Best Beginner Tarantulas

Aphonopelma, Brachypelma, Grammostola, Information, Lasiodora, New World, Old World No Comments »

So you’ve decided you want a tarantula. You’ve become obsessed with watching feeding videos, molting videos, grooming videos, unpacking videos, hell, maybe you’ve even watched a couple of breeding videos – but what tarantula is right for you? Depending on your experience with other exotic animals, you may find yourself capable of what might otherwise be considered an intermediate species, but here is my list of the top 5 beginning species (with many bonus options) for those just starting out.

 

Even though I have narrowed this list down to five specific species, these species were chosen with an entire genus in mind. This widely opens your choices, which will largely be aesthetic. Like bright colors? Or jet black? Guess what, both choices can lay within the same genus – giving you varying types of eye candy with the same care needs and behaviors. And what qualities make a good beginner species, anyway? Species that hardy, eat well, grow quickly or grow large, move slowly, are not likely to bite, and have low venom potency are all qualities most people look for when looking for their first pet tarantula.

 

Grammostola pulchripes

Grammostola pulchripes (Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula): Okay, so I am a little biased with this species because it is what I personally started out with when I first got into tarantulas, and I’ll tell you why! Not only is this species hardy and of a very gentle disposition – but they get big and are quite lovely with their contrasting colors. Other species in this genus are also great choices because of their hardiness and there are a variety of colors you can choose from. Out of this genus, Grammostola rosea is often recommended as a beginner, but is known to be rather two-faced – calm and tolerant one moment, and ready to bite anything that moves the next. As long as you are not planning on handling though, that won’t be a problem! Other favorites in this genus include G. pulchra (the Brazilian Black) and G. iheringi (the Entre Rios – beautiful but a bit uncommon).

Brachypelma albopilosum

Brachypelma albopilosum (the Curly Hair Tarantula): Now, this species is just fun. Although it is largely brown, it’s charm lies in its long and (you guessed it) curly hairs. This species, and the others in its genus, are very easy to care for. Although many other Brachypelma species are more striking to look at due to their red or orange hues, the albopilosum is much less likely to flick hairs. Although many of the brachypelma genus are slow moving and easy to handle, their urticating hairs may leave you itching for hours, so handling is not recommended. Out of this genus, I have found that vagans is the most likely to show some attitude – and that can be a pro OR a con depending on what you like!

Lasiodora parahybana

Lasiodora parahybana (Salmon Pink Tarantula): Not only is the species fairly docile and a pinch to take care of – it is very cheap and easy to find! It is also one of the largest-growing species, reaching over 10 inches in size. This species is a fantastic eater and grows quickly, adding to its perks. There are other species in this genus that would be equally great choices, but their availability will be lower and their price will be more. Temperament can vary greatly between individual specimens, with attitude showing as they grow larger. Although their urticating hairs are not as bad as those belonging to Brachypelma, many people still have some sensitivities to them. Another perk despite the large size and voracious appetite of these tarantulas is their likelihood to hang out in the open for your viewing pleasure.

Aphonopelma chalcodes
Aphonopelma chalcodes (the Desert Blonde Tarantula): Just like the above suggestions, this genus has a ton of options. It is the genus that holds the tarantulas native to the United States, and species from this genus can be found through North and Central America. Care of species in this genus are similar to Brachypelma species, and there are a variety of species available to choose from. Although many species can be found close to home for American hobbyists, some species can still fetch a hefty price-tag due to captive bred Aphonopelma species being uncommon. They are not exactly fast growing, but you can usually pick up a juvenile or adult specimen for less than many other species of tarantulas.

Euathlus sp Red
Eathlus sp. Red (the Chilean Flame Tarantula): If a larger spider is not what you are picturing as your first spider, this dwarf species may be up your alley. This is a great species in that it is VERY docile and it’s care needs are simple. As this is a dwarf species barely reaching three inches, you’ll want to aim for a sub-adult or adult to ensure its easy-to-care for quality. This is a curious species that is apt to wanting to see what is going on outside of its enclosure. This species is incredibly slow growing, but for those just starting out a specimen of at least one inch could be just what you need to get your feet wet.
Written by: Christina Vulyak

Lasiodora parahybana pairing

Breeding Reports, Lasiodora No Comments »

Lasiodora parahybana breeding report

Lasiodora parahybana pairing

Species: Lasiodora parahybana

Common name: Salmon pink birdeater tarantula

Successful: Yes

Timeline:

Unsure of the female’s last molt date but she looked fresh enough and was fed heavily for the week leading up to the pairing.

Pairing took place on February 6th with multiple insertions witnessed.

After pairing attempt she was heavily fed and a sac dropped a little over a month after on April 28th

The sac was pulled away from the female a little over a month after on May 25th

Post-mating care:

The female was fed heavily after pairing and the humidity in her enclosure was raised by flooding one side of her enclosure while keeping the other side dry.

Total Count: roughly about 1,500 1st instars.

Salmon pink birdeater 1st instar slings

 

Lasiodora parahybana caresheet located here

Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater Tarantula (Lasiodora parahybana)

Lasiodora, New World 1 Comment »

The Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater tarantula is a New World species coming from eastern Brazil. They are velvet black with pink hairs all over their bodies. They are actually the 3rd largest tarantula in the world (getting beaten by T.blondi “Goliath Birdeater” and T.aphophysis “Pinkfoot Goliath”) growing anywhere from 9 to 12 inches. They are fast growers being able to grow to full size within 18 to 24 months. They also get to live to be anywhere between 6 to 12 years. Quick fact is that the female can actually lay an egg sack of 1200 spiderlings (talk about a BIG family). They are relatively passive sitting still for display in their enclosures.

 

brazilian pink birdeater

 

Housing:

This is the type of tarantula that you will need a big enclosure for. At full growth you are looking into needing a 25 to 30 gallon tank. Be sure that this tank is has more width and length then it has height. You are going to want to give them ample space to crawl and just enough height to turn over (in the event they need to molt). They are poor climbers due to their large size and weight. They rarely climb and if they do it can be dangerous for them. A fall can certainly cause injuries, bleeding and worse even death. We do recommend you give this tarantula at 3 to 5 inches of substrate. Being from Brazil they are used to a very warm and humid environment and we recommend a temperature of about 76 to 84 degrees with a humidity level of 75 percent. They are not known for using a hide though you can always place one in its enclosure, chances are it will not use it. You will also want to add some bark as something for it to climb and stand on. A fresh shallow water dish should be available with clean water at all times.

 

Feeding:

The Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater Tarantula has a very big appetite. They eat constantly and can easily get overfed. You are going to want to feed them only once a week and a large cockroach or locusts should be fine. You can also feed them crickets, moths and occasionally a small lizard, pinkie mice or even small frogs, (they actually do not mainly eat birds) however we do not recommend a steady feeding of lizards/pinkies or frogs due to the potential calcium buildup it can produce in your tarantula’s exoskeleton which can possibly harden to much and become an issue during molting. However there should be no other issues feeding this specific tarantula.

 

Attitude:

Your Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater Tarantula is not known for being aggressive at all. They do have one of the worst of urticating hairs which can induce horrid rashes. They are not quick to bite but if provoked will certainly do so. A full grown  Lasiodora parahybana can have fangs up to a full inch in length which can certainly induce some damage should it bite you. In addition they have potent venom which can prompt muscle cramps and pain.

 

You can most certainly handle your Brazilian Salmon Pink but please be careful in doing so. Not being able to hold them properly (due to their size) can make the tarantula flick urticating hairs and worse case scenario bite. You also do not want to drop such a large tarantula as it can certainly be fatal. All in all a must have and definitely great for an intermediate hobbyist who wants a showcase pet.

 

Do you have a Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater? Do you have a question or just want to share your experience? Tell us about it! Comment down below!