Most tarantulas are black and/or brown in color but there are some that are extremely attractive thanks to their bright and vivid coloring. The Orange Baboon Tarantula or the pterinochilus murinus is one such beautiful tarantula having a bright yellow-red-orange coloring. It even has a sunburst marking on its abdomen and this unique coloring makes it one of the most sought-after tarantulas among hobbyists and fanciers.
If you are looking to keep the Orange Baboon Tarantula as your pet, then in this guide, you can read about the following:
- General facts about the Orange Baboon Tarantula
- Physical description
- How to keep and maintain your Orange Baboon Tarantula enclosure
- Specific Orange Baboon Tarantula care sheet, diet, feeding, and handling
- Breeding your orange baboon tarantula
- Molting – what to expect?
General facts about the Orange Baboon Tarantula
- The scientific name of the Orange Baboon Tarantula is pterinochilus murinus while its common name is Usambara orange baboon tarantula. Among enthusiasts it is popularly known as the OBT and its pun is ‘Orange Bitey Thingy!’ Their orange coloring has also earned it the moniker Mombasa Golden Starburst Tarantula.
- The OBT is native to South Africa, Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, and the Savannah desert. They are even recorded on the island of Zanzibar.
- This is an opportunistic burrower but also semi-arboreal; one day it might burrow deep in the soil and the next, it could be up in the trees.
- The Orange Baboon Tarantula is rather aggressive and it won’t hesitate to attack or defend itself by throwing urticating hairs at the enemy.
- Reginald Pocock first described the OBT in 1897.
- This is an Old World Tarantula.
Physical description of the pterinochilus murinus
The African orange baboon tarantula, once fully grown, reaches about 4-6 inches in size. Like all tarantulas, the female is larger and the male is slightly smaller (at 3 to 4 inches). This measurement is taken from the tip of the front left leg to that of the back right leg.
Note that there are five different color and size variations in the Orange Baboon tarantula or the pterinochilus murinus. These are addressed with abbreviations such as:
- Pterinochilus murinus BCF/brown color which hails from Tete in Mozambique
- Pterinochilus murinus TCF/typical color from Kenya
- Pterinochilus murinus DCF/dark color Botswana Zimbabwe
- Pterinochilus murinus OCF/orange color from Usambara mountain region
- Pterinochilus murinus RCF/red color hails from Usambara mountain region
Orange baboon tarantula growth rate is a lot faster compared to other tarantulas. After the first year itself, most orange baboon tarantula females grow up to 3 inches. Within 2-3 years, they reach their full size of 4 to 5 inches.
Orange baboon tarantula lifespan
The orange baboon tarantula female lives for nearly 10-20 years while males live up to 4-5 years in captivity provided you maintain optimum temperature, humidity, feeding, and general care.
Orange baboon tarantula enclosure
Once you bring home your OBT, the first thing you need is a proper enclosure for it that mimics the natural orange baboon tarantula habitat. Since this tarantula is found in the deserts of Africa, you need to maintain a dry, warm, and arid environment for them.
Select a tank or terrarium which is wider than it is taller – this is a burrowing tarantula, so it needs plenty of substrates- at least 20 cm or 4 to 5 inches. For the spiderlings, you can use a vial or a cup with a 3-inch substrate and for the adults, go in for at least 4 inches of substrate. You must also re-house your tarantula as it grows.
Potting soil, vermiculite, coconut fiber, and peat moss are all good choices in substrates for the orange baboon tarantula enclosure. You can also add bark for decoration and it even provides a good hiding place for your OBT.
For starter burrow, the bark can come in handy as well or you could dig a small hole of about 2-inch depth to get your pet started. Don’t worry if the OBT does not start burrowing right away – some spiderlings take time to get started. Very soon, your orange baboon tarantula will create a tunnel-shaped burrow in the substrate.
You must provide a shallow water dish in the enclosure for your OBT to drink from – although many OBT rarely drink water. Every once in 2-3 months, mist the walls of your orange baboon tarantula enclosure to provide some moisture and humidity.
Feel free to read our article on our recommendations for tarantula enclosures here.
Temperature and humidity
Since the OBT hails from the hot, desert regions, it is used to temperatures of nearly 90 F in summers. However, most experts recommend maintaining the temperature in the range of 78 to 82 F or about 28 degree C. You must also maintain a humidity level of about 65%. Ensure that the orange baboon tarantula enclosure has vents for allowing cross ventilation.
Orange baboon tarantula care – feeding and diet
In the natural orange baboon tarantula habitat in Savannah, these beautiful creatures eat small birds, mice, lizards, rodents, etc. Naturally, we cannot provide such a diet to them in captivity. So you can settle to feed fruit flies to the spiderlings and cockroaches to the adults.
Baby crickets are also a great treat for your baby orange baboon tarantula. Compared to other tarantulas, the Orange Baboon is a voracious eater. As it grows, you can also feed your pet 1-inch dubia roaches weekly or 2-3 adult crickets once every few days.
Handling your OBT
As far as possible, please do not handle the OBT. This is an aggressive Old World Tarantula and although the orange baboon tarantula venom is not fatal to humans, it can cause significant pain, redness, and swelling. The orange baboon tarantula bite is also medically significant – that is why minimum handling is recommended.
Orange baboon tarantulas tend to get rather defensive and could attack you even if you are simply cleaning their enclosure. Try using a pair of tweezers or some tool to keep your pet away during cleaning. Even if your pet sends a few urticating hairs on your skin, you might experience significant pain, redness, and swelling.
Breeding your Orange baboon tarantula
The orange baboon tarantula is considered one of the easiest tarantulas to breed. Many females are even willing to breed more than once so some people even leave the male and female together in the same enclosure for weeks!
Just to be on the safe side and prevent your female from eating the male, feed her a juicy roach prior to introducing her to the male. This way she won’t feel tempted to eat the male. Still, always be ready to separate the two if things do go south! You must also keep your male OBT well-hydrated – that is the key to their vitality!
If breeding is successful, your female will make a cocoon somewhere in the terrarium after a few weeks post-mating. It is a good idea to separate the cocoon and place it in another enclosure where you can maintain a temperature between 75 and 82 F (24 to 28 degrees C). Be careful while removing the egg sac- females tend to get very snappy when they do.
Expect nearly 60 to 180 baboon tarantula sling once they come out of the sac.
Just before your tarantula molts, it will go into hiding. It might also refuse food and water for several days prior to molting.
The orange baboon tarantula is known to molt in various positions but mostly they lay on their backs. Sometimes, you might not be able to see your OBT’s molting because it might hide under its burrow or beneath one of the decorations.
Slings will molt every few weeks or a couple of months and they grow very fast. Molting is a fascinating process to watch but please do not handle or feed your tarantula at this stage as it is extremely vulnerable at this point.
FAQs on Orange Baboon Tarantula
1. Are Orange baboon tarantulas aggressive?
Yes, this is a fairly aggressive Old World tarantula and definitely not for beginners.
2. Are OBTs arboreal?
Many pterinochilus murinus species are semi arboreal. They often show whimsical behavior; one day, they might hide in their tunnel-like burrows, and the other, they will be up in the tree.
3. How big do orange baboon spiders get?
OBTs are fairly large spiders – orange starburst baboon tarantula male gets to 3 to 4 inches while the OBT female grows to nearly 4 to 6 inches.
4. Can baboon spiders kill you?
First of all, encounters with orange baboon tarantulas are fairly rare. Moreover, the orange baboon tarantula venom is not fatal to humans. Their bite is however very painful and can cause pain and swelling.
5. What is orange starburst baboon tarantula price?
Compared to many tarantula species, the Usambara orange baboon tarantula price is fairly reasonable. The species is easy to mate and each female can produce nearly 60 to 160 spiderlings. That is why you can expect them to be sold at realistic prices both in pet shops and by hobbyists. Their price is around $20 depending on your location.
The Usambara orange baboon tarantula is a fascinating orange colored tarantula. It is a semi-arboreal, habitual burrower kind of tarantula. Its natural habitat is the grasslands of Savannah, which is why it requires a dry, arid climate. It is fairly easy to care for as a pet and also easy to breed.
We hope this guide with orange baboon tarantula care sheet helps you take care of your buddy well.