Purple Bloom Birdeating Tarantula
(Pamphobeteus insignis)

This is one of the rarest and most demanded tarantulas in the hobby.  We selected this particular species due to the striking coloration found on the adult males which consists of  beautiful deep purple "bloom" found on their femurs as well as the carapace.  This spider also has short urticating hairs found on the abdomen and other parts of the body which can be used as a defensive mechanism.

  This creature is found in the Amazon Rain Forest in Columbia and is terrestrial by nature.  Our habitat consists of a large well ventilated acrylic cage with a crushed coco husk substrate intermittently mixed with sphagnum moss.  This species will typically spend its life on the rain forest floor and often in deep burrows.  This is a fairly large species with adult females reaching over 8 inches in length.
    P. insignis is a fast growing species and if kept in a warm, humid habitat and fed frequently can mature in 1-2 years.  It should be noted that this is a semi aggressive species which can be easily provoked whereby we do not anticipate handling the spider unless absolutely necessary.

Care and Feeding

Our spiderling arrived intact from the breeder and did not waste any time removing itself from the shipping container.  We wanted to make every effort to provide a suitable habitat for the creature along with suitable hiding places, high humidity and a thick substrate.  A colony of Dubia roaches has been cultivated well in advance of the spider's arrival whereby its diet will also be augmented by juvenile crickets as well.  Our goal was to provide the spiderling with ample time to adjust to its new surroundings.

Pictured below is our new arrival exploring the water dish.  Clearly visible is the distinctive color pattern on the abdomen which will eventually be replaced with a deeper cocoa color as the spider matures. 

The spiderling appears to be in excellent health by virtue of its active behavior and inquisitive nature.  We will begin a feeding regimen consisting of juvenile crickets and Dubia roaches along with periodic mistings of the enclosure with distilled water.
This page was last updated: February 23, 2016
Week One, Two and Three

Our spiderling continues to be adjusting well to its new habitat and we have continued feeding it an assortment of 10 day crickets supplemented with small to medium sized mealworms.  Although we have not observed the spiderling attacking its food as in the case of the OBT, Gooty or Goliath we can only assume that it is feeding on a regular basis.
First Molt- February 12, 2015

This afternoon our spiderling surprised us by completing its first molt.  Kelsey discovered the discarded exuvium and spiderling resting comfortably after this important milestone.  Spiderlings can experience higher than normal mortality rates during the first few molts if conditions are not optimum.  We were ecstatic and could not help but notice the brilliant coloration on both the prosoma and abdomen (opisthosoma) of the young Purple Bloom spiderling.  Wow!
Our spiderling has just completed its first molt.  Note the enhanced coloration on the opisthosoma and the blue highlights on the legs.
Week Four- February 24, 2015

This afternoon Kelsey and I were able to take this picture of the Purple Bloom spiderling just inside its bark cave.  It has been almost two weeks since its last molt but you can see an appreciable increase in the spider's size and bulk. The bristles on her exoskeleton have since hardened and are very obvious in the picture.  We placed several juvenile Dubias in its cave for dinner.
Week Nine- April 1st, 2015

This morning, one of our students alerted us to the fact that the Purple Bloom was lying on its back  and  possibly in distress.  Upon closer examination, Kelsey and I both felt that the Purple Bloom was in the initial stages of its second molt and we were anxious to document this unique and perilous process for the first time.  The following pictures were taken over the course of the afternoon as our Purple friend completed its molt in less than five hours.  This sequence of images are truly remarkable since we were able to capture each stage of the spider's molt with stunning detail.
    In Stage One,  our spiderling is lying flat on its back preparing for its molt.  In Stage Two, the  emerging legs are becoming apparent as the spider withdraws from the exuvium.  In Stage Three, the newly formed legs are emerging for the first time.
Stage One
Stage Two
Stage Three
    These next two pictures are absolutely breathtaking and capture the Purple Bloom in the final stages of molting.  In Stage Four, the spider has completely separated itself from the discarded exuvium seen in the background.  The pale, white abdomen can be seen in the foreground which will increase in size and change color as this process continues. In Stage Five, the spiderling is now upright as it waits for its newly formed exoskeleton to harden and change color.  We are anxious to witness the new spiderling's appearance in the morning.
Stage Four
Stage Five
   Twenty four hours later, our Purple Bloom Birdeater has darkened considerably in color and has increased in overall body mass. A comparison of the last two molts reveals a significant difference  whereby it appears as though our friend has increased in size by almost 80-100%!  We took this opportunity to offer a juvenile Dubia cockroach as a reward for a successful molt.
    This morning I was able to take this picture of our Purple Bloom one week after her molt.  I had only a few seconds to take the picture before she disappeared inside her burrow.  The increase in her physical size subsequent to her molt is remarkable.
    This picture of our Purple Bloom waiting patiently under a trio of roaches is classic.  It also highlights the beautiful purple tones that have emerged on the femurs and carapace since the last molt.  Our spider is both feisty and gorgeous.
    This morning, Kelsey noticed that the Purple Bloom's stance on top of the burrow was somewhat odd or out of character.  The spider was standing on the tips of its legs.  A closer look revealed that it was finishing off an insect presumably one of the three Dubia roaches visiting our spider's lair.  Our friend maintained this position for over an hour before returning to the confines of her cave.
    Almost one year later, our purple bloom has significantly increased in size after several successful molts.  The deep shades of purple are becoming more obvious along with the  starburst pattern on its carapace.  The coloration will continue to intensify as this male tarantula matures.