Orphnaecus sp. “blue Panay'” (blue Panay earth tiger) from Panay Island, Philippines. A medium-sized, Old World tarantula with blue on legs and body, most evident post molt. Recommended for experienced keepers.
The Republic of the Philippines has over 7,500 islands. The larger of these support one or more Orphnaecus species. For example, the largest and most populous island, Luzon, is home to both Orphnaecus sp. “Quezon blue” and the type species for the genus, Orphnaecus pillitus.
The most popular hobby species are Orphnaecus philippinus from the island Negros, Orphnaecus sp. “Quezon blue” from Quezon Province, and Orphnaecus sp. “blue Panay” from the island of Panay. Others of increasing popularity are Orphnaecus sp. “Negros” and Orphnaecus sp. “Cebu.” The map to the left shows the locations of Luzon Island, Quezon Province on Luzon, and the islands Panay, Negros, and Cebu.
Climate in the Philippines varies according to location west to east, with distinct dry and wet seasons on the western side, and mixed patterns of increased rainfall on the eastern side, depending mainly on ocean currents such as El Niño, but also elevation and season. Most of the Orphnaecus species mentioned above, including O. sp. “blue Panay,” come from western climate zones, those with dry seasons, as shown on this Philippines climate map.
Orphnaecus sp. “blue Panay” characteristics
The blue color of O. sp. “blue Panay” is most evident in freshly molted adults. The species is fast, easily agitated, and defensive. Venom may be medically significant. For these reasons, although it is hardy and requires no unusual care, we recommend O. sp. “blue Panay” for experienced keepers. Females mature at 3-4″, but with subsequent molts have been reported to grow larger.
In the wild, O. sp. “blue Panay” may be found in rock crevices. In captivity, spiderlings dig a maze of tunnels in loose substrate. Adults also tend to dig. All instars are good eaters and are hardy in captivity.
The photo above shows an adult female, intermolt.
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