Phormictopus auratus • 1 1/8 – 1 1/2″

Phormictopus auratus (Cuban gold tarantula), captive bred. This large Cuban endemic is found in varied habitat on the island. Hardy and relatively fast growing, recommended for advanced beginners and above.


Described in 2005, Phormictopus auratus [1] is relatively widespread on the island of Cuba.

Phormictopus are the largest tarantulas of the Caribbean islands. Some reports claim existence on the continent, but these may need verification. Other large-species genera (e.g., Aphonopelma, Brachypelma, Tliltocatl, Sericopelma, Theraphosa, Pamphobeteus, Xenesthis, Lasiodora, and Vitalius) inhabit the continent.

Phormictopus taxonomy can be challenging. Maria Gombasne Gudenus et al have tackled it at an advanced hobbyist level. In July 2016 they published their findings in the Journal of the BTS (pdf). They begin by distinguishing Cuban from non-Cuban Phormictopus:

“These two groups have a clear separation with regards to visible attributes related to colour, size and habitus (body build). The offspring of the two groups also have different colours. While Cuban species have brownish young, those found outside Cuba are bluish.”

P. auratus is the best-known Cuban Phormictopus species. Named for the gold highlights on its carapace, P. auratus is robust and long-lived. It is relatively fast growing.

The first photo above shows an adult female; the second, an ultimate male.

[1] Ortiz, D. & Bertani, R. (2005). A new species in the spider genus Phormictopus (Theraphosidae: Theraphosinae) from Cuba. Revista Ibérica de Aracnología 11: 29-36.

Additional information

Weight 0.01 lbs
Dimensions 1.0 × 0.5 × 0.5 in