The Malaysian Purple Earth Tiger
Cyriopagopus hati hati

     The Malaysian Purple Earth Tiger is another tarantula species that is rarely been seen in the hobby industry and is considered one of the most desireable tarantula species today.  This arboreal species grows to a fairly large size and is considered to be very aggressive if provoked.  Data regarding the potency of its venom has not been documented however.  We selected this particular tarantula because of its beautiful purple coloration, its large size of 8-9 inches and the fact that it is considered to be very rare.  There is not a lot of information on this spider and some of the available data is inaccurate.  We were surprised when a one inch spiderling became available from one of our favorite breeders and did not hesitate to place an order.  Here is what we know about the Purple Earth Tiger.

     According to Frank Somma and Mari Pennell, the Malaysian Purple Earth Tiger or Hati Hati is a fast and aggressive species like many of the arboreal species found in Asia.  This tarantula will not tolerate your being in close proximity to it.  Apparently they will face anybody, or anything even if they are grossly outsized.  The Hati Hati can be hard to establish in captivity because many wild caught specimans are full of parasites.  Thankfully, this will be not be a problem with our spiderling having been born in captivity.  The first captive breeding program of this species in the US and possibly the world was in April of 2000.  It was a cooperative effort between Frank Somma and his partner Tommy.  The egg sac was dropped in June that same year and it contained some 200 spiderlings  This tarantula is still not common enough for some to easily obtain a captive bred Malaysian Earth Tiger so we were lucky to have found one.

     Initial observations of our one inch spiderling is that it is very shy and is usually seen only at night.  It quickly dug a burrow and a tunnel web however.
The Enclosure

     The Purple Earth Tiger is an arboreal species that requires a tall enclosure with adequate hiding places, good ventilation and high humidity.  Juveniles are initially kept in a smaller, acrylic enclosure designed by Jamie's Tarantulas are eventually transferred to their permanent home after two to three molts.  We generally use an Exo Terra terrarium (see right) due to its ideal size, easy access and favorable lighting feature.  We use a cocoa bark substrate, a large branch or vine along with a few artifical plants with a small water dish secured to the side of the enclosure.  The idea is to provide adequate hiding places for a stress free environment.

Care and Feeding

     Like all of our tarantulas, the hati hati will start on a diet of pin head crickets and move up to various sizes of  B. lateralis roaches.  We have an active colony of these insects which are clean, do not fly and have no bad habits.  Our spiderling is small- about one to one and a half inches and growth rates for the hati hati are above average.  Daytime temperatures are in the high 70's to low 80's and the substrate is misted with water about once or twice a week.   
April  12, 2018

     This morning we unpacked our spiderling and initially it was difficult to determine if our new arrival had survived the trip from the breeder to our front door.  It was not until 24 hours later that we were relieved to see that our friend was very much alive and had quickly made itself at home by spinning a small tunnel web in the corner of its enclosure.  Approximately three weeks later, we were relieved to see that the hati hati had successfully performed its first molt and could verify that our spiderling had increased in size.

September  15, 2018

     This evening I was able to "capture" our elusive friend perched on top of the cork bark.  I knew that I would have only one chance to take an updated picture before the Hati hati disppeared once again.  Fortunately, I managed to get the picture as seen on the right which is the first sighting of this tarantula in the last five monthes.  Clearly it has increased in size and has been eating four to five small crickets each week.  We have never seen it feed but couldnt help but notice the disappearance of the crickets over the course of one or two days.  Our T is not showing any of the characteristic purple yet which is not unusual for a spiderling that is still a subadult.  

September 24, 2018

​       This weekend we purchased an Exo Terra enclosure for our Hati hati which will be its permanent home.  The 8 X 8 X 12 cage is the perfect size for our arboreal T as it continues to grow to maturity.  Feeding and cleaning the cage will be much easier as well.
October 28, 2018

​       This  morning I was able to take this picture of our Hati hati while it remained motionless on the cork bark.  Clearly our friend has grown in size and appears to be more comfortable with being out in the open.  This particular species is notoriously shy and obtaining a picture this good has been nearly impossible up until now.
November 5, 2019

​       This  morning I was successful in transferring our Hati into her new, and permanent ennclosure.  Her coloration is still very light and I am going to increase the size and frequency of her feedings now that she is in a larger home.
February 11, 2020

​       This  morning I was  surprised to have "caught" our Hati Hati out of her den apparently looking for food.  While her coloration has not changed she appears to have gone through another molt since she looked noticeably larger in this picture.  We are still waiting for the emergance of the purple coloration that makes these T's so attractive.