Poecilotheria ornata

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Poecilotheria ornata
Poecilotheria ornata - female - top view.jpg
Female Poecilotheria ornata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Mygalomorphae
Family: Theraphosidae
Genus: Poecilotheria
Species: P. ornata
Binomial name
Poecilotheria ornata
Pocock, 1899[1]

Poecilotheria ornata, known as the fringed ornamental or ornate tiger spider, is a large arboreal tarantula, which is endemic to Sri Lanka. Their legspan sometimes reaches 10 inches (25 cm) in females, and is probably the second largest of the genus, behind Poecilotheria rufilata.[2][3]


The name Poecilotheria is derived from Greek "poikilos" - spotted and "therion" - wild beast. Ornata refers to "adorned to". This whole genus of arboreal tarantulas exhibits an intricate fractal-like pattern on the abdomen.


The species is easily distinguishable by other tiger spiders due to greenish yellow or purplish carapace in dorsal surface. Ventrally, there is a proximal white spot on femur of fourth pair of legs.[4]



Dorsally, carapace has greenish yellow or purplish tinge. Femur is greenish tinge with a purplish tinge. Tibia has two parallel lines of oblong yellow spots. All legs possess reddish brown setae and setae are more prominent on pedipalps and chelicerae.[4]

Ventrally, first and second leg pairs are identical, with ground color yellow. Femur is also yellow. Tibia is bright yellow colored. Third and fourth leg pairs are identical. Ground color of them are yellow. Femur is black with centrally located large blue-grey spot.


Dorsally greenish brown colored. Markings are less prominent. Ventrally, identical to female. Yellow spots can be seen on third and fourth leg pairs.[4]


The P. ornata behavior parallels that of many arboreal spiders. In the wild the P. ornata live in holes of tall trees where they make asymmetric funnel webs. Their primary prey consists of various flying insects, which they catch manually (not in a web) and paralyze. It is not unknown for the spiders of this genus to live communally when territory, i.e. number of holes per tree, is limited.


Although there has never been a recorded death from any tarantula bite this species is considered to have a medically significant bite, with venom that may cause intense pain, and extreme muscle cramping judging from the experience of keepers bitten by this species .[5][6][7] They move rapidly and, although they generally prefer flight to fight, may attack when cornered.

There are a seemingly large incidence of bites from this species relative to the other species in the genus.


  1. ^ "Taxon details Poecilotheria ornata Pocock, 1899". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 29 February 2016. 
  2. ^ "Poecilotheria ornata". My Basic Tarantula. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Poecilotheria ornata". Arachnoboards. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Nanayakkara, Ranil P. (2014). Tiger Spiders Poecilotheria of Sri Lanka. Colombo: Biodiversity Secretariat, Ministry of Environmental & Renewable Energy. p. 167. ISBN 978-955-0033-58-4. 
  5. ^ Gabriel,, R. (2002). "Notes and Observations Regarding the Bite of Poecilotheria pederseni". British Tarantula Society Journal. 17 (2): 61–64. 
  6. ^ Phong's Tarantulas! - Tarantula bites
  7. ^ Schmidt, G. (1988): Wie gefährlich sind Vogelspinnenbisse ? Deutsches Ärzteblatt 85 Heft 28/29(2): 1424-1425. (u. a. Infos about Poecilotheria fasciata)

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