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Care Sheets

Discussion in 'Arachnids General' started by Pharoahound, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    I thought I'd put together a few simple care sheets for common tarantulas around. (In my hopefully non-feeble attempt to turn you guys into spider lovers ;) )

    One of the first common petsore tarantulas are pink toes. Avicularia. There's tons of subspecies in Avicularia, ranging from bright purple tarantulas with teal cephalothorax. Or just the normal black spider with pink 'toe' pads.

    Avicularia Avicularia. pink.jpg
    Known more commonly as either, common pink toe, South American pink toe,or Guyana pink toe. They are the most likely and only ones Ive seen available in petstore chains. A lot of people are interested because they are cheap and only grow from 3.5 to 5 inches in legspan. Also If you buy from breeders your options and colour ranges vary. But normally you will only see small black spiders with pink toes.They are native to tropical areas of Brazil, Guyana, and Venezuela. There is one misconception about pink toe tarantulas. They are often known as a great beginner tarantula. I personally think that is not true. They are an arboreal tarantula-unlike their slow moving terrestrial cousins they are fast- they will run and jump if threatened. Opposed to most all terrestrial species who just throw their legs up in a threat posture if startled. (and of course because most land species are too...well, fat to jump.) Most arboreal tarantulas are more elongated and made to jump on trees and branches. Another thing a lot of people don't know about Pink toes is...one of their defences is to shoot, excrement at any opposing threat. Up to 3 feet away and hit their target almost perfectly! So yeah an A.Avicularia is a great starter if you don't mind a quick moving jumpy spider who can shoot poop at you from 3 feet away.
    Housing requirements.
    Homing is simple like most smaller tarantulas. They need an arboreal enclosure set up. Any of the taller glass enclosures will work. Size doesn't necessarily matter. The bigger the better. And you can't go too big for an adult. But slings need to be kept in varying size deli cups. As under an inch you will lose the spider and won't be able to feet it once it burrows and gets comfy. You will need various fake plants or real plants. Whatever your preference the spider will need places to hide-web and just sit and relax on. If you don't have a lot of things and places for your spider to go-they will get bored. Web one place and stay there only moving to eat. And that's no fun! The substrate is whatever your choice. Normally people go for soil or coconut fiber. Anything that will hold moisture works well since there's no risk of the spider eating any of the substrate! The humidity levels need to be kept reasonably high. Upper 70's to low 80's. That can be obtained by misting-1-3 times a day depending on the size of your T's enclosure. They need 75-85 to be at a comfortable temperature. If it's below 75 you will need a heating pad on the side near the top or bottom of your enclosure. A water dish is a must. A lot of people don't think that a spider would need a water dish big enough they can crawl in and out of comfortably, not more then an inch deep-my aunt said it was silly that they're not dogs or cats! But all my spiders are seen a few times a week at the water dish-they sink there fang's and fang area into the water and have at it. My Rose hair grabs water with her pedipalps (the two front shorter legs (the arms ;P), and cleans her fangs whenever she drinks.) Also some pink toes can be kept in small colonies but that would be only if you're experienced in the hobby and know exactly what you're doing.
    Feeding
    There diets are simple. A sub adult can eat a few times a week. Three at most. An adult can eat once or twice a week. How often a T eats is solely up to the owner. But a warning-some people think feeding a tarantula (an adult or subadult) everyday as much as it will eat is a good way to make them grow faster. And it does-but you will seriously shorten it's life expectancy. It's called 'power feeding' and is usually done for a sick spider or a spider who needs to buff up before breeding. People have found out the less you feed them (Not to the point of starving them) will make them live longer. Up to 30 or 40 years for some species! They will eat about anything. Crickets, and kind of worm, mealies supers or earth and red worms, horn worms butter worms, wax worms (wax worms and butters are usually avoided because some aren't interested and they're not very appealing.) Dubias are probably the most healthy thing to feed them. Don't need to dust anything. Just gut load.
    Size
    One of the smaller T's not smaller then 3.5 inches or bigger then 5 inches in leg span when mature. MAles mature in 1-1 1/2 years. Females mature in 2-3 years.
    Like all male tarantulas They live a lot shorter of a life. Not more then 5 years. While female pink toes can live over 12.
    Temperament.
    Very active. They aren't aggressive but some can be super jumpy. If you want any tarantula as a pet you have to go into it knowing there is a chance you won't be able to ever hold it. There's no training a spider. And if you're trying to get over a fear and get a spider. A Pink toe shouldn't be your first choice.
    Handling
    Once you've handled a few tarantulas and get the hang of it a Pink toe is easy. Never hold them while standing up. A fall of even a couple feet can kill any tarantula. Or loose a few legs (those in the next molt they have they will grow them back, shorter and smaller at first-but in a few molts the leg will be good as new!) A bathroom is ideal when first holding them. Just put a towel under the door and or the sink so if they run they can't escape. Because if you reach under to grab them-they will most likely stick a fang in you. If you need to transport a spider-if you're cleaning or changing the tank you can scoop them right up in a deli cup or some sort of plastic tupperware container.

    Another common tarantula in the T trade is the 'Rose hair tarantula.' Name giving by the pink-to red colouring of the spider. It comes from the genus Grammostola. Home to a few great starter Tarantulas. This genus has fat slow hairy spiders.
    Grammostola Rosea, or Grammostola porteri. rose.jpg
    Though they are the same species just a different colour faze. The rosea being a more pink/red. And the porteri being more brown. This is a terrestrial species of Tarantula. They are indigenous to Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina,Bolivia and Chile. I would recommend this spider over the pink toe in a heart beat. They are slow moving spiders, very cautious and when holding will just sit/stand in the same spot for a long period of time. Unlike the Pinks who run and jump a little until they calm.
    Housing.
    I see a lot of Rosies in 5g tanks. And these people often refer to the spider as a 'Pet rock.' Because they put one hide, a water dish, and some dirt in it.. Of course the spider isn't going to move a lot. It has nothing to do. I had a female in a 20gl with leaning logs, plants, different size rocks and pebbles. And she used every inch of it. A ten gallon would be a better choice- if you want a happy active spider. Decorate it a lot and it would be great. These like to be kept at a nice 80 degrees. A few lower on either side will be ok but if its in the low 70's to 60's you'll need a heating pad. A water dish will be needed also. Big enough the spider can crawl in and out of. Not more than an inch or so deep. They don't web nearly as much as a pink toe. Ive heard of a few rosies burrowing so 3-4 inches of soil, coco fiber might be added for good measures. Some rosies like hides, some don't. Supply just incase. They will shy away from wet ground. though a little humidity is needed. Ive learneds most site will tell you they need high humidity but they are a desert type tarantula. I mist one side of the tank lightly every other day-Giving them options to where to sit.
    Feeding.
    Most T's feeding's are the same. If you have a lot of spiders they can all eat the same thing. And usually anything you have on hand is fine! They will eat about anything. Crickets, and kind of worm, mealies supers or earth and red worms, horn worms butter worms, wax worms (wax worms and butters are usually avoided because some aren't interested and they're not very nutritious anyway.) Dubias are probably the most healthy thing to feed them. Don't need to dust anything. Just gut load.
    Size
    rosie's are a little bigger then Pink toes in width. Male averaging 4 inches, ive seen females get to about 6 inches.
    Males live about 4-5 years. It's not unheard of a female living around 20 years-given correct husbandry.
    Temperament.
    Very, VERY docile. If the tarantula has never been handled before she/he might flick 'ulcerating' hairs off it's abdomen. Making you itch and burn slightly. But no real damage. They will stop this when they become accustomed to you picking them up. And it should be common sense not to hold them up to your face. You'll have a lot of fun when they kick hairs into your eyes or up your nose.
    Handling.
    Very slow moving species. If a little startled it might tense up, pick a few legs off the ground-but if you give them a minute they will lower their legs and go about their business. They move VERY slow. Usually stopping for long periods of times to just chill. To pick them up you should lay you flat and tap it's back legs gently. It will move forward onto your hand and then you may lift it out of the terrarium. Never hold when you're just standing somewhere. Though they are slow and wont jump if startled they will move a little faster and someone not used to this might get nervous-resulting in the spider falling off or being thrown off. I used to have one of my rosies to the top corner of my laptop screen and she would hang there for hours before she decided to move (to the other side.) If you need to transport a spider-if you're cleaning or changing the tank you can gently prod them right into a deli cup or some sort of plastic tupperware container.

    THINGS TO KNOW.

    Tarantulas have venom. They are able to bite
    if you hurt them or they honestly feel they are about to get eaten-or some species like p.metalicas. They're just mean. The venom of the rose hair and Pink toe's sometimes don't even affect the person. But more so then not (in the unlikely occasion )that one of the spiders listed above does bite you. If won't hurt more then a bee sting. The spider will usually stick its fangs in as a warning then get away as fast as it can-since it doesn't see you as food. It sees you as a predator. They are not out to get you or eat you when they bite-they just don't want to get eaten themselves! If bitten try to stay calm, if you lower your hand on something-table, bed, floor the spider will hop right off and go about its day-as usual.Though I can't say other spiders bites are that docile. The starburst baboon tarantulas and any of the pokies (poecilotheria) Will send you to the hospital it will hurt so bad-sending you into vomiting episodes,head ache and sweats. Yes they are beautiful spiders but shouldn't be bought until you've had a lot of years and a lot of spiders under your belt.

    Thank you for reading! I hope you find this helpful. I also I hope I didn't leave anything out...I'll check tomorrow I'm tired now lol :p I will eventually add more spiders to here! Including More from grammostola-Chaco golden knee and Brazilian black. And others like the Green bottle blue Tarantula, Venezuelan suntiger's and Various bird eating spiders like the T.Blondi. I hope that I can at least help people know a little more about spiders so they don't go threw their whole life thinking they're terrible monsters out to get you and you should squish one whenever you see it!
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  2. alpine

    alpine Elite Member

    This is definitely good to know :). Maybe you could do one specifically for spiderling care? And maybe add some for the Chaco Golden Knees :). Just a thought, but this is really good to know!
     
  3. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    You know what while your at it might as well do one for all spiders you know of...
    Oh and this is a bit off point but I was wondering if you had any desire to have a camel spider or creature of the earth as a pet?
    I ask because I saw some for sale and I can't think of anyone actually wanting one...thought you as the spider guy would be the best to ask.
     
  4. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    I can do one for slings! Ill just add it to here so I don't spam herp center will TONS of spider threads. A lot of sling care is the same but a few species need different things so I'll make sure to add that for you and others. Thank you!
     
  5. alpine

    alpine Elite Member

    Wonderful! This is a great thing to know, would have made things so much easier when I was googling and found a lot of contrasting information.
     
  6. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    Camel spiders are such babies! A guy I used to trade spiders with had a bunch of them. I admit they are so creepy looking...but I actually held one for the first Time and. It was the sweetest thing! It crawled up my sleeve and I started to panic and my friend took it off and put it on the front of my shirt (I almost smacked him) and it just sat there. I stroked it with a Finger a few times but other then that. Puppy dog sweet. There's a lot of rumors. They are usually called wind scorpions and aren't even a real 'spider' per say. But alas they are interesting to watch.....but they are ugly and I wouldn't wan to keeep one around. I couldn't bare looking at it for that long. Lol!
     
  7. alpine

    alpine Elite Member

    I have seen those things.. Not amused.. Those genuinely give me the creeps. But I do like Thalattes idea because when I started the search for information I looked on this site and there really are no care sheets for tarantulas of any kind. This deserves to be stickied so that people can get some good information. Because when I searched for information some of the first sites to come up were forums where people were asking for information. This would be a great step in a great direction.
     
  8. Pharoahound

    Pharoahound Elite Member

    Well that's understandable because this isn't really a spider forum. Though it does have a small (and growing ;) )arachnid section. Oh and there's a care sheet for pokies!
     
  9. alpine

    alpine Elite Member

    What I mean to say is that it would certainly be nice to have :). And it is good to have people who can fact check what we are told too.
     

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