Tarantula Care Sheets — Species Specific
© 2009-2013, Michael Jacobi and TARANTULAS.com
Tarantula keepers should have a broad overall knowledge of tarantula husbandry. Most keepers quickly find their collections growing to include a number of tarantula species from different habitats (desert, grassland or tropical forest) and different habits or lifestyles (wandering, burrowing or arboreal). Therefore, it is best to learn all of the skills for successful tarantula keeping and not focus on the specific way to keep one given species. However, many keepers look for concise care sheets that specifically target one or more popular species that they keep. An Internet search using scientific name will produce a number of these care sheets. Unfortunately, many are written by inexperienced keepers that, while well-intentioned and occasionally informative, risk misleading other keepers into believing they are more authoritative than they deserve. In short, many of these care sheets are inaccurate, in part or in whole, and bad information spreads like wildfire, repeated by other writers in other forums or websites. We want you to receive expert advice and accurate information. TARANTULAS.com is run by two guys with a combined experience in tarantula breeding and keeping that exceeds 50 years! These are the care sheets you can count on!
How to Use
The care sheets are fairly self-explanatory. They provide not only information about properly caring for the species in captivity, but also a bit about its natural habitat. Information is provided in sections such as distribution, temperature and humidity, housing, and feeding. The one section that should be further explained is Experience Level. Experience Level is given as Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. This may seem arbitrary and certainly is subjective. Many "beginner" keepers certainly could be successful with "Intermediate" species. Sometimes the "Intermediate" distinction is simply a matter of the species being nervous/defensive or secretive and therefore not as suitable as an introduction to the hobby. If these factors are taken into consideration a neophyte keeper may have little difficulty in properly caring for the species. (Close inspection of the behavior and habitat sections will clue you in to why a species might be designated as "Intermediate" or "Advanced" and what factors require careful consideration). Truly "Advanced" species, like Theraphosa blondi [Goliath Birdeater], are designated as such because they have very specific husbandry requirements and a good deal of experience in, for example, maintaining a very narrow range of temperature and humidity range is necessary for successful keeping. In the T. blondi example, you have a species that not only requires exacting conditions, but also is nervous/defensive and has extremely strong defensive urticating hairs. Therefore, it is truly a species for "Advanced" tarantula hobbyists only. But elsewhere the distinctions are not always as clear cut and you are advised to read the care page carefully, look for more comprehensive information on the species elsewhere (Internet, books, tarantula society journals, etc.), and make your own informed decision as to whether you are up to the task of that species captive care. Remember that you have a responsibility to not only keep your tarantula alive, but to do so in a manner that adequately addresses its natural habits and environment and thus makes it thrive, not just survive. This responsibility must not be taken lightly.