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Finally got a pokie!!

martiannova

Member
I took the plunge today and got a p. vittata, mostly by chance. I wasn’t planning on getting one for a while ( I was actually looking for a sun tiger on the rec of some more experienced keepers) when I found a 2" vittata for less than 80 at a reptile show, and I couldn’t say no (they’re banning imports now I think?). Needless to say I’m more than a little apprehensive, so any tips on care/feeding/ how to avoid getting bit are VERY welcome. I’m planning on putting them in a ten gallon (vertical) with a modified lid that opens out rather than a sliding top. It’ll be fed dubias primarily. Even though it’s small I’m planning on introducing the juvie into its adult tank as soon as I have it together, to avoid rehoming issues when it’s older. Thoughts? How do you house your pokies?
 

Whitelightning777

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Premium Member
I have 4 pokies. They have excellent vision, unlike other tarantulas. Once it gets to the size of a silver dollar or 50 cent piece, it'll do fine in an adult cage.

The other trick with pokies is to always use a cage that opens from the top, never the side. Pokies run in a spiral pattern, like a coil spring. Obviously if it opens sideways, out she goes!!

Here's the problem.


See how it moves.

On the other hand, here's how I introduced my juvenile to her cage. I since rehoused her.


It's how you do the cage that makes all the difference. Having cork bark rounds isn't mandatory, but I think that also helps.
 

martiannova

Member
I have 4 pokies. They have excellent vision, unlike other tarantulas. Once it gets to the size of a silver dollar or 50 cent piece, it'll do fine in an adult cage.

The other trick with pokies is to always use a cage that opens from the top, never the side. Pokies run in a spiral pattern, like a coil spring. Obviously if it opens sideways, out she goes!!

Here's the problem.


See how it moves.

On the other hand, here's how I introduced my juvenile to her cage. I since rehoused her.


It's how you do the cage that makes all the difference. Having cork bark rounds isn't mandatory, but I think that also helps.
Oh yeah, i thought they would run UP rather than out, but I'm certainly mistaken! I may just invest in an 18×18×12 exoterra then, and modify the top to have a little hatch instead of the whole thing popping off. I think a round cork bark would be best, but I also want to see them once in a while...so I'll have to decide that.
For food do they hunt on the ground, or will i need to toss dubias into their cork round?
 

FishermanSteve

Well-Known Member
For food do they hunt on the ground, or will i need to toss dubias into their cork round?
My 7” rufiliata stays in her cork round most of the time and nails most dubias I throw in with her. My 6” metallica likes to hang out on the glass so I just release the dubias into the enclosure and she never fails to find them. Both ways will get the job done.
 

Whitelightning777

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Premium Member
Oh yeah, i thought they would run UP rather than out, but I'm certainly mistaken! I may just invest in an 18×18×12 exoterra then, and modify the top to have a little hatch instead of the whole thing popping off. I think a round cork bark would be best, but I also want to see them once in a while...so I'll have to decide that.
For food do they hunt on the ground, or will i need to toss dubias into their cork round?
Don't worry about that. I have corkbark for all 4 of mine. I usually see one or two of them, sometimes all 4 every day, sometimes every other day. They hang out on the inside just below the top, typically with the feet hanging over.

They also tend to hang out on the back of the cage where I have black paper for additional privacy.

The black contrasts nicely with their patterns while making them feel secure enough to appear.
 

martiannova

Member
Don't worry about that. I have corkbark for all 4 of mine. I usually see one or two of them, sometimes all 4 every day, sometimes every other day. They hang out on the inside just below the top, typically with the feet hanging over.

They also tend to hang out on the back of the cage where I have black paper for additional privacy.

The black contrasts nicely with their patterns while making them feel secure enough to appear.
Black paper, I'll definitely put some up! I did end up getting a cork tube, she hasn't used it yet.
She freshly molted and hasnt taken any food for a few days, should I be worried? Maybe shes just picky and doesnt like dubias?
 

Jess S

Well-Known Member
About four or five days ago
Gotcha. That's why it's not hungry. When they moult it's advised not to feed them until their fangs turn completely black ( they go from white to orangey red to black), which at its size now of 2", would probably take 7-10 days. Older tarantulas can take a few weeks. Young slings up to a week.

After they moult, their bodies and fangs are soft and take time to harden. Insects have hard exoskeletons, so if a tarantula tried to feed while it's fangs were still soft, they could damage or break them. Luckily, most tarantulas (like yours) know they aren't ready to feed until the right time. However, not all do! Give yours another 5 days before trying again. Dubia's should be fine. They are a great food source. The only downside to them is they can play dead and burrow, which makes it difficult for the t to sense them. Crushing the head of the dubia with your tongs solves this as they flail about and are unable to burrow. I know it sounds cruel but these are the things we do for our spiders!!
 

Whitelightning777

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Premium Member
Removing the front pair of legs of a Dubai roach leaving 4 in back will reduce burrowing keeping it on the surface where it can easily be found.
 

Whitelightning777

Well-Known Member
1,000+ Post Club
Premium Member
Any tarantula will be cautious when encountering a new object or a change to the enclosure. My pokies took about 3 it 4 days before they went inside iof the corkbark. It takes them some time to realize it's hollow.
 
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