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Pedersen’s Ghost Ornamental Tarantula (Poecilotheria perderseni)

Quick Facts

Size: 12 – 13cm in adult size
Life Span: 10 – 12 years (females)
Keeper Skill: Not for beginners
Temperament: Aggressive
Active time: Nocturnal (awake during the night)

Enclosure Setup

Enclosure Type: Needs arboreal enclosure
Temperatures: Kept at 23° to 27° C
Humidity: 50% humidity
Special Equipment: Nothing

The ghost ornamental tarantula is a old world tarantula found native in Sri-Lanka and India. These beautiful tarantulas are known to be incredibly fast and aggressive often delivering a painful and debilitating bite. Ghost ornamental are fast growing species which can reach sizes of close to 13cm. Ghost ornamental make for a poor beginner spider and is only recommended for experienced keepers.

Ghost ornamental tarantulas are considered a display tarantula as handling them is difficult due to their speeds. Being an old world, they lack the urticating hairs so they use their bite as a defense mechanism when they feel threatened and can not flee.

The housing for the Ghost Ornamental is done in tall cases as they are an arboreal or climbing species. Height more important than floor space. The peat layer does not need to be deep but is there for appearances and to help keep the humidity constant. The humidity for this species should be kept at 50%. In the terrarium a piece of wood or branch can be used to provide support for the webs and provide shelter and a hiding space for the Ghost Ornamentals. No special lights are needed as they are mostly nocturnal species.

All tarantulas are carnivores. In the wild they will feed on insects, rodents and small lizards and should be provided with a suitably varied diet in captivity as well. Adult tarantulas should be fed once weekly and any uneaten prey items must be removed from their enclosure to prevent them from harming your pet. Commercially available feeder insects such as crickets, meal worms, silkworms, wax worms cockroaches, etc. will be readily accepted and pinky mice can also be offered once every few months for added variety. Though tarantulas usually get all of their necessary liquids from their prey, it is recommended that a shallow water dish be provided for adult tarantulas to ensure adequate hydration. Misting the enclosure occasionally with a water sprayer will also provide your pet with an opportunity to drink.

All tarantulas must molt (shed their exoskeleton) as they grow. Young tarantulas will do this frequently while adults may only molt once a year or even less often. During this time, your pet may stop eating and will probably spin webs in preparation for molting. When molting actually occurs, the tarantula will lay on its back with it’s legs in the air as it begins to break free from the old exoskeleton. This process can take anywhere from 2 – 12 hours and it is very important that you do not disturb your pet when it is molting. They are extremely fragile at this time and touching them could damage their new skin. Do not feed a newly molted tarantula for at least one week after the molt. Until their exoskeleton is completely dry, they can be harmed by feeder insects.