Tarantulas are a group of hairy spiders that are quite large (and scary looking). There are over 1000 species of tarantulas. However, some types of tarantulas are more popular than others. Some tarantula species are even kept as pets. In the United States, you can find different Tarantula types in the southwestern states.
- Tarantulas belong to the Arachnid family which are invertebrates; these are types of animals that have no internal skeletal system.
- How many types of tarantulas are there? In the United States, there are 30 kinds of tarantulas. And, there are over 800 more documented species around the world.
- Can tarantulas kill humans? No, there have been no reports of a tarantula killing a human. Tarantulas do have venom but only enough to make their bite extremely unpleasant to a human.
- What do tarantulas eat? Butterflies, caterpillars, frogs, toads, beetles, gnats, birds, snakes, bats, etc.
- What is the best tarantula to have as a pet? Check out the list below to find out!
Types of Tarantulas
Mexican Redknee Tarantulas (Brachypelma smithi)
The Mexican Redknee Tarantula is one of the most popular pet tarantulas. It is often the first pet for spider collectors. You find them in pet stores online. These types of tarantulas can live up to 30 years, have a leg span of about 5 inches, and, as the name suggests, they have red knees. They are also very calm spiders. The Mexican red knee tarantula can be found amongst terrain types like the scrublands, deserts, deciduous forests, and dry thorn forests.
These kinds of tarantulas are also known as the Chilean Common, Chilean Fire, Chilean Rose Haired, and Chilean Flame tarantula. It is also a popular pet spider for arachnid lovers. The average leg span is about 5 inches and females can live for up to 20 years. The Chilean Rose Tarantula is a burrowing spider and requires a warm and humid environment. This species of tarantula is known to be calm.
Costa Rican Zebra Tarantulas (Aphonoplema seemanni)
These types of tarantulas are a little bit smaller than the Chilean Rose, the Costa Rican Zebra only has a leg span of 4 to 4-1/2 inches. However, like the Chilean Rose, it is also a ground-dwelling species.
These spiders are calm but can be very fast (which may startle first-time pet owners). Females can live up to 20 years and the typical 70-85 degrees F temperatures are necessary, along with high humidity in the environment. They also go by the name, Striped-knee tarantula.
Mexican Redleg Tarantulas (Brachypelma emilia)
These species can live up to 30 years. The Mexican Redleg tarantula’s leg span can grow up to 6 inches. They are also ground-dwelling spiders that are typically docile.
If you want to keep them as pets, the recommended temperature range for this species is 75-85 degrees F, alongside the typical 65-70% humidity that most tarantulas need.
The Mexican redleg or red-legged tarantula is a species of terrestrial tarantula closely related to the famous Mexican redknee tarantula. Like the redknee it is a docile tarantula and popular in the pet trade. It is slow growing and, like many tarantulas, females can live for decades.Wikipedia
Honduran Curly Hair Tarantulas (Brachypelma albopilosum)
The curly hair tarantula is a plump-bodied spider, covered with dark brown to black bristles. Also referred to as simply the curly hair or wooly tarantula, this spider is very hardy, slow-moving, and fast-growing. It is a ground-dwelling spider, like most of the good beginner spiders, and only needs a small enclosure, such as a 5 or 10-gallon habitat.
Pink Zebra Beauty Tarantula (Eupalaestrus campestratus)
Like many tarantula species, the Pink Zebra Beauty is from South America. Its a great choice for beginners looking for a pet spider. However, it is often confused with a different kind of spider called the Chaco Golden Knee. Females can live up to 25 years and they can grow to have a leg span of up to 6 inches. They typically have calm temperaments.
Pink Toe Tarantulas (Avicularia avicularia)
The Pink Toe tarantula is also referred to as the Guyana Pink toe, Common Pink toe, South American Pink toe, or Pink-toed tree spider. This spider can have a leg span between 3-1/2 and 5 inches. However, females only live up to 10 years.
Housing for this type of tarantula is much different than a ground dweller since it is a tree-dwelling tarantula. It will need branches and more height to the enclosure to allow it to climb. Like most other tarantulas, pink toed are carnivores that will eat insects and other small creatures.
Brazilian Black Tarantulas (Grammostola pulchra)
A radiantly black and large spider with a long leg span, the Brazilian Black tarantula makes for a strikingly attractive pet. The females of this tarantula species can live up to 30 years and are known to eat about half a dozen crickets each week. It’s recommended that temperatures should be in the 70’s and humidity around 60% for this pet tarantula.
Mexican Red Rump Tarantulas (Brachypelma vagans)
Like other tarantula species, the Mexican Red Rump is easy to care for and grows to have a leg span of about 5 inches or more. These tarantulas are unusual because in the wild they tend to live near other Mexican Red Rumps, therefore if you are interested in having more than one tarantula, this is the species to choose.
Desert Blonde Tarantulas (Aphonopelma chalcodes)
These types of tarantulas are somewhat more aggressive than the others on this list. However, the Desert or Mexican Blonde tarantula still makes a good option as a pet spider. This spider grows to be a little bit bigger than some others, but they do have similar care requirements when compared to most beginner tarantulas.
Cobalt Blue Tarantula (Haplopelma lividum)
Under certain lights, these Southeast Asian tarantulas are bright, brilliant blue. All other times, according to the Oakland Zoo, they look black. They are among the most aggressive types of tarantulas, and also one of the rarest. These species of tarantulas are not recommended to be kept as pets.
Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantula (Theraphosa blondi)
This giant spider has a leg span of nearly 12 inches (30 cm), according to Blue Planet Biomes. It is native to Northern areas of South America and lives mostly in swampy areas. While the Goliath Bird-Eating tarantula can eat birds, the behavior is rare. The primary prey of this species is actually earthworms.
Tiger spider (Poecilotheria rajaei)
This is a newly discovered (found in 2013) species of spider that has a leg span of 8 inches (20 cm), according to Wired magazine. The tiger spider has enough venom to kill mice, lizards, small birds, and snakes. It was discovered on the island nation of Sri Lanka. It is a tree-dwelling spider.