This ‘bits’ is going to focus on the Pterinochilus murinus (OBT) as one of the most interesting and easy to care for Tarantulas in the hobby.
After watching and re-reading Tom’s Big Spiders article on the “best beginner tarantulas”, I teased him a bit with a few of the more “advanced” species that sometimes end up as a beginner T-Keeper’s charges. This of course got me to pondering the age-old debate about the OBT, and thus this post.
Now, I’m not saying this is a “beginner tarantula”, because it isn’t…sort of. The Orange Bitey Thing (tm!) gets that nickname for a good reason. It is extremely defensive (for the most part) and a skittish little derp that can cause mayhem, sweaty palms and panic attacks.
But…(yeah, saw that coming, eh?)…but it CAN be a good beginner tarantula for some practical reasons.
- You can put the little sling in an adult sized enclosure, and it will thrive. It will build stuff, it will web up like crazy, and as it grows, it will become a beautiful show piece specimen…with almost no contact or messing around needed.
- This should be labeled 1B, but hey…the OBT can thrive and survive even the stupidest mistakes by a “noobie”. It is often joked about in T-Keeper circles as the tarantula you can raise on broken glass and lava flows. heh.
- It has attitude, and puts on a good show when it comes feeding time.
- It is one of the most beautiful tarantulas in the hobby…period. The coloration, striations, gleaming footpads make it stand out from the crowd.
- It is dirt cheap to purchase as it is a VERY easy tarantula to breed, so there are buckets of vendors practically giving them away. (My first OBT, pictured at the top of this posting was a “freebie” from Swift Invertebrates back when I was getting started in the hobby.
- They are fairly fast growers, meaning you will not spend years waiting for a cool looking tarantula to show up. The females tend to slack off in the “grow-fast” department, but not until they have the adult coloration and patterns, so even at 3″ or so, they achieve the “cool factor” fairly quickly.
I like the P. murinus so much that I have five of em’. Part of the fun with this species is that while they do things in general the same way, they all do em’ differently at the same time. A good example of that is the following set of pictures. Four enclosures, and four different “houses”. Similar in the overall, and yet wildly different at the same time.
And here are the closer views of the viva’ le’ difference! in how each one puts its own touch on things: (click on any of the pictures to get the slide show going.) You’re not going to see any of the T’s in these shots. As babies, the OBT burrows, webs and hides out. When hungry, it will hang a few legs near an entrance to snag passing prey. Once slings start getting some adult coloration (at about 3/4″) they will then start popping out and doing some spectacular web stuff.
I have favorites in various categories, and in the “Old World” this is my favorite.
I’ll leave this post with a pic of my OBT in her comfy TV chair watching Jessica Jones on Netflix. (Not kidding, she would always come out of her den when this show was on the screen, and would go back to her den after it ended. heh.)
Oh, and HAPPY NEW YEAR! to each and every one of you out there. It is my hope that the coming year is your best one yet. 🙂