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Tarantula Care Sheets
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Theraphosa blondi, Lasiodora parahybana

Acanthoscurria geniculata

Scientific name: Acanthoscurria geniculata - C.L. Koch 1841

Common name: Brazillian white-knee tarantula

Global range: Brazil

Maximum size: 8"-9"

Growth rate: Fast

Average life span: 3-5 years (male), 10-15 years (female)

Behavior: A.geniculata is suprisingly fast dispite it's size and is moderately defensive. Some individuals will not hesitate to flick irritating bristles(urticating hairs) at the slightest disturbance. This species is notorious for having a massive appetite, and care should be taken to avoid overfeeding them to the point of bursting. They don't hide much, but appreciate a hiding spot and many will burrow if given the opportunity.

Setup: Keep them between 70-85F and with a relative humidity of 70-90%. They are a large ground dwelling tarantula and should be kept in an enclosure with plenty of floor space, A 20 gallon "long" aquarium is a perfect size. A 50/50 mix of peat moss and topsoil is a good substrate for them, keep it somewhat damp to increase humidity. If you want to let them burrow, use about 7" of substrate, otherwise just use 3" and provide some sort of retreat.

Additional notes: Males possess tibial hooks, Females are often aggressive towards the males during courtship and cannibalism is common. Spiderlings are not communal.

by Mark Bibby

Avicularia versicolor

Scientific name: Avicularia versicolor - Walcknaer 1837

Common name: Antilles pink-toe tarantula

Global range: Martinique Island (Lesser Antilles)

Maximum size: 4"-5"

Growth rate: Fast

Average life span: 3 years (Male) 6-8 years (Female)

Behavior: This tarantula can be fast moving but is typically shy and will often try to hide when disturbed. These are an arboreal (tree-dwelling) tarantula that create silken tube-webs and rarely stray far from them, and they almost never come to the ground.

Setup: A.versicolor does well in temperatures between 70-80F and does best with a relative humidity between 70-90%. Since this species is arboreal, they should be kept in an enclosure that is taller than it is wide. A water dish is recommended, but it must be elevated off the cage floor or the tarantula may not find it. The best way to do this is to hot-glue it to a branch or use aquarium sealer to attach it to the cage wall. A shallow layer of damp peat moss makes a good substrate as it aids in raising the humidity inside the cage.

Additional notes: Males possess tibial spurs. Spiderlings of this species are communal and can be kept together much longer than most other species before they become cannibalistic. Females are also quite tolerant of males, and don't usually try to eat them during or after courtship the way many other species will.

by Mark Bibby

Brachypelma albopilosum

Scientific name: Brachypelma albopilosum - Valerio 1980

Common name: Curly hair tarantula

Type: New world, terrestrial

Range: Most of Central America

Physical features: Young curly hair tarantulas are brown but as they age their carapace gets lighter and turns tan. When fully mature these tarantulas can reach about 5 to 5 1/2 inches long. These tarantulas have a slow growth rate. If properly cared for curly hair tarantulas can live anywhere from 3 to 10 years, like all tarantulas males live much shorter than females.

Temperment: Curly hair tarantulas are usually docile, slow,and calm.

Housing: For slings you should use a small deli container like at the dollar store, for adults a 5 to 10 gallon tank. The general rule is to have enough floor space to support 3 times the leg span of the tarantula. Have a lot of ventilation or mold and other fungus can grow. For substrate use 3 to 4 inches of peat moss, vermiculite, or soil. (always pesticide free) !!! IMPORTANT, DO NOT USE ANY KIND OF WOOD CHIPS, they emit a chemical that is toxic to tarantulas!!! Although these tarantulas will most likely burrow you will still need a hide such as a piece of a flower pot a sterile piece of wood or a piece of cork bark you can find suitable hides at most pet shops. Most spiderlings should have their enclosures misted until they get about 2 inches, then a shallow, wide water dish should be provided.

Feeding: For slings feed them flightless fruit flies, meal worm pieces, pinhead crickets, or the back legs of a normal sized cricket. Adults can eat crickets, meal worms, and for large curly hairs maybe a pinky mouse thrown in for variety. Feed as much as you want when they are spiderlings as they will grow quicker but, they will also live shorter lives and over feeding causes a huge abdomen which if the tarantula fell it could split probably resulting in death. Generally feed your tarantula once or twice a week but dont make it regular, feed more one week or less another and on different days to make more natural.

Additional Notes: If you treat your tarantula with respect and properly care for it no problems should occur.

by Zach Lawson

Brachypelma smithi

Scientific name: Brachypelma smithi - Pick.-Cambr., 1897

Common name: Mexican Redknee Tarantula

Global range: Southwestern Mexico

Maximum size: 6"

Growth rate: Slow

Average life span: 5-10 years (Male) 25-30 years (Female)

Behavior: This tarantula is usually docile and slow moving, but some individuals are prone to kicking urticating hair when disturbed.

Setup: This species does well with temps of 70-85F and a humidity of 50-60%. This species is a ground dweller and a 10 gallon tank is ideal for an adult specimen. A substrate of peat moss or coco fiber that has been wet and allowed to dry before adding the Tarantula at a depth of 3" works well. If you wish to allow your B.smithi to burrow, use a mix of 1 part peat to 3 parts topsoil and increase the soil depth to about 7". If you aren't allowing burrowing, giving the tarantula some sort of hide is strongly advised.

Additional notes: Males of this species have tibial hooks. This is a fairly easy species to breed and is one of the most popular tarantulas in the pet trade.

by Mark Bibby

Grammostola rosea

Scientific Name: Grammostola rosea - Walckenaer, 1837

Common Name: Chilean rose tarantula

Average Leg Span: 5"-6"

Growth Rate: Slow

The Chilean Rose tarantula has a body size of about 2-3 inches. They are usually a brownish gray color dusted with pink. The females are pretty stocky and not as brightly colored as the adult males.

They are kept in quite dry conditions. Garden soil, without chemicals, of course or coco-fiber are very good choices for the substrate. As with all tarantulas, you need to keep a water source in with them.

The Chilean Rose tarantula is currently the most widely sold tarantula in the United States. They are imported in such numbers that they are very inexpensive. They also tend to be forgiving of keeping conditions. For these reasons they are a good beginners tarantula. As with all other living things, they can and will have their own behavior patterns. Some may be handled easily, while others tend to be a little more 'grumpy'.

Grammastola rosea is, as its' common name implies, from Chile. This species of tarantula is terrestrial. They may wander around at night and seek refuge before dawn. Many others believe that they maintain a burrow. In captivity they don't generally construct a burrow until they are going to lay eggs. The males of this species, upon maturity are strikingly pink on their carapace. The males are slender and have longer legs than the female. They also have tibial spurs on their front legs for mating. The females will make an egg sac that contains several hundred eggs.

Pterinochilus Murinus

Scientific Name: Pterinochilus murinus - Pocock 1987

Common Name: Usambara baboon tarantula or "Orange Bitey Thing"

Global Occurrence: Central and Southern Africa

Average Full Grown Size Range: 5" to 6".

Growth Rate: Fast

Common Temperament: Often are notably defensive of their territory and willing to show threat displays and/or strike. Can be particularly fast. Are heavy generally quite heavy webbers and will create web tubes to reside in either arboreal or terrestrial setups. Slings often burrow actively.

Setup: Due to individual specimen variance, an enclosure with both terrestrial and arboreal options will work best. Kept with dry substrate and a water dish available at all times. Temperatures kept at 70s-80s work well.

Additional Notes: Males do have tibial hooks, and slings can be kept communally quite successfully.

by Bryn Williams

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