The King Baboon tarantula, scientifically known as Pelinobius Muticus, is an Old World tarantula found commonly in certain parts of Africa like Tanzania and Kenya. It is characterized by a velvety rust brown or maroon color with white stripes on its legs.
Planning on keeping this beautiful tarantula as your pet? Then this guide is just for you! In this we will be discussing all that you need to know about king baboon tarantula care including:
- King Baboon Tarantula facts
- Details about King Baboon Tarantula enclosure
- Their temperament and personality
- King Baboon tarantula feeding
- Breeding the King baboon
General Facts and Lifespan of King Baboon Tarantula:
- The King Baboon is native to Africa and is most commonly found in the grasslands of Tanzania and Kenya.
- They are mainly Fossorial Tarantulas which means that they like to burrow under the soil. These smart little fellas also cover their burrows with webs to catch prey. They are extensive diggers and create a big network of tunnels in the soil where they drag their prey down to.
- Like most tarantulas, the females live a lot longer—up to 20 to 25 years. The males can live up to 10-15 years.
- Female King Baboons are considered more valuable than males as their egg sac can give birth to 30-180 slings!
- King baboon tarantula price can range from $50 to $150 depending on your location, seller, and also the spider’s age.
The King Baboon is a slow growing tarantula but it does grow to a large size. Once fully grown, it has a leg span of 8 to 9 inches (18-20cm). The female is larger than male. This is a slow growing tarantula – females reach the 8-inch span in almost 9 years.
The beautiful King Baboon tarantula comes in shades of brown, rust, or orange with black shiny fangs. Due to this unique coloring, they are much in demand. However, please note that their aggressive natures only make them an experienced hobbyist’s tarantula.
Temperament and personality
As stated earlier, King baboons are usually very aggressive tarantulas, however, this behavior varies from spider to spider. They are master strategists and trap unsuspecting prey by covering their burrows with sticky webbing. The King Baboon also hunts for its prey sometimes by coming out of its burrow.
They are nocturnal tarantulas and mostly get active at night while hiding throughout the day.
King Baboons are known to easily get agitated and often show a threat posture even upon minimal interaction. That is why this isn’t a beginner friendly tarantula and you should handle it with great care.
King baboons enjoy hunting in solitude and do not get along with other tarantulas of the same species. They are known to be territorial cannibals too. That is why, you must not house several of them together in the same enclosure.
When agitated, these tarantulas make a characteristic hissing sound known as the “King Baboon tarantula hiss” which is an indication that they are poised to attack.
Handling the King Baboon
Please handle this tarantula with utmost caution at all costs. They are very shy and don’t respond well to contact.
This species of tarantula starts stridulating by rubbing its legs together when it feels threatened. This is a defense mechanism adopted by King Baboon to ward off what it feels are predators. If your King Baboon hisses at you, then you must take this as a warning and leave the tarantula alone, else it will not hesitate to bite you.
King Baboon tarantula enclosure
Once your King Baboon is comfortable in its enclosure it makes a very deep and branching burrow- almost like an anthill. Since this is a fossorial species, it will spend most of its time in its burrow and will rarely come out.
In nature, king baboons are found in African Grasslands- so they prefer an arid climate. They also need a large amount of substrate to make their burrow in.
Feel free to read our article on our recommendations for tarantula enclosures here.
Enclosure for slings
As a sling you can store them in a transparent dram vial of adequate length so that they can burrow deep into it. You can add a few crushed leaf pieces on the top of the vial so they can use them to hide. Later you can transfer it into a larger container with enough substrate as it grows bigger.
Rehousing your growing pet
Once your pet grows to 4-5 inches (11.25 cm), you can rehouse it into a 15 to 20-gallon tank. The bottom of this tank must have around at least 10 inches (22-23 cm) of the substrate. Make sure to add enough substrate so that your tarantula can burrow itself. If it does not get enough space to burrow, it can become restless and aggressive.
Choice for substrate
You can use coconut fiber, compacted sand, potting soil mixes, vermiculite, or peat moss as substrate for tarantulas. The important thing is the depth – for this little guy likes to burrow deep. You can also add plenty of decorations in the tank – your tarantula can use these pieces to hide or even burrow into. Logs and cork barks are good choices as they provide plenty of hiding places.
In the beginning, it is common for King Baboon Tarantulas to not burrow in the given enclosure. Some experts suggest making a 2-inch hole at one end of the substrate to help them get started.
It takes most King baboons some time to get used to their new surroundings, and this may take up to one week. If your tarantula is still not burrowing even after a week, then change your substrate composition, as it may not be loose enough for your pet to burrow in. You can also try misting or spraying it a bit.
Temperature and humidity
Ideal temperature and humidity for your King Baboon Tarantula enclosure should mimic the arid climate of African Grasslands. Therefore, 75 to 85 F is a good temperature to keep. Set the humidity as you would for any burrowing species of tarantulas – between 60 to 75%.
Place a shallow water dish in the enclosure and keep this clean to prevent mold. Remember, mold is very harmful for your pet.
Also note that this aggressive tarantula could bite or attack you when you change their water or clean the enclosure. So, use a helping tool while performing these tasks. And if your pet hisses, then move out right away.
Cleaning the enclosure
Make sure you clean the enclosure every few weeks to remove uneaten prey and scrub away mold. Use paper towels, scrub, and a pair of tweezers to help you.
King baboon tarantula bite and venom
This tarantula is known to bite humans and other pets. That is why you must take care not to handle it too much. Also, keep the enclosure tightly sealed as they could escape. Although the king baboon tarantula venom is not dangerous to humans, it can cause localized pain, redness, and swelling. So please practice all safety measures when you handle, feed, or clean your pet’s enclosure.
King baboon tarantula feeding
King Baboons are usually voracious eaters and are not very picky, but behavior varies from spider to spider. You may not see them physically hunt their prey down, but they are successful in trapping their prey in their burrowing network. Their diet mainly consists of beetles, fruit flies, cockroaches, crickets, house geckos, pinkie and fuzzy mice, etc.
When feeding them, make sure that the prey is not big enough to harm them. They will usually struggle taking down anything larger than half their size.
How often do king baboon tarantulas eat?
As a sling, your pets might even accept pre-killed prey – mainly fruit flies and baby crickets. As a juvenile, you can feed it roaches or crickets twice a week, or a large sized prey item once a week. Adults can get one large prey item like dubia roaches every 1-2 weeks. During mating season they get hungry quite often, so you can feed them on a more frequent basis (around 3 times a week)
If they do not take down their prey immediately, it is ok to leave it in there. The tarantula will eventually come out to take it. If they have not eaten the prey after 24 hours, that means that the King Baboon is not hungry. This is quite common during the molting season.
Breeding and reproduction
Like many Old World tarantulas, this one is difficult to breed. Females are larger and very aggressive, so they often end up killing the males. If you choose to breed them, make sure you keep a cardboard piece handy to separate the pair, should the female decide to kill the male.
If mating is successful, the reproduction should go quite smoothly. Female tarantulas make good parents.
For several weeks before the actual molt, your tarantula will display many behavioural changes. This includes being lethargic, refusing food, and even spinning many webs to prepare for the molt. Once they actually begin molting, they lay on their backs. At this point, please do not disturb them as they are very vulnerable and delicate.
Even after molting is complete, your pet could take several days or even a few weeks to return to normal.
The King Baboon Tarantula is an advanced handler’s tarantula owing to its aggressive nature. Their velvety orange brown coloring makes them highly popular and much in demand. Unfortunately, their supply does not meet their demand, but enthusiasts hope that this will change soon thanks to the efforts made by its fanciers.