The Ghost Ornamental Tarantula
(Poecilotheria vittata)

The Ghost Ornamental is also known as the "Pederson's Ghost Ornamental" and were first identified in 2001.  They are not considered rare but are not often seen in the industry. There is concern that habitat destruction may pose a serious threat to the Ghost since an accurate census of their population is not available. They are bred successfully in captivity although we are not certain if we are going to pursue a captive breeding program for our new addition.  This particular spider does grow quickly and should reach a full size of 6-7 inches at maturity.  Females can live for up to 10-12 years as well.  They tend to live in holes or crevices found in large trees and create asymetrical tunnel webs around the opening.

The Ghost Ornamental will be housed in an arboreal enclosure identical to the ones we use for the Gooty Tree spiders.  Her diet will consist of Dubia roaches, crickets and mealworms.  The Ghost lives in a area that extends into several different climates where the temperature and humidity levels can vary quite a bit.  This would suggest that this particular spider can thrive in a broader range of ambient conditions that other tarantulas might not.  Humidity levels of 50% or higher are recommended and the ideal average temperature range should be 78 to 82 degrees during the day with  nighttime temperatures falling into the low 70's.
This page was last updated: February 24, 2016

The Ghost Ornamental Tarantula is a very recent discovery found in the rain forests and mountainous regions of Sri Lanka and India.  This is an arboreal spider and although it is considered an Old World tarantula it does not utricate the bristles or hairs on its abdomen in self defense.  This is a very fast moving spider that is not only very aggressive but possesses one of the most potent venoms of all tarantulas.  We chose this particular specimen due to the beautiful coloration consisting of whites, grays, blacks and yellow markings complemented by a purple metallic sheen.  We have acquired a 3 inch female which we believe will adjust quickly to its new environment.


The Ghost Ornamental's genus actually comes from the word "poikilos" or "spotted', and "therion" which means "wild beast".  According to what we know about arboreal spiders this would seem to be a fitting name for our latest addition.  While there is little information available on this spider we do know that it will adopt a bite or flee defensive strategy when threatened.  This would makes sense given the fact that it is arboreal and may not have as many options for a safe hiding place.  In some cases, it has been observed to crouch down or flatten itself when first approached in an effort to conceal itself while waiting for the threat to pass.  Several breeders suggest tapping on the enclosure before performing basic maintenance etc. It is a good idea to alert the spider to your presence thus minimizing the risk of an unfortunate encounter.

First Week: March 11, 2015

Our Ghost arrived on March 10th and was promptly introduced into her new habitat the very next morning.  As soon as Kelsey began removing the packing material our spider quickly emerged from her temporary home surprising us both with her speed and agility.  Her coloration is not as bright or full of constrast but the fractal pattern on her abdomen is very obvious as well as the starburst on her cephalothorax. 

    Her enclosure was upgraded a bit with the help of a glue gun and every effort was made to fill in any cracks or crevices that might provide her with an opportunity to "disappear".    Unfortunately, she found the one spot I missed shortly after this picture was taken and became almost invisible for the rest of the day.

Second Week: March 18, 2015

     This morning I discovered that  the Ghost Ornamental had ventured out of the crack in the bark that she has been calling "home".  This picture gives you a good idea as to the coloration and patterns that make this tarantula so unique.   The second picture below was taken later in the day after the female had moved behind the cork bark.  This picture was literally taken inches away from the Ghost.  She is proving to be very photogenic.
March 19, 2015- First Feeding

     On Wednesday night, I put two juvenile Dubias in the Ghost enclosure before heading home.  The next morning, the tarantula had one of the roaches in her grasp as it appeared to have been feeding on the insect for quite some time.  This is always good news and I could not wait to inform my partner of this development.  A portion of the roach is visible in the picture to the left.
May 7, 2015- First Molt

     This afternoon Kelsey noted that the Ghost had relocated to the lower right hand corner of the habitat in a rather unlikely location.  Upon closer inspection, it was quickly apparent that the tarantula was, in fact, in the process of molting.  The discarded molt was on Monday morning in the water dish and is pictured to the right.  She has returned to the safe confines of her tunnel web that she has lined with bark and spaghum moss.
Molt in process...
One year later...

    Its been almost one year since our P. Vittata arrived and she has successfully completed several molts and continues to demonstrate a voracious appetite.  With each molt, her coloration gradually changes while the characteristic fractal patterns on her abdomen becomes more distinctive.