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Malaysian Earth Tiger Tarantula
(Cyriopagopus thorelli)
by Jon Fouskaris

*Information provided by Frank Somma and Mark Pennell

Malaysian Earth Tiger Tarantula
Specimen provided by Frank Somma.
Photo taken by Jon Fouskaris.

       The Malaysian Earth Tiger Tarantula is a very rare and beautiful Asian tarantula. They grow to a fairly large size, and are a gem to any serious hobbyist! The Malaysian Earth Tiger Tarantula is a fast and aggressive species, like many other tarantulas from Asia, and will not tolerate you getting near it. They will face anybody, or anything, even if they are grossly outsized! The Malaysian Earth Tiger Tarantula can be hard to establish in captivity, because many wild-caught tarantulas are full of parasites. That is why captive-bred spiders should be bought over wild-caught spiders. The first captive breeding of this species in the US, and possibly the world, was in April 2000. It was a cooperative effort between Frank Somma and his partner Tommy. The eggsac was dropped in June of the same year, and it contained some 200 spiderlings. This tarantula is still not common enough for someone to easily obtain a captive-bred Malaysian Earth Tiger Tarantula. Until then, the Malaysian Earth Tiger Tarantula will remain to be a rare, beautiful, and challenging species for collectors to want, hope, and wait for.
Range Tropical rainforests of peninsular Malaysia.
Type Arboreal and opportunistic, found in holes in trees and cracks in rock faces, also will make use of man-made holes and buildings, but will burrow to some extent in captivity. Will use substrate and other tank contents to construct hiding places very much like Poecilotheria species.
Diet Spiderlings eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, other large insects, small lizards, and an occasional pinkie mouse.
Full Grown Size 6 to 9 inches, although males have been seen with over 10" legspans.
Growth Medium speed.
Temperature 75 to 90 F.
Humidity 78 to 82%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3" legspan may drink from a shallow, wide water dish. Spray regularly.
Temperament Aggressive and nervous.
Housing Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.
Substrate 4 to 5 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.
Decor Live plants, driftwood, cork bark, etc. make good hiding places. Moss can be added for floor cover. Also, large-diameter bamboo.
Other Names Asian Chevron Tarantula.

*Please note that ALL tarantulas have a certain amount of venom. Although most people are not affected by this species, some people may be allergic to the venom, or just more sensitive, making it a dangerous situation. This is one of the reasons that people should not handle this tarantula. Affects of this tarantulas' natural defenses may vary between people. All tarantulas should be considered dangerous, so be careful, because you don't want to find out if you are allergic or more sensitive the HARD WAY!

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