The Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tree Spider is one of the rarest and most highly desireable tarantula species in existence today. It is also classified on the IUCN Red List as "critically endangered" and should be treated with great care and respect.
The Gooty is a striking arboreal spider from India and has incredible metallic blue colorations on its carapace, abdomen, and legs. Juveniles have a somewhat lavender hue color, but as it grows the lavender fades and is replaced by the beautiful hues of blue. The males are even more intensely colored blue than the females. P. metallica was originally discovered in a railway timber yard in a town called Gooty, located in central southern India. This led to the common name "Gooty Tarantula". It was recently rediscovered in the forest between Nandyal and Giddalur in 2001.
Our decision to add this beautiful yet increasingly rare spider to our collection was based on several important considerations aside from its obvious beauty. This is a large spider whereby adults can reach about 6-8 inches (14 - 15-20 cm) in length, and have a fairly long lifepan. Females can live up to 12 years with males living about a fourth to a third as long as females. Mature males are slender and long-legged compared to females. They are reasonably hardy and fast growers although sexing our spiderling will not be possible until it has reached a subadult stage of maturity.
Care and Feeding
The Gooty Sapphire is an arboreal species. It should be kept in a large, vertically oriented enclosure. They need a well ventilated enclosure but with relatively high humidity. Our enclosures are professionally made by Jamies Tarantulas who is a tarantula breeder here in the United States and is ideally suited for both arboreal and terrestrial tarantulas. Our Gooty is about 1.5 inches long and will be housed in a juvenile enclosure pictured below and will eventually be moved to the larger arboreal enclosure pictured below right. (Free Wi Fi is included)
We are using a deep substrate of coco husk as well as spaghum moss which will hold moisture thus insuring that ambient humidity is kept at optimum levels.
The arboreal enclosure (left) is 8x8x14 inches which should provide ample space for our Gooty during the first 1-2 years of its life.
This page was last updated: November 9, 2016
The Arrival- Feb 10, 2016
Our little friend has arrived despite sub freezing temperatures and snow flurries. We transferred the young Gooty from its shipping "container" into our juvenile enclosure. We were pleasently surprised to discover that the Gooty was very much alive and in good health. It quickly left the comfort of its paper towel envelope and began investigating what will be its home for the next year or so.
The spiderling was actually larger than expected and while it is too small to feature any of the intense blue coloring, you can see faint hints of lavender which is characteristic of young Gooty's. We will wait at least 24-48 hours before introducing any food for our new friend.
The First Molt- March 12th, 2016
Over the course of the last few weeks, our newest Gooty spiderling has been active and eating well. At some time during the night, our little friend has molted and is now in the process of allowing its exoskeleton to harden and change color. During the next 24-48 hours the Gooty's abdomen should enlarge and his/her coloration should change. We can already see hints of blue or lavender on its legs. Very cool.
Where is the Gooty?- August 12th, 2016
It did not take long for the Gooty to adjust to its new surroundings. However, he/she literally disappeared inside its new enclosure and was vitually undetectable as it blended in with the coloration of the background. An interesting testimony to its ability to conceal or camouflage itself.
Third Molt- May 29th, 2016
This morning we were surprised to see our Gooty Sapphire in the process of molting pictured to the left. Since its first molt back in March, the spider has molted at least one more time increasing in size and darkening in color. After this third molt which took only a matter of minutes to complete, it was noticeably larger and a darker shade of blue.
Second Molt- April 28th, 2016
Pictured on the right is our juvenile Gooty shortly after its third molt. Despite the brown coloration, you can see strong hints of yellow showing underneath.
New Habitat- August 11th, 2016
This evening, our Gooty was transferred from its juvenile enclosure into a new habitat- an Exo Terra Terrarium pictured on the left. As with our other tarantula enclosures, we covered the floor of the enclosure with a three inch layer of coco bark after adding a really cool piece of driftwood. Our tarantula had clearly outgrown its previous habitat and should acclimate very well to its new environment.
Fourth Molt- July 16th, 2016
Although this is not a particularly good picture of the Gooty on the right, it does show how much he/she has grown in the last three monthes. The Gooty molted again which took maybe five minutes to complete. Not only has it increased in size but its coloration is becoming a much darker blue with faint striations of yellow showing through. She is quickly outgrowing her enclosure. What next, braces?
Our Gooty finally appears!- November 8th, 2016
It has been several months since our Gooty Sapphire was last seen out in the open. She has been hiding inside her silk tunnel of a web in the upper portion of the log. This morning around 3:30 am I was able to catch her as she emerges from her hiding place. Not only has she molted at least once in the last two months, but her size and coloration have increased significantly. She is really looking gorgeous!