Curly Hair Tarantulas as Pets

Honduran Curly-Hair Tarantula, Brachypelma albopilosa, from Honduras
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The curly hair tarantula also called a wooly tarantula and known to the scientific world as Brachypelma albopilosum, is a relatively hardy and sedate tarantula, which makes it ideal for those who are new to raising tarantulas as pets. This slower moving but faster-growing cousin to the Mexican red knee tarantula can fascinate adults and children for hours on end.


A small (5-10 gallon) tank is suitable for curly hair tarantulas. The width of the tank should be two to three times wider than the leg span of the spider—about 5 to 51/2 inches, so your tank should be at least 11 inches wide—and only as tall as the spider's leg span. Add a minimum 3 inches of peat moss, soil, or vermiculite to the bottom of the tank for use as a substrate. Then put in wood, cork bark, or half of a small clay flower pot so your curly hair tarantula has his own shelter or a retreat.

Put the entire tank setup in a warm room—the temperature should be between 75 and 85 degrees. If you keep your own house cooler, feel free to place a heating pad under your curly hair tarantula's tank. As an option, change the lightbulb in the nearest table lamp to a red bulb.

The humidity in the room should be about 65 to 70 percent.

Food and Drink

Curly hair tarantulas get much of their hydration from their food source You pet loves live crickets and other large insects. For a young tarantula, make sure the insects are at least 3/4 the size of your pet. Larger curly hair tarantulas eat insects their same size. Drop one or two crickets into your pet's environment once a week or so. Check the next day to make sure there's nothing left of the insect, and if there is any residue, alive or dead, remove it from your tarantula's den.​

It's difficult to overfeed a young curly hair tarantula, and an adult will sometimes eat only once or twice a month.

For a treat, add a pinky mouse, which you can buy online or from a full-service pet store.

To ensure your pet wooly tarantula is getting the 0proper nutrition. Check out its abdomen. If it's shriveled or becoming grape-shaped, your pet wants nutrition. If the abdomen is distended, cut back.

If you feel the need to give your pet tarantula water, put it in a shallow dish, no deeper than the lid you'd find on a jar of mayonnaise or pickles, for example. Any larger and you run the risk of your curly hair tarantula or its food drowning.


Like with other creatures, the female curly hair tarantula will outlive the male. Females live, on average, eight to 10 years. A male lives an average of only four years.

Safety Warnings

While tarantulas have a reputation for being venemous, unless you are allergic, if you get bitten by your pet curly hair tarantula, you're likely to feel just a sting, like from a bee or wasp. More dangerous ae the urticating hairs, tiny bristles that they send shooting out. They can be seriously irritating if they embed themselves in your eyes. The best advice is to rinse your hands after handling your pet, and if you do get hairs in your eyes, see a doctor.