Scientific Name: Omothymus violaceopes (formerly Lampropelma violaceopes)
Common Name: Singapore Blue Tarantula
Category: Old World
Endemic Location: Malaysia and Singapore
Diagonal Leg Span (DLS): 11”(28cm)
Urticating Hairs: No
Growth Rate: Fast
Life Expectancy: Females 14 years / Males 5 years
Recommended Experience Level: Advanced
The Omothymus violaceopes, formerly the Lampropelma violaceopes, is known commonly in the hobby as the Singapore Blue Tarantula. This is an Old World arboreal tarantula that comes from Malaysia and Singapore. Being an Old World tarantula, this species is known for having very painful and medically significant venom that can cause muscle aches and spasms, pain in the joints headaches, nausea, and severe pain around the area the venom was injected. This species is highly suggested for more experienced keepers not only because of their potent venom, but because they are extremely fast and grow to have a leg span of over 9in. This species also has more advanced husbandry needs than a typical Old World Tarantula. While females have bright blue, almost purple legs with an almost bone white carapace and tiger stripped abdomen…males will mature out with a golden greenish color all over with extremely long legs but a smaller sized abdomen and carapace. So this species does exhibit sexual dimorphism making it very easy to tell the mature females and mature males apart. This species can be a little more difficult to house due to its high humidity and warmer temperatures.
I keep my spiderlings in a basic arboreal spiderling enclosure filled halfway with damp substrate and provide some small branches and leaves. They typically stay hidden in their burrow as spiderlings but will come out late at night to hunt if their prey doesn’t walk right in front of their burrow. This species will act much more like a fossorial t at this size than an arboreal t.
For juveniles I will use a basic acrylic arboreal enclosure but i will set it up upside down compared to how I set up the other arboreal enclosures so the longest part of the enclosure is the bottom. I fill the enclosure up at least half way or more with substrate. I use a mixture of coco fiber and topsoil with a little sand. I keep the substrate very damp but not swampy. You have to keep an eye on the condition of the substrate to avoid mold and fungus growth as well as mites. Letting the substrate dry out completely for long periods of time can lead to bad molts that can be fatal. I provide a piece of cork bark for them to climb on but they typically stay burrowed at the base of the cork bark and only venture out and act arboreal late a night. This species usually webs up the entire base of the enclosure and mine made web curtains up both sides of the enclosure all the way to the top making it very difficult to see them as well as to open the enclosure to fill the water dish and feed.
For my adult, I house her in an exo terra mini tall (12x12x18) or the small tall (18x18x24) enclosure. I fill up the bottom completely with the same mixture of substrate described earlier that i use for my moisture dependent species. I keep the substrate damp by watering the substrate like you would water plants. I don’t mist their enclosure as I find that does not provide adequate humidity or keep the substrate moist enough. This is an ideal species for a bio active enclosure as there can be issues with mites and fungus that would be easily resolved with springtails and isopods. I plan on rehousing mine soon into an exo terra small tall style enclosure very soon that will be bioactive. I am just waiting one her to molt again as I believe she in premolt currently.
This species is a monster when it comes to feeding and will take down prey voraciously. I feed my spiderlings 1 or 2 small crickets or roaches at least once a week and pre kill them if they are much larger than the t, though mine will easily take down prey their own size. I wait about 3 or 4 days after a molt before attempting to feed them again and remove and uneaten prey within 24 hours. It is important to spot clean the enclosure and remove any legs or left over bits to cut down on mold and mites.
For juveniles I will feed them 2 or 3 medium crickets or 1 large cricket every 2 weeks and sometimes one or two more as the t gets larger in size. When mine were around 2-3 inches they had no issue overpowering and eating large crickets. Again it is important to keep the enclosure clean and remove all uneaten prey as soon as possible and clean out boluses and old molts as the damper substrate and more humid conditions can lead to problems with mites and mold very easily.
For my adult, I will feed her between 6-10 large crickets every 3 – 4 weeks or 2 large dubia roaches. I have also used super worms and green horn worms and she has eaten them all without prejudice. About once a year I will feed my adult female an anole or feeder house gecko, especially when she is looking thin a month or two after a molt. It is not something I would film and share publicly as it can be brutal to watch and it is extremely important to clean up the leftovers when they are finished as they will quickly rot and not only smell bad, but will become a breeding ground for all types of bacteria, mites, molds and hosts of other nasty things. This species is stunningly gorgeous can be very mysterious. I can go months without seeing this tarantula and only know it is still alive by the molts it leaves in its water dish and the boluses from digested crickets I find on the substrate. This tarantula still acts fossorially as an adult female but when it has been dark for a few hours in the room and the house has been quiet for a while, she will venture out to drink from her water dish and walk around the floor of her enclosure. If i am quiet and don’t disturb her she will then slowly begin climbing the branches and sides of her enclosure exploring around and hunting for crickets. It is difficult to film this behavior or even get pictures as she is photosensitive, so one the lights are on she will quickly dash for cover in the nearest dark corner. This tarantula is easily startled and is quick to throw up a threat pose and mine has even slapped the ground a few times when I continued to bother her after her initial threat pose. I give this T a wide berth and respect her space once she begins to act defensive because there is no doubt in my mind that she would try to bite me if provoked. It is important to point out that as dramatic as this behavior is, it is not a sign of aggression, they are not aggressive T’s in my experience. Like all the tarantulas I have experience with, they would rather run for cover and hide when they feel threatened, but if that isn’t an option for them or they feel to exposed to turn their back and hide, they will exhibit this behavior as a form of defense. She isn’t showing me a threat pose because she is aggressive…she is using it as a means of defensive because she feels threatened and sees my presence as aggressive towards her. So when they are agitated and upset…I will leave them alone for hours or even days so they can calm down and get comfortable before coming back and finishing doing whatever it was i needed to do in their enclosure. If you are careful, mindful, and respect the tarantulas space and understand what it is trying to communicate to you with its defensive behavior, there is a slim chance of getting bitten. Rehousing can be tricky as they easily get spooked and will try to run or jump to get away and find cover. Though all my rehousings have been mostly uneventful simple transfers. This is a gorgeous species and one of my top 10 old world tarantulas,but not a species i would suggest to someone new to Old Worlds or to someone with a limited collection looking for an arboreal t that will be out in the open a lot. Part of the magic and excitement of this t is the mystery and relishing the moments you walk upon its enclosure and find it out and about after weeks or months of never seeing it. It is truly a fascinating species to behold in person.