Live tarantulas for sale
Consider and evaluate your experience level with tarantulas. Some tarantulas are easier to care for than others. If you haven't owned a tarantula before, you might want to start with one that is easy to care for and not very aggressive.Species like the Common Pink toe (Avicularia Avicularia), Costa Rican Stripe Knee (Aphonopelma Seemanni), Chilean Rose (Grammostola Rosea), The Curly Hair (Brachypelma Albopilosum), the Mexican Redknee Tarantula (Brachypelma Smithi), and several other members of the Brachyphelma (although not all) are great starter species. Most are fairly docile and don't require much special attention.
- Some of the more interesting tarantulas require past experience with tarantulas, but can have a lot of show quality. Species such as the Goliath Birdeater (Theraphosa Blondi), Cobalt Blue (Haplopelma Lividum), and Usambara Orange Baboon (Pterinochilus sp.) are all beautiful species of tarantulas. However along with many others they can be extremely aggressive and require a lot of special attention. Some species of tarantulas including Haplopelma and Poecilotheria have reportedly significantly dangerous venom. Side effects vary, but are usually limited to itchiness and swelling at the bite site and intense pain. Some blistering may occur as well. People with asthma should be cautious when dealing with such spiders as another side effect is labored breathing which might bring on an asthma attack. There have been reports of cardiac failure and coma as a result of bites from some tarantulas. If you are not experienced with keeping tarantulas, please, please, stick to the basic, docile, beginner species above.
- Species like the Common Pink Toe (Avicularia Avicularia), Costa Rican Stripe Knee (Aphonopelma Seemanni), Chilean Rose (Grammostola Rosea), The Curly Hair (Brachypelma Albopilosum), Mexican Redknee Tarantulas (Brachypelma Smithi), Cobalt Blue (Haplopelma Lividum), and Usambara Orange Baboon (Pterinochilus sp.) will all fit well into a 5 gallon (18.9 L) aquarium or a medium/large Kritter Keeper when fully grown.
- Some species like The Goliath Birdeater (Theraphosa Blondi) can have up to a 12" leg span, that's a spider the size of a dinner plate. It will need a significantly larger tank of 20–40 gallons (75.7–151.4 L).
Choose a reputable tarantula dealer. Some pet stores sell tarantulas and have great experience caring for them. Many tarantulas are available from online dealers if you can't find a local dealer with what you want. They are normally shipped as young spiderlings and are normally captive bred. If your local pet store has just 3 or 4 tarantulas (in case someone is interested in them) then you might want to look for someone with a bit more experience (unless you're experienced and want to rescue a neglected tarantula or educate the pet store).
Choose a healthy tarantula. Tarantulas that are curled up in the corner of the tank or have their legs tucked underneath them (tarantula death pose) are not very healthy tarantulas. If you see a tarantula standing over the water dish, then there are two possibilities: it's having a drink and you will be able to see it drinking or it's too dry and the tarantula is trying to take advantage of the added humidity of the water. Tarantulas that are laying on their backs with their legs up in the air should be okay, as they are probably getting ready to molt (shed their skin). You should probably wait a few days after this happens before buying a tarantula that has molted, as they don't need the added stress. Tarantulas (depending on the species) should be standing with their legs distributed evenly around it in a circle, or with its legs pointed forward and backwards.
Check for injury. Tarantulas, especially wild caught tarantulas, are easily injured when captured or while contained and shipped to stores. Some wild caught tarantulas can have parasites, so it is almost always a better idea to get a captive bred tarantula. Make sure your tarantula has all 8 legs and 2 pedipalps (like arms) at the front. Check for injuries on the body and the abdomen of the tarantula. If the pet store has a lot of experience dealing with tarantulas, they should be able to help you with this.
Research the cost of a tarantula before you buy one. Some tarantulas are inexpensive and some are very expensive. Spiderlings are much less expensive than a fully grown tarantula. Different stores often have different prices for the same species of tarantula. You may want to start with a less expensive species while you are learning, then move to a more expensive one. It's easier to take the loss of a $20 pink toe than it is a $300 Ecuadorian Birdeater Tarantula.
Shop around. Visit the website of an online dealer and print their price list. Take this with you to the pet store so you can compare prices. Maybe you will find a deal. If they don't have the price you'd like to pay, show them the internet price list to convince them to lower theirs.