Even though they may look terrifying, tarantulas make wonderful pets that can help calm the natural fear that some people have about arachnids. With over 800 species of tarantulas, there are several different options for those interested in keeping these unusual creatures as pets. With that said, however, beginners should stick with species of tarantulas that can be handled, since these are typically more docile and calm.
8 Tarantulas That Can Be Handled
When choosing a species of tarantula to keep as a pet, there are a few things you should consider. The overall temperament of the arachnid, how fast it is, and whether or not it can be handled are important facts you should find out before taking on the responsibility of caring for the spider.
Remember that even if they are considered docile, tarantulas that can be handled can still bite. The good news is that while the bite is painful and does contain venom, it is not deadly to humans.
1. Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula
Scientific Name: Grammostola Rosea
The Chilean rose hair is one of the best tarantulas for beginners due to its docile and calm nature. In fact, the Chilean rose hair tarantula is commonly used on movies and TV sets because of its easy-going nature.
This species of tarantula is a burrowing arachnid that is native to Chile, which means they love humid and warm environments. The Chilean rose hair tarantula is commonly seen in pet stores, and can live between 5 and 20 years, depending on the sex. They are brown in color with rosy pink highlights, and they measure about 5 inches.
2. Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula
Scientific Name: Brachypelma smithi
This docile tarantula species is a stunning option for beginners and features a black body with vibrant red or orange coloring on its knees. They have an average size of between 4 ½ to 5 ½ inches, and the females of the species can live up to 30 years.
The Mexican red-knee is a terrestrial tarantula that is native to the Pacific coast of Guerrero. They thrive in warm environments and will need to be fed two to three times a week.
3. Honduran Curly Hair Tarantula
Scientific Name: Brachypelma albopilosum
Besides being a species of tarantula that can be handled, the Honduran curly hair is covered in curled bristles, which is what this spider is named after.
The Honduran curly hair tarantula is native to the rainforests of Central America, and has a calm and easy-to-care-for nature, making it ideal for beginners. Additionally, they are hardy and slow moving, and are mostly bred in captivity for the pet trade industry.
4. Brazilian Black Tarantula
Scientific Name: Grammostola pulchra
As its name suggests, the Brazilian black tarantula is native to Brazil, as well as Uruguay, and has a large black body. This species is rather plump and can reach 7 inches in size.
The female of the species can live for about 20 years, while the male typically only lives for about 6 years. They are slow-moving and docile, which makes them a good choice for first-time tarantula-owners.
5. Antilles Pinktoe Tarantula
Scientific Name: Caribena Versicolor
Antilles pinktoe is a stunning tree-dwelling tarantula that has a black body covered in pinkish or orange-colored hair with a green tinge to it. This tarantula species is typically docile and calm, with an agreeable personality and slow-moving nature. Unfortunately, they can sometimes be a bit skittish.
While they can typically be handled with little to no problems, the Antilles pinktoe has a defense mechanism unlike other tarantulas. When they become frightened, they will fling their waste at the attacker, so keep that in mind when handling these stunning spiders.
6. Mexican Red Rump Tarantula
Scientific Name: Tliltocatl vagans
The Mexican red rump is another tarantula that can be handled. They are native to Mexico and Central America and measure about 6 inches in length.
They have a jet black body covered in dark reddish hair. The Mexican red rump tarantula makes a good choice for beginners because they are slow-moving, docile, and are not interested in biting unless provoked.
In its native habitat, the Mexican red rump is often found living near other spiders of the same species. So, this is a good choice if you want to keep multiple tarantulas.
7. Pink Zebra Beauty Tarantula
Scientific Name: Eupalaestrus Campestratus
The pink zebra beauty tarantula has a deep brown body that features unusual yellowish or pinkish stripes on its knees that resemble zebra stripes. Like other tarantulas on our list, the pink zebra beauty is rather docile with a slow-moving nature, which makes it a good choice for beginners who want to handle their tarantulas.
This tarantula species is native to Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, and can grow up to 6 inches long. The female has an average lifespan of 25 years, while the male’s lifespan is about 10 years. They are burrowing tarantula, so make sure you have enough substrate in their container to accommodate the digging behavior.
8. Pink Toe Tarantula
Scientific Name: Avicularia avicularia
The pink toe is a docile and shy species of tarantula that is rather low-maintenance. They make an ideal option for beginners, since they typically don’t mind being handled. They are medium-sized tarantula that can reach lengths of between 3 ½ to 5 inches long, and have a black body with pinkish or orange-colored “toes”.
Keep in mind, however, that the pink toe tarantula can be a bit nervous and even jittery, which makes them prone to jumping when scared. must be taken not to scare or startle them when handling them since they could leap out of your hands and hurt themselves.