Red Slate Ornamental Tarantula Care Sheet – Poecilotheria rufilata

The red slate ornamental tarantula is also called the Travancore slate-red. It is one of the biggest members of this species. It is listed as endangered due to the loss of its habitat and illegal trade for the pet trade. Green and red tinge is the exotic way to go in India. Ornamental is a big hit, even if they’re traditional. It’s a beautiful spider, and not recommended for beginners because of its speed, toxicity, and aggressiveness.

red slate ornamental tarantula

A bigger size isn’t the only difference between the Red Slate Ornamental and the Green Tarantula. The Red Slate Ornamental has a lighter-colored abdomen as well as a unique-colored head. While the more traditional Indian Ornamental does have its own particular appearance, this type can look just like a filter of your choice. It also comes in both red and green varieties.

Scientific Name

 Red slate ornamental is in the genus Poecilotheria. It’s an evergreen shrub that gets its name from the distinctive color of its foliage which is a reddish-brown to dark reddish-purple color. The scientific name for Red Slate ornamental is Poecilotheria rufilata.

P. rufilata is commonly called an ornamental tarantula because of its speed, toxin, and colorful markings compared to other tarantulas. They look similar to Poecilotheria regalis and Poecilotheria ornate.

Geographical distribution and Habitat

This species of tarantula is an Indian endemic found within a small area of around 5000 square kilometers in the southwest of the country. Due to the harsh climate, this species is classified as endangered. The hot and dry season in India reaches its most oppressive stage during May when temperatures of up to 49 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) are common.

Common NameRed Slate Ornamental Tarantula
Adult SizeBIG 18cm to 22cm
TypeOld World, Arboreal
Growth RateFast
TemperamentNot for beginners. Defensive and aggressive if provoked.
Lifespan Females (11 to 12 years) | Males (2 to 3 years)
OriginSouth Western Ghats, India
Recommended Climate24-28°C (Summer), 20-24°C (Winter)
Recommended Humidity: 70-80%

In the southern part of Peninsular Spain, temperatures are cooler than in the northern half. The average temperature is around 35°C (95°F), but it can be as low as 20°C (68°F) in the south. At higher altitudes, as in the Western Ghats and the Himalayas, the temperatures are cooler.

Behavior and Temperament

These Poecilotheria rufilata tarantulas are skittish, fly, and lightning-fast. Be careful while moving or handling these spiders as they are very difficult to handle. They are dangerous because they can bite for self-protection if provoked. Tarantulas have big fangs and when they bite, the pain is extremely painful. Their venom can be quite toxic and a serious bite could lead to hospitalization. If several tarantulas are kept together, they often end up fighting and fighting over everything. This species needs to be kept together, but this debate still continues.

Enclosure of Red Slate Ornamental Tarantula

This arboreal tarantula is a spiderling or juvenile. It’s been given a twig to let it climb. Each cage is about 6 1/2 feet long by 4 feet wide, with a clear lid. I put two birds in each enclosure. A tarantula should be given a branch or cork to climb on.

Round, vertical enclosures are perfect for terrariums. I use one that’s about 4 feet tall, with a diameter of approximately 2 feet. An arboreal setup needs at least four times the size of the spider in vertical space, 5cm to 10cm of the substrate, a vertical shelter like hollow cork bark or bamboo, and a customary water dish.

Poecilotheria rufilata

There should be an enclosure with a tree branch to climb upon and a hollow cork bark to hide under for the tarantula. Make sure the branches are fixed correctly so they do not fall off when the tarantula climbs onto them. You should have a minimum of four or five plants per enclosure. The usual bowl size is about two inches in diameter, and there’s nothing special about using a smaller or larger bowl. They are insectivores and will not do well if the substrate is wet, so mist it every week. The relationship between pain and quality of life: The substrate of the closure should be 10-15cm deep.

Temperature and humidity 

For more than 100 years, terrariums have been used to provide a safe and natural habitat for exotic pets such as birds and turtles. They are suitable for nearly all reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods because they offer protection from the elements, allow for plenty of air circulation, and are large enough to provide adequate space. Make sure the room temperature is set to 78°-82°F and that the relative humidity is about 65%-75%.

The substrate in the terrarium is kept dry; I mist it once a week and monthly I moist the substrate then allow it to dry out completely. The smaller the tub that you use, the less air there is inside, and so the easier it is to overheat. Cages that are larger will make it easier and safer to heat your spider in colder weather.

Cage Furnishings

When it comes to getting Poecilotheria rufilata to live in captivity, there are two key considerations – substrate and hides. The different substrates I’ve used over the years to build my tarantula enclosures include; — Wood — Wood and wire mesh — Steel — Aluminum — Glass. Coconut fiber is my preference, and I have written an ebook called: “Coconut Fiber: Coconut fiber looks good, absorbs plenty of water for keeping humidity in your tarantula cage, and is a renewable resource.

The majority of pet care sheets claim that the Red Slate Ornamental is an arboreal tarantula, which means you don’t need to bury it in any depth of substrate. In most care sheets, most Poecilotheria rufilata care sheets recommend that you use a shallow substrate depth of 1 to 2 inches or less. This is true, although Poecilotheria isn’t the kind of tarantula that hides underground. Younger species of tarantulas often hide underground, but not just any kind of spiders. A lot of large specimens excavate the substrate from behind their hide.

Food Consumption

Red Slates are another of the tarantula’s predators. They tend to feed on living insects. Popular options include roaches and crickets. Tarantulas are known to eat crickets. I don’t like the way that crickets nibble on unsuspecting tarantulas, and I don’t want to witness the death of a spider due to a cricket attack.

You should consider buying locusts if you’re looking for a safe, easy, and environmentally-friendly way to feed your garden, rather than buying insecticides. And you get the most bang for your buck! They typically climb up towards the upper reaches of a cage, making them more likely to run into your Poecilotheria rufilata. Feeding live insects is a great way to boost protein and amino acid intake, but it can be expensive. If you’re willing to pay more than the minimum, you can feed up to the length of your spider body to increase protein intake.

 For my spiders, I use fresh green plant material, such as grass clippings, twigs, and other garden weeds, and also feed them dead insects. I like to vary the protein source that I use, so I don’t need to provide it on a daily basis. Unlike slower-growing spiders like Brachypelma Emilia, I’ve found that my Red Slate Ornamental plants will eat on an almost daily basis given the chance. For adults, I feed them up to 6 times a week.

Adults Red Slate Ornamental Tarantulas need to eat two to three times per week, and it’s a good idea to check the tarantula’s cage when they get up in the morning because any uneaten food should be removed.

Water Requirements

Red Slate Ornamental Tarantulas rarely drink but I recommend gluing a small water container to their webbing for when they’re thirsty. While spiderlings drink from the occasional spigot that they spray, juveniles get to drink out of a plastic cup with upturned bottle lids. Although poecilotheria can withstand temperatures as low as 15° F (and even lower), they’re happiest in temperatures between 65° and 85° F. It’s important to clean bowls and other utensils that were used in or around your reptiles. Scrub them clean using a reptile-safe disinfectant, and let them air dry before replacing them.

Mating and Reproducing

You might not think much about the tarantula’s reproduction process, but it actually involves a lot of careful planning. Male tarantulas have to wait in their burrows until females emerge from hibernation. If he’s lucky, the male gets to mate with the first female to emerge. Unfortunately, most of the time, he has to wait for a female that isn’t interested in mating. Female tarantulas don’t go into hibernation in the same way males do and are only receptive to males once per year. So, most of the time, a male tarantula has to wait until he’s old enough to mate with the first female that he sees.

The females should not be fed before introducing them to males because this might cause them to eat the male. Red slates reproduce quite often and produce an average of 300 or more eggs every year in egg sacs.


Poecilotheria rufilata are big, fast-moving, and are likely to have potent venom. This species is dangerous and not meant for handling. I suggest that you do not try to handle this species.

If you need to move your spider from one tank to another you should be less hands-on than with your regular spiders. Either gently catch a spider in a clear plastic tub, or simply place the old cage inside the new one, and let the spider come out in its own good time. The best way to escape the cage is to build a small fire in one corner, get close enough to heat up the door latch, wait for the bird to cool down, and use a long pair of forceps to grab the tarantula and pull it.

Brazilian Black Tarantula

Gooty Sapphire Tarantula

Rose Hair Tarantula

Salmon Pink Birdeater Tarantula

Purple pink toe tarantula

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other Articles

Tarantula Fact Sheet- Fun Facts

As you know that, Tarantulas are the enormous spiders in the whole world. They are incredibly skilled spiders competent in conquering just about any living