The Singapore Blue tarantula is a mind-blowing species in so many ways.
Firstly, there’s the appearance. As their common name suggests, the Singapore Blue is clothed in vibrant royal blue hairs that look almost purple in some lights. It is therefore right up there with other popular blue tarantulas in the hobby such as the Greenbottle Blue and the Cobalt Blue.
In contrast to these other blue species, however, Omothymus violaceopes has another ace up its sleeve that makes it even more impressive; size. The Singapore Blue tarantula is an arboreal (tree dwelling) species of tarantula, with an enormous potential adult size.
Some females have been reported to grow to 8” or even more. It is therefore considered to be one of the largest arboreal tarantulas known to science – right up there with the Red Slate Ornamental.
These two factors combined – color and size – makes this a shockingly impressive tarantula to keep. At the same time, however, it is important to realize that this is an Asian arboreal tarantula which means that it is fast and likely has stronger venom than many other theraphosids. All told, especially when you consider the prices the Singapore Blues sell for, this is not a beginner tarantula.
If you have the budget and experience, however, you’d be crazy not to add a few Singapore Blue tarantulas to your collection. Read on to find out how in my Singapore Blue care sheet…
Wild Habitat of Omothymus violaceopes
The Singapore Blue was described by scientists in 1924. As their common name suggests, Omothymus violaceopes (previously Lampropelma violaceopes) hails from Singapore. They may also be found in nearby areas including Malaysia, where they are recorded in Langkawi and Kedah.
Singapore is renowned for its hot and humid environment, suggesting that this species would benefit from much higher humidities than species like the Mexican Red Knee which tend to thrive in more arid conditions. In captivity this means a regular spraying will be beneficial, though at the same time ventilation is important to prevent the kind of stagnant air in which mould and fungi thrive.
While the females maintain their bright blue coloration, this species is sexually dimorphic in that males start to change color with age. Sub-adult males take on a rich orangey-brown tint, like a slightly duller Orange Bitey Thing.
Most sexually mature males change once again to become an olive green/brown color, making them look like a completely different species.
Singapore Blue Housing
Opinions vary on the temperament of this species. Some keepers claim their specimen would be best described as “aggressive” with threat postures regularly seen when carrying out routine tank maintenance. Others claim that the Singapore Blue tarantula is far more likely to run away and seek refuge than they are to stand their ground and attempt to bite.
However you find the temperament of your own Omothymus violaceopes there are a few things we can agree on: these are fast moving, grow to impressive dimensions and are strong climbers. This can have an impact on the housing of the species.
Not only will you want to select a tall cage, where vertical hides can be added for your spider, but you’ll also want to ensure that the cage is a good size. This not only reflects the potential size of this species, but also gives a few precious moments to close the lid should your Singapore Blue tarantula suddenly make a break for freedom when you’re feeding or cleaning.
These days tarantula keepers are spoiled for choice when it comes to caging options. Over the years I have tried a huge range of different options, and all have their pros and cons. In the last 2-3 years I have been slowly replacing my old glass and plastic tarantula tanks with glass terrariums, which sit on shelving units in my “animal room”.
- Features with full view glass, this small 8 gallon glass terrarium is convenient for feeding and having fun with your reptile or small animal pets.
- Compact and flat-packed design mini reptile tank with top opening to prevent escape and easy feeding. With a transparent PVC tray in the bottom for holding water and substrate
- The full screen top ventilation with thinner mesh wire allows more UVA UVB and infrared heat penetration.
Of course, if you’re on a budget or are keeping a smaller specimen then a range of other options exist, from building your own custom tanks to re-using household storage containers.
Heating & Temperature
Temperatures in Singapore can be pretty consistent throughout the year, typically sitting at around 25-30’C. This means that Omothymus violaceopes is a tarantula that appreciates a generous temperature. Furthermore, this is a very fast-growing species, with some people claiming that the Singapore Blue may go from spiderling to sexually-mature adult in little more than a year.
It’s best to place the cage in the warmest part of the room to support this lifestyle.
Water & Humidity
As a tree dwelling tarantula the Singapore Blue only very rarely ventures down to the floor of the cage. Therefore, they are unlikely to drink too often from a water bowl. All the same, I like to provide all of my larger tarantulas with water in this way so at least I know it is there if needed. I simply consider it “best practice”.
As an arboreal species the Singapore Blue tarantula does not need a thick substrate. Just a centimeter or two of coconut fibre or rainforest substrate works well and looks quite natural.
- ECO-FRIENDLY ORGANIC and 100% BIODEGRADABLE unlike some reptile substrates that are contributing to deforestation and then go to the landfill
- INCREASES HUMIDITY for animals that need moderate to high humidity
- ABSORBENT composition allows it to soak up messes and odors, leaving a cleaner habitat for your pet
Possibly the most important aspect of care decor for your Omothymus violaceopes is one or more suitable hides. These should be placed vertically, allowing your tarantula to move up and down the simulated tree trunk. Ideally these hides should also permit your tarantula to clamber inside or behind them, so they can hide away during the day just as they would in the wild.
- Safe for all reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids (i.e. tarantulas).
- Can be easily cut to any desired length or shape
- All natural green" product"
Therefore, take the time to choose some suitable pieces of cork bark, and then securely fix these in place. With such a bulky spider you may want to consider using some aquarium-safe silicone sealant to fix the bark in place, which will prevent the hide from moving.
Lastly, while it is not a necessity, I think this is a species that looks great in a “landscaped” cage. I therefore like to add some silk plants, leaf litter and so on to try give a real “rainforest feel”. Not only does this look awesome, but it arguably gives a more natural environment for your tarantula to explore.
Feeding Omothymus violaceopes
The Singapore Blue is a fast growing tarantula species, and fuels this rapid growth with a very healthy appetite. Very rarely will you have feeding issues, apart from the standard fasting around moulting time.
Many specimens will eat more than the standard tarantula keeper routine of once-a-week feedings. If you’re keen to get your Omothymus violaceopes growing as quickly as possible then be prepared to try feeding your spider two or even three times a week with standard feeder insects such as roaches or locusts (my personal preference).
Handling Singapore Blue Tarantulas
Big, grumpy and fast, this is not a tarantula suitable for handling. Instead, great care should be taken moving your tarantula. You’ll want to try and pop a plastic container over the top of it, slide the lid in underneath and then remove the container before releasing the spider once again.
Due to the difficulties with transporting this species it makes sense to choose a slightly larger cage, which your Singapore Blue can call home for months at a time. This is far less labor intensive that having to rehouse your rapidly growing blue tarantula every few moults.
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