Poecilotheria metallica 101: Care, Enclosure, Temperament & More

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Poecilotheria metallica

​This is it — one of the best of the best tarantulas out there. There are over 800 types of tarantulas, and ​Poecilotheria metallica ​is easily one of the most​​​ interesting and sought-after tarantula species.

Their beautiful colors and interesting temperaments make them very desirable for beginners and experienced keepers alike.

This care sheet will go over what makes the Gooty Sapphire Ornamental tarantula so special, in addition to how you can properly care for it.

Purchasing a tarantula? Check out our tarantula essentials list!

Poecilotheria metallica Care Sheet

Common Name

Gooty Sapphire Ornamental

Species Type

Old world arboreal

Habitat

Found in trees throughout India and experiences a large variety of different climates.

Growth Rate

Fast growth rate. Can grow several inches in one year.

Adult Size

Females reach a legspan of between 6″ and 8″, with males measuring slightly smaller.

Lifespan

Females can live up to 15 years, while males often only live to 4 years.

Enclosure

Their enclosure should be taller than it is wide, with plenty of anchor points for webbing. Two inches of substrate should line the floor, and a water dish needs to be provided.

Temp/Humidity

78°F to 82°F with about 65% to 75% humidity.

Diet

An excellent eater that can eat several adult crickets per week when fully grown. Dubia roaches and mealworms should be used as supplemental food.

Temperament

Not an aggressive spider, but not the nicest. May bite if provoked and will go into a threat pose when threatened.

Experience Level

Intermediate – Not a difficult tarantula to care for, but their temperament isn’t one that’s easy for inexperienced keepers to care for.

Average Cost

Slings ~ $100, Males ~ $150, Females ~ $300+

Poecilotheria metallica Appearance

One of the many reasons why this tarantula is so expensive is its brilliant appearance! The entire Poecilotheria genus is visually stunning, but P. metallica is unique in the sense that it has a brilliant metallic blue hue.

Its entire body, especially its legs, have this coloration, and its accented with hints of white, yellow, and black.

Both males and females have this coloration, but males are much more vibrant in color. This is unfortunate, as the Poecilotheria metallica lifespan for males is only 4 years, meaning that there’s not too much time to enjoy their stunning appearance.

Fortunately, these tarantulas possess similar coloration as young spiderlings and have it only improve with time.

As an adult, these tarantulas reach between 6 and 8 inches in legspan, which is fairly average sizing. Their growth rate is quite fast, so expect to have a fully-grown and stunning tarantula on your hands in no time.

Poecilotheria metallica
via @faunnflora / Instagram

Poecilotheria metallica Temperament

While these tarantulas are absolutely beautiful to look at, they aren’t really known for their agreeable personality. This is a tarantula species that shouldn’t be handled or kept by inexperienced tarantula keepers.

They’re quite reclusive and skittish, making them hard to predict and potentially dangerous for their owner.

The Poecilotheria genus isn’t necessarily aggressive and prefers to run away from danger as opposed to fighting it. However, you shouldn’t try your luck with it.

Poecilotheria metallica is an old world tarantula, which are tarantulas that are known for being more aggressive and possessing a painful bite.

Of the old world tarantulas, this species has a bit of a nasty bite that isn’t life threatening but is considered medically significant and can cause swelling, cramping, and persistent pain.

Fortunately, it does prefer to run and hide instead of throwing up a threat pose.

Despite the fact that this isn’t a very friendly species, it’s an amazing one to keep! This fast-moving spider will put on a show while feeding or just re-arranging its enclosure. Its great appearance only enhances its fun-factor.

Photo-sensitivity

One thing to note is that this tarantula is photosensitive, meaning that it’s sensitive to light!

Many spiders aren’t necessarily fans of excess lighting, but Poecilotheria metallica will quickly run and hide away from any direct light.

This results in them being less active during the day and preferring the nighttime to be most active.

This makes the Gooty Sapphire Ornamental tarantula a bit less-suited for display since its schedule won’t always align with yours.

Housing Poecilotheria metallica

If you plan on bringing home one of these tarantulas, you’ll need to make sure that you’re giving it a proper enclosure from the start.

Also, since they don’t like human interaction, you should construct an enclosure that doesn’t need to be accessed or changed around much at all.

Optimal Enclosure

A Poecilotheria metallica enclosure needs to be constructed in a certain way, but it isn’t difficult to do so.

To begin with, this is an arboreal tarantula that spends most of its time above the ground, so their enclosure needs to have a large focus on height and climbing room.

They also like to produce some webs, so several anchor points should be present for their webbing.

A full-size adult specimen would be more than comfortable in Exo Terra’s 18″ x 18″ x 24″ vertical enclosure. It’s quite large, but supplies the tarantula with plenty of room to move around, create webs, hunt, and go about its life.

It has great cross-ventilation, accessibility, and visibility — all factors that are very important in an enclosure.

Enclosure Decorations

The inside of the enclosure should be decorated with tarantula supplies for an arboreal species.

Doing this includes layering 2 inches of coconut fiber substrate on the ground and then constructing a vertical environment using fake plants, sticks, and a cork bark hide.

Remember, these tarantulas live in trees, so you should make their enclosure as tree-like as possible.

It’s also quite important to include a water bowl at the bottom of the enclosure. Many owners don’t know that tarantulas drink water and that water bowls have copious benefits.

Enclosure Temperature/Humidity

In the wild, Poecilotheria metallica​​​​ experiences a range of different environmental conditions.

To best match the climate of their natural habitat of India, you should keep the temperature of the enclosure around 78°F-80°F with humidity levels around 70%.

Fortunately, that temperature isn’t far off from room temperature, so supplemental heating isn’t always necessary.

If you do need to provide additional heating to your tarantula’s enclosure, look towards a gentle heat lamp that doesn’t emit any light and can be turned on and off with ease. Space heaters are also excellent.

While there are some regions in India that are very humid, Gooty Sapphire Ornamentals thrive in enclosures with a fairly standard humidity level.

Most owners maintain humidity of 70%, and this is done with a constantly-full water bowl and misting of the substrate when humidity starts to drop.

You should always use a thermometer/hygrometer to monitor the inner climate of the enclosure so that you can make adjustments as necessary.

Diet

Poecilotheria metallica grows into a stunning tarantula, but only if their nutritional needs are being met. Fortunately, it isn’t hard to meet these needs.

With a characteristically ravenous appetite, this tarantula species will eat essentially anything that’s put in front of it.

As a spiderling, this species eats flightless fruit flies until it hits about 1/2″ in legspan, at which point it can begin eating baby crickets.

As they grow, they’ll eventually be able to eat several adult crickets per week. This can be supplemented with the occasional meal worm or dubia roach.

Because of its photo-sensitivity, P. metallica may be more inclined to put on a feeding display at night or in the dark.

Health Concerns

Pet tarantulas typically don’t experience many health problems. As long as their enclosure is optimal and their diet is complete, there shouldn’t be a lot of problems that arise.

Captive tarantulas essentially only run into dehydration and mites/parasites, but both of these ailments are easy to cure or avoid altogether.

Two specific points should be noted for Poecilotheria metallica, though. First of all, it absolutely needs space to vertically climb. If it doesn’t have that space, it may become stressed out and its health could suffer.

Additionally, too much exposure to light could also stress out this tarantula, forcing it into hiding for longer than it would like. Be sure to keep it away from direct sunlight and let it get a healthy amount of darkness.

Poecilotheria metallica For Sale & Price

If you’re looking to bring home this tarantula, you should expect to pay a healthy price. This is one of the most expensive tarantulas in existence today — and for good reason!

The combination of the fact that the Gooty Sapphire Ornamental natural habitat is rapidly depleting and that they’re constantly smuggled for their beautiful appearance has resulted in them becoming endangered.

Fortunately, breeders have gotten their hands on these tarantulas and made them ethically accessible, but their price is still high.

If you can find this tarantula for sale, expect to pay around $100 for an unsexed sling. Males go for between $100 and $200, and females sell for around $300.

This exorbitant price makes sense, but it severely limits who gets to enjoy this stunning tarantula.

If you’re able to come up with the money, though, Poecilotheria metallica is an incredible tarantula to add to your collection. It has a stunning appearance, great personality, and an exclusivity to it that’s quite alluring.

Zach David
Zach David
Zach is a life-long pet owner and enthusiast. He was born into a family with a dog named Murphy, and since then has owned several other dogs, tarantulas, mice, ferrets, fish, geckos, and a cat. This experience has given him the knowledge necessary to help others become excellent pet owners.