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

Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula (Grammostola pulchripes)

Grammostola, New World 12 Comments »

The Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula has become a very sought after tarantula. It is originally from Mexico. Its docile nature, color and size has made it perfect for beginner/intermediate tarantula enthusiasts. With most Chaco Golden Knees growing to be about 8 to 10 inches in length. They tend to be steady growers and most reach adult size within 3 to 4 years. Females can live out to be anywhere between 15 to 25 years while males tend to make it to be about 5 to 6 years old.




The Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula is known to be a burrower. In addition to burrowing they also tend to be extremely active at night and move around quite a bit. Due to its size we do recommend a 10 to 15 gallon tank for it to live in with at least 5 to 6 inches of substrate for it to burrow. It is also advised to add ad a nice size bark as a hide in its enclosure, though you might not see your tarantula use its hide it has been known to relieve it of stress. Being that it is a native of Mexico it prefers dry environments. You can wet a quarter of the enclosure preferably overfilling its water dish to provide enough humidity for your G.pulchripes (we normally recommend about 50% humidity). Temperature wise you should be good by keeping this tarantula nice and warm anywhere between 77 to 85 degrees.



Feeding should not be an issue at all. The G.pulchripes eats very well with females eating ravenously anything thrown their way, males tend to not eat as much. A steady feeding of large crickets, roaches and locusts should be just fine. Remember to never feed your tarantula something bigger than its size as this might end up injuring your tarantula when it’s trying to take down its prey.



They are known as being extremely docile and slow moving however with that being said they do know how to defend themselves. Being a new world tarantula they come equipped with urticating hairs on their abdomen which they will use should they feel threatened. Worst case scenario they might bite which can consist of a “dry” bite or “wet” bite. A dry bite does not contain venom but still causes some pain especially from a full grown tarantula that has bigger fangs. You can also experience a wet bite which on top of getting the pain from a dry bite would also have the tarantula’s venom. Though its not potent enough to be considered a medical threat it does sting a bit and can cause light headaches or muscle cramps (to some it causes nothing at all). If you think you might be allergic you should seek medical attention (same as you would should you be allergic to bee or wasp stings).


We would highly recommend the Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula for any hobbyist. They are very low cost and low maintenance. Full sized they love sitting outside their hide/burrow as a showcase piece. Females can be a pet for a long time and with great care chances are you will grow old with them. Definitely one of my favorite picks.

Do you have a Chaco Golden Knee? Tell us about it and drop a comment down below! Do you have any questions? Ask in the comment box and we will surely answer them for you.

Chilean Rose Tarantula (Grammostola rosea)

Grammostola, New World 10 Comments »

The Chilean Rose Tarantula is probably the most frequent species obtained in the United States and Europe. This mostly due to the fact that its easily found in pet stores everywhere! These wonderful arachnids originate from Chile, where they live in forests underground. In captivity these rose hairs tend to not burrow underground but spend most of there time just sitting still as the world passes by. What makes these tarantulas great as pets is the fact that they are extremely docile require very low maintenance and  are pretty much very inexpensive.


Grammostola Rosea



We recommend a terrarium of about 5 gallons for these guys. Being that they are from Chile they love very dry and warm places. Just by overfilling their water dish should be plenty to give this animal enough humidity in its tank. We have seen many people post online to make the substrate/soil damp/wet for the rose hair, please do not and please keep it as dry as possible. While it will cause the humidity levels to go up in your tank for the tarantula when your substrate is wet, you will find that your tarantula will start crawling up the sides of your tank/enclosure trying to get away from the “wetness”. As for substrate I would personally recommend eco earth, the stuff comes ready to use and my G. Rosea seems to love it.  We also recommend you keep the temperatures warm between 75 to 82 degrees. Remember they come from a very warm place and so love the heat.



The Chilean Rose Tarantula usually feast on a variety of insects such as crickets, mealworms, beetles, cockroaches, moths and even grasshoppers. I usually feed mine crickets as it is the most common food to find for them. Tarantulas usually get their protein and nutrients through these insects by biting down on them and sucking them dry. So to make sure your rosie gets all the nutrients it needs to live long and healthy feed your insects products that will make them a healthy meal for your tarantula. You can find these in powder form or as a type of jelly substance at your local pet store. Once you fatten up your insects with this, let your tarantula feast on them.

Chilean Rose Tarantula can be picky eaters at times maybe only eating one or two crickets a week. This is completely normal and you should not be alarmed. My rosie has gone weeks eating 10 crickets a week to certain weeks not wanting to eat at all.



While the Chilean Rose Tarantula might be docile and can get easily startled, it still sometimes can give you a bit of an attitude. Though rare they sometimes don’t want to be bothered. Some signs of you to give your tarantula some space is the raising of their front legs while showing fangs. This is a defensive stance which should indicate for you to back off. These animals are very reluctant to bite. Their bite feels like a bee/wasp sting and though not lethal to humans can cause allergic reactions to some people. The only other weapon in their defense is the tiny spine like hairs on their abdomens called urticatig hairs. They kick off and release these tiny hairs when threatened. These can cause rashes but can also be a danger if inhaled or they become lodged in your eyes. If you see your rosehair not having the best of day simply give it its space and leave it in its enclosure.


Following these simple steps will surely help you in your quest as a  beginner tarantula owner. For more detailed help feel free to ask by commenting on this post and please share this with your friends!