Curly hair tarantulas are great for beginners because of their docile nature and easy care requirements. They are not usually skittish, are comfortable being handled, and are easy to care for.
Their calm, laid-back demeanor makes them the easiest pet tarantula to handle and they are also hardy spiders; perfect for beginners.
There is not too much to worry about when it comes to their care since they are hardly ever defensive by nature. There are, however, important factors to their physical health that need to be considered.
Here is everything you need to know about caring for a Curly Hair tarantula:
Curly Hair Tarantula Care
Quick Reference Section
- Experience Level: Beginner
- Family: Theraphosidae
- Scientific Name: Tliltocatl albopilosus (formerly Brachypelma albopilosum)
- Alternate Name(s): Curlyhair tarantula, Wooly Tarantula
- Size: 3 to 6 inches
- Diet: Carnivorous
- Lifespan: Males: 9 to 10 years; Females: up to 20 years
- Average Price Range: $20 to $50 per spider
- Where to buy: backwaterreptiles.com, undergroundreptiles.com
Bioactive Curly Hair Tarantula Setup Product List
- Enclosure: Exo Terra Glass terrarium kit
- Soil: Zoo Med Reptisoil
- Moss: Zoo Med terrarium moss
- Hide: Zoo Med cork hide
- Leaf Litter: Sungrow leaf litter
- Hygrometer: Zoomed hygrometer
- Cleaners: Springtails & Isopods
- Water Dish: Zoo Med small water dish
Curly Hair Tarantula Facts
Although all tarantulas are venomous and their bites are painful, they have never been known to kill a human before.
You might see your Curly Hair rearrange the furniture or accessories you put in their enclosure.
These guys are sometimes called Wooly Tarantulas due to their furry appearance. Their hair color and texture can be compared to a wooly mammoth’s.
They have round black bodies with distinctive bristles of hair on them that come out to a slight curl, which is how they got their name. These hairs can range from dark browns to blacks, but you may also find longer golden, which can give them a bronze-looking finish.
They are native to Costa Rica and Nicaragua where they roam the tropical scrublands and sometimes live in burrows on the ground. Most of the time, they are terrestrial and will opportunistically burrow.
They often like to hang around near large tree bases, in cleared patches of rainforest, and near rivers.
In the wild, they feast on insects and small vertebrates. They are nocturnal hunters that wait in their burrows for prey to walk by. When this happens, they will then use their sensitive leg hairs to pick up vibrations in order to attack.
In an enclosure, you can feed them live, pesticide-free insects such as crickets and roaches. They can also have the very occasional treat of a single pinky mouse.
Male Curly Hairs will live for around 10 years whereas females can live up to 20 years. They will molt their whole lives, shedding their exoskeletons as they grow into their new ones.
Directly after molting, they will go on the hunt for food following this excruciating growth period.
Curly Hair Tarantulas will lay anywhere from 500 to 1000 eggs, which they will wrap in a gold ball-sized silk ball to protect.
Tarantulas mating is more like an aggressive transaction rather than a sexual experience. It is life or death for the male.
The male would have woven a pre-packaged silk ball with sperm, they will save it in their pedipalps, find a female mate, and then will attempt to deposit it into the female’s spermathecae, where she will store it.
However, this process may or may not happen if the female does not find the male worthy, as she will then react by cannibalizing him. If she finds a mate or worthy suiter, she will allow him to deposit his sperm web ball into her spermathecae, and copulation will commence.
If the male is successful, he has a few minutes to run away since female tarantulas will be entranced with chemicals right after fertilization. If he is unable to escape her during that short time, he might be her dinner.
If she is successfully fertilized, she will drop her egg sac and will then guard her protected clutch of eggs for a span of about 8 weeks, which is the average incubation period until they hatch.
In general, tarantulas are legal to keep in most states, although there may be local laws that restrict captivity, breeding, and such. Check out your local laws to find out what is and is not allowed in your state or city.
You can find them at pet stores easily, but we recommend you also try to look for a rescue group or at least make sure you buy from a licensed, reputable breeder.
Curly Hair tarantulas need at least a 5 to 10-gallon tank. Unlike arboreal spiders, these guys will need more legroom than height, so you should consider the ground space they will need rather than height.
It is best to try to get them an enclosure that is at least twice or three times the length of its leg span.
As for substrate, you want to make a humid layered substrate of 3 inches of peat moss at the bottommost layer, then follow it up with a layer of chemical-free potting soil or vermiculite.
Another good addition is coconut husk bedding.
For accessories, sprinkle some cork bark pieces over everything. You can also add in a hollow log or clay flower pot to provide them with some hiding spots.
The Curly Hair Tarantula likes temperatures close to that of their natural habitat, which is around 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be achieved through a heating pad which can be placed under its tank.
Your tarantula’s tank should be kept out of direct sunlight, as they are nocturnal and natural light will mess up their internal clock. It can also cook your spider as they are sensitive to the sun’s light.
Since they come from a higher level of humidity, they will require the same numbers of humidity in their enclosure. You should keep their tank at about 65 to 80 percent.
Using a humid substrate will help keep the humidity levels up. You should also keep a small dish or bowl full of water readily available in their enclosure, but make sure that it is not big or deep enough for them to drown.
Another thing you can do to keep humidity levels high is to mist the enclosure. Just be sure not to accidentally mist your pet spider!
These tarantulas do not require UV rays or heating lamps. Natural sunlight should also be avoided since it can burn them. All lights, even artificial can also mess with their sleep-wake cycle.
They can comfortably live in room temperatures around 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If your home goes below 65 degrees, you might need to turn on the heat for your beloved pet spider.
To keep your spider’s enclosure clean, all leftovers should be removed within 24 hours. This will ensure that there is no reason for bacterial buildup.
It is also a good idea to constantly check their bedding or other parts of their enclosure for mold, which can occur due to the high humidity levels. If you find some mold in their bedding where it’s most likely to happen, remove that portion as soon as you catch it to avoid growth.
Bedding should be changed out completely every 4 to 6 months or so anyway.
These are the best measures you can take to ensure that your spider’s home remains clean for their comfort.
You will need to feed your pet tarantula live insects such as crickets and roaches. They can also have waxworms and the very occasional treat of a single pinky mouse.
It is best to feed your adult Curly Hair tarantula about once every week. If you are raising a young spider, they can generally eat every 2 to 5 days.
This medium-sized tarantula is very docile and has a calm temperament. They are well-loved by beginners and experts alike and are not likely to get aggressive.
The only time they would ever bite would be in self-defense, but it is so rare, you must have taunted it or given it a reason to act out defensively.
Biting is not usually their first reaction when startled. They will usually flee or eject urticating hairs at you at first.
These defense mechanisms are a sign to put them down and leave them alone, as you might have already crossed a line.
Generally, they are not an aggressive species unless you really give them a reason to be.
Curly Hair tarantulas are quite easy to handle and are not skittish by nature.
However, it is possible to spook them, which can cause them to flee or jump out of your hands. Even a short fall can cause injury and even death.
When handling them, try to stay close to the ground. They are terrestrial beings and do not usually climb high heights anyways.
When you do handle them, you should be sitting on the floor and doing it in a calm and gentle manner. Handling should be kept at a minimum though since they can sometimes be easily startled.
Generally, they are docile and easy to handle but owners should still proceed with caution, as not all tarantulas will react in the same way.
Try to keep handling to a minimum if you have an anxious or nervous tarantula.
Curly Hair tarantulas are a great first pet spider, especially if you’re a beginner. Whether you are searching for a pet spider breed or already decided to get a Curly Hair and just wanted to learn more, we got your back!
We hope that you learned something from this article and that you have all things for your enclosure prepared for your pet. It can be exciting to introduce your spider into their new home.
Welcome to the tarantula world if you are new, and go ahead and leave a comment below if you have any questions.
Experienced enthusiasts: feel free to chip in any advice or comments you might have about Wooly Tarantula care below as well!
More tarantulas stuff