10 Best Tarantula Species to Keep as Pets

top tarantula species illustration

Chloe Giroux / The Spruce 

If you're considering a pet spider, tarantulas should be high on your list. There are more than 800 tarantula species, though some make better pets than others. The best beginner tarantulas are ground dwellers or burrowers. They tend to have docile personalities and are slow movers. With proper care, many of these animals can live around 10 years or more in captivity. Here are 10 tarantula species that can make fascinating pets.

Tip

Tarantulas can bite, and their bites are venomous. But for most species, the toxicity is similar to that of a bee sting. However, like a bee sting, some people might experience serious allergic reactions to a tarantula bite.

  • 01 of 10

    Mexican Red-Knee

    Mexican redknee tarantula on a white background

    Science Photo Library/Getty Images

    The Mexican red-knee is often the first pet for spider enthusiasts. The females can live around 20 to 30 years while the males only live for about 10 years. A 5- to 10-gallon tank is suitable for these tarantulas. And as they're quite docile, they typically are easy to handle.

    Species Overview

    Length: 5 inches

    Weight: 0.5 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Red-orange knees; black body with brown hairs

  • 02 of 10

    Chilean Rose

    Chilean rose haired tarantula on red rocks and sand

    Danita Delimont/Getty Images

    Also known as the Chilean fire tarantula, this spider is popular for beginner arachnid enthusiasts. The females can live up to 20 years while the males only live around 5 years. A typical burrowing spider, the Chilean rose requires a warm, humid environment and is known to be quite calm.

    Species Overview

    Length: 4 to 5 inches

    Weight: 0.5 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily black to brown; rose-colored hair on upper body

  • 03 of 10

    Costa Rican Zebra

    Costa Rican zebra tarantula on a rock

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    Costa Rican zebras are calm, ground-dwelling tarantulas that can move very fast. They aren't ideal for those who wish to handle their pet spiders. The females can live up to 20 years, with the males at around 5 years. A warm, humid, 5- to 10-gallon tank works for this spider.

    Species Overview

    Length: 4 to 5 inches

    Weight: 0.5 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Black body; deep red hairs; white stripes on legs; orange spinnerets

  • 04 of 10

    Mexican Redleg

    Mexican redleg tarantula on mulch

    Michael D. Kern/Getty Images

    Female Mexican redlegs can live up to 30 years while the males live around 5 years. These ground-dwelling spiders are typically docile but are easily startled. The recommended temperature range for this species is 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (24 to 29 degrees Celsius) with 65 to 70 percent humidity.

    Species Overview

    Length: 5 to 6 inches

    Weight: 0.5 to 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Dark body; pink, red, or orange on second joint of legs; light upper shell with black triangle at front

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Honduran Curly Hair

    Honduran curly hair tarantula on a rock

    Danita Delimont/Getty Images

    Also referred to as the curly hair or wooly tarantula, this spider is very hardy, slow-moving, and fast-growing. It is a ground-dwelling spider and only needs a small enclosure, such as a 5- to 10-gallon aquarium. The females can live around 10 years while the males live around 4 years.

    Species Overview

    Length: 5.5 inches

    Weight: 0.5 to 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Round body; short, dark bristles; long, golden bristles

  • 06 of 10

    Pink Zebra Beauty

    Pink zebra beauty tarantula in an enclosure

    Syrio/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

    Like many tarantulas, the pink zebra beauty hails from South America and typically has a calm personality. This hardy beginner spider is often confused with a slightly larger species known as the Chaco golden knee. The females can live up to 25 years while the males live around 10 years.

    Species Overview

    Length: 5 to 6 inches

    Weight: 0.5 to 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily dark brown; yellow striped markings

  • 07 of 10

    Pink Toe

    Pink toe tarantula

    Brent K. Moore/Getty Images

    If you're looking for a tree-dwelling species, consider the pink toe tarantula. It's also referred to as the Guyana pink toe, common pink toe, South American pink toe, and pink-toed tree spider. The females live around 10 years with the males at around 5. This tree-loving spider needs roughly a 10-gallon tank with some height that's outfitted with branches and other items for climbing.

    Species Overview

    Length: 3.5 to 5 inches

    Weight: 0.5 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily black; pink-orange coloring at ends of furry legs

  • 08 of 10

    Brazilian Black

    Brazilian black tarantula on a white background

     Janette Hill/Getty Images

    As a velvety black spider with a wide leg span, the Brazilian black tarantula makes for a striking pet. The females of this species can live around 20 years with the males at around 5 years. These spiders will eat about a half dozen crickets each week. They prefer temperatures in the 70s and humidity around 60 percent.

    Species Overview

    Length: 7 inches

    Weight: 0.5 to 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily solid black; velvety hair

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Mexican Red Rump

    Mexican red rump tarantula on rocks

     Danita Delimont/Getty Images

    Mexican red rump tarantulas are generally docile and slow-moving. The females live around 15 years with the males at 5 to 6 years. In the wild, these spiders tend to live near other Mexican red rumps. If you are interested in having multiple tarantulas, this might be a good option.

    Species Overview

    Length: 6 inches

    Weight: 0.5 to 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Primarily jet black; dark red hairs on abdomen

  • 10 of 10

    Desert Blonde

    Desert blonde tarantula on dirt

    Rick (RaVen) Hirschl/Getty Images

    Although they are slightly more aggressive than many other beginner spiders, Mexican or desert blonde tarantulas still make a good option for people with limited arachnid experience. The females can live up to 30 years while the males have a 5- to 10-year lifespan. The venom from these spiders is mild unless a person is allergic.

    Species Overview

    Length: 5 to 6 inches

    Weight: 0.5 to 1 ounce

    Physical Characteristics: Blonde hairs on upper shell and lower legs; black hairs on femurs; brown hairs on abdomen