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Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria smithi): Facts, Identification & Pictures Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria smithi): Facts, Identification & Pictures
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Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria smithi)

The yellow-backed ornamental tarantula is a special spider from Sri Lanka. Many people like them as pets because they’re calm and gentle. But, in the wild, their numbers are getting lower. Curious to know more? We’ve got some interesting facts about this friendly spider waiting for you!

Scientific Classification

Poecilotheria Smithi

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

  • Size: Male: 4–5 cm Female: 6–7 cm
  • Color: Male: Their dorsal region appears greenish-brown. Female: Their carapaces are brown dorsally, with their lower legs broken up into several segments. These include the grey-ish patella, the brown-black tibia, and the brownish tarsus.
  • Other Characteristic Features: It is easily distinguishable from the other members of its genus from its darkly colored legs, with white brushes on the femur.

Eggs

Similar to other ornamental tarantulas, their eggs are orangish-yellow. The female lays eggs inside an egg sac, tending to them until they are ready to hatch.

Spiderlings

They are extremely fast. Once old enough, these spiderlings will begin to construct their separate retreats.

The Web

These spiders do not construct elaborate webbing to catch prey as they are hunters. They mainly use webbing to build a sac for their eggs.

Yellow-Backed Ornamental Tarantula

Are Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantulas Venomous?

Yes, Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantulas have venom. They use it mainly to help them catch their food.

Can Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantulas Bite?

Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantulas can deliver a painful bite similar to other tarantulas but they’re usually very calm. If they feel scared or trapped, they might bite to protect themselves. But most of the time, they’re peaceful and gentle creatures.

Ecological Importance and Behavior of Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantula

This tarantula species contributes significantly to its habitat’s ecological balance by preying on various insects, aiding in pest control. Their predatory behavior plays a part in maintaining the health of their tropical forest environment.

Natural Predators: The Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantula faces predation from birds, small mammals, and reptiles. These interactions are crucial to the local food web and highlight the tarantula’s role as both predator and prey.

Prey-Predator Dynamics: As predators, these tarantulas exhibit fascinating hunting behaviors, using their venom to immobilize prey ranging from worms to small insects, which is essential for their survival.

Relationship with Humans: Humans admire these tarantulas for their calm disposition, making them a popular pet. However, the species’ survival in the wild is compromised due to habitat destruction and over-collection for the pet trade, underscoring the need for conservation efforts.

Quick Facts

Other namesKandy Parachute Spider
Lifespan12-18 months
DistributionSri Lanka, mainly in the Haragama area in Kandy, with some sightings from Matale
HabitatTropical forests
DietButterworms, cockroaches, crickets, houseflies, locusts, mealworms, and superworms.

Did You Know

  • The IUCN lists the yellow-backed ornamental as “Critically Endangered” or “CR”. This is because their population has dropped drastically due to habitat degradation and the pet trade.

In summary, the Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantula is an exquisite species whose role in nature extends beyond its beauty.

The yellow-backed ornamental tarantula is a special spider from Sri Lanka. Many people like them as pets because they’re calm and gentle. But, in the wild, their numbers are getting lower. Curious to know more? We’ve got some interesting facts about this friendly spider waiting for you!

Poecilotheria Smithi

Physical Description and Identification

Adults

  • Size: Male: 4–5 cm Female: 6–7 cm
  • Color: Male: Their dorsal region appears greenish-brown. Female: Their carapaces are brown dorsally, with their lower legs broken up into several segments. These include the grey-ish patella, the brown-black tibia, and the brownish tarsus.
  • Other Characteristic Features: It is easily distinguishable from the other members of its genus from its darkly colored legs, with white brushes on the femur.

Eggs

Similar to other ornamental tarantulas, their eggs are orangish-yellow. The female lays eggs inside an egg sac, tending to them until they are ready to hatch.

Spiderlings

They are extremely fast. Once old enough, these spiderlings will begin to construct their separate retreats.

The Web

These spiders do not construct elaborate webbing to catch prey as they are hunters. They mainly use webbing to build a sac for their eggs.

Yellow-Backed Ornamental Tarantula

Are Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantulas Venomous?

Yes, Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantulas have venom. They use it mainly to help them catch their food.

Can Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantulas Bite?

Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantulas can deliver a painful bite similar to other tarantulas but they’re usually very calm. If they feel scared or trapped, they might bite to protect themselves. But most of the time, they’re peaceful and gentle creatures.

Ecological Importance and Behavior of Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantula

This tarantula species contributes significantly to its habitat’s ecological balance by preying on various insects, aiding in pest control. Their predatory behavior plays a part in maintaining the health of their tropical forest environment.

Natural Predators: The Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantula faces predation from birds, small mammals, and reptiles. These interactions are crucial to the local food web and highlight the tarantula’s role as both predator and prey.

Prey-Predator Dynamics: As predators, these tarantulas exhibit fascinating hunting behaviors, using their venom to immobilize prey ranging from worms to small insects, which is essential for their survival.

Relationship with Humans: Humans admire these tarantulas for their calm disposition, making them a popular pet. However, the species’ survival in the wild is compromised due to habitat destruction and over-collection for the pet trade, underscoring the need for conservation efforts.

Quick Facts

Other namesKandy Parachute Spider
Lifespan12-18 months
DistributionSri Lanka, mainly in the Haragama area in Kandy, with some sightings from Matale
HabitatTropical forests
DietButterworms, cockroaches, crickets, houseflies, locusts, mealworms, and superworms.

Did You Know

  • The IUCN lists the yellow-backed ornamental as “Critically Endangered” or “CR”. This is because their population has dropped drastically due to habitat degradation and the pet trade.

In summary, the Yellow-backed Ornamental Tarantula is an exquisite species whose role in nature extends beyond its beauty.