Guide To Keeping Arboreal Tarantulas
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Guide To Keeping Arboreal Tarantulas

Introduction

Buying any pet is a big decision but there are several things you may want to consider first to make sure that a Tarantula is the pet for you:

  • Are all of the people in your household happy with a tarantula coming to live there?
  • Can you guarantee that you will have a regular supply of live insects to feed to your tarantula?
  • Are you happy to keep live insects in your home?
  • Are you prepared to look after an animal that could live up to and beyond 12 years?
  • Is there someone that you can ask to look after your pet if you are away?

Types of Arboreal Tarantula

Arboreal Tarantulas have been kept as pets for many years and can make a great focal point in any room when they are set-up in a well planted natural looking enclosure.

There are many different types of Tarantulas that live on trees and in the tree canopies. We recommend the following three species as the best arboreal tarantula to start out with:

Buying an Arboreal Tarantula

We recommend buying an Arboreal Tarantula from a reputable pet shop. The shop will also be able to help you with a supply of good quality live food to feed to your Tarantula.

Check before purchasing:

The Tarantula is feeding well
Any reputable pet shop should be able to provide answers on how often the Tarantula is being fed and what type and size of live food it enjoys most.
The Tarantula is healthy.
5 point animal health check:
  • Make sure that the animal is alert and responsive.
  • The legs should support the body effortlessly and be break free.
  • The underside of the Tarantula should be clean and free from splits or ruptures.
  • The Tarantula should be free from any stuck moults.
  • The Tarantula should be a keen feeder.

Caring For Your Arboreal Tarantula

Overview

  • Ease of Care:Beginner
  • Size:Size: 7.5-15cm (3-6”)
  • Life Span:Up to 12 years
  • Diet:Insects
  • Temperament:Friendly but Jumpy
  • Background Temp:22-27⁰C (72-80⁰F)
  • HOT Spot:Not required

Equipment Needed

  • Housing:Glass Terrarium or Plastic Faunarium
  • Heating:Heat Mat
  • Lighting:LED Lighting (Light Cycle: 12 hours of light)
  • Substrate:Spider Substrate or Bioactive
  • Water:Shallow Water Dish

Top Tips

  • Provide a suitable background temperature to allow the Tarantula to function as normal.
  • You may not see your tarantula drink but always provide a fresh water source for when it chooses to drink.
  • A piece of wet sponge or insect gel can be used in the tarantula’s water dish to make it easier for the Tarantula to rehydrate.
  • Light misting of the enclosure every other day will help to keep the humidity at 75-85% which is required for these Tarantulas.
  • Use moist Sphagnum Moss in the enclosure or mix in with the substrate to help keep the humidity level up.
  • Whilst these Tarantulas require a high humidity level the enclosure needs to be well ventilated to keep the air fresh.
  • Use Cork Branches and Cork Bark to create vertical perching and hiding areas for these tree-loving Tarantulas.

Housing:

A relevant sized Glass Terrarium or Plastic Faunarium is the perfect housing solution for a Tarantula throughout its whole life.

  • tarantula

    Exo Terra Glass Terrarium, Mini Tall, L30 x D30 x H45cm (12 x 12 x 18") (DER1218)

  • tarantula

    Exo Terra Glass Terrarium, Small Wide, L45 x D45 x H45cm (18 x 18 x 18") (DER18)

  • tarantula

    Exo Terra Standard Faunarium, Large, L37 x D22 x H25cm (14.5 x 8.5 x 10”) (DESFL)

  • We recommend keeping spiderlings and small juvenile Tarantulas in smaller enclosures until they are well established.

Environment

Heating

Originating from a warm environment, Arboreal Tarantulas require a warm background temperature within their enclosure to help them to flourish.

A heat mat run on a thermostat is the ideal solution for providing heat. The heat mat should be located on the outside of the enclosure, either on the back or one of the sides.

The heat mat should be used in conjunction with a heat mat thermostat.

Heat mat thermostats are designed to regulate temperatures using a thermostat probe (also known as a sensor). Correct placement of the probe is critical to avoid overheating and injury to the Tarantula. Insert the probe through the lid of the terrarium and tape directly to the inside of the enclosure adjacent to the heat mat. The probe cable should be taped 2-5cm (1-2”) back from the actual probe sensor to allow for a correct temperature reading and to avoid it becoming dislodged.

Temperature and Monitoring

As a rough guide daytime and night time temperatures of between 22-27⁰C (72-80⁰F) should be provided. Make sure temperatures are checked regularly to ensure that there are no extreme fluctuations.

Lighting

A LED Light should be used with these Tarantulas to give them a day and night cycle. They are a nocturnal species and should be provided with plenty of dark hiding areas to sleep away from the brightness of a LED Light.

Substrates and Decoration

Personal choice will dictate how you decorate your Glass Terrarium or Plastic Faunarium but we recommend the following as a guide:

  • Substrates:Tarantulas can be housed on Spider Substrate or a Bioactive Substrate. These substrates will retain essential moisture, helping to maintain humidity levels. Sphagnum Moss can also be used to keep humidity levels high, either place this on top of the substrate layer or mix it in with the substrate.
  • Woodfor climbing and hiding in - Cork Branches, Tube and Pieces should be used to create vertical perching areas and hollows for the Tarantula to hide and rest in.
  • Artificial or Live plantsfor decoration and to provide darker areas for the Tarantula to hide away in if it chooses to, live plants will also help to keep humidity levels up.

Diet and Water

Babies through to adults should be offered appropriately sized insects. A Tarantula uses its fangs to puncture its captured prey which renders it motionless. Digestive juices are then passed into the prey, which turns the insides to liquid, allowing the Tarantula to suck up the nutritious juices.

A source of fresh water should always be available for these Tarantulas. A piece of wet sponge or an insect gel can be used in a shallow dish to allow the Tarantula to hydrate itself. The Tarantula’s enclosure should be lightly misted every other day to ensure that the humidity is kept at around 75-85% but the substrate must not be allowed to become overly wet or boggy./text]

Supplementation

[text]Arboreal Tarantulas do not need to receive additional supplementation to their diet.

Health & Hygiene

Always wash your hands, surfaces and equipment with warm water and disinfectant immediately before and after handling your Tarantula, their enclosure and any other equipment.

Additional Information

Tarantulas are notoriously good at escaping. Ensure that the enclosure is fully secured as Tarantula hide and seek is not the best game to be playing!

The Arboreal Tarantulas covered in this guide can sometimes shoot out a white sticky substance from their rear ends when being handled. This is actually faeces and is a natural mechanism to make a predator think twice about eating them, giving the Tarantula a chance to retreat to safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are Arboreal Tarantulas aggressive?

    The Arboreal Tarantulas that have been covered in this guide are normally docile but they can also be jumpy and move quickly. Care must be taken when handling to ensure that your Tarantula cannot fall onto a hard surface as this could result in a life threatening injury.

  • How long will my Arboreal Tarantula live for?

    A female Arboreal Tarantula may live for up to 12 years in captivity if cared for correctly. Male tarantulas normally reach 4-6 years old.

  • What does Arboreal mean?

    Arboreal is the word used to describe an animal which lives most or all of its life in trees.

  • I have had my Arboreal Tarantula for a few months and have never seen him drink?

    Tarantulas can go for long periods without a drink but ensure a fresh water source is available so the Tarantula can drink when it chooses to.

  • I think my Tarantula has died, it is on its back with its legs curled up?

    Every now and again a Tarantula will moult its old skin. To do this, the Tarantula will roll onto its back and climb out of its old skin by pushing the skin away from its body. Once the Tarantula has finished moulting it will turn back on to its legs.

  • How often do I need to feed my Tarantula?

    Offer food twice a week to begin with, the Tarantula may require more or less than this as it grows. It is best to monitor how much the Tarantula is eating and adjust the feeding schedule accordingly.

  • Is a Tarantula a spider?

    Yes, Tarantulas are spiders; they belong to a group called arachnids which comprises of Scorpions and Tarantulas.

  • What other types of beginner tarantula are there?

    Mexican Red-Knee Tarantula.

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