When I first started Tom’s Big Spiders, it was really only to share some of my cool experiences in the tarantula hobby. I honestly never expected anyone to discover or read what I was writing; instead, it was more to serve as a fun outlet (and to spare my family and friends from having to listen to prattle on about bugs). However, little by little, I actually developed an audience as the content evolved from fun molt and feeding posts to more informative husbandry and species notes. With folks actually reading what I was writing, I focused less on the fluff and more the informative and hopefully educational articles.
As a site that was basically created with no real audience in mind, I didn’t give a heck of a lot of thought on how to arrange it (or on the name, for that matter!). However, as I wrote more and more content, and saw what folks were reading and searching for, it quickly became apparent that I needed some way to organize information so it was easier to find. Therefore, some new pages evolved out of the mix: added were Resources, Vendor Reviews, and finally the most popular page, Beginner Guides.
I also created the Topic Index page, which was supposed to act as a site map of sorts, but it quickly became outdated and was mostly ignored. Particularly, the species-specific husbandry articles were getting overlooked as there was no real clearly designated page for them.Folks were often asking if I could talk about species I had already covered because they couldn’t find the post.
Having done husbandry articles or videos on 40+ species , it was high time I created a page just for species care. I didn’t just want it to be a list of names though…it needed to have some visual flair and possibly a quick way for folks to identify the challenge level of each species. I spend a lot of time trying to get good photos of all my Ts, so I definitely had a lot of material to work with. After a few hours on Photoshop, I came up with what I hope will be a visually-appealing and useful system.
Each species’ name bar is color-coded to indicate the potential level of “challenge.” These designations are based on ease of husbandry, temperament, speed, and venom potency, and are only meant to serve as guidelines for those new to the hobby or species. Obviously, keeper experience and ability, as well as variations in individual specimens’ behavior can be hugely important as well (and can’t really be factored in). Bottom line, if the spider is labeled orange or red, spend a little more time researching its temperament and husbandry needs.
The colors work as follows:
- Green – Beginner
- Yellow– Intermediate
- Orange – Advanced
- Red – Expert
If I’ve done a husbandry blog on the species, just click on the photo to be sent to it. If there’s no article yet, you’ll be sent to the husbandry video on YouTube (my goal is to eventually get write-ups for all of the species).
Hopefully, this will make it easier for folks to find the info they need while affording them the opportunity to peruse all of the species husbandry notes if they feel so inclined. I have 33 of the spiders up as I write this, and my goal is to create guides for all of the 60+ species I keep. Also, I will continue to periodically update articles with the very latest observations, notes, and photos to ensure that all posts are current.
Again, thank you to all who currently use Tom’s Big Spiders as one of your sources for tarantula information!