Spiderling Care

Care Sheet No Comments »

Spiderlings or slings are young or baby tarantulas ranging anywhere from .25 inches to 1.5 inches in length depending on how old it might be. The reason why so many people now opt in to buying a spiderling is due to the fact that they are usually a lot cheaper then adults and it is fascinating to watch them grow. As for growth rate, some species are very fast growing while others are extremely slow growing. It is best you chose which species is right for you. If your a beginner tarantula hobbyist we would recommend you start with a 1.5 inches or bigger spiderling. However here are some steps you can take to care for your sling.



Depending on your species of tarantula spiderling it is key to know what enclosure and environment to have for your sling. Some common examples are

  • Terrestrial Tarantulas (Chilean Rosehair, Mexican Redknee, Brazilian Fire Red, etc): Smallest enclosures possible such as small pill jars of different sizes depending on your sling’s size until you can eventually move it into a deli container and eventually a 5 gallon tank (once a juvenile over 2 inches).
  • Arboreal Tarantulas (Pinktoe, Red Slate Ornamental, Pokies, etc): Small enclosure with height such as tall pill jars in different sizes depending on your sling’s size as they do love to climb and be up from the ground. As they get older you can switch them into tall spice jars until big enough to eventually switch to taller terrariums (once a juvenile over 2 inches).

You will find that slings do tend to burrow a lot more then your average tarantula, so be sure to add a extra substrate to the enclosures so they have enough space to do so. It is also important to make sure that each lid of your enclosure have air holes in them to provide your tarantula with adequate air to breathe. Make sure these holes are not big enough to where your sling can escape.



Feeding can be difficult as these spiderlings require much smaller prey then a full grown tarantula. You can crush a small cricket and leave that in their enclosure so they can eat off of it. As they do start to grow a little you can eventually just add smaller insects such as small juvenile or pinhead crickets as well as fruit flies. Once you see your sling getting closer to 1.5 to 2 inches you can start feeding it slightly bigger prey.



Spiderlings that are less than 1.5 inches cannot drink from waterbowls, they will surely drown. It is best to just water the substrate slightly (in which we do recommend eco-earth) or even just put some droplets to rest on top of the substrate or you can simply add a small plant leaf with a couple of water droplets on it. Once your tarantula does grow closer to 2 inches you can use a plastic bottle cap as a water dish in its small enclosure before being able to move to a big water dish. This all should provide plenty of water and humidity for your young tarantula.



For spiderlings just make sure they are kept in a warm room. Being that they are so small it is not recommended to use a heating source on them as this might end up being too hot for their small enclosures. In addition do not place them under direct sunlight as this tends to stress out your tarantula. A room temperature of about 75-85 degrees should be adequate for them. You do not have to worry about light as most tarantulas actually prefer the darkness over light.


Following these instructions will most definitely help you with your sling. As always we are all here to help so feel free to drop us a comment for any additional help.

Mexican Redknee Tarantula (Brachypelma smithi)

Brachypelma, New World No Comments »

The Mexican Redknee Tarantula is perhaps one of the most famous of all tarantulas. Used in movies, commercials, magazines and even newspapers due to its amazing colors. They originate from south-western Mexico and have become a very common New World tarantula kept as a pet. Once thought to be endangered its numbers have grown quite a bit, especially due to how easily these animals breed in captivity. Now they are one of the most sought after species and surely an easy find at any exotic expo throughout the world.


Red Knee Tarantula3



Being a native of the hills of the south-west Mexico these animals love the dryness the key is to keep your substrate relatively dry to replicate their arid environment in the wild. Make sure to at least refill your tarantula’s water dish once a week with fresh clean water and simply overfill it to dampen just a slight patch of your substrate. This should create adequate humidity for your tarantula. As always we would recommend a terrarium anywhere between 5 to 10 gallons depending on your tarantula’s size with about 2 to 3 inches of it filled with the substrate of your choice such as eco-earth. This species has been known to burrow so make sure to also add something it can use as housing such as half a florwepot into the substrate. You can add decorations such as plants to your enclosure but your redknee will not care for it.



Your Mexican Redknee Tarantula usually eats crickets and meal-worms but when big can even eat a cockroach or two. A full grown redknee will eat 1 or 2 large crickets a week but can sometimes go as far at 6 months without wanting to eat. As long as you see its abdomen remaining big in size you should not worry about it not eating. They are slow moving and most of the time will either strike fast as soon as you put a cricket in its enclosure or will not do anything at all. Do not leave the insect in the enclosure if you notice it not being eaten within 24 hours.



Though extremely docile the redknee does have some defenses when threatened. It’s a new world spider and therefor does come equipped with urticating hairs which it will flick off its abdomen should it feel intimidated. Should they feel vulnerable they also to rear up and show their fangs. So as always test the waters before trying to handle them to see what mood they are in. A simple approach would be to gently nudge it from behind with an elongated Q-Tip before trying to pick it up.


This tarantula is rather sluggish which makes it very easy to handle.  The Mexican Redknee tarantula is quite slow at growing. Mine grew from a 1 inch sling (spider-ling) to about 5 inches over the course of 5 years. The males will live a good 5 to 6 years while females can live upwards of 30 years with ease.  All in all we would recommend this as a first time beginner tarantula due to its low maintenance, being very submissive and also easy to handle.

Pinktoe tarantula (Avicularia avicularia)

Avicularia, New World 1 Comment »

The Pinktoe Tarantula also known as the South American Pinktoe is also a very common spider across the US. Originally from South America these tarantulas love climbing. In the wild they live high up in trees and spin a lot of webbing. As with the Chilean Rosehair Tarantula, the pinktoe is also a very common arachnid to find in pet stores. It is very docile and a crowd favorite due to its magnificent pink toes (hence the name). This would be ideal for the intermediate tarantula lover. The reason we would say this wouldn’t be best for a beginner is due to its speed. Pinktoes are very quick and are known as jumpers and you might drop one if not handled appropriately. Other than their speed they are quit docile and can be the perfect pet. They usually live between 4 to 8 years with females growing to about 5 inches in length and males slightly shorter about 3.5 inches.




We would recommend a tall enclosure for these guys. Though fully grown they are smaller in size than most species of tarantulas these guys love climbing and having a birds eye view. I personally like the tall exo-terra terrariums as I feel its perfect for these guys. They are small so you would not need anything bigger then maybe a square foot in surface area and a foot and a half in height. Make sure you have plenty of plants for it to climb on as well as round cork bark. These animals are very active at times and you might see the enclosure covered in extensive web tubes within days. These tarantulas can also be kept in groups (communally) though we do not recommend it. You can indeed have multiple at a time in your enclosure but please note they do tend to cannibalize each other should they feel overcrowded. The pinktoe tarantula loves damp and breezy environments, they come from the wet and windy forests of Costa Rica, Venezuela and Brazil so make sure your terrarium has a humidity level between 78% to 85%. Normal room temperature should be enough for these guys but do not let it drop lower then 75 degrees. A water dish should always be available.



In the wild the Pinktoe tarantula typically eat insects and other arthropods but in captivity crickets do the trick just fine. They are not picky eaters but their feeding approach is quite different. They remain in a frozen state not moving for hours at a time until their food of choice comes up towards them in which they will strike in the blink of an eye. Your pinktoe does not have a limit as too how much it eats. Mine ate a cricket a day for three whole weeks once. The more you feed it the faster and bigger it grows.



This species is not known to being aggressive at all. When threatened most pinktoes will either jump and run away not wanting to fight at all. On occasion they will launch a stream of excrement (poo) when they feel threatened. Adults have great aim and have a range of up to 4 feet away. This can surely ruin that nice shirt you decided to wear. Their bite though venomous to insects is nothing more then a bee sting to humans.  They rarely get provoked to attack in such manner but always test and see if your tarantula is in the mood to be handled before taking it out.


All in all the Pinktoe Tarantula is a great tarantula to have as a pet. They are not aggressive what so ever and are very active. Though you should handle with care due to its speed and leaps. This is more of a tarantula for someone that has already had a tarantula before.