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Care Sheet

Mombasa golden starburst tarantula (Pterinochilus murinus)


pterinochilus_murinusThis spider was first described by Pocock in 1897 and is a native of  Eastern Africa. It can be frequently found around Kenya and Mombasa  where is can be found in rudimentary silk lined burrows. It is also  found in shanty towns where it feeds on cockroaches.

This is a very attractive spider, with a very distinctive starburst  pattern on the carapace. The carapace itself tends towards a dark  brown/black colour and the starburst is made up of golden yellow hairs  and is very distinctive.

The abdomen is described by Andrew Smith as 'An attractive tweed-like mixture of yellowish/olive/brown hairs'. He continues 'The long hairs on the abdomen have a distinct mustardy tinge.'

The legs have distinct white tufts of hairs on all leg joints with yellow striating lines running down the legs.

These are heavy web spinners and will cover their cages with thick swathes of web, even making their own retreat. Although these spiders  are obligate burrows one of my own specimens spends most of its time in  the web tubes it has spun in the plastic foliage that decorate its cage.

These spiders should not be handled, as they are considered very aggressive although my own specimens show no signs of aggression. They are however very skittish and can move very, very quickly!

The requirements in captivity are:

As for keeping them as pets, many people keep these in large 12x12x12 (inches) tanks.

This species requires medium humidity levels (above 65%).

Substrate for the cage should be of peat/vermiculite mix, and should be at least 3 (preferably 4 to 6) inches deep. These spiders will dig deep burrows if the substrate is suitable.

An open water dish is a must; humidity must not fall below 60 percent!

Food: All standard invertebrates

Geographic Range: Kenya, Mombasa

Temperature: 70-80F

Humidity: 65-70%

Adult Legspan: 4-5 inches

Temperament: Very aggressive or a least very skittish.


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