Poecilotheria metallica: Care Guide, Habitat, and Species Overview

Due to its striking appearance and challenging care requirements, the Poecilotheria metallica has become a popular choice for experienced tarantula keepers. To ensure their well-being, these spiders require a spacious enclosure with plenty of vertical space and branches for climbing. The humidity should be maintained at around 70-80%, and the temperature should range between 75-85°F (24-29°C). Providing a shallow water dish and misting the enclosure regularly will help maintain the required humidity levels.

Feeding your Poecilotheria metallica requires a diet of appropriately-sized live insects, such as crickets or roaches. Offering a variety of prey items will help ensure a balanced diet and promote overall health. These tarantulas are venomous, so caution should be exercised when handling them. Although their venom is not usually considered dangerous to humans, it can cause discomfort and allergic reactions in some individuals.

Physical Description of Poecilotheria metallica

The adult male Poecilotheria metallica has a leg span of about 5-6 inches, while the female can reach a leg span of up to 7-8 inches. The body of this tarantula species is predominantly metallic blue with a hint of green, which gives it a mesmerizing and almost shiny appearance.

The carapace of Poecilotheria metallica is dark blue, contrasting with the lighter blue or turquoise color of its abdomen. The legs of this tarantula are also dark blue, with distinctive black bands and metallic blue hairs covering them. The opulent beauty and allure of Poecilotheria metallica make it one of the most visually striking tarantula species in the world.

Additionally, like all tarantulas, Poecilotheria metallica possesses eight black eyes arranged in two rows. These eyes have excellent vision, allowing the spider to detect movements and prey from a distance.

As a member of the Theraphosidae family, Poecilotheria metallica possesses fangs that it uses to inject venom into its prey. While this venom is potent and can cause pain and discomfort, it is not considered life-threatening to humans. Nonetheless, caution and proper handling techniques should always be exercised when dealing with this species.

Natural Habitat of Poecilotheria metallica:

Geographical Range and Distribution:

Poecilotheria metallica is native to the evergreen forests of South India, specifically the region of Andhra Pradesh. It is primarily found in the Eastern Ghats mountain range, which extends across several states in southern India. This species has a limited distribution and is endemic to these forests.


The natural habitat of Poecilotheria metallica consists of moist and tropical forests, with dense vegetation and abundant foliage. These tarantulas are arboreal in nature, meaning they reside primarily in trees. They can be found at various heights within the forest canopy, constructing intricate silk-lined burrows and nests among branches and leaves.

The forest floors beneath their natural habitat are often covered with fallen leaves and debris, providing camouflage and acting as a natural substrate for their silk-lined burrows. This helps them conceal themselves from predators and prey alike.

Environmental Factors:

The climate in the natural habitat of Poecilotheria metallica is predominantly hot and humid throughout the year. The temperature ranges from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius (77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit), with humidity levels averaging around 75-85%. These conditions are essential for the survival and well-being of these tarantulas.

Poecilotheria metallica also benefits from the availability of a constant water source in their natural environment. Rainfall is frequent, ensuring a steady supply of water for drinking and maintaining the required humidity levels.

The natural habitat of Poecilotheria metallica is rich in biodiversity, offering a diverse range of insect prey for them to hunt and feed upon. This includes various species of beetles, moths, and other small arthropods.

Overall, the natural habitat of Poecilotheria metallica provides an ideal ecosystem for these beautiful and captivating tarantulas. It offers the necessary resources, climate conditions, and protection to support their survival and thriving populations in the wild.

Captive Habitat Requirements for Poecilotheria metallica



A suitable substrate for the Poecilotheria metallica enclosure is a combination of coconut fiber and peat moss. This substrate provides a natural feel and helps maintain the proper humidity levels needed for the spider’s well-being.

Temperature and Humidity

For optimal health, the temperature inside the enclosure should be kept between 75-85°F (24-29°C). The humidity levels should be maintained around 70-80%. To achieve these conditions, misting the enclosure with water daily is recommended. Using a hygrometer and a thermostat is advisable to monitor and regulate the temperature and humidity levels.


Adding various branches, cork bark, or hollow logs inside the enclosure provides the Poecilotheria metallica with hiding spots, climbing surfaces, and web anchor points. Live plants can also be included to create a more natural and aesthetically pleasing environment.


Although the Poecilotheria metallica prefers low light levels, providing a small LED light for a few hours a day can help simulate day and night cycles, which is beneficial for their overall well-being.

Feeding and Water

Overall, successfully keeping the Poecilotheria metallica requires attention to detail and careful consideration of its captive habitat requirements. By providing a suitable enclosure, appropriate substrate, proper temperature and humidity levels, enriching decorations, and a nutritious diet, you can ensure the well-being and longevity of this fascinating arachnid.

Temperature and Humidity Recommendations for Poecilotheria metallica

Poecilotheria metallica originates from the tropical rainforests of India and Sri Lanka. In its natural habitat, the temperature ranges between 75°F (24°C) and 85°F (29°C), with humidity levels around 70% to 80%. Replicating these conditions is essential for the spider’s health and overall comfort.

Regarding humidity, a misting system or a humidifier can be used to maintain the desired moisture levels. It is recommended to mist the enclosure at least twice a week to mimic the natural conditions of the tarantula’s habitat. Additionally, providing a water dish for the spider to drink from and for self-regulation of humidity is essential.

Overall, by creating a suitable environment with the right temperature and humidity levels, tarantula enthusiasts can ensure the wellbeing and long-term survival of their Poecilotheria metallica.

Feeding and Diet of the Colorful Tarantula Poecilotheria metallica

Feeding Habits:

Poecilotheria metallica is an opportunistic predator, meaning it will feed on a variety of prey items. In captivity, it is commonly fed a diet of live insects such as crickets, roaches, and mealworms. Occasionally, small vertebrates like mice or lizards can also be offered, but these should only be given sparingly and in appropriate sizes to prevent overfeeding.

Frequency of Feeding:

Feeding Methods:

Nutritional Supplements:

It is generally not necessary to provide additional supplements to the diet of Poecilotheria metallica if a varied and appropriate prey selection is offered. However, it may be beneficial to occasionally dust prey items with a reptile or insect vitamin and mineral supplement to ensure the tarantula receives all necessary nutrients.


Like all tarantulas, Poecilotheria metallica requires access to fresh water at all times. A shallow water dish should be provided and kept clean to prevent bacterial growth. The water dish should be placed in a corner of the enclosure, where it is easily accessible but will not pose a drowning hazard for the tarantula.

Overall, providing a well-balanced and varied diet is essential for the health and longevity of Poecilotheria metallica. By meeting their dietary needs, tarantula owners can ensure the vibrantly colored and venomous spider remains healthy and thriving in captivity.

Handling and Care Tips for Poecilotheria metallica

1. Housing

Tip: Make sure to provide plenty of secure climbing structures, such as branches and cork bark, to mimic their natural habitat.

2. Temperature and Humidity

Tip: Mist the enclosure with a spray bottle regularly to maintain the humidity level.

3. Feeding

As carnivorous creatures, Poecilotheria metallica feed primarily on a diet of live insects. Suitable prey items include crickets, roaches, and other appropriately sized insects. It’s recommended to feed adult Poecilotheria metallica every 1-2 weeks, while juveniles can be fed more frequently.

Tip: Offer prey items using tongs to avoid accidentally getting bitten while feeding.

4. Handling

Due to its venomous nature and skittish behavior, handling Poecilotheria metallica is not advised unless absolutely necessary. These spiders are best observed from a distance and appreciated for their beauty and unique behaviors.

Tip: If you must handle your Poecilotheria metallica, make sure to use a catch cup or similar device to gently usher the spider into a temporary container.


Providing proper care and handling for Poecilotheria metallica is essential for their well-being. Creating a suitable habitat, maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity levels, offering a balanced diet, and refraining from unnecessary handling are all key factors in ensuring these exotic spiders thrive in captivity. By following these care tips, you can enjoy the beauty of the Metallic Tarantula while keeping both you and your spider safe.

Mating and Reproduction of Poecilotheria metallica

The courtship dance of Poecilotheria metallica is a fascinating display of agility and precision. The male will drum his legs on the substrate to create vibrations that can be sensed by the female. If she is receptive, she will respond by tapping her legs as well. This intricate communication dance can last for hours or even days, with the male cautiously inching closer to the female.

After successful mating, the female Poecilotheria metallica will lay her eggs in a carefully constructed silk cocoon. She will guard and protect this cocoon from predators and environmental threats, such as temperature fluctuations and excessive humidity.

It takes several weeks for the eggs to hatch into spiderlings. These spiderlings are born with a similar coloration to the adults but are smaller in size. They will remain in the safety of the cocoon until they undergo their first molt, at which point they will emerge and begin their independent lives.

Common Health Issues in Poecilotheria metallica

1. Mites and Parasites:

2. Respiratory Infections:

3. Exoskeleton Issues:

The colorful exoskeleton of Poecilotheria metallica is a vital part of its physiology. However, issues such as molting difficulties or incomplete molts can occur. Molting difficulties can be caused by a lack of humidity or proper hydration. Incomplete molts can lead to deformities and health complications. Providing a humid environment and a water source within the enclosure can help prevent these issues.

4. Injury and Dropped Appendages:

5. Stress and Aggression:

By being aware of these common health issues, tarantula enthusiasts can better care for their Poecilotheria metallica. Regular observation, proper enclosure setup, and prompt veterinary care when needed can contribute to the well-being and longevity of these fascinating spiders.

Common Health Issues Prevention and Treatment
Mites and Parasites Regular cleaning of the enclosure and consult a veterinarian for treatment.
Respiratory Infections Provide proper ventilation, avoid excessive humidity, and seek veterinary care if symptoms occur.
Exoskeleton Issues Ensure a humid environment and provide a water source in the enclosure.
Injury and Dropped Appendages Provide a safe and secure enclosure to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries.
Stress and Aggression Provide a calm and quiet environment, avoid excessive handling, and minimize disturbances.

Lifespan of Poecilotheria metallica

Factors Affecting Lifespan

The lifespan of Poecilotheria metallica can be influenced by several factors. Providing the spider with a suitable captive habitat that closely resembles its natural environment is crucial for its overall well-being and longevity. Maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels, as well as providing proper ventilation, is essential for the health of the tarantula.

Another important factor that can impact the lifespan of Poecilotheria metallica is nutrition and feeding. These tarantulas are opportunistic hunters and primarily feed on a diet of insects, such as crickets, roaches, and other small invertebrates. Offering a varied and nutritious diet is important to ensure the tarantula receives all the necessary nutrients for its growth and overall health.

Stress and handling can also have a detrimental effect on the lifespan of Poecilotheria metallica. These tarantulas are generally not recommended for handling due to their potentially aggressive nature and potent venom. Stressful interactions can lead to health issues and reduce the overall lifespan of the spider.

Care Tips for Prolonging Lifespan

To promote a long and healthy lifespan for your Poecilotheria metallica, it is essential to provide proper care and attention. Here are some care tips to consider:

  1. Provide a suitable captive habitat with adequate space, hiding spots, and substrate.
  2. Maintain proper temperature and humidity levels within the recommended range.
  3. Offer a varied and nutritious diet, ensuring that prey items are properly gut-loaded with essential nutrients.
  4. Avoid handling or minimizing any unnecessary stress on the spider.
  5. Regularly monitor the tarantula for any signs of illness or injury.
  6. Seek veterinary assistance if any health issues arise.

By following these care tips and providing a suitable environment for your Poecilotheria metallica, you can help ensure that it lives a long and healthy life.

Legal and Conservation Status of Poecilotheria metallica

As an exotic and colorful spider, Poecilotheria metallica has been popular among arachnid enthusiasts and collectors. However, its popularity has also raised concerns about its conservation status and legal protections.

Due to habitat loss and collection for the pet trade, Poecilotheria metallica has faced population declines in its natural range, primarily in the forests of southwestern Sri Lanka. This has led to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listing the species as “Endangered.”

The legality of owning Poecilotheria metallica varies across jurisdictions, but it is generally not recommended to obtain one without proper documentation. Additionally, purchasing captive-bred specimens is often encouraged to support conservation efforts and discourage the collection of wild populations.

Similar Species and Subspecies of Poecilotheria metallica

There are several other species and subspecies within the Poecilotheria genus that are similar to Poecilotheria metallica in appearance and behavior. These include:

Poecilotheria regalis

Poecilotheria formosa

Poecilotheria vittata

These are just a few examples of the diverse and visually stunning species and subspecies within the Poecilotheria genus. Each has its own unique coloration and behavior, making them highly sought after among tarantula enthusiasts.

Interesting Facts about Poecilotheria metallica

Mesmerizing Colors

The most striking feature of Poecilotheria metallica is undoubtedly its mesmerizing metallic blue color. This unique coloration sets it apart from other tarantula species and makes it highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts around the world.

The brilliant metallic blue color extends throughout its body, including its legs and abdomen. The vivid hue and reflective quality of its exoskeleton make Poecilotheria metallica a captivating sight to behold.

Endemic to India

Tree-dwelling Spider

As an arboreal species, Poecilotheria metallica spends most of its life in trees. It constructs intricate and robust webs between branches and uses them to capture prey. Its long legs and agile nature allow it to navigate the branches with ease, ensuring its survival in its tree-dwelling lifestyle.

Active Predator

Poecilotheria metallica is an active predator and feeds primarily on insects and invertebrates. Its fangs inject venom into its prey, immobilizing and eventually digesting it, ensuring a steady source of nutrition for the spider. It is known to be an opportunistic hunter, waiting patiently in its web for potential meals to come within striking range.

Caution Required

Due to its potency and speed, Poecilotheria metallica’s venom is considered medically significant and can cause severe effects in humans. Handling this species should only be undertaken by experienced individuals and with proper caution to prevent any potential harm.

Cultivating and Breeding

Many enthusiasts are drawn to Poecilotheria metallica not only for its striking appearance but also for its challenging care requirements. Creating a suitable captive habitat and maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels are crucial for the well-being of this species.

Breeding Poecilotheria metallica also requires careful planning and expertise. Successful mating can result in the production of egg sacs containing hundreds of spiderlings, adding to the conservation efforts for this magnificent species.

Conservation Status

Poecilotheria metallica is listed as critically endangered in its natural habitat due to habitat loss and illegal collection for the pet trade. Conservation efforts are vital to ensure the survival of this unique and captivating species.

Common Name Gooty sapphire tarantula
Scientific Name Poecilotheria metallica
Family Theraphosidae
Size Medium to large
Lifespan Approximately 10-15 years
Habitat Deciduous and tropical rainforests of India
Conservation Status Critically endangered