Tarantulas are fascinating spiders in the family Theraphosidae that are large and mostly hairy. While they can look scary, many of them are docile and easy to care for. In this article we explore that topic a bit more and look at 10 of the best pet tarantulas for beginners.
If you want to have these spiders in your home, the best pet tarantulas for beginners will typically share the following characteristics:
- Moderate Size: adults between 5 to 6 inches are impressive to watch and easy to handle.
- Easy to Care: and are low maintenance as pets where you only have to clean out their enclosure.
- Slow-Moving: so you don’t find them trying to jump or escape when you take them out to clean their enclosure.
- Docile: and are easy to handle since they rarely, if ever, try to bite.
- Reasonably Priced: so it’s affordable to purchase all the necessary setup equipment without also needing to save up for your tarantula.
All tarantulas can become defensive when they feel threatened and may flick their urticating hairs at you, so it’s best to handle them gently. Their bites are comparable to a bee sting, but you should make sure you aren’t allergic if you plan on handling one!
Female tarantula since they live longer than males. Males often die after a year or two once they become mature. In contrast, females can have a lifespan of over 20 years. Something to consider when choosing your pet.
Let’s look at some popular tarantula species that people keep as pets.
10 of the Best Pet Tarantulas for Beginners to Consider
While tarantulas make for interesting pets, not all species are best for beginners. Here is a list of 10 that are most docile and slow-moving, making great pets for new tarantula owners.
1. Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula
Scientific name: Grammostola pulchripes
The Chaco Golden Knee tarantula is one of the calmest and docile species. Despite their large fangs, they prefer not to bite, but be mindful that they don’t like sudden movements. They are pretty with varying colors, including yellowish leg stripes and pink hairs against a dark body.
Females can live up to 25 years and males around 7 years. These spiders have leg spans of around 7 inches, so your enclosure width must be twice as wide. At least a 15-gallon tank is best, with the substrate at least 6 inches deep.
They are great for observing since they prefer to laze around outside their burrow. You can also get them at a reasonable price between $35 to $65.
2. Curly Haired Tarantula
Scientific name: Brachypelma albopilosum
The Curly Haired tarantula, also known as the Honduran Curly Hair, is one of the easiest pets for beginners. It’s very friendly, calm, doesn’t feel threatened easily, and also unique in appearance. Their gold and tan hairs are distinctively curly against their dark bodies, giving it an attractive, almost fluffy-like appearance.
They grow up to 5 inches and can be housed in a 5 to 10-gallon enclosure. Although you should have 3 to 4 inches of substrate, these spiders don’t need much else in their enclosure except a horizontal decor to hide under. You can purchase them for around $20 to $50.
3. Brazilian Black Tarantula
Scientific name: Grammostola pulchra
The Brazilian Black tarantula has a leg span of 6 to 7 inches. However, you can keep them in a 5 to 10-gallon tank, with 4 inches of substrate for females and 8 inches for males. As an exotic species, they are around $100, which is more expensive than the others on this list but still considered cheap compared to other exotic pets.
These spiders are a beautiful velvety jet black with hairs all over them. They are also considered the most easygoing and friendliest tarantula species. Additionally, you can expect adult females to live an impressive 30 years, even though males live for around only 8 years.
4. Mexican Redknee Tarantula
Scientific name: Brachypelma smithi
As their name suggests, the Mexican Redknee tarantula has distinctive red, tan, and/or orange stripes on their legs against their overall black body. Their leg span can grow to 6 inches long and you’ll need a 5 to 10-gallon enclosure with a width around three times longer than their leg span.
These spiders are easygoing, calm, and even-tempered. Females can also live around 35 years or even 40 years. They also prefer not to bite and would rather run and hide when they feel scared. Depending on the size you purchase, you can expect to pay between $40 to $100.
5. Chilean Rose Tarantula
Scientific name: Grammostola rosea
The Chilean Rose tarantula is calm, docile, live a long time, and durable. They can also easily adapt to colder temperatures if you live in an area with colder climates. Adult females can live up to 20 years, while males live around 5 years.
These spiders have reddish-pink hair on their dark brown body, making them vibrant-looking pets. They have a leg span of 5.5 inches and can live in a 5 to 10-gallon enclosure with 2 inches of substrate. Expect to pay an average of $60 for pets.
6. Chilean Flame Tarantula
Scientific name: Grammostola rosea
If you prefer a smaller tarantula, then the Chilean Flame could be the pet for you. It’s very lightweight and smaller than most of the others on this list, growing less than 4 inches. Their temperament is also gentle, friendly, and curious, often wanting to grab your attention.
One thing to note about this species, however, is they can lose their appetite and stop eating when the weather gets cold. This is a natural occurrence though, and females can live up to 15 years, while males live around 3 years.
While not commonly found in pet stores, you can still purchase them from various specialty sellers. A medium-sized Chilean Flame costs around $40.
7. Arizona Blonde Tarantula
Scientific name: Aphonopelma chalcodes
Also known as the Palomino Blonde and Desert Blonde, the Arizona Blonde tarantula can be found naturally in Arizona, California, and Mexico. They also have a unique blonde body with patterns of black and brown hair. They are so mildly-tempered and gentle that they are the species of tarantula most commonly used in Hollywood movies.
Their leg span grows to 5.5 inches and you can keep them in a 5-gallon enclosure with at least 3 inches of substrate. Females can also live up to 30 years. While they are easy to care for and popular pets, you shouldn’t handle them too much as they prefer to be left alone. You can expect to pay around $50 for these spiders.
8. Pink Zebra Beauty Tarantula
Scientific name: Eupalaestrus campestratus
Almost all Pink Zebra Beauty tarantula owners say they are docile, slow-moving, and lovely spiders that aren’t easily threatened. They are also easy to care for and cost around $30 to $70.
House them in a 5 to 10-gallon enclosure, with 4 inches of substrate and preferably placed away from bright lights. These spiders have legs spans between 5 to 6 inches long and dark bodies with yellow stripes and a pinkish hue. Adult females will live up to 20 years, while males live around 5 to 6 years.
9. Mexican Bloodleg Tarantula
Scientific name: Brachypelma emilia
The Mexican Bloodleg tarantula, also known as the Red-Legged tarantula, is a beautiful spider with a dark body and reddish joints. They are docile, easygoing, and easy to care for since they don’t require a lot of attention. They rarely ever bite, but if they do it can cause swelling and pain. If you handle them gently, they are generally calm and friendly.
These spiders are also easy to breed if you plan to have a group of them. However, be aware that younglings are more aggressive and only become docile as they get older. You can expect your Mexican Bloodleg tarantula to have a leg span up to 6 inches and females can live up to 30 years.
You can house them in a 5 to 10-gallon enclosure with 4 to 6 inches of substrate. Depending on the size you purchase, their price can range from $45 to over $100.
10. Brazilian Salmon Pink Tarantula
Scientific name: Lasiodora parahybana
If you want an impressively large tarantula with beautiful coloring, the Brazilian Salmon Pink is a great choice. Its leg span can grow up to 10 inches! They are dark brown or blue in color with salmon-pink and curly reddish-brown hairs. While some people believe larger spiders aren’t optimal for beginners, this species is the best out of all the large tarantulas for those starting off.
They are slow-moving, sweet, docile, and prefer to retreat and run than confront you when they feel threatened. They aren’t very sociable though and prefer to be left alone and not handled often. You can expect females to live up to 15 years and males up to 5 years. They typically cost around $40 to $50.