How to Take Care of a Pet Tarantula with Curly Hair

Honduran curly hair tarantula on rocks

The tarantula with curly hair has a rounded body and long, curly bristles that cover it; this gives the spider its popular name. Some of the bristles are golden, but the majority are a dark brown to black tint. The spider acquires a bronze shine as a result. Ground-dwelling, burrowing spiders with curly hair are endemic to Central America. For the pet trade, many are also raised in captivity.

These spiders are perfect for those who are new to caring for tarantulas as pets since they are often quiet, hardy, and simple to care for. They need live prey and housing that resembles their native environment. And although some owners do handle their pets, tarantulas are generally kept as hands-off pets.

Species Overview

Common Names: Curly hair tarantula, wooly tarantula

Scientific Names: Tliltocatl albopilosus (formerly Brachypelma albopilosum)

Adult Size: 5 to 6 inches long (including its leg span)

Lifespan: 8 to 10 years on average in captivity (females), 4 years (males)

Curly Hair Tarantula Behavior and Temperament

These tarantulas are incredibly tranquil and laid-back pets. If you were expecting a vibrant animal, you could even find them dull. A tarantula with curly hair will roam around its container and may even rearrange some of the things you give it, such bits of bark. But unless it is chasing its prey, your spider will often sit in a relaxed position.

However, since tarantulas with curly hair are quickly startled, you should limit any handling. As long as you approach them with extreme patience and gentleness, some won't mind sitting on your hand or arm. When handling these creatures, it is preferable to sit on the floor in case they do become frightened and attempt to escape. Even a short fall from a few feet might cause them significant harm or even death.

Curly haired tarantulas may also employ their defense systems if they feel threatened. They have the ability to kick hairs from their bellies that can irritate someone's skin and harm you if they get in your eyes. Because of this, it's crucial to thoroughly wash your hands after handling a tarantula or anything in its enclosure (and to avoid rubbing your eyes). Even though they are typically calm, curly hair tarantulas have been known to defend themselves by biting.

Keep household pets like tarantulas away from any animals and kids who could handle them improperly. Since they are solitary creatures, curly hair tarantulas shouldn't even be kept alongside other spiders of the same species. Feeding and cleaning should take a few hours each week. then just take in the sight of this fascinating creature.

Warning

People frequently have a local reaction from a curly hair tarantula bite that is comparable to a bee sting. However, certain individuals who are allergic to the venom might experience more severe responses and ought to get quick medical attention.

Size Information

Curly hair tarantulas have a leg span of around 5 to 6 inches across. Their body itself is about 3 inches long.

Housing

For curly hair tarantulas, a 5- to 10-gallon tank with a safe, vented top is ideal. Since these tarantulas can't climb very high, ground area is more crucial than height. The tank's length should be around three times the spider's limb spread, and its breadth should be about two to three times that. A height of around a foot will do.

Keep the tank's temperature between 75 and 85 degrees. To maintain the proper temperature, you can place a heating pad under the tank. This temperature has to be checked frequently using a thermometer. Keep the tank away of the sun's direct rays. Additionally, you may use a hygrometer to assess the humidity level in the tarantula's tank, which should be between 65 and 70 percent. Use a spray bottle to lightly sprinkle the tank with clean water if you need to increase the humidity.

After 24 hours, remove any unfinished prey to keep the enclosure tidy. In addition, keep an eye out for mold growth, which is possible given the dampness. If you see any mold beginning to form on the bedding, get rid of it right once. Every four to six months, the bedding should be completely changed.

Specific Substrate Needs

Peat moss, chemical-free potting soil, or vermiculite should be spread out at least 3 inches deep in the tank's bottom. Coconut husk bedding is an additional choice and is offered at many pet supply stores. To provide your spider with a place to hide, add bits of cork bark, a hollow log, or even half of a tiny clay flower pot.

What Do Curly Hair Tarantulas Eat & Drink?

Live crickets, roaches, waxworms, and other insects are eaten by tarantulas with curly hair. The insects shouldn't be bigger than your tarantula's body size. Additionally, you can occasionally feed adult tarantulas pinky mice. While adults typically eat once a week, this might vary, young tarantulas often require feedings every two to five days. For advice on the right kind and amount of food to feed your specific animal, speak with your veterinarian.

Just place the prey in the area next to your spider. It is advised to feed the spider in the evening when it is more active and hungry. If you don't eliminate undesirable prey within 24 hours, your spider can become stressed.

The majority of the hydration for tarantulas with curly hair comes from food. However, you should still place a little dish of water within the enclosure. Ensure that the spider can readily enter and exit the dish. Every day, wash the dish with new water.

Common Health Problems

When housed in the right surroundings and fed the proper nutrition, tarantulas normally don't have many health issues. However, if your spider has lost its appetite or has grown sluggish, speak with your veterinarian to determine the cause.

Those actions are often indicators that your spider is getting ready to molt, which is a completely natural process. A tarantula produces a new exoskeleton while going through a molt. Additionally, a lot of spiders while flat on their backs with their legs curled up, which some owners who aren't aware with the process can mistake for a spider dying. Although the actual only lasts a few hours, the entire process can go on for weeks. To protect the spider, the new exoskeleton has to harden. However, talk to your veterinarian if you believe your spider's is lasting longer than it should or otherwise looks out of the ordinary. Feeding live prey during a is also not advised since it might harm the newly formed exoskeleton.

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Because not all veterinarians specialize in exotic pets, make sure there is a vet near you who will see a tarantula before you acquire one.

Exercise

Curly hair tarantulas require exercise to maintain good health, just like any other animal. However, they don't call for a lot. The tarantula should get the necessary activity as long as its enclosure is big enough.

Grooming

In essence, tarantulas groom themselves via molting. They shouldn't require any more help from you as long as you keep the environment's temperature and humidity at the proper levels and keep live prey away from them. Additionally, avoid handling your spider when it is molting because doing so might harm the new, delicate exoskeleton.

Upkeep Costs

When caring for a tarantula with curly hair, its food will be your main monthly expense. Expect to spend $5 to $10 a month, however you may frequently save money by rearing your own crickets rather than buying them from a pet store. It can cost between $10 and $20 to sometimes replace the substrate and other worn out components of the enclosure. Don't forget to include veterinarian care and emergencies in your budget as well.

Pros & Cons of Keeping a Curly Hair Tarantula as a Pet

Tarantulas with curly hair are fascinating and peaceful companions. They take up very little room and don't need any upkeep. They won't, however, make friendly or docile pets because they are tarantulas. Furthermore, for people who love a lot of excitement, they are not extremely active creatures.

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Purchasing or Adopting Your Curly Hair Tarantula

Pet retailers occasionally carry this species. But going through a reputable breeder or exotic pet rescue organization is frequently simpler. You should be able to get details on the history and condition of the animal from reputable dealers. The typical price range is between $20 to $50, however this might vary depending on the animal's age, for example. Additionally, because women live longer, they often cost more.

Reproduction/Breeding

A good vendor may be recommended to you by a nearby exotic animal doctor. The biggest advantage of visiting a breeder is that you'll probably have access to a larger range of young animals. Before taking an animal home, make an appointment to see it. Make that the tarantula you select is awake and in good physical shape. A withered or lifeless look may be a sign of illness. Ask to watch the spider eat if you can. Simply keep them separately if you're bringing home many spiders to prevent unintentionally starting your own breeding program.

FAQ
  • Does a curly hair tarantula make a good pet for kids?

    A curly hair tarantula can be a good pet for children who understand its handling restrictions and are comfortable with feeding live prey.

  • Are curly hair tarantulas hard to take care of?

    Curly hair tarantulas are fairly low-maintenance pets, requiring regular feedings and periodic cleanings.

  • Does the curly hair tarantula like to be held?

    Some curly hair tarantulas can be comfortable with gentle handling. The species is generally docile but does spook easily.

CITATION

"Tarantulas: Terrible or TerrificCornell University", "Tarantula Spider Bite InformationMount Sinai Health System.", "When Your Pet Has Eight LegsUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine" ;

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