The Fascinating World of Tarantulas and Quick Facts

The Fascinating World of Tarantulas and Quick Facts


Nature is amazing with all the neat creatures you can find. Sometimes, you’ll find some adorable little rodents, sometimes little scaley critters, and sometimes arachnid friends. One that you can find in many different parts of the world is Tarantulas! They aren’t everyone’s favourite creature, but they are incredibly neat and help out our eco-systems in many different ways.

They are highly effective insectivores and help keep the population down for beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and mosquitos.

Petland carries a wide variety of tarantulas which can include Pink Toes and Mexican Red Knees, contact your local Petland for current availability.

Pink Toe Tarantula

Latin: Avicularia avicularia

Lifespan: Females 10 + years; Males 2-3 years

Origin: Central & South America

Time When Most Active: Night (Nocturnal)

Adult Length: Females 5"; Males 3½"

Suggested Tank Size (for adults): 12x12x18" (Approx. 10 gal)

Substrate Recommendations: Plantation Soil, Jungle mix, Terrarium Moss

Deco Recommendations: Plastic/silk jungle plants – provide a lot of climbing areas. Prefer a woodland/Semi-Tropical habitat.

Foods Offered: Appropriately-sized crickets, worms

General Feeding Frequency: 3 - 4 times a week. Discontinue feeding when coming into a moult, and wait until 2 weeks after a moult to feed (allows exoskeleton to harden)

Ambient Temp: 75 - 82°F

Nighttime Temp: 70 - 75°F

Recommended Humidity: 70 - 80%

Additional Care Requirements: Dechlorinator. Vertical tank as they are arboreal and prefer to have space to climb. Do not use a radiant heat source because it can dry out and harm the tarantula.

Additional Notes: Most Pink Toes are non-aggressive, but can be nervous. If handled properly, are great hand pets. Venom is quite mild, will cause pain and swelling. When startled, will flick irritating hairs – avoid contact with eyes, nose and mouth. As babies they have pink legs with black toes, and as they mature they transition to having black legs with pink toes.

Pink Toe Tarantula

Mexican Red Knee Tarantula 

Lifespan: 15 - 25 years

Origin: Mexico and Panama

Adult Length: 4 - 5½"

Suggested Tank Size (for adults): 18x18x24"

Deco Recommendations: Small water dish plus a sponge, medium cave, plastic/silk plants (Sub-Tropical species)

Feeding Frequency: Food offered daily (depending on molt)

Foods Offered (incl size): Cricket's size depends on tarantula's size

Basking Temp: 85°F

Daytime Ambient Temp: 75 - 85°F

Night Time Ambient Temp: 70 - 72°F

Recommended Humidity: 60 - 75%

Misting Frequency: Once every 2 - 3 days

Additional Care Requirements: Do not feed during molt (crickets will kill the tarantula). Will always burrow, preferably inside of pre-constructed shelters.

Additional Notes: Usually quite reasonable and docile, but may become nervous and unpredictable. When startled, will flick irritating hairs - avoid contact with eyes, nose and mouth.

Meican Red Knee Tarantula

Different spider species are allowed in different regions. Please look into your local bylaws and contact your local Petland for availability.

Tarantula Care

Tarantulas’ typical meals include crickets, mealworms, waxworms, cockroaches and pinkie mice between 1-3 times a week, depending on the tarantula species. It is not uncommon for a tarantula to not eat when they are about to moult. Food should not be offered for two weeks post moult, to allow time for the new exoskeleton to harden.

Tarantulas’ habitats vary based on where they originate from. A light substrate to encourage burrowing is important. They do enjoy branches and arboreal-themed decor for climbing. Housing for these critters depends on size of tarantula as smaller slings require a smaller enclosure to ensure they are not escaping, while larger tarantulas benefit from having a 10–20-gallon tank. Because each tarantula has a specific temperature need and humidity, please refer to the Caring For Your Tarantula tip sheet for more information.

Fun Tarantula Facts! 

  • Female Tarantulas can live up to 30 years, males have an average lifespan of 10 years. It is not uncommon for males to be eaten by their female mate.
  • There are over 1000 species of tarantulas that have been discovered in the wild
  • For some species of Tarantulas, it takes them between 3-12 years to hit maturity.
  • Tarantulas cannot eat solid foods, so they pump venom in their prey and suck up the liquids.
  • Despite popular belief, many tarantulas are quite docile and like to mind their own business.
  • Most tarantulas have urticating hairs that when threatened they can flick their barbed hairs to irritate eyes or skin.
  • The biggest tarantula is the Goliath Bird Eater with a body length of up to 13 cm (5.1").
  • Old-world tarantulas don’t have urticating hairs, so they are more prone to biting. Old world tarantula would include Cobalt Blue Tarantulas.
  • Tarantulas are incredibly fragile. If they are dropped, they can break, and super glue should be kept on hand for any kind of emergencies.

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