North American Tarantula Species

Docile

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula (Aphonopelma seemani) Jon Fouskaris

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

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The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is a great pet tarantula. It is a hardy, inexpensive spider with wonderful colouration! Even though it is a generally docile species, you shouldn't get the impression that this spider can be held. Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas can display incredible speed if startled by the slightest occurrence. Although it is known as the Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula, there is a different colour phase to this species, that is not found in Costa Rica. This colour phase is dark brown with tan striping on the legs, and is from Nicaragua, as opposed to the Costa Rican form of black with white striping on the legs. The Costa Rican form is shown to the left. Both colour phases require the same conditions in captivity. The Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula is a good choice for a beginner or an expert.

Photo Description: ADULT FEMALE - Specimen provided by Carlos Viquez. - Photo taken by Carlos Viquez..

Range:

Southern United States to Costa Rica, Nicaragua and possibly areas in Guatemala, and Panama in tropical forests on the Pacific coast with secondary cleared land and hillside highland tropical forests.

Type:

Burrowing..

Diet:

Spiderlings eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, other large insects, and an occasional pinkie mouse.

Full Grown Size:

4 to 4.5 inches.

Growth Rate:

Medium speed.

Temperature:

70 to 85? F.

Housing:

Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 2.5 to 5-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.

Temperament:

Docile and nervous.

Humidity:

75 to 80%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3" leg span may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.

Substrate:

4 to 5 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.

Decor:

No decorations are really needed, but you can add a log, or cork bark. Moss can be added for floor cover, but leave some areas open for burrowing in the substrate.

Other Names:

Zebra Tarantula, Stripe Knee Tarantula, and Stripe Kneed Tarantula.


Docile

Curlyhair Tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum) Jon Fouskaris

Curlyhair Tarantula

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The Curlyhair Tarantula is an ideal tarantula species for a beginner because of it's docile temperament and relatively large size. Although fairly common and easy on the pocket, this species is more than just a brown tarantula. Up close, Curlyhair Tarantulas have gold and tan hairs covering their bodies. The legs are a darker brown, in contrast to the practically bronze carapace. This comes out to be one fine-looking spider without being exceedingly colourful. Also, true to their common name, most Curlyhair Tarantulas have hair that looks curly (actually more wavy than curvy, but we'll let that slide). They are very hardy tarantulas that make lasting pets. They also make great "show" spiders since they can be taken out and handled, although handling should not take place frequently because there's always the possibility of the tarantula falling off your hand and splitting it's abdomen open (likely fatal). Curlyhair Tarantulas seem to have more personality (tarantulality) than the conventional starter species, the Chilean Rose Tarantula. Overall, Curlyhair Tarantulas are great for anybody, and yours may easily become a favourite in your collection!

Photo Description: ADULT FEMALE - Specimen provided by Jeroan Poot. - Photo taken by Jeroan Poot..

Range:

Mountain and cloud forests of Central America.

Type:

Terrestrial..

Diet:

Spiderlings eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, other large insects, small lizards, pinkie mice, and an occasional fuzzy mouse.

Full Grown Size:

5 to 5.5 inches.

Growth Rate:

Slow speed.

Temperature:

75 to 85? F

Housing:

Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height

Temperament:

Docile and calm.

Humidity:

75 to 80%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3" leg span may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.

Substrate:

2 to 3 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.

Decor:

Logs, driftwood, cork bark, etc. make good hiding places.

Other Names:

Honduran Curlyhair Tarantula, and Woolly Tarantula.


Docile

Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula (Avicularia versicolor) Jon Fouskaris
*Information provided by Frank Somma

Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula

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The Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula has to be one of the most beautiful tarantula species in the world! When the spiderlings hatch out, they are a brillant blue color, and by the time they reach adult coloration, the Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula is covered in reds, greens, and even purples! The photo to the left shows the adult coloration. These attractive tarantulas can not be kept communally, like their relative the Pinktoe Tarantula (Avicularia avicularia). The Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula is a docile but skittish species that can be quick to run if disturbed. This still does not eliminate it from the beginner's category, but there are easier species out there. These colorful, fairly large tarantulas create strong webs in tree bark in the wild, and they will do the same in captivity if provided with branches or cork bark. Poor ventilation is a death sentence for a Martinique Pinktoe Tarantula, like many other tropical arboreal species. If the air in the tank is damp and stale, molds will grow, and death can occur from molds growing in the spider's lungs. A complete or half screen cover will do fine as a solution. For good reason, Martinique Pinktoe Tarantulas are among the most sought after tarantulas in the hobby.

Photo Description: UNSEXED JUVENILE - Specimen provided by Jon Fouskaris - Photo taken by Jon Fouskaris.

Range:

Tropical areas of Martinique, Guadeloupe, and possibly the surrounding Caribbean islands.

Type:

Arboreal.

Diet:

Spiderlings eat flightless fruit flies, pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, moths, flies, other large insects, and an occasional small lizard or pinkie mouse.

Full Grown Size:

5 to 6 inches.

Growth Rate:

Medium to fast speed

Temperature:

75 to 80? F.

Housing:

Spiderlings can live in a tall clear plastic container with air holes. Adults can live in a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Height is more important than floor space.

Temperament:

Docile and nervous.

Humidity:

75 to 80%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3" legspan may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.

Substrate:

2 to 3 inches of peat moss, potting soil, or wood chips.

Decor:

Branches, live plants, vines, etc. make good hiding places and provide a base for the web. Moss can be added for floor cover.

Other Names:

Antilles Pinktoe Tarantula, and Martinique Treespider.


Docile

Mexican Bloodleg Tarantula (Aphonopelma bicoloratum) Jon Fouskaris

Mexican Bloodleg Tarantula

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The Mexican Bloodleg Tarantula is easily one of the best beginner tarantulas on the market! A combination of the colour and gentle disposition makes the Mexican Bloodleg Tarantula an excellent pet species. These tarantulas are docile, and they don't flick urticating hairs very often. Due to their extremely slow growth, Mexican Bloodleg Tarantulas are also one of the longest lived tarantula species! Unfortunately, this species is rare, so many beginners won't be able to go into a pet shop and take one home with them. Also, captive breeding's are not frequent. When Mexican Bloodleg Tarantulas are available for sale, the price is high. The Mexican Bloodleg Tarantula is a fairly new species to the hobby, another factor when the price is involved. A unique thing about this species, is the males, upon maturity, loose all the orange and gold that you see in the picture to the left, and become completely black! This tarantula does not get very large, but it makes up for it's size in beauty. In conclusion, desirable Mexican Bloodleg Tarantulas can be expensive and hard to find, but for a beginner, they are well worth the money, and yours will be with you for a long time!

Photo Description: SUB-ADULT MALE - Specimen provided by Frank Somma. - Photo taken by Jon Fouskaris.

Range:

Pacific side of southern Mexico, in scrubland and deserts.

Type:

Terrestrial, but will burrow to some extent..

Diet:

Spiderlings will eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults will eat crickets, and other large insects.

Full Grown Size:

3.5 to 4 inches.

Growth Rate:

Slow speed.

Temperature:

75 to 90? F.

Housing:

Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.

Temperament:

Docile and calm.

Humidity:

70 to 75%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3" leg span may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.

Substrate:

4 to 5 inches of potting soil or peat moss mixed with vermiculite. Some sort of hiding spot is a good addition to the tank set-up.

Decor:

No decorations are really needed, but you can add a log, or cork bark.

Other Names:

N/A.


Docile

Mexican Redknee Tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) Jon Fouskaris

Mexican Redknee Tarantula

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The Mexican Redknee Tarantula is probably the most popular of all pet tarantulas. It has been collected since the 1970's and 1980's. It was originally discovered by a collector named H.H. Smith in 1888. The Mexican Redknee Tarantula was one of the first species to enter the hobby and has been used as scary props in many films. This tarantula has been in films such as "Raiders of the Lost Ark", a couple James Bond series, and many others. The Mexican Redknee Tarantula is known to be one of the longest living tarantula species, with females living up to 30 years, which is an advantage over many other tarantula species. Whether you're a beginner, or an advanced hobbyist, you can't go wrong with a Mexican Redknee Tarantula. Due to this creature's gentle nature, colourful appearance, large body size, and long life, it is easy to see why the Mexican Redknee Tarantula is such a desired animal in the hobby.

Photo Description: SUB-ADULT FEMALE - Specimen provided by Frank Somma. - Photo taken by Jon Fouskaris.

Range:

Pacific side of Mexico, in scrubland and deserts.

Type:

Terrestrial..

Diet:

Spiderlings will eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, other large insects, small lizards, pinkie mice, and an occasional fuzzy mouse.

Full Grown Size:

5 to 5.5 inches.

Growth Rate:

Slow speed.

Temperature:

75 to 90? F.

Housing:

Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.

Temperament:

Docile and calm.

Humidity:

75 to 80%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3" leg span may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.

Substrate:

2 to 3 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.

Decor:

No decorations are really needed, but you can add a log, or cork bark.

Other Names:

Mexican Orange Knee Tarantula, Mexican Red Kneed Tarantula, and Mexican Orange Kneed Tarantula.


Semi Docile

Costa Rican Red Tarantula (Brachypelma angustum) Jon Fouskaris

Costa Rican Red Tarantula

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Although they do not have red bodies, Costa Rican Red Tarantulas are appealing, medium-sized, tarantulas. They get their name from the shaggy red hairs on the legs and abdomen. Costa Rican Red Tarantulas actually have a black to dark brown overall color. These tarantulas are not as docile as other Brachypelma species, but they are just as rewarding. Costa Rican Red Tarantulas will flick urticating hairs as a primary defense. They are smaller than most Brachypelma species also, but they are heavy-bodied. Costa Rican Red Tarantulas are pretty hard to obtain in captivity. Surprisingly, Costa Rican Red Tarantulas are usually not very expensive though. They resemble Mexican Redrump Tarantulas (Brachypelma vagans) in appearance, although Mexican Redrump Tarantulas are generally larger. If you a beginner, and are looking for a less docile species, the Costa Rican Red Tarantula should be considered.

Photo Description: ADULT FEMALE - Specimen provided by Jon Fouskaris - Photo taken by Jon Fouskaris.

Range:

Forests of southern Mexico and Central America.

Type:

Terrestrial..

Diet:

Spiderlings eat pinhead crickets, and other small insects. Adults eat crickets, and other large insects.

Full Grown Size:

3.5 to 4 inches.

Growth Rate:

Medium speed.

Temperature:

75 to 85? F.

Housing:

Spiderlings can live in a clear plastic deli-container with air holes. Adults can live in a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Floor space is more important than height.

Temperament:

Semi-docile and nervous

Humidity:

75 to 80%. All tarantulas that have at least a 3" leg span may drink from a shallow, wide water dish.

Substrate:

2 to 3 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.

Decor:

Logs, driftwood, cork bark, etc. make good hiding places.

Other Names:

N/A.


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