Choose the Pet Tarantula Species That's Right For You

01
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Curlyhair Tarantula

Curlyhair Tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum)
Brachypelma albopilosum Curlyhair Tarantula (Brachypelma albopilosum). Wikimedia Commons: Albertwap (CC-by-SA license)

Photos and Care Sheets for Common Pet Tarantula Species

Over the past few decades, tarantulas have gained popularity as exotic and unusual pets. There's something cool about showing off your pet tarantula, isn’t there? But as with any pets, there are pros and cons to keeping tarantulas. Pet tarantulas are long-lived, easy to care for, and just plain big as spiders go. On the other hand, tarantulas shouldn't be handled too often, and aren't all that active.

Once you do decide you'd like to own a pet tarantula, you'll need to decide what kind to get. This photo gallery will introduce you to some of the more popular pet tarantula species, to help you decide which tarantula is right for you.

Other Common Name(s): Honduran curlyhair tarantula, woolly tarantula

Habitat: terrestrial

Native Origin: Central America

Adult Size: leg span of 5-5.5 inches

Temperature and Humidity Requirements: 70-85°F with a humidity of 75-80%

Cost: inexpensive

Feeding Suggestions: crickets, mealworms, roaches, grasshoppers, and pinky mice

More About Curlyhair Tarantulas as Pets: Curlyhair tarantulas will tolerate handling better than other species, which makes it a popular pet choice. This gentle spider has personality, too. Their brown bodies are covered in wavy, tan hairs, giving them their name.

02
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Brazilian Black Tarantula

Brazilian Black Tarantula (Grammostola pulchra)
Grammostola pulchra Brazilian Black Tarantula (Grammostola pulchra). Wikimedia Commons: André Karwath aka Aka (CC-by-SA license)

Other Common Name(s): none

Habitat: terrestrial

Native Origin: South America

Adult Size: leg span of 5-6 inches

Temperature and Humidity Requirements: 75-85°F with humidity of 75-80%

Cost: expensive

Feeding Suggestions: crickets, mealworms, roaches, grasshoppers, small lizards, and pinky mice

More About Brazilian Black Tarantulas as Pets: This large, jet black tarantula makes a great pet, and may be worth the higher cost. Brazilian black tarantulas are cousins of the popular Chilean rose tarantula, with an equally docile temperament. It's a great alternative to your run-of-the-mill pet store tarantula.

03
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Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula

Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula (Grammostola aureostriata)
Grammostola aureostriata Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula (Grammostola aureostriata). Flickr user Snake collector (CC-by-SA license)

Other Common Name(s): Chaco gold-striped tarantula

Habitat: terrestrial

Native Origin: South America

Adult Size: leg span of 8 inches or more

Temperature and Humidity Requirements: 70-80°F with humidity of 60-70%

Cost: expensive

Feeding Suggestions: crickets, mealworms, roaches, and pinky mice

More About Chaco Golden Knee Tarantulas as Pets:If it's size you want in your pet tarantula, the Chaco golden knee tarantula is the choice for you. These beautiful arachnids get their name from the gold bands on their legs. Don't let this tarantula's impressive size scare you. Chaco golden knee tarantulas are mild-mannered and easy to handle.

04
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Mexican Redknee Tarantula

Mexican Redknee Tarantula (Brachypelma smithi)
Brachypelma smithi Mexican Redknee Tarantula (Brachypelma smithi). Wikimedia Commons: Viki (CC-by-SA license)

Other Common Name(s): Mexican orange knee tarantula

Habitat: terrestrial

Native Origin: Mexico

Adult Size: leg span of 5-5.5 inches

Temperature and Humidity Requirements: 75-90°F with a humidity of 75-80%

Cost: expensive

Feeding Suggestions: crickets, mealworms, roaches, grasshoppers, small lizards, and pinky mice

More About Mexican Redknee Tarantulas as Pets: Mexican redknee tarantulas, with their brilliant markings and large size, are a popular choice with pet owners and Hollywood directors. Redknees starred in the frighteningly silly 1970's horror flick, Kingdom of the Spiders. Females have an exceptionally long lifespan of over 30 years, so adopting a Mexican redknee should be considered a long-term commitment.

05
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Mexican Redleg Tarantula

Mexican Redleg Tarantula (Brachypelma emilia)
Brachypelma emilia Mexican Redleg Tarantula (Brachypelma emilia). Flickr user Snake collector (CC-by-SA license)

Other Common Name(s): Mexican true red leg tarantula, Mexican painted tarantula

Habitat: terrestrial

Native Origin: Mexico and Panama

Adult Size: leg span of 5-6 inches

Temperature and Humidity Requirements: 75-85°F with a humidity of 65-70%

Cost:

Feeding Suggestions: expensive

More About Mexican Redleg Tarantulas as Pets: Mexican redlegs, like the Mexican redknee tarantulas, are prized for their brilliant coloration. This species is docile and easy to care for, though it’s quick to throw hairs when it feels threatened.

06
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Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula

Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula (Aphonopelma seemanni)
Aphonopelma seemanni Costa Rican Zebra Tarantula (Aphonopelma seemanni). Wikimedia Commons: Cerre (CC license)

Other Common Name(s): zebra tarantula, stripe knee tarantula

Habitat: terrestrial

Native Origin: Central America, north to the southern United States

Adult Size: leg span of 4-4.5 inches

Temperature and Humidity Requirements: 70-85°F with a humidity of 75-80%

Cost: inexpensive

Feeding Suggestions: crickets and other large insects, pinky mice

More About Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas as Pets: Though Costa Rican zebra tarantulas are docile pets, they spook easily, so handling is not recommended. Once this spider gets loose, its speed will surprise you. Make sure the cover on its habitat is secure to prevent escapes.

07
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Desert Blond Tarantula

Desert Blond Tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes)
Aphonopelma chalcodes Desert Blond Tarantula (Aphonopelma chalcodes). Flickr user Snake collector (CC-by-SA license)

Other Common Name(s): Mexican blond tarantula

Habitat: terrestrial

Native Origin: northern Mexico to southern United States

Adult Size: leg span of 5-6 inches

Temperature and Humidity Requirements: 75-80°F with a humidity of 60-70%

Cost: inexpensive

Feeding Suggestions: crickets and other large insects, pinky mice

More About Desert Blond Tarantulas as Pets:Desert blond tarantulas are docile spiders that make good pets for beginner tarantula enthusiasts. In the wild, they dig burrows up to 2 feet deep, a remarkable feat for a spider that lives in the hard-packed desert.

08
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Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula

Chilean Rose Tarantula (Grammostola rosea)
Grammostola rosea Chilean Rose Tarantula (Grammostola rosea). Wikimedia Commons: Rollopack (CC-by-SA license)

Other Common Name(s): Chilean rose tarantula, Chilean common, Chilean fire, and Chilean flame tarantula

Habitat: terrestrial

Native Origin: South America

Adult Size: leg span of 4.5-5.5 inches

Temperature and Humidity Requirements: 70-85°F with a humidity of 75-80%

Cost: inexpensive

Feeding Suggestions: crickets and other large insects, pinky mice

More About Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas as Pets: The Chilean rose hair tarantula is probably the most popular of all the pet tarantula species. Any pet store selling tarantulas will undoubtedly have a good supply of these docile spiders, making them an inexpensive choice for a beginner tarantula owner. Some enthusiasts feel the Chilean rose hair is a little too calm, and doesn’t offer the owner much in the way of excitement.