Thai Zebra (6-7cm)
Melopoeus albostriatus is a classic hobby tarantula. Found in various areas of Thailand there are four distinct forms, including a dwarf form and a form with reduced leg striping. They live in rainforest in burrows 1ft or more in depth in the ground.
As with most other asian terrestrials, it needs deep moistened substrate to establish a burrow in and keepers should provide a deeper tank for this. It will also cover the ground around the burrow entrance with silk. They need a humid environment with good ventilation.
In 2015 a controversial paper which was not peer reviewed was published that transferred all Haplopelma species to Cyriopagopus but this will almost certainly be undone by higher quality research.
An overall black tarantula with bright yellow leg stripes, the abdomen has a distinctive striped patterning, one of the reasons spiders of the genus Melopoeus are often called Earth Tigers. The spiderlings are not remarkably coloured and the males are not sexually dimorphic but all specimens in juvenile, subadult/adult stage feature the famous colouration
These tarantulas are defensive and rather fast, like most Melopoeus and should not be disturbed often once established in their enclosures. They require 12in (or more) of moist coir, in order to make their elaborate deep tunnels and burrow chamber. Only for confident keepers.