 113 years in the forest reserve which lies between the regions of Nandyal and Giddalur, and were seen for the last time in 2013.
  • People have kept them as pets and in the U.S. an adult costs more than $500, while the price of spiderlings varies from $100 to $200, with females costing more.
  • The limited area it is confined to, alongside being much sought-after by scientists and enthusiasts interested in keeping them as pets, makes these species highly endangered.

Poecilotheria Metallica Picture

In conclusion, the Gooty Sapphire Tarantula is a remarkable specimen of ecological importance and beauty, meriting efforts for its preservation.