Panama Blonde Tarantula (Psalmopoeus pulcher)

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Panama Blonde Tarantula
Psalmopoeus pulcher
Panama Blonde Tarantula (Psalmopoeus pulcher)
Name Panama Blonde Tarantula
Name Lat. Psalmopoeus pulcher
Family Tarantulas
Family lat. Theraphosidae
Order Spiders
Order lat. Araneae
Origin Central America
Habitat Forest
Diet Live insects
Humidity 70-80 %
Behavior Arboreal, nocturnal, aggressive
Keeping Individual
Care Level Difficult
Housing Humid terrarium
Breeding Moderately difficult
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 5-7 cm
Temperature Day 25-27 °C
Temperature Night 20-22 °C
Housing Size 30 x 30 x 40 cm
US Units
Size 2"-2.8"
Temperature Day 77-81 °F
Temperature Night 68-72 °F
Housing Size 10" x 10" x 15"

Distribution and habitat

The range of the predominantly nocturnal, arboreal Panama tree bird spiders is near the Panama Canal Zone, where they live hidden in branch forks, tree crevices, and self-dug burrows under roots.


For 1 animal a terrarium with a minimum size of e.g. 30 x 30 x 40 cm can be recommended. The terrarium should be placed in a quiet place without sunlight.

You need a terrarium structured with vertical cork tubes, roots and branches (hiding places and privacy), a substrate of terrarium humus, a small, shallow drinking vessel and for decoration artificial or potted plants (e.g. Ficus repens, Scindapsus aureus). Part of the substrate should always be kept slightly moist. Daily the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water (humidity), but better is a rain or mist system

Temp. day: 25-27 °C Temp. night: 20-22 °C Humidity: 70-80

The lighting duration should be 8-12 hrs. depending on the season. Special lamps with high UV content are not necessary.


The food supply should consist of crickets, cockroaches, house crickets, maggots and grasshoppers as well as other arachnids. The prey animal is "injected" with the biting tools (chelicerae) with a digestive juice, which liquefies the protein components and the prey can thus be sucked out (extracorporeal digestion). Young animals can be offered food 1-2 times a week, adults only every one to two weeks. Under no circumstances should they be overfed, the basic rule being that the abdomen should be no more than 1½ times the size of the cephalothorax. Unaccepted food must be removed after 1-2 days. Refusal of food may indicate a natural phase of starvation or an impending molt. No food animals should be in the terrarium during molting, they could injure the spider

A regular and varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The smaller males can be recognized by their bulbs folded in towards the body

The female lays about 100 eggs in a prepared cocoon in her burrow about 3 months after mating. After about 10 weeks the young spiders hatch, leave the cocoon after 2 molts and some time later the nest.

Obligation to report

Make sure to inform yourself about any regulations on keeping or bans on keeping this animal in your state or home municipality (e.g. public order office). Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.


The nimble spider can climb very well and defends itself offensively. Their irritant hairs break off when touched and can cause skin irritation and possibly corneal damage and asthma-like symptoms in the eyes. Care should also be taken when cleaning the terrarium, as irritant hairs can be stirred up by the substrate (safety goggles)

A bite is very painful, the venom is equivalent to that of a bee or wasp. Crushed or held legs can be thrown off at a predetermined breaking point and regenerate completely after 1-2 molts. They change color slightly with each molt

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Special attention must be paid to thorough hygiene and impurities must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Harri Deutsch Verlag; HENKEL & SCHMIDT (2010): Taschenatlas Wirbellose für das Terrarium, Verlag Eugen Ulmer