The Best Tarantula Species for Beginners

So, you want to buy a tarantula.

When I went searching for my first tarantula back in the late ’90s, the only information I could find on them was in exotic pet magazines and outdated books. Although there was plenty of information to be found on common species like G. rosea and B. smithi, many of the species I encountered at shows, some labeled with nonsensical common names, were enigmas. Back then, if you saw something that looked “cool”, you bought it with little concern to whether or not the species might be a bit too much for someone new to the hobby to handle. I’m sure several folks went home with animals that they they were ill-equipped to  care for (or that they became terrified of).

Today with internet, any information you need is just a mouse click away. With hundreds of websites, blogs, and forums devoted to tarantula keeping, it is much easier for the novice keeper to interact with other enthusiasts and access current information on the hobby. Nowadays, there is no excuse for ignorance, and it is the responsibility of the newbie to do his or her homework BEFORE acquiring a new animal.

Perhaps the first question one new to tarantulas should be asking is, “What is a good beginner tarantula species for me to start with?” There are a staggering number of species currently available in the hobby, and many of them have dispositions or husbandry requirements that render them unsuitable to novice keepers. Conversely, there are several species that make for excellent “gateway” pets into this addictive hobby.

To create the following list, I first drew from my own experience and observations. I then reviewed several forum threads on good beginner Ts from three different message boards and recorded the species that came up the most. Species have been selected on temperament, ease of husbandry and care, and cost and availability. There are certainly other species that would make good pets for the first-timer. If you feel that I missed your favorite, feel free to comment.

Now…onto the list.

1. Brachypelma albopilosum

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo by Kelly Swift from Swift’s Invertebrates, and amazing tarantula dealer.

Whenever one asks on the boards what the best beginner T is, the B. albopilosum is mentioned early and often. A gentle terrestrial with a medium growth rate, the “Honduran Curly Hair” is renowned for its calm disposition and ease of care. Reports of hair-kicking or threat postures are almost non-existent, and many report handling this T frequently and without incident. This species is very readily available in the hobby, with slings often given as freebies, so this is not an expensive species to acquire. Plus, their little curly hairs just make them so darned cute (they are always having a bad hair day).

Check out my B. albopilosum in the video below!

I keep my little guy with mostly dry substrate and moisten one corner. It is kept at room temps (70º to 84º) and it has been growing at a slow pace. Slings like to dig, so be sure to give them a few inches of substrate when they are smaller. Adults will normally remain out in the open, but a hide should be provided.

2. Euathlus sp. red

Euathlus sp. red

Euathlus sp. red

This dwarf species is the only one I can confidently refer to as “adorable”. Maxing out at about 3.5-3.75″, the Euathlus sp red is a calm, gentle, inquisitive species and a wonderful beginner T. Although I don’t normally handle my animals, this is a species I find myself making an exception for. Whenever I open their enclosures for maintenance, these curious little guys will calmly climb out of their cages and into my hand. Many times, they will curl up next to my thumb and just sit there. For one looking to ease into the hobby, there is no better ambassador. This is the tarantula I introduce to folks who have a fear of the animal.

So cute.

Husbandry for these little guys is easy. Dry substrate with a water bowl is sufficient; I overflow the bowl a bit, and I’ve observed that they will sometimes stand over the moist patch. They do fine at room temperature (my temps range from 70º to 84º throughout the year). I supply hides, but my girls rarely use them.

See this little gal in action in the video below!

Things to consider: If there is a downside to this species, it can be its propensity to fast during the cooler months. For someone new to the hobby, this could be cause for stress. Also, as slings they are VERY small. Finally, with Chili closing its borders to exporting tarantulas, the wild caught young adults that used to be readily available on the market will be drying up. As not many folks are breeding these in the US, the Euathlus sp. red is becoming very difficult to come by.

3. Eupalaestrus campestratus

E.-camp

Photo by Anastasia Haroldson from Net-Bug, a wonderful vendor.

Long overdue on this list, the E. campestratus (or “Pink zebra beauty”) has long been sought after by hobbyist for its pretty appearance and its consistently gentle temperament. Folks who keep this species gush about about its laid back personality and willingness to be handled. In researching this animal, I couldn’t find a single incident of one biting or kicking hair (although, they are certainly capable of both).

Like the other species on this list, the care for E. campestratus is quite elementary. As this species endures temps in the mid 60s in the wild, it’s a wonderful “room temperature” specimen. It should be provided with a terrestrial enclosure with mostly dry substrate. As this species does come from an area where it rains heavily for part of the year, a water dish should be provided for a bit of extra humidity. That being said, the E. campestratus is a very hardy and would be fine in most conditions.

Things to consider:  This is another slow growing species, so a sling is likely to take quite some time to mature. Also, these haven’t been as readily available in the hobby lately, making it a bit difficult to find one.

4. Grammostola pulchra

Photo from Wikipedia (Unfortunately, my juvenile isn't showing it's colors yet!)

Photo from Wikipedia (Unfortunately, my juvenile isn’t showing it’s colors yet!)

Sometimes referred to as “The Black Lab of Tarantulas”, the G. pulchra is a jet black gentle giant. Reaching sizes of 8″, this heavy-bodied T is recognized for its very calm nature and is usually a species that is reluctant to flick hair and tolerates handling well. A very slow growing species, females can live for decades while even the males can make it to 8 years. This means that if you purchase one as a sling, you will enjoy many years with this animal regardless of the sex.

Like the previous species mentioned, this species does well on dry substrate with a water dish. I like to keep one corner of the enclosure a bit damp. Slings will dig, so provide them with several inches of sub to allow for burrowing. Older specimens should be provided with a hide. I keep this species between 68º and 80º.

Check out my G. pulchra below!

Things to consider: Slings of this species can be a little more on the expensive side, with $40-$50 being common. It is also a very slow grower, so if you buy a sling, it will be quite a few years before this T hits its adult size. Adult specimens are also very expensive, with large females fetching $200 or more.

5. Brachypelma Smithi

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4″ B. smithi female

One of the most gorgeous and long-lived species (at least in my opinion) is also one of the best starter tarantulas. With its fiery red/yellow/orange leg markings set against the dark brown/black base color, this is one awesome showcase animal. The B. smithi is also known to mature into a calm, even-tempered adult, which makes it a wonderful starter tarantula. With an estimated life-expectancy of 40-plus years for females, you will also have decades with your new pet.

Again, there are no special care requirements with this species. An enclosure with more floor space than height, dry substrate, a water dish, and a hide will suffice. Slings will want to burrow, so provide them with a few inches of sub to tunnel in. I keep mine at temps between 68º and 84º, and there are no humidity requirements.

Check out my girl in the video below!

Things to consider: Younger B. smithi can be skittish, kicking hair or even threatening to bite when disturbed. Most will outgrow this behavior. As this is a long-living species, adult females can be quite pricey.

6. Grammostola pulchripes

Photo copyright Snakecollector.

Photo copyright Snakecollector.

The G. pulchripes or “Chaco Golden Knee” is a beautiful terrestrial species that can reach an impressive size of 8″. Like other Grammostolas, this one is a slow grower, taking many years to reach maturity. However, the G. pulchripes is generally recognized as having a very calm disposition, which makes it a wonderful candidate as a first tarantula. Many point to this species as one of the ones most tolerable of handling. And, for those looking for a display T, this golden-striped beauty loves to sit out in the open, meaning you’ll always see your new pet. Even better, the G. pulchripes is readily available, and slings can be procured for as little as $10.

Check out my G. pulchripes in the video below!

As slings, these guys are little bulldozers, constantly digging an rearranging their substrate. Be sure to give slings plenty of mostly dry substrate in which to play. I keep mine in containers allowing for about 4″ of sub, and I moisten down one corner. Adults should be kept in an enclosure allowing for more floor space than height with a water dish and hide provided. These guys can be kept at room temps (I keep mine between 70º and 84º) and there are no specific humidity requirements.

Things to consider: Although this T has a reputation for tolerating handling, individuals may vary in temperament. This is also a large T, so a bite could be quite painful and could cause mechanical damage. Always exercise caution if handling and make the safety of your animal your first priority.

7. Grammostola rosea/porteri

Notice the coloration on the carapace.

Notice the coloration on the carapace.

For years, the G. rosea (or “Rosie”, as it’s often referred to) was the most recommended beginner species. This readily available, inexpensive tarantula is recognized for its extreme hardiness and a supposedly tractable disposition. Although other species have emerged over the years that have proven to be better first Ts, the G. rosea shouldn’t be overlooked. For someone looking to get their first T, this slow-growing, long-living species can be a great choice. With the porteri reaching a max size of about 6″, it is a fairly good sized display T as well. G. rosea/porteri slings can usually be purchased for under $10, and adult females can be acquired for around $30, making this species VERY affordable.

The G. rosea/porteri are very simple to care for. Supply them with dry substrate, a hide, and a water dish. I do NOT moisten overflow the dish as this species abhors wet sub. This species will tolerate temps in the mid-60s, so for folks with cooler home temps, this species could be ideal.

Check out my G. porteri female below!

Things to consider: Despite its rep for being a “handling friendly” spider, this species can be quite unpredictable in temperament. Many keepers admit to having “Psycho Rosies” that can be quite defensive and bitey. The G. porteri is also known to fast for long periods of time, which can be quite disconcerting for new keepers. Finally, this species is the quintessential “Pet Rock”, spending the majority of its time sitting in one spot.

8. Euathlus parvulus

E.-parvulus

The E. parvulus or “Chilean gold burst” is a wonderful beginner species that is often overlooked by new hobbyists. This medium-sized tarantula (females get about 4-4.5″ or so) has a slow growth rate, meaning it’ll be with you for a long time. This is a docile species that can be a bit skittish, but is generally calm overall. Mine has never flicked a hair or given me a threat posture, and it usually just sits calmly when I perform maintenance. The E. parvulus also a bit more active than some of the “pet rock” species, although it will spend much of its time just sitting out in the open.

Care is simple: a standard terrestrial set-up with dry substrate, a cork bark hide, and a water dish is all they will need to thrive. Mine does well in temperatures 70-76 in the winter and 74-80 in the summer time, but adults would be perfectly comfortable in temps down to the mid-60s. For folks with cooler home temps in the winter, this would be a tarantula you could keep without needing supplementary heat. This species likes it dry, so their is no need to moisten the substrate or spray the enclosure. Dry substrate with a water dish is all it will need.

My Euathlus is a good eater and has only refused food before a molt. Currently, she gets one large (or two if they are a bit smaller) crickets once a week or so. As a slow-growing species, this one doesn’t need a ton of food to be happy and healthy.

Check out my E. parvulus in the video below!

I’ve heard this species referred to as “just another big brown spider”, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. From its dark metallic green carapace to the red patch on its abdomen, this is a beautiful little tarantula. Although it may appear brown at first glance, sunlight (or a flashlight) reveals a myriad of striking colors. Plus, it’s got some adorable raised patches of hairs on it’s abdomen that are quite unique.

Things to consider: With Chili banning the export of its tarantulas, this species might become more difficult to come by in the future. Many of the specimens being sold were wild caught sub-adults and adults, so larger specimens will most likely become scarce.

*Note: The following species are still beginner level due to cost and ease of husbandry, but their behaviors can make them a just a little trickier than the those of the tarantulas named earlier. Also, I would not endorse attempting to hold any of these next two.

9. Chromatapelma cyaneopubescens

GBB-two

Many first time keepers are immediately enticed by some of the more colorful species available on the market. Unfortunately, if they do their research, they will soon discover that the P. metallica, M. balfouri, and H. lividum are advanced Ts that would normally prove overwhelming for the new keeper. Enter C. cyaneopubescens, or the GBB. This stunning species sports amazing colors, and its easy husbandry makes it a wonderful entry-level tarantula. GBBs are voracious eaters, only refusing food when they are in premolt, and they have a reasonably fast growth rate, which is great for the impatient keeper. They are also prolific webbers, making for a beautiful display animal.

See my girl in action in the husbandry video below!

This is a species that likes it dry. For slings, I keep one corner a little damp and use and eye dropper to put a little drinking water on the webbing. If supplied with a little extra height and something to anchor to, this species will produce copious amounts of webbing. I keep this species between 70º to 84º; it has no specific humidity requirements. They eat like machines, often snatching prey before it hits the ground, so keep them well fed.

Things to consider: I have seen this species described as an “intermediate” level tarantula due to its speed and skittishness. That said, this was one of the first tarantulas I acquired, and I had no problems with it. As long as the keeper is respectful of its speed, there should be little issue. This might be one you get as a sling so that you can get used to the animal and its personality as it grows.

10. Lasiodora parahybana

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4″ L. parahybana female. This specimen doesn’t sport its darker adult coloration yet.

Bigger is always better…that can often be the mantra of someone new to the hobby. Many keepers become fascinated with large tarantulas after learning some of these beasts get to 9″ + in size. Unfortunately, some of the larger genera like Pamphobeteus and Theraphosa have husbandry requirements and temperaments that can make them too advanced for many keepers. However, for those new to the hobby who are looking for something BIG, the L. parahybana is the perfect choice. This large terrestrial has been said to reach sizes of 10″, although 8″ is probably more common. Although slings and juveniles can be a bit skittish, flicking hair when disturbed, most adults are calmer and make great display Ts.

Check out two of my LPs in the husbandry video below!

Husbandry is simple: provide this species with more floor space than height, and keep the substrate on the dry side. I do moisten approximately 1/3 of the sub and allow it to dry out in between. A water bowl with fresh water should be provided at all times, as should a hide (although my larger specimen never uses hers). They are tolerant of lower temps, but this is a species that will grow like a weed if kept a little warmer. Mine are kept between 70º to 84º. Although there are no stringent humidity requirements, mine seem to appreciate a moist area. Smaller slings like to burrow, so give them an enclosure that allows for a few inches of substrate.

Things to consider: This is a large species, and should be treated with care. A bite from this animal could do serious mechanical damage. Also, as this spider can get very large, space may be an issue as it reaches adulthood. Be prepared to procure larger housing.

Did I miss one?

There are obviously many other species out there that can make for good beginner pets. Do you think I missed an obvious one? Let me know in the comments section, and perhaps I’ll add it to the list.

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140 thoughts on “The Best Tarantula Species for Beginners

  1. Great list! You gave some options i never heard of. Still waiting to get my first T. I plan to go hold a T for the first time at a pet store I found. Still pretty nervous about it since I am terrified of spiders. But I really have an interest in Ts and willing to try anyway.

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    • Hi, Jasmine!

      Thanks so much! I’ve seen this topic come up on the forums quite a bit (and I own all the popular beginner T species), so I figured it might help some folks out!

      Best of luck holding the T…I’m sure it will go fine. Let me know how it goes! 🙂

      T

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    • Oh, man…those poor, unsuspecting folks. I was actually recently at a horror convention and there was a guy selling tarantulas at a booth. He tried to talk a 13-year-old kid into buying a juvenile OBT, saying it would be a good first T because of the easy husbandry. I actually pulled the kid aside and tried to warn him that just because they were tough as nails did NOT make them good beginner Ts! The kid ended up with a G. rosea, thank God!

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  2. Hi!
    At which age do a b smithi sling stop burrow?, currently i have one and it has ben in his burrow for a while now, eating regulary and recently it molted. Now it’s 3cm. i just wonder cuse i want to know wehn i can start see him/her walking around in its enclosure. Happy easter!

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    • Hi, Roy… a Happy Easter to you as well!

      Unfortunately, there is really no set age or size that they will stop burrowing at. Mine was about 8 cm in leg span before she FINALLY started staying out in the open (she’s always out now). I’ve heard others say that theirs became a bit more bold at around 7 cm in diagonal leg span. In the wild, they are much more vulnerable to predators when slings and juveniles, so staying hidden behooves them.

      I love my B. smithi, but it’s definitely a species that demands some patience. I just try to think that the slow growth also means I’ll probably have mine for another 30 years! 🙂

      All the best!

      Tom

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  3. You forgot Metallic pink toe, and Versicolor. They are extremely well mannered. I had Versicolors and pink toes for 5-7! I love their colour changes!

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    • Hello there!

      I actually gave a lot of thought to including a member of the avicularia genus in this list. I currently keep both a versicolor and metallica, and I love them. I also got a versicolor sling as my fifth tarantula, and so far, so good.

      However, many folks have a difficult time keeping avicularia, and there seem to be more unexplained deaths of avicularia species than almost any other. Some keepers even refer to “sudden avic death syndrome”, a coined name to account for the number of avicularia species that just suddenly die for no apparent reason.

      Personally, I think that they can make fantastic pet tarantulas, and I do think that their calm temperaments render them appropriate for a beginner. That said, I worry that someone keeping Ts for the first time could experience an untimely loss.

      Tom

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  4. I have arachnophobia, but for some reason I have the desire of owning my own tarantula. (weird?) All I’ve been thinking about these past 4 weeks was about this. I think I’m going to buy one in the future, but have a couple questions. Can their staple diet be dubia roaches? I breed them like crazy because I own some reptiles and was just curious. Also, how often do you feed them?

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    • Not weird at all! I had arachnophobia for most of my life, and I acquired my first tarantula 18 years ago partially because I hoped to get over it (90+ spiders later, I think that I’m finally over the fear).

      Their staple diet CAN be dubias, but be aware that some species just never seem to cotton to roaches. Several of my big eaters will take dubias no problem, but some of my more finicky species will ignore them. I have a roach colony myself, and it comes in VERY handy with those Ts that will take them.

      As for frequency, it varies by species and age/size. My slings of any species I feed at least two or three times a week. At this stage in their life cycle, tarantulas are extra fragile, and the faster I can get them out of this stage the better.

      As juveniles, I feed them once or twice a week, and usually something of decent size.

      As adults, it comes down to the species. My Phormictopus, Pamphobeteus, Theraphosa, and to some degree, my Poecilotheria species are all great eaters, and I will feed them several crickets or a couple larger dubia a week. My G. porteri (rose hair) I only feed about five crickets a month.

      For most adult species, a 1-1.5″ dubia a week would be fine.

      I hope that helps!

      Tom

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      • IM SO EXCITED! I just convinced my mother to allow me to get a tarantula. (no idea how she said yes, she hates them) I’m really interested in buying a Euathlus sp. red. (female) Do you know what a good price range would be and where I can possibly find them? Also you’ve mentioned that they’re somewhat finicky eaters so was just curious whether they can gobble down dubias or not. Thank you

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      • Hi, Stephen!

        That’s awesome news! My mother actually wouldn’t let me have a tarantula in the house, so that was one of the first animals I acquired upon moving out. 🙂

        A female will run anywhere from $65 to $85. I purchased my females from Jamie’s Tarantulas, and she seems to put a couple up for sale each year. I’ve not seen females anywhere else except on the classified of Arachnoboards.

        I have three females, and only one has readily fed on dubia roaches. The others seemed a bit too finicky to take them.

        I hope that helps!

        Tom

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  5. One curious question. I can’t seem to find a Euathlus species red. However, I found a couple sites where people are selling Euathlus species green and blue. Between those two, what would you consider buying for a beginner? Are either of them as docile as a species red?

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    • Hi, Stephen.

      If I’m not mistaken, Euathlus sp. green/blue are very similar, and might be color variations of the same species (although, that might be open to debate). I don’t keep either of these, but it is my understanding that Euathlus sp. blues/greens are a bit more skittish than reds (although I would not call them defensive). This would also likely make for a good beginner, but they are a bit more rare, and you might be better off going with a B. albopilosum instead.

      Reds (and yellows, for that matter) are just so generally docile and “curious” that they stand out.

      Hope that helps!

      Tom

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  6. Hi! I was just browsing through this page and love the info! I used to have 2 huge rosehair tarantula and after going to an exotic pet store was handed a sickly little desert tarantula. (He sadly passed away due to being malnourished and dehydrated) I dont own any due to my living arrangements, but im helping a friend out for getting her first spider soon. She really interested in the
    “Chromatapelma cyaneopubescens”
    I had her read tge information about it and shes dead set. Any help I can give her?

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    • Hello, Crystal!

      My oldest tarantula is a rosehair; I know that some find this spider boring, but I love the species.

      And so sorry to hear about the desert tarantula; it drives me nuts how few pet stores actually take good care of tarantulas. Ugh.

      C. cyaneiopubescens (or the GBB) can be a great beginner species due to it’s hardiness, ease of care, and growth rate. However, they are quick little devils that will bolt or kick hairs when disturbed. As long as she is cautious, she should be fine.

      Do you know what size she is looking at? I kept my slings on dry coco fiber with a piece of cork bark. Once a week, I would use a water dropper to drip a bit of water on their web for drinking. My sub-adults are kept bone dry with a water dish. As slings, I fed them three times a week. the adults eat twice a week, one large cricket each.

      The following post details how I’ve kept mine (not sure if you saw it).
      https://tomsbigspiders.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/c-cyaneopubescens-husbandry-gbb/

      Hope that helps!

      Tom

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      • Hi tom. I recommend her to “ken the bug guy” on Facebook. ( its easy to reach me there to) but on his page she is looking at the 75″ ones I believe, or adult

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      • Hi, Crystal!

        Ken’s great to order from. I started with .75″ slings, and they were quite hardy. If she starts at that size, she’ll also be able to get used to the speed and temperament as it grows.

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      • The only thing is tho, I dont think shes doing the research on it all the way. Shes so excited but I couldn’t stress enough that spiders of this size are not like cats or dogs, they bite and it hurts! Lol ( my big Rosie was aggressive)

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      • Oh, dear…I definitely get what you are saying. I get a lot of folks who contact me because they get something, then realize that they didn’t do the research. You are right in that one bad day, and you could easily have a handful of hairs, a bit, or an escape.

        Well, it definitely sounds like you know what you’re talking about and know enough to do the research, which is awesome. Perhaps with your guidance and support, she can avoid an accident.

        She doesn’t plan on holding it, does she. This is strictly a hands-off species.

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      • Her parents said it stays strictly in its cage, ( I get a gut feeling sges going to try handling it at least once) if your on Facebook maybe you could give her some tips?

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      • I do have Facebook, I just don’t use it a heck of a lot. I could definitely chat with her, though. I’m not an advocate of handling to begin with; there is just SO much that can go wrong. But of the species I’d handle, the GBB definitely isn’t one of them.

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      • Im trying to lean her more tword “the black lab of spiders” Grammostola aka gentle giants. This way she gets to handle it and not be worried about getting hair flicked at her or it running off. (Shes unsure about it)

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      • That would be the G. pulchra, or “Brazilian Black”. This is a fantastic beginner species, as they grow to be quite docile. When full grown, they rarely run, bite, or kick hairs.

        Why does she want a C. cyaneopubescens? Is it for the colors?

        T

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  7. Hi
    I’ve been searching for Euathlus Sp Red for a while and it seems to be impossible.. UGH. Do you suggest any tarantula that i would be able to handle like maybe once a month? I don’t want to disturb it, but I just want a tarantula that would be slow-moving, docile in nature. I wanna be able to show my friends that I’m fearless and can handle a tarantula.

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    • Hi, Stephen!

      Jamie’s Tarantulas usually posts one or two females for sale a year (she had two up earlier this year). However, I just did a search at some of the dealers I buy from, and no one seems to have them at the moment.

      Before you handle, please keep in mind that most serious and experienced keepers do NOT handle their animals…even the “tame” ones. There is just too much of a risk for the animal and the keeper. And you’d be amazed at how many folks want to hold to impress their friends. Heck, I tried to handle my first T because my friends kept asking if I ever held her (and it nearly resulted in a bite).

      If you have a moment, please take a moment to read the blog below, as I tried to lay out the pros and cons of it.

      https://tomsbigspiders.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/handling-tarantulas-some-things-to-consider/

      Now, if you’re still planning to handle, your best bet would be a B. albopilosum (Honduran curly hair). These are number one on most beginner lists, and many folks describe a tarantula that is very calm, predictable, and open to handling. They are also readily available, and juvenile/young adult females are relatively inexpensive.

      I hope that helps!

      Tom

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  8. Great post and very informative, thanks! I have been falling in love with these critters for sometime now but my daughter is absolutely fascinated by them and any other critter. She’s only 4 so I don’t feel right now is the best time to acquire one for her. Do you have any advice on children owning a beginner breed? She would be supervised and is already very gentle with cicadas and other insects she catches and tries to allow in the house but I do not want to be ignorant to any aspect of tarantula ownership that could potentially out anyone, including the T, in harms way. Thanks so much!

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    • Thanks so much for the kind words; I’m glad you found this useful!

      That is fantastic that your daughter is showing an interest at that age. That’ll hopefully be one more girl to grow up thinking spiders as fascinating (and one less person who wants to squish them on sight!).

      Personally, I have four kids, three of whom are younger. About a year and a half ago, I bought my then eight-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son Euathlus sp. reds for them to keep and call their own. They’re able to feed an perform maintenance with their Ts, but only under my close supervision. They are also not kept in their bedrooms, but instead have a spot in my tarantula room. I just know how inquisitive kids can be, and I could see them opening the cage to show friends, or the Ts being a casualty of one of their stuffed animal wars. 🙂

      I think that if the parent is there to supervise at all times, to the rules, and to educate, then there is nothing wrong with a child keeping one of the beginner species. I know even my four-year-old shows a lot of interest in them, and he is just fascinated when I feed them.

      The one thing I would totally keep off limits, at least at the younger ages, is handling. Although many folks handle, and many of the species I list have a reputation for being docile, you still have to keep in mind that these are wild animals. A bite from one of these species would be quite painful and traumatic for a child (I’ve seen them attack prey with those fangs, and I would NOT like that to be my finger!).

      So, if you do go this route, I think that supervision and education would be the key. Many of these species live a long time (I have a G. porteri that’s in it’s 20s that I’ve kept for almost 19 years), so your child will be able to grow up with the animal, Personally, I think exposure to animals at a young age, especially ones so misunderstood, is a great thing if done properly.l

      I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      Tom

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  9. Hi I’ve been thinking about what t. I should get. I want something docile and easy to handle and care for any recommendations?

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    • Hi, Dominic.

      Out of the ones listed above, the only ones I would recommend for handling are the Euathlus sp. red/yellow (Chilean Flame) or the Brachypelma Albopilosum (Honduran Curly Hair). Both of these species have a great reputation for being very docile and tractable as well as easy to care for. Out of the two, the B. albopilosum is usually cheaper and easier to find.

      Tom

      Like

  10. Hello,

    First off, very well written article and very informative.

    I am new to this and never owned a tarantula, and a major arachnophobe. However, spiders/tarantulas fascinate me and my husband just agreed to let me get one. I am not intending to collect more than 1 tarantula and have since narrowed down my choices to either the G. Pulchra and the L. Itabunae. I like the fact that the GP is a “gentle giant” but I am seriously drawn to the LI for the beautiful metallic blue colors. From what I’ve read, these 2 will grow to about the same size in adulthood.

    What do you think, is one better than the other, or should I convince my husband to get 2 of these?

    Also, I’ve been having a hard time trying to find them for sale online. I prefer a female one if I can only have one, but don’t mind 1 female 1 male or 2 males if I can have two. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Like

    • Hi, Caroline.

      Thanks so much for the kind words!

      I actually acquired my first tarantula, a G. rosea female, about 19 years ago in an attempt to get over my arachnophobia. So, I understand exactly where you are coming from.

      Out of the two species you’re looking at, the G. pulchra is definitely the better one for beginners. Personally speaking, my L. itabunae is one of my favorite tarantulas, and I’d love to see more of these in collections (especially considering it’s so much prettier than its more popular cousin, the L. lasiodora). Mine is a fantastic eater and is always out in the open for easy viewing. The care for these guys is also quite simple.

      That said, mine is quite fast and has a wonderful feeding response. It is also quite large and intimidating. When I open the enclosure to feed her, she will often move right to the breach. For someone who is still a bit of an arachnophobe, this large, bold T could be a bit overwhelming.

      That’s not to say that you could do it, but that if I was arachnophobic like I was 19 years ago and I had one of these, it would have scared the heck out of me. Just something to think about.

      The G. pulchra, on the other hand, can be skittish as slings and juveniles, but usually become much calmer as they mature. Like you said, both are larger species, with 7-8″ possible. My G. pulchra juvenile generally just sits there, and if it bolts, it runs AWAY from me, not toward me.

      Personally, it will come down to whatever you feel comfortable with. If you don’t get a full-grown adult, then you have to consider that there will likely be rehousings in your future. Out of the two species, the G. pulchra will likely be the easier to rehouse, too.

      Now, that being said, if you were to procure either of these as slings or juveniles, you would be able to become more comfortable with them as you watched them grow. You could always get a G. pulchra young adult and an L. itabunae sling. That way, by the time the LI got large, you would already have some experience with a larger, more docile T.

      You will find that the L. itabunaes are VERY difficult to come by, at least in the United States. I’ve been trying to find more, and I haven’t found a single person selling them. I purchased mine from Ken the Bug Guy about a year and a half ago, and he was the last dealer I saw that had them for sale. That might make your decision much easier.

      And, if you DO find someone selling them PLEASE let me know! I have a female, and now I’m on the hunt for males!

      Because G. pulchra take so long to grow, females can be expensive and quite difficult to find as well. Are you in the US? If so, I’ll keep my eyes open for one.

      Again, my personal opinion would be that a pulchra would be the better tarantula ambassador to someone who has fear of arachnids. That’s not to say that you wouldn’t be able to handle an LI, but it’s bolder personality coupled with it’s speed and size could be a bit overwhelming to someone not used to dealing with these guys.

      If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

      Oh! And we ALL say we’re only going to start with one. 🙂

      Tom

      Like

      • Hi Tom,
        Thanks so much for your response. I will take your advice and start on G. Pulchra. I’m hoping having the GP for a while, will convince my husband to get another one, and this one will be an LI. Now I’ve been scouring Jamie’s Tarantula for the past few weeks and I haven’t been able to find a GP. I was only able to find one at Stamps Tarantula and they wanted an exorbitant amount for it. My budget is no more than 40-50 and I don’t mind sling/juvenile so I can care for it and watch it grow. If you come across one, where it’s priced reasonably with very good shipping rates, such as Jamie, please feel free to let me know.
        I will also continue to browse on a regular basis as well, so if I come across an LI, I’ll be sure to let you know! 🙂
        Thanks!
        Caroline

        Like

      • Hi, Caroline.

        No problem … so glad I could help!

        Yeah, I forgot to mention that even the G. pulchra slings can be a bit pricey. These little guys are quite in demand (and I’m guessing, difficult to breed in the US) so the slings are usually around $40.

        As luck would have it, Paul at Pet Center USA has some 1″ slings for sale for $40, which is not bad at all (Stamps had .5″ for $40). He does offer a priority shipping option for $16, but it should be mentioned that there is no LAG (live animal guarantee on it). That said, I know of plenty of folks who have used this option without issue. I would just check the weather in your area to make sure that it’s not too hot to ship. http://petcenter.info/petcenterstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=801

        Paul is every bit as nice and helpful as Jamie, so you could also ask his advice. He also packs VERY well, so I’d be willing to chance it. This shipping option is also the same one Jamie uses (priority). Anyhow, just a thought. I’ll keep my eyes open at other vendors as well.

        And thanks for keeping an eye open for those LIs!

        All the best!

        Tom

        Like

      • I forgot to let you know that yes I am in the US, in Ohio. It’s so hard to find an actual store that actually sells tarantulas here.

        Like

      • Okay, awesome! I had this one person asking about where to buy Ts before, and I wrote this long response telling them all the vendors I use. Unfortunately, she was in the UK, so my links were pretty useless!

        I’m in Connecticut, and it’s illegal for pet stores and vendors to sell them here. I therefore have to buy mine online or drive up to Massachusetts.

        Like

  11. Purple Pink Toe Tarantula
    Avicularia purpurea

    I’m thinking about getting a T. and I think this one is awesome looking I really like her colors. Is there anything you can tell me about them? This would be my first one and I’m excited to learn all about them!

    Like

    • Hi, Melissa!

      Full disclosure: I do not personally own an A. purpurea. However, I do keep two species of Avicularia (versicolor and metallica), and I can give you some information that is definitely applicable to the purpurea. Purple is my favorite color, so it will only be a matter of time before I get one of these guys. 🙂

      This is an arboreal species, so the height of the enclosure is always going to be more important than floor space. You’ll want to give them a fake plant or piece of flat cork bark as an anchor for their webbing. They will usually construct a funnel-like web, which the little guys will hide in. Usually, the more things you give them to anchor to, the more they will web.

      They should be kept on slightly moist substrate, and I usually use an eye dropper to add a bit of water to the web for slings and adults to drink twice a week or so. After .5″ or so, I’ll also include a small bottle cap as a water dish for slings (adults get a large dish). They’re good eaters and can be fed two or three times a week as slings.

      Purpurea is one of the smaller Avicularia species, reaching about 4.5-5″ total. Although they look black normally, light reveals an iridescent purple coloration.

      Now, the reason I didn’t include any Avicularia species in my best beginner list is not because of temperament. Most of these guys are non-aggressive, if a bit skittish, and don’t tend to bolt as much as other arboreal species. Temperament-wise, these SHOULD be good beginner species.

      The CARE of these guys, however, can prove more difficult. As a whole, this genus is much less forgiving to husbandry mistakes, and many keepers report sudden, unexplained Avicularia deaths (coined “Sudden Avic Death Syndrome). Most now believe that these deaths can be attributed to overly-moist, stuffy enclosures. For years, care sheets said that these species needed to be kept on wet substrate and misted constantly. This led to stuffy, stale environments that likely killed many Ts.

      More recently, keepers are discovering that good cross-ventilation (holes all around the SIDES of the enclosure to allow air flow) and a water dish for humidity is fine. If you want to dampen a corner of the substrate, using an eye dropper is perfect. Or, even better, add a bit to their web (they can drink right off of that). Misting really only spooks the tarantula, and the moisture evaporates quickly.

      Having spoken to some folks who raise Avicularia species when I was researching A. purpurea, I was told that these are even more “sensitive” than other members of this genus. You want to give that some thought before committing to this species, as you don’t want your new pet’s health to be a cause of stress. If you decided to try one of these, you may want to search for juvenile, as slings are particularly vulnerable to husbandry issues.

      One thing you want to be very careful with when just getting into the hobby is that you don’t just go for pretty ones. Many of the most colorful species are not particularly suitable for someone who doesn’t have some experience yet. That’s not to say that you can’t handle an A. purpurea, but that you want to be careful not to make appearance your main criteria for species selection early on. Unfortunately, some of the most beautiful species come with speed, attitude, potent venom, and difficult husbandry. Just continue to do your homework, and you should be fine. 🙂

      Have you looked at Avicularia versicolor at all?

      I do hope that helps! Please feel free to follow up with any other questions.

      All the best,

      Tom

      Like

  12. I think you forgot the Pink Zebra Beauty (eupalastrus campestratus) which i saw it on the other website as one of the most docile …I’m a beginner ,I’d like to get a very docile one for handling ..Which one you think is better for handling the curly hair or the zebra beauty??Also which one is more friendly males or females?(i know the females live much longer but I wonder which sex is more calm and docile?) please let me know..

    Like

    • Hi, Monique.

      Excellent one!

      It’s funny, because I’ve been planning on updating this list with a couple species, and e. campestratus was the top one I was looking to add. I was wondering if anyone would mention this species before I got to it. 🙂 I’ve been trying to get one so that I could offer some firsthand experience, but it’s been tough to find one. Looks like it’s time for that update!

      I would say that either of those species would work for handling. Both have great reputations for being docile and never biting or flicking hairs. From experience, I’ve found that B. albopilosums are a bit easier to come by, both as slings and juveniles. I’ve even seen some young adult females offered for sale. It would be a tossup, and would likely come down to which’s appearance you like more, or which one you can find for sale.

      As for which sex might be friendlier, earlier on, I don’t think it would make a bit of difference. As slings, juvies, and young adults, I’ve never observed any behavioral differences between the sexes. However, once males mature, they spend the last days of their lives wandering around looking for a female with which to mate. This would mean in your final months with your pet, it would spend the majority of the time walking around its cage trying to find a female. This would make it less than ideal for handling, as it’s just going to antsy and trying to get away. At this point, they pretty must just waste away and die, too … you probably don’t want to watch an animal you’ve held and interacted with go through that.

      I would definitely find a nice juvenile female of either species and have some time to work with it as it grows.

      I hope this helps (look for an update to this list soon… 🙂 )

      Tom

      Like

      • Hi I was wondering if eny one nose about Mexican red rump all it does is runs away all ways attacks me at all times I dont no what to do its my first t so I have no idea please help as I would love to hold it

        Like

      • Hi, Paul.

        How large is your B. vagans (Mexican red rump)?

        Personally, I think the tarantula is sending a very clear message that, at this stage in its life at least, it doesn’t want to be held. Different tarantulas have different personalities, and you’ll find that some will even change temperaments as they grow and mature.

        If the specimen is kicking at you and trying to bite every time you try to handle it, you might want to give it a break for a while. It is obviously stressed and likely won’t tolerate the contact. You also don’t want to get bit! 😉

        If you are intent on handling, you need to be very observant of “body language” and use something like a paint brush to gently touch the back legs of the T to see how it reacts. If it attacks, you don’t want your hand in there. If it remains calm, handling might be possible. However, if this little guy is that feisty, I wouldn’t even attempt it at this point.

        If you haven’t done so already and you have the time, check out this article.

        https://tomsbigspiders.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/handling-tarantulas-some-things-to-consider/

        It explains things a bit more thoroughly.

        Hope that helps!

        Tom

        Like

      • Hi Tom, did you find those E campestratus you were looking for? I got a couple of slings from Brian at arachnidaddiction.com, he has a great selection on his site. You’ve probably already found some, but I thought I would send this just in case. Also, if you happen to see any Euathlus sp. red, shoot me an email.
        Thanks

        Like

      • No, I didn’t…thanks so much for the heads-up! I also haven’t heard of aracnidaddiction.com, so I’m off to check them out. I love discovering new dealers. I take it your transaction went well? I’m definitely keeping an eye out for Euathlus sp. reds and I’ll let you know as soon as I find them!

        Thanks!

        Like

      • I did have a good experience with my order from arachnidaddiction, the spiders came in good shape, and I texted Brian a few times with questions, and he was very responsive and helpful.

        Like

  13. Hi tom and im not really sure its size maybe 5 to 6 inch im not sure if its male female when I first got it as a spiderling I held it 5 times and that was back in February since then I never touched it I was to afraid to get it out its pretty much nearly the size of my hand I just hope it changes in time

    Like

  14. Wicked good post here Tom. I am in the process of buying my very first tarantula and .. I am both scared and excited. This article really helped me on figuring out what species might work out the best for me. What is your favorite species (personally)?

    Like

    • Hi, Amanda!

      Thanks so much!

      Your first? That’s awesome! Do you have any idea what species you’re leaning toward?

      What is my favorite species out of the beginner species? I would have to go with the Brachypelma smithi. The B. smithi was like the poster child of tarantulas back in the day, and the first T I ever saw was a B. smithi. They docile, beautiful, and are thought to be one of the longest living species.

      For the record, my first tarantula was a G. porteri (who I LOVE) and I acquired her 19 years ago. We estimate that she’s about 25 or so now. So, keep in mind that whatever T you buy first might be with you for a long time. 🙂

      Is there any particular part of keeping a T that has you scared?

      Now, if you asked me what my favorite species overall is… 🙂

      Please feel free to let me know if you have any other questions!

      Tom

      Like

  15. Hi good day Tom,

    i really find your page very helpful…thank you for these information
    well, i would just like to ask because my cousin gave me 3 T’s, a chaco golden knee, honduran curly hair and a mexican red pump..now i am new to this one but i have watched my cousin take care of these animals. im just not sure which of the three are docile to handle though but i would really like to have the 3 T’s. i’ve done my research very very much and now i have this urge to really held them on my hand but im not really prepared for that..any suggestions you can give me? any advice would be very much helpful…thanks and godbless…(^__^)

    Dave Andrei

    Like

    • Hi, Dave.

      Thanks you for reading it, and for the kind words

      Out of those three species, the B. albopilosum (Honduran curly hair) would be the best one to attempt holding with. Although individuals may vary, this species has a reputation for being very calm and receptive to handling. If I were to attempt handling with one, I would start there.

      Although the G. pulchripes (Chaco golden knees) has a good reputation for being a good species for handling, there are reports of specimens that do not take to it.

      If you want to try handling (for the record, I don’t handle mine), then you want to test them out to see if they are receptive first. Most use a clean paint brush and try touching one of the back legs. If the tarantula gently moves away from the brush, then it might be open to handling. If it bolts away or turns and tries to slap at or bit the brush, you’re going to want to leave it alone for the time being.

      If you still want to handle, you can place your hand down next to the T and use the brush to carefully guide it onto your hand. You always want to keep them very close to the ground as a fall over a few inches could be deadly.

      There are many handling videos on YouTube if you choose to go this route.

      Also, he is an article about some things you should think about before handling:

      https://tomsbigspiders.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/handling-tarantulas-some-things-to-consider/

      How large are these specimens?

      Tom

      Like

      • Thanks for the response Tom..yup, ive been watching videos in youtube lately to see how to handle each one pd them..i also read yhe article the you posted on the comment section you placed..”Kira” (chaco golden knee) is now around 4″
        “FLuffy” (honduran curly hair) is 3″…same as “Grumpy” (mexican red pump)

        Like

  16. Sorry for the late reply Tom been busy with work and such…i was able to handle my B. albopilosum and G. pulchripes very easily…they just crawl so cutely on my hand…i was having a hard time with my B. vagans it reacts to every slight wind and strong sounds made in nature, a little skittish as well but i was able to handle her just one time. my G. pulchripes hasnt eaten for 2 weeks now..tried feeding her with superworms and red bucks roaches but she ignores it.

    Like

    • No problem! Glad to hear that the handling went well. Just keep an eye on their dispositions after their next molts (spiders will sometimes change “moods” after a molt).

      Do you think that your pulchripes might be in premolt? Is its abdomen plump?

      Tom

      Like

  17. Hello Tom!

    First of all, thanks for the informative and clear article.
    I’m planning to buy my first tarantula. My main aspects are appearance, behaviour and lifetime. I definitely don’t want a plain, simple grey tarantula. I would like to have some nice colourful spider. Maybe behaviour is the most important for me. I would like to handle my tarantula, not so often, just for taking a photo with it, or showing it my friends. So calm, slow, safe would be the best. And lifetime, I would like to keep only one tarantula but for a very long time. Price doesn’t really matter, if the spider suitable for me. I think the best option would be Brachypelma Smithi.

    Please let me know your thoughts and advices about it.

    Pete

    Like

    • Hi, Pete!

      First off, welcome to the hobby! It’s so nice to talk to someone who is obviously doing research before they jump right in (so many will buy first, ask questions later).

      I think that if you’re looking for a colorful beginner species, especially one that might be tolerant to holding, then the I agree that your best bet would be a Brachypelma smithi. They are one of the most beautiful of the “beginner” species, and they are recognized as one of the more docile tarantulas available. With females thought to live up to 40 years, they are also one of the most long-lived species.

      That said, they might not be prone to bite, but B. smithis are known for hair kicking. That can be equally unpleasant. Also, they don’t tend to mellow out until they reach young adulthood. I have a 4.5″ female that definitely wouldn’t attempt to handle. She’s easily spooked, quite skittish, and doesn’t mind kicking some hair. Just know that tractability varies from specimen to specimen (and temperament can often change after a molt).

      If you haven’t checked it out, here is an article about handling and some things to consider. It’s obviously up to the individual, but there are some things you should consider first.

      https://tomsbigspiders.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/handling-tarantulas-some-things-to-consider/

      If you decided to get a sling, just know that these guys are VERY slow growers, so it will be several years before you have a large adult.

      I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Tom

      Like

      • Thank you very much. I’ve already read the article. I couldn’t agree more on the point that tarantulas can tolerate handling but they definitely not enjoy it.

        Well, rather be safe and calm than colourful. Because there is no truly safe tarantula which meets my requirements. So I would like a very safe (which tolerates handling) tarantula with relative long lifetime. Based on these things, maybe Euathlus sp. red would be the right option.

        I’ve read your article about it. (https://tomsbigspiders.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/euathlus-sp-red/)
        I have two questions about it. Firstly, what is their life-expectancy? Secondly, why is it a problem if a tarantula fasting? I don’t really understand.

        Like

      • Awesome! Again, it’s ultimately up to keepers to decide whether they will or wont handle; I just try to make sure people are informed about the risks.

        If tractability is more of a priority than appearance, I would consider either a B. albopilosum, a Euathlus sp. red, or a E. campestratus. All three have stellar reputations for being calm and reluctant to kick hairs. B. albos are currently the easiest to come by and are readily available in the hobby. E. capestratus are a bit more rare and more difficult to find. The Euathlus sp. red used to be everywhere, but apparently many of the specimens being sold were wild caught sub adults. Chile has recently put a stop to the exportation of tarantulas, so now these are VERY difficult to come by. There were batches of captive bred slings available late last year, so I’m hoping that someone will breed these again so we can get more into the market.

        Fasting isn’t so much a problem as it is an annoyance and cause of stress for many. Many are so used to keeping vertebrate pets that require daily feedings, that when they get a spider that doesn’t eat for several weeks or months, it freaks them out. They immediately assume something is wrong with the animal, and it causes stress and anxiety. I get several emails a month by concerned keepers whose tarantulas aren’t eating. There’s often nothing wrong with the animal, but it can still be confusing and worrisome.

        Hope that helps!

        Tom

        Like

  18. HI Tom! 🙂

    Thank you so very much for this fantastic article! I, like many folks here, am working on getting over my arachnophobia, and have recently come to truly love and admire all spiders. Today I was lucky enough to be able to interact with a bird eater. This creature was one of the most beautiful and majestic things I have ever seen! I was nearly brought tears. It was quite a profound experience.
    Anyways…. on to my question 🙂 I’ll be getting my first T this week. I’m trading a few of my Hissing cockroaches with a friend who breeds H Incei (Trinidad Olive) and she will be bringing me a sling on Wednesday! (BTW, I’m ridiculously excited about this). She’s told me a lot about them and has assured me that their ease of care, size, and generally non-aggressive temperament makes them good beginner T’s. She also told me that they are fast and can be flighty, so generally handling is not recommended due to the risk to the little T. I would like to eventually have something I can handle, but as someone just getting their first T, I’m ok with having a pet I primarily observe and feed. (I’ve also read that they web like crazy, and that their humidity should be 60-75%)
    Is there anything more you can tell me about them? Any information you could provide would be great! I am a reptile keeper, so I have lots baby hissers and dubias around for feeding, but I don’t have a problem buying some crickies for this guy if needed.
    Thanks in advance!

    –Rachael

    Like

    • Hi, Rachael!

      Thanks so much for reading and for the kind words!

      I, too, go into this hobby in part to get over life-long arachnophobia, so I understand completely where you’re coming from. Do you know what type of “birdeater” it was? I keep a large 8.5″ male T. stirmi (Burgundy bird eater) and I think they are just amazing.

      As for the H. incei, I think that the speed would be the only thing that would make me reluctant to recommend them to a beginner. Still, their care is quite simple (slightly-moist substrate with some depth to allow burrowing and a water dish when they get a little larger) and they are more skittish than defensive. As long as you’re aware of the speed and take precautions during rehousings, you should be fine.

      I actually kept three H. incei golds, and all three turned out to be males. The males mature VERY fast; mine were mature within a year, and I don’t keep temps in my T room particularly warm. They all ate very well and would normally scramble to their dens when disturbed. And yes, they webbed like crazy, covering the substrate with thick silk. Very cool species overall.

      I fed mine mostly crickets, but you may be fine with baby dubia or hissers. Mine were pretty aggressive eaters, and they only refused meals when in premolt.

      Here is a video of me rehousing one of my H. incei golds so you can see their speed!

      https://tomsbigspiders.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/h-incei-gold-rehousing/

      Do you know what size the sling will be?

      I hope that helps; let me know if you have any other questions!

      Tom

      Like

      • Thank you, Tom 🙂
        I appreciate the video. I’ll definitely take your advice and change housing while using a larger, barrier container! 🙂 What does it mean that a spider “hooked out”?
        As for the bird eater. It was described as a Theraphosid, and it was heavy bodied and jet black. Incredibly gorgeous adult male!
        I don’t know the sling size, but I’ll post a pic or two as soon as I get it home. I’m hoping for a female for the size, coloring, and longevity, but my breeder friend has told me this little one is too small to sex just yet.
        Thank you again for the update. Oh! One more question. I’m used to cleaning cages with my herps and roaches, will I need to “clean” my T’s enclosure a/or periodically take down the webbing, or is it just maintenance with removing undigested bug parts and such?
        I’ll keep you posted on little T. 🙂

        – Rachael

        Like

      • Hi, Rachel!

        When a male “hooks out”, it means that he has had his last molt and is ready to break. The “hook” part comes from the fact that many (not all) male tarantulas grow spurs behind the knees of their first set of walking legs. Honestly, the best thing to look for in an adult male are round, bulb-like organs on the end of their pedipalps called emboli.

        Unfortunately, males that reach maturity rarely eat or molt again and only wander around looking for females to mate with. My three H. incei gold males lasted about 2-3 months after their ultimate molt.

        Hmmmm…I’m dying to know what species that was? I would have thought a stirmi, but jet black? Selenacosmia perhaps? Must have been a gorgeous animal.

        Yeah, they have to put on a bit of size before you can sex them. Still, part of the fun is growing them up and seeing what you have. That’s why a lot of us will buy three slings of the same species…to increase the odds. :0

        I used to have snakes before, too, so I know exactly what you’re saying. For Ts, you only have to remove the food remains (bolus) and wipe any poo off the walls if the should happen. They are actually quite clean and easy to maintain.

        Hope that helps!

        Tom

        Like

      • Thanks again, Tom 🙂
        Man, I really hope I end up with a female, I’d hate to see a creature I’ve grown to love waste away like that 😦

        Thank you for the cage cleaning advice. It’s good to know it will be relatively low maintenance. 🙂

        I looked up a picture of Selencosmia, and it does look like the same spider. I’ll ask its owner as soon as I can, though, to find out for sure. And yes, it was incredibly gorgeous and I still can’t get it out of my mind. It was just amazing.

        Thanks for being such a great resource. I’m sure I’ll be reaching out again with more questions once I bring little T home tomorrow, and I’ll definitely post a picture or two once I get it home and settled.

        –Rachael

        Like

  19. H again, Tom 🙂

    Well, I brought home my H Encei sling tonight, and I have to say I am 100% smitten! What an adorable little thing! Since you asked about size, he/she is just about 1/2 inch long. It is just about too big for the small vial it is in now, so my friend gave me a larger vial to transfer it in to. She didn’t do it herself so that I would have the experience of doing this on my own. So, that’s my plan for tomorrow or Friday. Wish me luck! 🙂

    It’s going to be quite a pretty little guy, as it’s already showing some chevron patterning on the abdomen. 🙂

    My friend has been feeding it one smallish cricket every 5-7 days, would you say that’s a good feeding rate for now?

    Oh, I also wanted to ask you if you, or anyone you know has had experience keeping amblibygids (vinegaroons/whip scorpions). I’d love to get my hands on one. I got to “play” with one belonging to an acquaintance the other day and really fell in love with her.

    Thanks again for being such a wealth of information. And I’m still going to get back to you with a definite species on that bird-eater. 😉

    –Rachael

    Like

    • Hi, Rachael!

      I’m positive I responded to this, but I can’t seem to find my reply! So, my apologies if this is a repeat.

      If you already did the rehousing, I hope it went well! Just give yourself plenty of room to work and don’t panic if it should get out; just keep a catch cup handy!

      For slings that size, I usually feed them every two or three days. Spiderlings are extra fragile, so I try to get them out of that stages as quickly as possible. However, 5-7 will certainly work; it just won’t grow as quickly. And, considering how quickly this species can mature, the lighter feeding schedule might be in your best interest. What temps is it being kept at? Temperature affect growth rate as well.

      Years ago, I was really intent on getting a vinegaroon, but I never ended up getting one. I think that they are AMAZING. If you go to arachnoboards and do a search, I’m sure that you’ll find some great info on them. If I remember correctly, they were not difficult to keep.

      Hope all is well!

      Tom

      Like

      • Hi Tom 🙂

        The rehousing went quite well. He/she seems relatively “chill” from what I’ve been told about the species. I measured again when I rehoused, and she is a little over half an inch. I think I will probably up her feeding schedule to every 3-4 days, just to make sure she is getting enough.

        The ambient temperature in my reptile room stays around 80, so she’s being kept in quite a warm environment.

        Rehousing allowed me to get a better look at her, and she is SO pretty! 🙂 And I’ll check out arachnoboards for Vinegaroon info.

        Have a great night.

        –Rachael

        Like

  20. Hi, congratulations on the blog ! My name is Rafael and I recently got a spiderling B. albopilosum, which is completely buried in the substrate, fading from my sight, I panicked and I thought she had died by “collapse ” and the first thing that came to mind was ” help her ” digging it with an instrument, but thanks to you , I discovered what was going on, and prevented me to do this nonsense , saving it from myself ! THANK YOU for the information posted here, I have several friends here in Brazil that often resort to this blog to help us with our tarantulas! Congratulations for the work, and continue posting, (even unknowingly ) you have fans in Brazil and you already saved many of our spiders. We are attuned to your blog , and once again , thanks for the detailed and valuable information! It’s good to have people around the world who enjoy these pets and help other friends on this hobby! Sincerely : Rafael , and friends. Best Wishes!!

    Like

    • Hell Rafael!

      Thank you so much for contacting me and for the kind words; your email made my day! I love hearing that people find this site useful and that I might have helped folks understand some stressful situations. That really makes it so worth it.

      One of the things I love about doing this blog is that it allows me to interact with keepers from all over the world. My stats page always shows me which countries visitors are coming from, and I love actually getting to talk to them. It’s funny because I get the fourth most traffic from Brazil, so I was always left to wonder who was visiting!

      What other tarantulas do you and your friends keep? Do you you keep any of the species local to Brazil? Is the hobby popular in your country?

      You are most welcome, and thank YOU for stopping by!

      Tom

      Like

      • Interesting! I just got a B. albopylosum and my friends have Gramostola and Brachipelma , but each has only one . We do not have the privilege you have, here in Brazil is absolutelly prohibited the marketing of exotic animals, what it is absurd, our law is very restrictive with respect to so much amazes me you have Brazilian followers because here, people are ignorant and do not like arachnids and reptiles , is a very unpopular hobby! are very few people who like and harder still those who can have access to a tarântula, my colleagues and I only got because we are cops here in São Paulo, and we fellas one institute ( like a zoo) exotic , and the animals that would be sacrificed , we sometimes took for us what it is absurd! It does not happen here “buy” tarantulas , ” choose ” species, it is a privilege for you guys in the US…so naturally , due to prohibition and very low popularity of the hobby , there is also a huge lack of information on how to create them in captivity , so your site is so important …

        Like

  21. This article has been the most helpful I’ve found anywhere!

    My daughter has been bugging us for a T ever since our live-in friend’s T passed away. She was fascinated with it and asked to see and hold it every day, helping to distribute its feed and never batting an eyelash. (She is 6, but careful enough with everything she owns that the glass miniatures I gave her 3 years ago are still perfectly intact, though played with regularly. Additionally, she has handled day-old orphan kittens with perfect care. I mention all of this as clarification that she is no typical little girl in her care of delicate things, hence my trust and consideration on this). I made her ask for one for a year before I would consider the notion, to make sure it wasn’t a phase.

    That being said I believe all of these would be suitable for her. However, she is a small girl and one that spends every waking moment in its hideaway would probably upset her (the behavior of friend’s T before it passed). Which of these are fairly active, even if just relocating from one dozing spot to the next? Will purchasing a tank to suit its adult size harm it, as I see you mentioning smaller containers first (as snakes are kept)? Do you have a reputable distributor you would recommend online?

    And something I cannot find the answer to anywhere on the internet… are they susceptible to light changes? Bright lights (she has a chandelier in her bedroom)? Are they like some pets that live happily with one light on at all times, or does the day/night cycle benefit them?

    Thank you in advance for any answers, and thank you so much for such a comprehensive guide!

    *I do realize we are buying her a pet that might live well into her adulthood. Should she have a change of heart later on and decide she no longer has interest in a hobby pet, I will relocate it to my office and keep it as my own. They are fascinating creatures, and no animal should be discarded because of a change of desire.

    Like

    • Hello!

      First off, I’m SO glad that you found this list useful. It gets a lot of views, so I try to keep it updated (the videos are a new addition).

      What kind of tarantula did your friend have?

      Okay, let me tackle these questions and try not to miss anything.

      1. The absolute best one you could get for a child would be the Euathlus sp. red. However, larger specimens are becoming very difficult to come by (Chili is no long allowing them to export them, which is honestly good), and the sling are just tiny. I mean like really small. Although it’s great to raise a tarantula from the sling stage, if your daughter is used to seeing a large spider, a Euathlus sling might be a bit underwhelming. If you could find a juvenile or young adult, this would be a good choice. The larger specimens are always out in the open and love to crawl around and explore.

      The next one I’d recommend is the Brachypelma albopilosum, or “Honduran curly hair”. These, two, are recognized as a very docile species that usually sits right out in the open.

      A Brachypelma smithi is another great one that will spend most of it’s time out in the open. And they are just so pretty.

      Just keep in mind that if you get a sling, most will tend to hid until the put on some size.

      2. You will not want to start with an adult-sized tank if you get a sling. You’ll want to get an enclosure for it that is appropriately sized in that it gives it enough room to move around a bit, but that’s small enough that the T feels secure in its home. In the wild, they will burrow and stay in that burrow and out of the site of predators. When they come out at night, they’ll stay around the burrow. They do not need large areas to roam. Slings dropped in large enclosures can take longer to adjust to their surroundings. It also makes it easier to feed them and, if the sling is small, to find the sling.

      3. The lights will be fine. Most tarantula species are not very fond of light, but the species I listed will hang out in the daytime no problem. I turn the light on in my tarantula room in the morning, and it goes off at night. Most species will become more active when the lights go off.

      4. Here is a bit of an FAQ I did about how to order online and some of the dealers I use (and trust). I always send those new to the hobby to Jamies, as you can by the Ts and enclosures all in one place. She also has great shipping costs and is great to work with. You can find it here: https://tomsbigspiders.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/buying-tarantulas-online-vendors/

      If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

      Tom

      Like

      • That is so wonderful! She fell head over heels for the curly hair, finding it prettier even than the showy cobalts everyone seems so giddy over, which surprised me.

        A juvenile is probably good. She won’t mind the small size. She loves growing things from infancy, from kittens to mice to a stunning Atlas moth caterpillar I found and raised. Something visible and mobile would be best, but I do think she will love growing it.

        I understand about the small enclosure i.e. burrow. That seems rather handy, as the big tank cost can come later on. I have a small pile of questions… I’m sorry to seem so ignorant but these don’t seem to be anywhere:

        Would something transparent like a critter keeper be suitable, or do they prefer opaque?
        Additionally, is there a smaller live food smaller incarnations prefer to consume?
        Silly question I’m sure, but is moving air a plus or negative (provided the temp is appropriate)?
        And last question for now, with the curly being even tempered… do they have a bratty teen phase? ^.^ Meaning are they more temperamental when they are small?

        Thank you SO MUCH for the information!!!
        – Snow

        P.S. It was a Rio Branco Dwarf female named Yuma, left to die when a pet store closed. My friend (in her younger days) slipped in a few days after with some cohorts to nab leftovers, and she went home with a beloved pet of nearly a decade.

        Like

      • Sorry for the delay; I posted a response but it seems to have disappeared!

        Please, don’t apologize for asking questions; ask away! I have this site specifically to help those new to the hobby. I know how difficult it can be to find good info.

        Those showy cobalts can be a nightmare, too! I have one, but it’s quite the ornery little guy/gal if caught outside of its burrow (plus, they pack one heck of a bite!).

        Juveniles are great because they still have plenty of growing to do, but they are out of the more fragile sling stage. Critter Keepers are okay for a tarantula 2″ or larger, as smaller ones can squeeze through the vent slits and escape.

        A transparent enclosure is perfectly fine as long as a hide is provided. I use cork bark myself as it’s easy to come by and doesn’t mold in my moister enclosures.

        As for food, most pet stores carry crickets in three sizes: small, medium, and large. For slings 1″ or younger, you can pre-kill larger prey items for them and let them scavenge feed. It’s a bit gross (and I don’t know if your daughter would be okay with it), but it’s very convenient for when you can’t find smaller prey.

        Good airflow is definitely a must for all species. Ideally, vents will be on the side and not on the top, as that allows air to better circulate through. All of the species on this do well in temps in the low 70s, so temps should n’t be an issue.

        Keep in mind that individual specimens’ temperaments may vary. Although most curly hairs have a great rep for being docile, there are always exceptions. Most spiders, even the beginner species, are much more skittish as slings and juveniles, but settle down as they grow. So, yes, they can be a bit more temperamental! 🙂

        That is a great story abou the Rio Branco…wow!

        You are most welcome! Again, sorry for the delay and please let me know if you have any other questions!

        Tom

        Like

  22. Greetings Tom~

    Thank you for the tremendous information. After over a year of researching, reading books and visiting with arachnoculturists I finally purchased my first sling today (B. Smithi). I’ve struggled with arachnophobia for years, but I am very excited to spend time with my first T. Your list of beginner T’s helped me initiate my search for my inaugural arachnid.

    Many Thanks!

    Jonathan

    Like

    • Hello, Jonathan!

      First off, congratulations on purchasing your first T! The B. smithi is a gorgeous species and a wonderful beginner.

      I bought my first tarantula almost 20 years ago to get over my arachnophobia, and that girl is STILL with me. She definitely helped me get over my fear of spiders and served as my “gateway spider” into this amazing hobby.

      Thanks so much for the kind words and for taking the time to comment; I truly appreciate it. If you ever have any questions, just ask.

      All the best!

      Tom

      Like

    • Hi, Jolene!

      “Slings” is short for “spiderlings.” The grammatically correct way to write it would probably be s’lings, but no one does it that way. 🙂

      P. metallica are in the genus Poecilotheria, Old World arboreal species with potentially defensive disposition, blinding speed, and “medically significant” venom. This means they move much faster than the “beginner” species, and if they bite you, you could be headed to the hospital. Symptoms include excruciating localized pain that pain killers don’t touch; this can then move up the extremity. Folks also suffer from heart-palpitations, dizziness, vomiting, and full body cramping. Some of this can last for week. As a result, this is NEVER a species I would recommend to those new to the hobby.

      Hope that helps!

      Tom

      Like

    • Hi, David!

      I would say that both of these could be good beginner species. B. annitha is thought to be possibly a color variant/same species as the B. smithi (I have that on the list). And the B. auratum is also quite similar. All are beautiful species with simple care and relatively calm temperaments.

      Hope that helps,

      Tom

      Like

  23. Can you send a link to a tank for a 2″ B. Albo? Can’t find anything that isn’t just a fish tank. Also, how big does it have to be before I can move it to a 10 gal? How often per week would I need to feed a 2″ and then when it gets bigger how does the feeding change?

    Like

    • For slings that size, I use Sterilite plastic containers that I modify with ventilation holes. For a B. albopilosum that size, you could definitely use one of these:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/Exo-Terra-Breeding-Box-Small-/172111867439?_trksid=p2141725.m3641.l6368

      I have a buddy that uses them, and they are relatively inexpensive and look great. They are also stackable, which is a plus if your collection grows. I’m actually looking into getting some myself.

      As for feeding, I would feed a specimen that large once a week.

      A 10 gallon would work when it was full grown. You could use it earlier, but you will have to fill it with a lot of substrate to prevent damage if it should climb and fall.

      Hope that helps!

      Like

    • For a juvenile that size, something 7-8″ square or so would work very well and give it a bit of growing room. You wouldn’t need to upgrade until it put on a couple more inches (and that might be a while…these guys grow slowly!). Hope that helps!

      Like

  24. You MUST include Aphonopelma Chalcodes on this list. They’re even more beautiful and docile than B Smithi, G Rosea, and B Albos. It’s hard to beat an Arizona desert blonde tarantula!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I actually have it included the A. chalcoldes on my list over on my YouTube channel, so I definitely have to update this one! I will say that one of the reasons I didn’t originally inclued it is because although some can be very docile, others report very skittish specimens that will quickly kick hairs and even bit. I have a female, and she is definitely NOT one of the specimens I would handle as she’s a bit bratty. They are a bit like the G. porteri as far temperaments varying from specimen to specimen. That said, I do think that they are gorgeous, hardy, and can make a good beginner T. I will definitely be adding it soon. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Fantastic and informative page. I have always wanted to keep T’s and now am in a position where I can. My son has developed a mild fear of spiders and I think a beautiful pet that he can first look at in a habitat, then watch being handled and eventually handle himself is ideal. Again many thanks

    Like

  26. I’ve read that Aphonopelma Chalcodes are a good beginner species for their longevity and easy husbandry. I’m looking into acquiring my first spider and I love your blog. Tons of info. I’m from Arizona as well so a local species seems ideal for me. What do you think?

    Like

    • Hi, Tyler.

      It’s funny that you mention the A. chalcodes, as I actually have plans to add it to the list. I did a husbandry video for mine more recently in which I address this:

      The only thing to watch out for is that some specimens can be a little nippy and like to kick hair. However, it seems more often than not, they are quite docile.

      Hope that helps!

      Tom

      Like

  27. I’ve been doing research and i am excited to get my b. albo. the one I’m going to get is 2.5″ and i was wondering if you could send me a link to a good cage for it. i also can’t figure out what substrate to get. we’re tight on money so i can’t buy different kinds to mix. I’ve been looking at prorep spider life but i can only find it in the UK. also, will i need to overflow the water dish? will 2 large crickets a week be good? when i get him will i need to wait a while before feeding or handling? sorry for all of the questions i just want to make sure i have everything right.

    Like

    • So glad to hear of someone doing research before they buy a T. 🙂

      Personally, I don’t use the prorep spider life, so I can’t comment on that. If you go really cheap, you can get a bag of topsoil at Home Depot or Lowes for about $1.40. I use bags of the stuff, and it words great. You can also buy a brick of coco fiber for about $5 at Petco.

      Did you want something nice for an enclosure or something less expensive and not so fancy. For a 2.5″ B. albopilosum, you could easily use a small critter keeper.

      https://www.amazon.com/Lees-Kritter-Keeper-Rectangle-Lid/dp/B0002APZO4/ref=pd_sim_199_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=518L4kGCIKL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=HQQBMP7AKRKRFV8RB8CW

      The one I linked is about $8.

      I wouldn’t worry about overflowing the dish; just giving it a water dish and keeping it filled will be fine.

      I usually try to feed mine right away, but I know that some folks wait a week. If you decide to handle, I would wait until it eats and settles in first.

      I hope that covers them all. If you have any other question, don’t hesitate to ask!

      Tom

      Like

      • thank you so much! never thought of using a keeper. will 2 large crickets a week be good? I’ve seen some websites that say to feed a b. albo 5 crickets a week and others say just one and it’s very frustrating lol! also, how often do you replace the substrate? or is that something that doesn’t need to be done?

        Like

      • You’re most welcome! I’ve actually started using critter keepers again for many of my Grammostola and Brachypelma juveniles. They’re conveniently sized, offer great visibility, and are relatively inexpensive.

        For a B albo that size, I would probably offer a a couple medium crickets twice a week or so. This species is a slower grower, so they don’t need to be fed a ridiculous amount. Tarantulas are interesting, as they can go quite some time without eating with no issues. Although there is a lot written about “proper” feeding schedules, it really comes down to keeper discretion.

        And unless something happens to ruin the substrate (like a mold outbreak), you should never have to change it. The are very clean animal, and you can usually spot clean boluses and feces with a spoon.

        Like

      • so i went to the lowes and home depot websites to find topsoil and see what they have. all of the stuff they have has horrible reviews saying that its just sand and wood chips (just mulch). one brand even had rocks, glass, pieces of plastic bags, and even metal in it. not having luck getting everything ready

        Like

      • I did the same thing when I first looked into it a few years ago. The reviews were terrible. However, I’ve bought probably close to 25 bags of various topsoils over the years, and had only one crappy bag. Look for Timberline or Earthgrow. If you open it up and find some big chunks, just pick them out. I have a huge plastic bin of Timberline in my garage as we speak. I think I get that one at Home Depot.

        Like

    • Hi, Gisele.

      I would say that for most folks new to the hobby, definitely not. Not only do they have moisture requirements, but they obviously get VERY large and have nasty urticating hairs. The T. stirmi (Burgundy Goliath bird eater) is more hardy than its cousin the T. blondi (Goliath bird eater), but it’s still at tarantula that can be intimidating to those who haven’t had much experience with tarantulas.

      Like

  28. Hey man i really like the info you posted! My mother still does not want me to have a T of my own. Im really only getting one to keep her and my sister and other people out of my room! I have been looking for a real beautiful in color T and a good size in length. Do you have any other good suggestion’s for a beginner?

    Like

    • Hello, Roderick!

      The GBB isn’t colorful enough for you, or is it too small? Most of the larger Ts aren’t particularly colorful (especially the ones I would consider “beginner” species). What size would you be looking for?

      Like

  29. This is a great list. About a month ago I brought home an adult female GBB and a G. Pulchripes sling. I know GBBs aren’t burrowers, but she cleared out a corner of her enclosure, pushed the moss over by it as a barrier and dug out all the dirt. She does like to kick hairs and showed me her defensive posture once.
    As for the sling, it hides in its burrow and refuses the mealworms (with their heads pulled off) sometimes. So I’m wondering, what is the interval between molts for it?

    Like

    • Thanks so much!

      I have two adult GBBs that I raised from slings. Although both are skittish and aren’t afraid to kick some hairs, neither has ever really dug. They DO, however, web like crazy. I’ll be curious to hear if yours webs!

      What size is the sling? I have four G. pulchripes, two of which I raised from slings and one that I got last years as a sling. The first two I got at about .4″ or so, and they took FOREVER between molts their first two years. I got these two around October of 2013 and they didn’t molt until May of 2014. Their next molt after that was about four months later. I have a sling now that’s about .4″ or so, and it hasn’t molted all summer. This is a sloooooow growing species. Mine also buried themselves at that size for the entire winter (November to about April). So a heads up on that behavior!

      Hope that helps!

      Tom

      Like

  30. So recently My Step Dad has been Going but with spiders and now has 16 Ts. he recently got a GBB and a CVonworthi the CVonworthi unfortunately passed away but I’ve been more interested now. I used to be Arachnophobic but since he got his first T I’ve changed and even go as far as hold False widows (they can do damage if they bite sometimes even though they are normal spiders) I got interested in scorpions a couple off months ago and eventually got myself a Laos Forest Scorpion which is a pissed of lil bitch all the time :p but now I have been looking at Ts as we’ll and really want to get one even though I’m only 14. Looking at your list, which by the way is very helpful in aiding the sort of setup you should be looking at doing, I’ve decided I’m going to try and get a Brachypelma albopilosum for my first T which is the first entry on your list as they look cute and are Unlikely to try an strike when i give it some food. Thank You for the list, I think it’s very helpful and I appreciate not being told lies like most other forums.. People on some forums said you always need to spray the tank like its going out of fashion which can kil the T as it will get to humid.

    Like

    • Hello, Harley!

      That’s great that your dad got you into them. My parents wouldn’t let me have them when I lived at home (well, it was really my mom. haha), so I had to wait until I moved out to get my first. I was arachnophobic as well, and one of the reasons I got my first was to get over it. 20 years and 130 tarantulas later, I’m cured! lol

      I love scorpions as well, and just bought my first in many years…an Asian forest scorpion!

      The B. albopilosum is probably the best beginners species there is. I have three, and I love those little guys and gals to death. They are one of only a couple tarantula species that I can call “cute” and not feel like an idiot. haha

      Thank YOU for taking the time to let me know that you found the list useful…that’s awesome of you! And if you’re already to recognize some of the misinformation passed around online and on the board, then you have a great head for this hobby. If you ever have any questions, feel free to shoot me and email at tomsbigspiders@outlook.com or shoot me a PM on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tomsbigspiders/

      All the best!

      Tom

      Like

  31. Hey Tom!

    Thanks for all the great info on so many species of this fascinating hobby! I’m new’ish to the hobby (6 mos) and have just acquired my 5th T today…
    ***SPOILER ALERT*** They are very addictive… 🙂

    You take so much time in sharing your knowledge and experiences, I wanted to take the time to at least say thanks for all you do! I’ve learned lots from your website & vids, and I appreciate your “no, this is how you really should do it” & not overly-complicated advice.

    Best wishes to you and your T’s!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, man…I completely missed this! So sorry!

      HAHAHA!!! They sure are. That’s why I’m up to about 130 of them. I just keep using the excuse that I need something new to write or make videos about. 🙂

      And thanks so much for the very kind words! Seriously, that really means a lot. I always feel like I’m being waaaaayyyy too wordy with these articles, so comments like this give me more confidence. 🙂

      Thanks again!!

      Tom

      Like

  32. This is probably a strange question but my boyfriend got a t from Petco a few months ago, and since I’m the only one caring for it really I’d like to do so properly, which I assume means knowing his or her exact species.. could I somehow send you a photo of it? 😩 He got it in February and it has yet to molt, I assumed it was young but I have no clue. Petco doesn’t seem to provide much info. I got him a proper enclosure and a hide out and substrate which I believe was coconut husk and a water dish + I occasionally mist the substrate. And of course feed him crickets but, id like to do more and turn his enclosure into a proper habitat for him. Sorry this is so long lol.

    Like

  33. Going through the replies and such on this article (which was a go-to for me a year back).

    FYI:
    Euathlus sp. red slings are becoming much more available as of late, although they sell out quickly each time a vendor puts em’ up.

    In the Avicularia beginner derby, there is one species that isn’t an “SDS” candidate:
    The good old Avicularia avicularia or A. sp. guyana (which is almost assuredly two names for one species). Beautiful dark abdomen, deep blue carapace and eye popping pink on the toes. Great webbers, good eaters, and it is much easier for a beginner to get pooped on than bitten, which they will do more often than not when stressed. heh.
    As slings they have the tiger coloration on the abdomen which is a plus as well.

    I own 3 of em plus an A. versicolor and have seen no issues. I keep them cross ventilated and mostly dry.

    I’d add another Aphonopelma to the derby: The anax. (Texas Tan). I’ve got two of these and they are in the same category as the chalcodes (of which I also have two, and “fatasses” comes to mind, heh). These A. anax have become a serious contender for ‘favorite’, and the coloration is outstanding. 🙂

    Happy keeping!

    Like

  34. Hiya, Tom!

    The B. Albopilosum caught my eye when reading this list, but I was wondering, is there any difference between a Honduran Curlyhair and a “Nicaraguan Curlyhair”? Because apparently there is, but we all know how untrustworthy the Internet can be, haha!

    Thanks!

    Like

    • Hi, J!

      Sorry for the late reply…I completely missed this!

      Fantastic question! There are actually a few variations of the B. albopilosum in the hobby. There is the Honduran, the “hobby form” (which is thought to be a cross between a B. albo and a B. vagans), and the Nicaraguan. The Nicaraguan looks quite a bit darker beneath those curly hairs than the Honduran.

      Here is a fantastic thread on AB where the differences are being discussed.

      http://arachnoboards.com/threads/wild-caught-brachypelma-albopilosum-from-nicaragua.280413/page-3

      I hope this helps! If you see one, I would snag it. They’re not as common.

      Tom

      Like

      • Thank you very much! I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for one.

        And don’t worry about the late reply, I’m much more of a mess with these types of things!

        Thanks again!

        Like

  35. Hi Tom! I’ve written you here before when I was getting my first T (N. Incei sling) last October, and just wanted to write again to say how much your blog has helped! My girl has grown incredibly fast (as this species does) and does appear to be a female, yay! She has brought me so much enjoyment and fascination. So cool! Since getting her, I have recently purchased two slings: E. Campestratus (my dream spider) and G. Pulchripes, and two vinegaroons–M Giganteous– (a sub-adult and a baby). Both spiders absolutely adorable and I’m so excited to watch them grow! The G pulcrhipes is about 1 inch, and the E camp is under 0.5 inch (TINY!). It made me pretty nervous to get one so tiny, but, I’ve had her for going on a month now and she is eating like a champ and burrowing like a little bulldozer. Both slings were purchased through Tanya (Fear Not Tarantulas) at VB Exotics, her new partnership with Josh Severts. Both of them are such wonderful and knowledgeable people. My vinegaroons are also such amazing creatures!
    I feel like my E Campe’s deli cup needs some additional ventilation, as it tends to “fog up” a bit. But, she’s SO tiny (between .25 and .5 inch) so I’m afraid anything I use to poke holes will provide a handy escape route for the little brat. What would you suggest?
    Thank you again for your wonderful blog! My husband has finally accepted the fact that his weird wife loves arachnids! Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Rachael!

      So great to hear from you. 🙂

      Congratulations on getting a female! I had three H. incei golds as juveniles, and all three turned out to be male. I have to try my luck out with them again soon.

      I am TOTALLY jealous of your E. campestratus! I still have to get one; looks like I’ll be ordering from Tanya very soon. 🙂

      I literally JUST picked up a vinegaroon a few weeks ago. I’ve wanted one since first becoming interested in exotic pets back in the 90s. Little guy/gal is eating like a pig. Such a fascinating animal!

      To poke holes for the tiny guys (.25” or so), I use a needle or the tip of thumb tack (I don’t push it all the way through). If you poke the holes from the outside in, the exit point remains tapered in, making it near impossible for them to escape.

      Thank you for the very kind words! Sounds like your husband is in the same boat my wife is in. 🙂

      All the best!

      Tom

      Like

  36. Hi Tom! Rachael again. My addiction continues, and I purchased a euathlus sp red (sub adult FEMALE!) and got a sub adult Female avic avic as a freebie! You’re not kidding when you call the euathlus adorable. My goodness what a cute spider! The avic is just gorgeous, too. Anyway, just wanted to share my T Joy! 😀 Have a great night.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Hi Tom,
    One of my students gave me a Chilean Rose 18 months ago, her dad no longer wanted him and they’d had him for almost 10 years. I had him for about a year until he died, such a cool guy and my first tarantula.
    I found your blog yesterday and it became a valued point of research when purchasing a new tarantula. In fact I came home with a G. pulchra and a E. parvulus!
    Thanks for such a great and informative blog!

    Like

    • Hello there!

      Awwww…that’s a shame about the Chilean Rose (I can’t imaging getting rid of a pet I’d had for 10 years!) but I’m glad to hear that he found a good home in the end. 🙂

      I’m so glad you stumbled on my blog! Those are two fantastic species…congrats! I have both, and they are wonderful beginner Ts. What size are the ones you got? It’s great that you found a E. parvulus; I don’t see them around very often.

      Thanks so much for the kind words, and congrats again!

      Tom

      Like

      • Hi Tom,

        Well since I last messaged you I’ve almost tripled my tarantula collection – I totally blame your blog haha! I’m absolutely in love with my new Ts! I now have the G. pulchra and E. parvulus as mentioned but I’ve added B. albopilosum, C. cyaneopubescens & an A. versicolor (getting used to the abbreviations and official names is taking a while though!)
        The new 3 are slings so I’m a bit nervous but they’ve all settled into their homes and fed so fingers crossed. The B. albopilosum has basically fed after a day then buried itself and I haven’t seen it since but I read that’s normal?!

        The G. pulchra is around 2 inches and the E. parvulus is around 4 inches. I can’t tell if they’re male or female and they are good eaters! The E. parvulus hasn’t turned down food yet! They’re pretty chilled but I’m not planning on handling them.

        I’m really excited to watch them grow, my husband thinks I’ve gone mad 🙂

        Thanks to your blog I’ve got an idea of the next few I want too!

        Cheers,

        Jen

        Like

      • Hi, Jen!

        That’s what I’m here for; I’m just a huge enabler. Hahaha And you’re picking up all the hobby essentials, which is great!

        Yup, that is totally normal for the B. albo, especially if it’s a sling. The two I got as slings buried themselves until they hit about 2.5-3″ or so, then they stopped.

        Your poor husband! Hahahahaha You just have to assure him that amassing a huge collection of giant spiders is totally normal. 🙂

        What are the next few on your list? 🙂

        All the best,

        Tom

        Like

  38. Although they are pretty fast, very skittish, and rather “pet holish”, I would also recommend Cyriocosmus species for beginners. They are easy to get (in Europe, don’t know about the US and Canada), they grow very fast, their husbandry is very easy (moist substrate and room temperature), they are very colourful, and they are voracious esters. I got a C. perezmilesi sling as a freebie with the purchase of my first tarantula (an E. campestratus sling), and I fell in love with the genus, so now I nearly have all of the Cyriocosmus species available in the hobby. It turned out to be a female, and I mated her with a freshly purchased male last November. Haven’t her since the start of December, so I’m hoping for lots of young within a few weeks! It is my first breeding attempt 🙂

    Anyway: as long as a beginning keeper respects their speed, and has no wish to handle their tarantula, these make for excellent beginner’s species 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Mr Moran, your videos and recommendations are extremely useful; well written and easy to understand for a novice like me. I would like to ask a question; I can purchase a Euathlus sp. yellow; is it the similar to the red in temperament and as such, recommended to a beginner? Thanks

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Richard! The sp. yellows are VERY similar to the reds in both appearance and temperament. They’re just a little more difficult to find. I would say that it would make a great beginner! 🙂

      All the best,

      Tom

      Like

  40. It’s a really good list. However, I noticed you listed tarantulas that can live in temperatures from 60-80 degrees.
    I’m from Texas, my house is easily 80-90 degrees on average in the summer, and gets around 70 as the coldest in winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Aravis! Unfortunately, the majority of the species available can tolerate temps in the 90s for a bit, but it can be unhealthy for them in the long run. There are obviously species that live in areas that experience high temps, but they will seek refuge in cooler burrows and come out at night to hunt.

      Is it often 90 in the summer, or is that on occasion?

      The species that do better in temps that high would not be categorized as “beginners”. Tarantulas like the “baboon” species (the OBT, M. balfouri, and other African species hail from areas that experience extreme heat and seem to do better in warmer temps. Again, though, they are burrowers.

      If the temps only seldom hit 90 in your home, you’d be fine with most of the species on this list. Or, if there is a cooler room, that would work. Sustained temperatures in the 90s might be a bit too much, though. Low to mid-80s would be fine.

      I hope that helps!

      Like

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