Do tarantulas enjoy being held?

The tarantula: the basics of purchasing and keeping

Keep a tarantula in your own four walls? For many people a horror idea. The eight-legged exotic animals can be ideal pets. They are fascinating to watch, are relatively easy to care for and require little space. Unlike dogs or cats, tarantulas don't mind if you go on vacation for two weeks and nobody is feeding them. Nevertheless, it is anything but undemanding. If the posture of the hairy eight-legged friends appeals to you, there are a few things you should consider before buying.

Can you be enthusiastic about the animal in the long term?

A female tarantula can live to be twenty to thirty years old. Males usually die a short time after sexual maturity, but even in this case you are responsible for another living being for four to thirteen years. Would you like and can you look after an animal for so long?

Even if a tarantula does not form a close bond with its owner, it can sometimes be difficult to hand the animal back into responsible hands after a short time.

Not a pet, but not as dangerous as expected

If you are thinking about buying a tarantula, it is very likely that you will not feel disgust for the animals. You might even find it tempting to pick it up. However, every touch or lift means great stress for the tarantula. You should therefore only take them out of their homes if it is absolutely necessary. Like most terrarium animals, the tarantula is more suitable for people who primarily enjoy observing. A plush toy is more suitable for cuddling.

Incidentally, contrary to popular belief, tarantulas are not dangerous. The bite of a tarantula is roughly comparable to a wasp or hornet sting. It's painful, but not life-threatening. Insect allergy sufferers should, however, be particularly careful when handling the eight-legged animals, as a bite could possibly lead to an allergic reaction.

Do all family members agree with the new roommate?

For many people, spiders are still "disgusting" and some even suffer from arachnophobia (an anxiety disorder that affects spiders of all shapes and sizes). The purchase of a tarantula should therefore be discussed with everyone in the household. If everyone agrees, nothing stands in the way of the purchase after an intensive examination of the housing conditions. Since tarantulas are no more poisonous than many native animals, they do not pose a serious threat to humans and are therefore usually unproblematic under tenancy law. To be on the safe side, however, the posture can be discussed with the landlord beforehand.

What kind should it be?

There are over eight hundred different species of tarantulas worldwide. Of course, not all of these species are kept in terrariums, but there is still a large selection. Depending on the species, there are different demands on their keeping. Tarantulas are basically divided into three groups: ground dwellers, tree dwellers and tube dwellers.

American species are often considered to be less aggressive than their Asian and African relatives. They are therefore better suited for beginners. Experienced keepers often recommend the red chile tarantula (Grammostola rosea) for newcomers to spiders. The floor dweller should be largely peaceful and forgive minor posture mistakes.

What can be dangerous for the tarantula

Some things don't belong in a spider home. These include pointed and sharp-edged stones on which the tarantula could injure itself. The same goes for plants with thorns or thorns. Materials that your legs could get caught in should also be avoided.

By the way, commercially available insecticides also work against spiders. Anyone who has previously resorted to insect spray for mosquitoes and flies in summer must therefore look for a non-toxic alternative as a tarantula holder.

Offspring or wild caught?

If you have decided to buy a tarantula, at some point you will ask yourself the question of where you get your eight-legged friend.

One possibility are pet shops. Here you should always make sure that the staff is familiar with the requirements of the different tarantula species and can inform you accordingly. Alternatives to specialist retailers are terrarium stock exchanges or reputable breeders. Both have the advantage that you are almost always dealing with expert owners, from whose experience you can benefit. In general, you should never buy a tarantula that looks apathetic or sickly.

You should also always find out when buying whether it is an offspring or a wild caught. The risk of parasite infestation can be significantly higher in wild animals and the age of the animals cannot always be precisely determined. This is particularly annoying with males who only live a few years after sexual maturity. Wild-caught animals also have a reputation for being more aggressive than night breeding. The purchase should also be viewed critically for animal welfare reasons. Nowadays, many species of spiders are endangered as a relatively large number of animals are torn from nature and sold.

Those who pay attention to these things when purchasing and keeping them can enjoy a tarantula for a very long time. Future owners should also find out about things like molting and feeding and the right terrarium.

Besides, the tarantula has little to do with birds. It owes its name to the natural scientist and painter Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), in whose work an illustration of a large spider can be found, which obviously fell victim to a bird.


You can find more information on tarantula husbandry here:

The tarantula: feeding and care

Tarantulas also need regular care and attention. Find out here about feeding, moulting and care to do justice to your eight-legged friend.

The tarantula: requirements for the terrarium

You want to hold a tarantula, but you don't know how to design the terrarium? General information on the design and furnishings can be found here.

The tarantula: checklist for budding keepers

Here we have summarized all the important, basic points about keeping tarantulas for you.