Tarantulas have been a relatively common pet now for many years. They are unique, quiet, and need little space, and keeping tarantulas as pets can make a fascinating hobby. In actuality, tarantulas are one of the very low maintenance yet exotic pets you’ll discover. In addition, tarantulas are mild and can be trained quite well as pets.
Tarantulas are a member of the spider family. Beyond this, there are some very interesting and distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from other spiders. They have very hairy legs and bodies, and can live about 30 years. They spin no webs but catch prey by pursuit and fighting. Many tarantulas also”talk” by produce a hissing sound by rubbing their limbs or front legs against each other.
There are over 800 species of tarantula. They are native to a lot of locations and climates in the wild. They are roughly divided into two groups:”old world” (in the eastern hemisphere) and”new world” (in the western hemisphere). Concerning pet care, they are further split into desert or tropical species, and ground-dwelling or aboreal (tree-dwelling).
Tarantulas range in size from only an inch or so to comparative giants measuring almost a foot across. The Goliath Tarantula, which inhabits South America, reaches a body length of 5 inches with a leg span of up to 12 inches. However, the huge majority of species stay small enough to be securely and comfortably housed in a standard 5 to 10 gallon terrarium or aquarium tank (a cover should be provided to prevent escape).
The majority of tarantulas are black (most men ) or brown (most females), but some species exhibit dramatic colors. The level of coloring varies with the species and geographical location. Even”plain” brown spiders vary greatly in shade from a soft tan, through red brown to dark brown.
As an example of the pet tarantula, a great and popular selection for the beginning spider proprietor is the pink rose or the Chilean Rose tarantula. They are naturally docile and slow moving animals which can be readily handled by the novice keeper with some care. The ground dweller is a far simpler habitat to replicate to make your spider feel at home and be comfortable.
Still another intriguing phenomenon exhibited by the tarantula is molting. Tarantulas have exoskeletons and don’t have internal skeletons. Exoskeletons do not allow for growth so for the tarantula to grow it has to molt from its old exoskeleton. Mature tarantulas molt once or twice per year, and baby tarantulas molt more often as they’re growing so quickly.
Observing the molting of tarantulas is definitely one of the most exciting adventures in keeping them. If you notice your tarantula on its back, it is probably molting. Most tarantulas will quickly for about a week before the molting starts and they definitely won’t eat during the molting. Don’t put live crickets or other food in the cage during the molting. It takes several days for the new exoskeleton to harden. Molting is trying on a spider, and it’s also completely vulnerable at that moment, so do not handle or disturb it at all at this time, but observe with fascination!
As we mentioned at the start, tarantulas are among the most low maintenance pets you will find. And once a habitat is initially set up, the only essential things left to do is a weekly or twice-a-week feeding, and regular misting of this habitat with some room-temperature bottled water to maintain proper humidity.
For food, live crickets or any other similar insects can be bought at your neighborhood pet shop, but you should not catch and feed into your tarantula insects from the wild because of the possibility of pesticides and other contaminants. One or two crickets per feeding is usually great, depending on how big your tarantula. Water should be always available for your tarantula to drink, and must be offered in a dish that’s large enough for your tarantula to fit its body in but not too heavy so that it will not accidentally drown.
You should attempt to keep the tarantula’s enclosure clean. Insects that you feed your spider can be somewhat messy when the spider is done consuming it so clean the remains up. The spider’s excrement is easily cleaned up with a tissue or paper towel. With routine light housekeeping, the caging material and cage itself need not be cleaned out over a once or twice per year.
For humidity, desert species could be sprayed lightly about once per week, and rain forest dwellers as much as once each day. Desert tarantulas prefer a humidity of 30% to 50% range. Tropical species require higher humidity from 75% to 100%. Most tarantulas can be kept comfortably in a temperature range of 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and this means little or no supplemental heating system must maintain these animals. Having a humidity gauge and a thermometer is a great idea just to make sure your spider’s requirements are about right. Do keep the cage or tank out of direct sunlight. Glass containers especially can become really hot which can kill your tarantula. Also, added lighting is not needed and can be detrimental.
For greatest enjoyment for both you the pet owner as well as your pet, you can decorate your tarantula’s habitat just a little bit. It is not tough to design a simple, yet aesthetically pleasing and obviously beautiful enclosure. Simple experimentation will show what works for you and for your pet. In actuality, decorating and designing your pet’s habitat may be among the most fun and creative experiences in maintaining a tarantula! It is a good idea to look into the origins, behaviors, and needs of those species that interests you before you purchase it or begin filling and decorating a habitat.
As mentioned, some species come from harsh deserts, and these tarantulas are inclined to be ground-dwelling burrowers. Others live high in the rainforest canopies of Asia and South America. Obviously keeping a tropical tree spider in a dry setup with no vertical height for scaling would cause a stressed and short-lived animal. Tropical, tree-dwelling species can be kept in taller encloses with slightly less floor space than previously recommended. Likewise, deeper enclosures can be used for burrowing desert species. Given some time in their home, most tarantulas will start to make their own hide-outs, some even moving around cage furnishings. This is good, let them do it. Your tarantula knows better than you do what it likes.
There should be a simple hiding structure or shelter like a half-log or coconut hut, or maybe some bits of rock or driftwood. However you choose to do it, don’t forget the fundamental idea of making your tarantula feel secure in the home. Some substrate (cage bedding) will be required, the best being pure orchid bark, coconut husk peat bedding, pure vermiculite, or comparatively clean potting soil, or even a mixture of these.
Not scary beasts out to bite you, but rather, incredibly agile and interesting creatures. Tarantulas are delicate animals, and when handling them be very careful that they don’t fall, as they are sometimes skittish and a short fall can injure them seriously or even kill them.
It is true that tarantulas aren’t the best choice for a pet that you will be able to handle very much, but this is largely because of stress and danger to the spider rather than threat to the handler. For the tarantula owner, the chances of being bitten by a tarantula are extremely rare and even if through carelessness a sting should occur, the venom when injected into a individual usually causes only slight swelling, with some numbness and itching which disappears in a brief time. If it occurs, clean the bite site with soap and water and protect against disease.
Although they are not the cuddly variety, tarantulas are fascinating creatures that may be wonderful, gentle pets. The trick to successfully owning any exotic animal is to learn as much as you can about the species itself and the care of it.