EAZA Ex situ Programme (EEP)

Gooty sapphire ornamental spider

(Poecilotheria metallica)

 Mark Bushell 
Institution:   Bristol Zoo Gardens

EAZA Member Area


Bristol Zoo Gardens

IUCN Red List status

IUCN Red List CR


Programme roles

Direct Conservation icon  Insurance population
It is needed to provide long-term demographic/genes stability for the population. There are husbandry issues as the animals are bred by private holders and there is currently no breeding in zoos. There is a large ex situ population outside EAZA. However, there are hybrids in the private population and therefore, it is important to make sure to keep the population pure in zoos.
Indirect Conservation icon  Conservation education
Encourage private holders/hobbyists to obtain the spider sustainably/ethically. Pet trade has a direct effect on the in situ population. There is need for being cautious on how to approach this role and the type of message as there is (political) risk to alienate some private holders and some pet traders.

 Facilitate in range research/conservation education
In cooperation with India, set up a link with in situ researchers/educators. There is very little known about the in situ population and it is very difficult to take data. The evidence of this species occurring in the area is purely anecdotical. This role will require some follow up: are there other flag species (birds?) in the area that could serve as umbrella species? There is also the need to build in situ partners to make this role happen.
Non Conservation icon  Exhibit
Poecilotheria metallica is a fascinating species to have in a collection. Very attractive spider and good representative of threatened Asian spiders.

Programme numbers

In January 2019, the Gooty sapphire ornamental spider EEP had 38 animals in 17 institutions.

Programme highlights


LIFE logo with white paddingThis work is supported by the European Union LIFE NGO funding programme. The European Union is not responsible for the views displayed in publications and/or in conjunction with the activities for which the grant is used.