What You Need to Know About Pet Tarantulas

Live Pet Tarantula Care Sheet

The following care sheet is based on over ten years of experience keeping a variety of tarantula species. While their care requirements are minimal, quality care does affect ultimate size and growth rates. For slow-growing species with long lifespans, like our native US Aphonopelma species, these considerations are helpful when choosing a pet tarantula. Other factors to consider include whether a tarantula species is terrestrial or arboreal. Finally, factors of speed, aggression and venom levels should be strongly considered.


  • Introduction
  • Buying Tarantulas
  • Housing/Habitats
  • Foods
  • Life Cycle
  • Molting
  • Breeding

Introduction: Tarantulas are easily the most popular pet bug (arthropod) group in the US live pet bug hobby. The vast array of species that are available, combined with their behaviors and ease of care contribute to their popularity. Many people just want a pet they can impress visitors to their home with, but tarantulas are a marvel of evolution.

They are the largest spiders on the planet, exhibiting a truly amazing diversity of habits, habitats, and appearance. Goliath birdeaters tip the scale as the largest species, while bright, metallic hairs cover the bodies of an amazing number of others. Symmetrically banded in reds, yellows or oranges appear on many species, like the popular Mexican Red Knee Brachypelma smithi. Various patterns of lines provide species like the ornamental Poecilotheria, or the tiger rump Cyclosternum fasciatum, a distinct appeal.