Davus pentaloris

Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantula (Davus pentaloris) Care Sheet

Are you ready to explore the captivating world of exotic spiders? Look no further than the magnificent Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantula or Davus pentaloris. This arachnid will leave you in awe with its striking colors and fascinating behavior. But don’t worry. We’ve got your back! This comprehensive care sheet will guide you through everything you need to know about providing a safe and nurturing environment for your Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantula. So buckle up and get ready for an adventure into the enchanting realm of these remarkable creatures!

Introduction to the Guatemalan Tiger Rump Tarantula

Scientific Name:Davus pentaloris
Common Name:Guatemalan Tiger Rump
Type:Terrestrial Opportunistic Burrower
CategoryNew World
Endemic Location:Southern Mexico and Guatemala
Body Length:2” (5cm)
Diagonal Leg Span (DLS):4.75” (12cm)
Urticating Hairs:Yes Type III
Growth rate:Fast
Life Expectancy:Females 11 years / Males 3 years
Recommended Experience Level: Intermediate

The Guatemalan Tiger Rump Tarantula (Davus pentaloris) is a giant and colorful arboreal tarantula native to the rainforests of central and southern Guatemala. It is one of the most popular tarantulas among hobbyists due to its docile nature, hardiness, and beautiful coloration. The tiger rump gets its name from the distinct black and orange markings on its abdomen that resemble a tiger’s stripes. Adult females can reach up to 8 inches long, while males are slightly smaller at around 6 inches.

This tarantula does well in a 20-gallon tall aquarium or terrarium with plenty of height, a hide box, some branches or cork bark for climbing, and a shallow water dish. The tiger rump prefers a warm and humid environment, so it is essential to provide proper ventilation while maintaining high humidity levels. A room humidifier can help achieve this if necessary.

The tiger rump tarantula is not aggressive and generally quite docile. However, they are known to be pretty skittish, so handling them with care is essential. When threatened, they will usually try to flee first before resorting to biting or urticating (releasing barbed hairs from their abdomens). Bites from this species are not particularly harmful to humans but the barbed.

Habitat Requirements for Davus pentaloris

Davus pentaloris inhabits various habitats in the wild, including rainforests, cloud forests, and even dry scrublands. They are typically found on the ground or in low vegetation and will use any available shelter to build their webs. When keeping them as pets, providing them with an enclosure that closely resembles their natural habitat is important.

Davus pentaloris

The enclosure should be tall rather than comprehensive, as these tarantulas like to climb. A glass aquarium or terrarium can work well, but ensure it has a secure lid that won’t fall off and crush your spider! The enclosure should also be ventilated to allow for air circulation. 

Regarding substrate, a layer of 3-4 inches of soil or coco coir will give your tarantula a place to burrow. You can add some leaves and other plant matter to create hiding spots and help maintain humidity levels. A water bowl should also be provided, but ensure it is shallow enough that your tarantula can’t drown.

You must provide a heat source for your Davus pentaloris. An incandescent bulb or ceramic heat emitter can create a warm spot in one corner of the enclosure. This should be set up so that the temperature gradient in the section goes from warm to cool, allowing your tarantula to thermoregulate

Feeding of a Guatemalan Tiger Rump Tarantula

Tarantulas are not particularly picky in their diet, and the Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantula is no exception. In captivity, they will readily eat crickets, mealworms, and other everyday insect prey items. Dusting these insects with a calcium supplement before feeding them to your tarantula is essential, as spiders require calcium for proper molting and growth.

As juveniles, Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantulas should be fed once or twice weekly. Adults can be fed less often, every week or two. If you notice that your spider is starting to look thinner than usual, you can increase the frequency of feedings accordingly. As always, it is best to err on the side of caution when it comes to feeding – it is much easier to underfeed a spider than to overfeed one!

Social Behavior 

Although generally docile, this species can occasionally become wary. Being a new world tarantula, this T does not possess a medically relevant amount of venom, but it does possess urticating hairs, which may be quite uncomfortable if they come into contact with your skin and can be extremely harmful if they enter your eyes, nose, or mouth. Mine has never made me feel threatened or even kicked me in the hair. Although, when frightened by my dropping prey on its web or when it’s time to rehouse, it has almost fled from its enclosure. 

Read more about:

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Tarantulas as pets

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Interesting facts about tarantulas

Tarantula mating and reproduction

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Care and Handling Tips

As with all tarantulas, handling your Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantula (Davus pentaloris) with caution is important. They are not naturally aggressive, but they can deliver a painful bite if threatened. Here are some tips for handling your tarantula:

Davus pentaloris Care
  • Wash your hands before and after handling your tarantula. This will help avoid transferring bacteria or other contaminants that could make your tarantula sick.
  • Use gloves when handling your tarantula. This will protect you from being bitten and help avoid transferring oils from your skin to your tarantula’s sensitive body.
  • Be gentle when handling your tarantula. Avoid sudden movements or touching them in a way that could startle them.
  • Place your tarantula back in its enclosure when you are finished handling it. Make sure the lid is securely in place to avoid escapees!

Molting Cycle and Signs of Stress in a Guatemalan Tiger Rump

Molting is a process of shedding the exoskeleton, or outer layer of skin, and is essential for the growth and development of all arachnids. The Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantula (Davus pentaloris) molts approximately once per year as an adult. However, juvenile tarantulas can molt up to six times per year.

There are several signs that a tarantula is about to molt. These include:

1. Restlessness and increased activity level

2. Increased webbing production

3. Loss of appetite

4. Drinking more water than usual

5. Discoloration or fading of the exoskeleton

6. Softening or wrinkling of the exoskeleton around the legs and abdomen

7. Shedding of leg hairs or urticating setae (hairs that can irritate)

8. lethargy and inactivity immediately before molting begins

9. Going into hiding for an extended period

Reproduction and Breeding Information

You can find Mexican tarantula in central Mexico’s arid, mountainous regions. It is a medium to large-sized spider with a body length of up to 4 inches (10 cm). The Mexican tarantula is dark brown or black with light stripes on its abdomen. The Mexican tarantula is a shy, reclusive spider not often seen. It is nocturnal and spends most of its time hiding in caves or under rocks. The Mexican tarantula preys on insects, lizards, rodents, and small birds. 

The Mexican tarantula reproduces by laying eggs. The female lays up to 200 eggs which the male guards. After about two months, the eggs hatch, and the spiderlings disperse to find their territory. Mexican tarantulas reach sexual maturity at about five years old.

Health Concerns

If you are considering getting a Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantula (Davus pentaloris), you must be aware of the potential health concerns. Although they are generally hardy spiders, a few things can go wrong.

One potential issue is respiratory problems. This can be caused by anything that irritates the lungs, such as dust, smoke, or chemicals in the air. If your spider starts having trouble breathing, it must be taken to the vet immediately.

Another concern is dehydration. This situation can happen if your spider needs more water or its enclosure is too dry. A dehydrated spider will often have wrinkled skin and may be lethargic. If you think your spider is thirsty, give it a misting of water and see if it perks up. If not, take it to the vet.

There is the risk of injury. Tarantulas can be injured by falling, stepping on, or being caught in something like a door closing. If your spider is damaged, take it to the vet right away.

By being aware of these potential health concerns, you can help ensure that your Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantula stays healthy and happy for many years!


Caring for a Guatemalan Tiger Rump tarantula is not for the faint. While these tarantulas look intimidating, they are pretty docile and easy to maintain with proper care and attention. With an appropriate enclosure setup, careful temperature management, and adequate nutrition and hydration, you can provide your tarantula with the perfect home that will allow it to thrive. If you have any questions or concerns about caring for this spider species, don’t hesitate to contact a reptile specialist who can help answer them!

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