Orange Baboon Tarantula: Care, Info, Pictures & More

The Orange Baboon Tarantula, also known as the Pterinochilus Murinus, is an old-world tarantula species. This species is very popular among tarantula hobbyists due to its stunning orange color. However, while this species has an extremely beautiful color, it also comes with quite a moody attitude. This moody attitude combined with their extreme speed makes can make them quite difficult to care for.

If you’re interested in learning everything there’s to know about the Pterinochilus Murinus you’ve come to the right place! We’ll cover everything from their diet, care requirements, size, lifespan, and much more. Of course, there will be plenty of pictures included as well.


Orange Baboon Tarantula Care Sheet

Species NamePterinochilus murinus
Family NameTheraphosidae
Common NameOrange Baboon Tarantula, OBT, Mombasa golden starburst tarantula
CategoryOld World
TypeTerrestrial
Native LocationAfrica
Body Length2.25 inches (6 cm)
Leg SpanFemales, 4-6 inches (10-15 cm). Males, 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm)
Growth SpeedFast
Urticating HairsNo
SocialSolitary
DietCrickets, roaches, mealworms
Temperature65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
HumidityAround 40%
Life ExpectancyFemales, 14 years. Males, 4 years
Recommended Experience LevelAdvanced
Minimum tank size5 to 10 gallons

Orange Baboon Tarantula Overview

The Orange Baboon Tarantula is an old-world terrestrial spider that was first described in 1897 by Reginal Innes Pocock. This tarantula is terrestrial but sometimes exhibits arboreal tendencies. What this means is that they spend the majority of their lives on the ground but opportunistically climb trees.

Because this is an old-world spider, they do not have urticating hairs. However, they do have quite a potent venom. Their venom is strong enough to do serious damage to humans. On top of that, this spider is very quick.

They’re not all that big. Their body length is a modest 2.25 inches and their diagonal leg span is about 6 inches.

Appearance & Varieties

The Orange baboon tarantula is most well known for its stunning appearance. They have a stunning orange color, something that’s not all that common in tarantulas. They also have a distinctive sunburst marking on their abdomen.

This species is dimorphic. The males are quite a bit smaller than the females.

The OBT appears in quite a few different countries and this has resulted in 5 different varieties. These 5 varieties are:

OBT Varities & Their locations
  • BCF (Brown Color Form) – Tete, Mozambique
  • DCF (Dark Color Form) – Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mikumi, Kigoma
  • OCF (Orange Color Form) – Usambara mountains
  • RCF (Red Color Form) – Usambara Mountains
  • TCF (Typical Color Form) – Kenya, Mozambique

You might wonder why the OBT has different colors in different regions. The reason for this is not 100% clear, but it’s believed that it’s caused by different soil types in the different regions.

Temperament, Behavior & Handling

The Orange Baboon Tarantula is a very defensive, fast, and venomous species. Their venom is quite potent and can be very painful and may even need medical attention. They’re very quick to show a threat posture but typically try to flee before biting. Nevertheless, if they see no other option they will not hesitate to use their powerful, venomous fangs.

For these reasons, it’s absolutely not recommended for beginners to buy the OBT.

Even for experienced tarantula owners, it’s not recommended to handle this species. Their easily agitated mood combined with their powerful fangs means that the slightest mishap can have bad consequences.

The Orange Baboon Tarantula is a webbing tarantula and while it might be difficult to care for, they’re a joy to watch. They create intricate web tunnels and burrows which is a very intriguing process to observe.

Caring for an Orange Baboon Tarantula

Tank size

A fully grown OBT needs a tank size of about 5 to 10 gallons. It might be tempting to get them a bigger enclosure and decorate it nicely, but that’s not a good idea. Like most tarantula species, they are sedentary and do not benefit from having a lot of extra space. It will just make it more difficult for them to feed.

Slings can have a smaller enclosure as long as you ensure that you upgrade it as they get bigger.

Humidity & Temperature

You do not need to heat your OBT’s enclosure. They’re quite hardy spiders and will do fine in temperatures ranging between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Try to keep the humidity around 40%. to increase the humidity you can dampen the substrate or spray the enclosure. If you’re struggling to keep the humidity up you can also get an oversized water bowl. The evaporation will increase the humidity.

Substrate

This tarantula enjoys burrowing so make sure that you have a thick enough layer of substrate to allow them to do so. 4 to 5 inches of substrate should be plenty. You can use vermiculite or loamy soil.

Food & Water

The adult Orange Baboon tarantula feeds on insects such as grasshoppers, roaches, and larger crickets. As slings, feed them mealworms, pinhead crickets, or dubia roaches. Many owners gut-load the insects they feed them to ensure that the tarantula gets all the required nutrients.

They’re also capable of eating pinkies, but this should definitely not be a staple of their diet. You should feed them about once a week.

They also need a water bowl in their enclosure that always has fresh water in it to allow them to drink.

Exercise

The OBT doesn’t require exercise. They’re very sedentary animals that don’t like to move unless they’re mad, threatened or hunting prey.

Enclosure enrichment

You can place a few light branches, cork bark, or logs in their enclosure. While they’re terrestrial spiders they do enjoy having some arboreal elements to support their web tunnels.

You can also give them a hide or shelter but it’s not necessary since they can create their own by burrowing.

Molting

The OBT will molt quite frequently since they’re a fast-growing species. Before they molt they will refuse food and water for a few days. They will then shed their old skin. This process is quite stressful for your spider, so make sure that you do not disturb them, it’s fascinating enough to just watch and you can keep the exoskeleton when they’re done!

Orange Baboon Tarantula Cost

The Orange Baboon Tarantula is typically quite a cheap spider. You can find breeders online that sell them for as little as $25 to $40. However, because they’re venomous spiders the shipping costs are usually about $40 which is quite a bit higher than for other species.

The price also depends on whether you buy a male or a female. Males have a shorter lifespan and are usually cheaper because of that.

Of course, you’ll also have to factor in the fact that you have to buy a terrarium, substrate, a water dish, some foliage/decoration, and food.

On the whole, expect to spend about $30 on the tarantula if you buy it from a breeder + $40 for shipping, $80 on initial costs, and <$10 ongoing costs per month for vet visits, food, and other costs.

Health & Lifespan

The Orange Baboon Tarantula is a very hardy and healthy spider. They do not often suffer from disease and in captivity, they do not have anything to fear except the occasional parasite in their food.

Because of this, they often live very long in captivity. Females can easily live for 14 years. Males typically live quite a bit shorter at only 4 years.


Final words: Is the Orange Baboon the right Tarantula for you?

The Orange Baboon Tarantula is certainly beautiful, but it’s not right for everyone. Their defensive nature, high speed, and potent venom only make them suitable for people who have a lot of experience with tarantula husbandry.

If you’re newer to the tarantula world it’s a much better choice to go with a more docile, calm, and gentle species. New World tarantulas such as the Mexican Red Rump and Green Bottle Blue are great choices to look into.

Jesse A.