The Pink Toe Tarantula is a large, tree-dwelling spider native to the tropics. It’s named for the pink colors on the tips of it’s legs, which stand out in contrast to it’s black body. They’re popular pets because they’re fairly docile for tarantulas and their venom is very mild, so they’re safe to handle.
Keeping a pink toe isn’t hard, but you do need to know what you’re doing. Here’s our guide to caring for pink toe tarantulas.
Pinktoe Tarantula care sheet
- Common names: Pink Toe, Pink-toed, or Pinktoe Tarantula
- Scientific name: Avicularia avicularia
- Range: Central and South America, from Costa Rica through Brazil
- Lifespan: 2-3 years for males, 6-9 years for females
- Adult size: Up to six inches long
- Temperament: Can be handled gently, but these spiders are easily spooked
This is an arboreal species, so the primary concern with housing them is mimicking their natural habitat and giving them plenty of room to climb. Tarantulas are comfortable living in a small space so a 10 gallon terrarium is often plenty big, as long as it’s a tall rather than wide tank.
It’s also good to get a terrarium with front or side doors. These spiders usually spin their webs near the top of the tank, so opening the lid can damage the web, not to mention make it easy for the spider to escape.
You’ll want a lot of foliage in the tank, because these spiders like to hide up high and will probably use their web to construct a hiding area in the foliage near the top of the tank. A small water dish is also good, both for maintaining good humidity levels and for providing fresh water.
Terrarium– A tall, 10 gallon terrarium is best. This one is perfect; it’s the right volume and at 18 inches tall it’s got plenty of space for your tarantula. Plus, it has a front-opening door which allows you to access the terrarium without disturbing their web at the top.
Foliage– Some green foliage helps your spider feel at home and gives them good hiding spots. Silk plants like these will do the job and they’ll last forever.
Vines- In addition to leafy foliage, you want some vines that add additional climbing surfaces. These vines are great for creating a customized arboreal environment.
Branches– branches form the scaffolding for the foliage and vines. Since your tarantula won’t spend much time on the ground, these fill the role that substrate usually would. Branches like these are perfect for creating an environment for your tarantula.
Bark tubes– some keepers like to provide bark tubes like these near the top of the terrarium. It provides an excellent, natural-feeling hiding spot for your tarantula.
2. Temperature and lighting
Pinktoe tarantulas are comfortable in temperatures from 70 to 80 degrees F. You may be able to maintain those temperatures just with the ambient room temperature, but if you like your home fairly cool you may want to add a substrate heater.
Humidity is also important. The humidity level inside the terrarium should be between 75 and 85 percent. Moistened sphagnum moss and a small water dish should be sufficient to keep the humidity levels in the appropriate range.
Small water dish– you only need a very small water dish for your tarantula. While it may drink from the bowl, this dish is mainly here to maintain humidity levels. These are specially designed for tarantulas. They should be all you need to keep the humidity up.
Thermometer/hygrometer- you absolutely must have a thermometer and hygrometer to monitor both the temperature AND the humidity levels, otherwise you have no way of knowing if the climate in the terrarium is appropriate for your tarantula. This one will do the job nicely.
Substrate heater– a substrate heater is the easiest way to maintain proper temperature. This small one is all you need.
3. Diet and feeding
Crickets and roaches are the best food choices for your spider. You’ll need to feed live prey, as the spider will ignore dead insects and can’t eat freeze dried insects. You sheed drop in a few live crickets every three to ten days for your spider.
Some people like to go the extra mile and raise their own crickets, but your local exotic pet shop will almost certainly have a bunch of feeder crickets that you can use. Even big chain stores like PetCo and PetSmart often have live feeder crickets available.
Live Crickets– Believe it or not, you can actually order live crickets online. These are bred specifically as feeder crickets and are guaranteed to be live on arrival. They also come with instructions for keeping them alive until you feed them to your tarantula.
Because this is an arboreal species, substrate isn’t as important as it would be with a terrestrial tarantula. Many keepers just line the bottom of the terrarium with an inch or so of sphagnum moss.
Sphagnum moss– this moss is soft, looks cool, and it will help maintain ideal humidity levels for your tarantula too. It’s a no brainer.
Maintenance is relatively easy. Any uneaten prey should be removed after 24 horse, and the substrate should be completely replaced every four to six months. Just keep an eye out for mold- if you see mold, immediately remove and replace the portion of the substrate with mold in it.
Pinktoe tarantulas are considered one of the easier tarantulas to handle. They’re typically a fairly calm species and rarely bite; if they do bite, they have extremely mild venom. However, it’s still possible that an allergic reaction to the venom could be fatal.
The biggest risk when handling these tarantulas is that they spook easily and tend to jump when scared. They might leap from your hand to your shoulder, or more likely jump ff your hand straight to the ground. They’re delicate animals, and a fall like that could seriously injure or kill them. So, when handling them, be sure to do so sitting on the ground to minimize the risk of injury.
7. Other things to know
Pinktoe tarantulas, like all spiders, will molt from time to time as they outgrow their exoskeleton. Prior to to and just after molting, they’ll be sluggish and uninterested in food. During the actual molt, they’ll often be lying on their backs, legs curled up above them. They’ll look dead for a bit, and new owners are often alarmed. In a few hours though, the molt will be complete and they’ll be back to their usual selves.
Pink Toe tarantulas as pets
Pink-toe tarantulas can make excellent pets. They’re relatively easy to care for and their terrariums don’t take up that much room. They also don’t require nearly as much maintenance as reptiles or amphibians, making them a great choice for an exotic pet for those who don’t have as much time to devote to pet care.