Longevity: approx. 15 years for a female, approx. 3 years for a male
Temperature Gradient: 75-82f (24-28c)
Dietary: Predominantly insectivorous
Adult size: 12-15cm
Cleaning: Spot clean only when needed, full clean hardly ever
The curly haired tarantula originates from Nicaragua, Africa. The Curly hair tarantula is a plump-bodied spider, covered with dark brown to black hair. It has a golden-bronze
sheen due to longer gold hairs that cover the whole body, which are particularly dense on the hind legs. The range of the Curly hair tarantula stretches along the Atlantic side of
Honduras, Nicaragua and north-eastern Costa Rica. A burrowing species, the curly hair tarantula is found in tropical scrubland, either around the base of large trees, near rivers, or in patches of cleared rain forest.
They are a great first tarantula as they are very easy to keep, they grow faster than other species and are easier to breed.
Spiderlings will require a small enclosure, as something too large will cause stress and it will not be able to find its food as easily. Something no more than 4-6 times the size of the spiderling will be perfect. You can put in some decoration such as a small piece of
cork bark or a small piece of fake plant, which they will use as an anchor for their web if
they choose to make one. This species likes to burrow, so they ideally need something which will allow for a deep layer of substrate deep enough for them to burrow into
should they wish to do so. As they get older, they are more inclined to find something to hide under. A concave piece of cork bark will serve perfectly as a hide. The more hidden
away this species is, the happier it is. Plastic and glass enclosures can both be
successfully used. If using a heat mat to obtain the ideal temperature range, be sure to have this situated on the outside of the enclosure on one of the side, never the bottom or inside.
Coir is a popular substrate for tarantulas requiring some humidity and this can be purchased in dry bricks which is then soaked in water to achieve a soil type consistency.
Once soaked, aim for the coir to be damp enough to hold its shape when squeezed in your hand, but not for it be soggy enough for water to drip from it.
This is an important aspect which is usually one of the most common causes of a tarantula dying in moult. Simply spray the enclosure to keep the soil nicely damp and let it dry out enough between sprayings so that it does not become mouldy. Do not spray your tarantula though, it will not appreciate it!
When a tarantula is due to moult there are a few signs that you can look out for. The first is a big, bulbous abdomen. Sometimes in slings the abdomen will look quite shiny, bald
and almost translucent, with a small patch of hairs remaining close to the carapace. The
second is failure to feed, sometimes they appear to strike at an item of live food, only for it to run away unharmed. If this behaviour is observed, always remove the live food from
the enclosure. Live food left in with a moulting tarantula is dangerous as it could cause
your pet to mis-moult, leading to potentially fatal disabilities, or worse, the live food could eat and cause fatal injuries to a soft, freshly moulted, defenceless tarantula. The third is
hiding themselves away and webbing. Some species will web shut the entrance of a hide, others will literally make themselves a silken web cocoon in the corner of their
enclosure, or amongst decorations. Never disturb your pet if you see any of the afore
mentioned behaviours as moulting is a particularly delicate time for them. If you see your pet flipped over on it’s back, don’t panic, a healthy tarantula never usually dies on its
back, this is a position your adopted imminently prior to a moult. They usually moult over night and take a few days to harden up properly. Everything including their fangs are soft, so hold off feeding for a good 4 days or so.
Tarantulas will require feeds of appropriately sized insects once a week. The general rule is to offer the T’s live food no bigger than the length of their abdomen. This is to ensure that your pet can easily overcome its prey.
Live food should always be well gut loaded prior to being fed to your tarantula. In the wild the insects will have been off eating their own food, resulting in both fresh and partially
digested food in the insect gut. Your tarantula will benefit from these extra nutrients. Fish food, crushed dog/cat biscuits and fresh fruit and vegetables can all be offered to your
crickets and mealworms. Locusts prefer plenty of fresh leafy greens (we offer bramble alongside other leafy greens) and waxworms will only eat a honey-based feed. Recipes for waxworm feed can be found online and this can be made in bulk, frozen and thawed.
Roaches enjoy Repashy powder, fish food and fresh veg.
Do not supply a water bowl to a sling as it will run the risk of drowning, it will get all the moisture it requires from its live-food prey. However, once it gains some size you can
provide a water receptacle. Ensure the receptacle is smaller than your tarantulas leg span and isn’t too deep. Don’t use bug gel as your tarantula will not be able to drink from this – imagine trying to drink jelly through a straw! Ensure
fresh clean water is always available to your pet. Water dishes should be disinfected and wiped daily – a light water dish that can easily be picked up using your tongs is a good idea!
Regular cleaning or your pets enclosure is an important aspect which will ensure your pets health. . Regular ‘spot cleaning’ of the enclosure will be necessary to remove any faeces etc, which may look
like white specks on the side of the enclosure or white deposits on the substrate. Full cleaning of the enclosure where the substrate is removed, and the decoration is
thoroughly cleaned should only take place when necessary, for instance if there is mould etc. Full cleaning the enclosure on a regular basis would stress your pet. Be sure not to remove any web when spot cleaning, as your tarantula spins its web to make itself feel safe. To remove faeces from décor or glass, use a reptile suitable disinfectant such as F10 which contains no dyes or perfumes.
Tarantulas don’t need supplements, providing your livefood is adequately gutloaded, they will get everything they need from there.
This species is docile therefore may tolerate handling, however, they can be quite keen to flick their urticating hairs, which if come into contact with your skin or are inhaled are very irritating. We recommend keeping handling to a bear minimum, an your tarantula will most definitely prefer if you never handle it.
If any sign of illness are noticed, such as failure to feed to extended periods of time, a small, shrivelled up abdomen, legs curled up under the tarantulas body etc… either contact us here at Riverview Reptiles or contact a specialist veterinarian for further advise.