The New World Curly Hair Tarantula Care Guide
The Curly Hair Tarantula (Tliltocatl albopilosus) has recently emerged as its common name in the hobby split between the Honduran Curly Hair (curly hair) and Nicaraguan Curly Hair (actual form).
This beginner tarantula is considered great as they are easy to take care of, hardy, and as adults, they are fairly docile. This breed is a staple species in the list of hobbies and is present around for a longer period of time.
The Honduran Curly Hair was the principal tarantula you noticed in the hobby for a long period of time. However, it is believed by a lot of people that they are subject to accidental or intentional cross-breeding with different species that are related to each other and muddying the bloodline. It is rumored that
be a thoroughbred species. Now they have been kept separated from the hobby form for the purpose of breeding.
There are a few visual variations in the tarantulas as some are a much darker, almost black color while some are relatively more golden brown. Their common feature is their wiry, long, curly hairs that make them look almost fluffy. Visually their look is very similar. They are not classified or divided under the same genus.
Curly hair tarantula’s body shape is round. Their body is completely covered with long bristles and it has a little curl—that’s how it got its common name. Most of the bristles are golden, but some are dark brown to black. This provides the tarantulas an overall bronze sheen.
One main feature of curly hair tarantulas is they are ground-dwelling, burrowing spiders. They are native to Central America. And these kinds of spiders are also bred in captivity for the purpose of the pet trade.
Generally, these spiders are easy to care for, hardy, calm and making them ideal for those pet lovers who are totally new to raising curly hair tarantulas as pets.
These spiders need housing along with living prey that mimics their natural habitat.
The semi-burrowing tarantula species is a new world terrestrial. It can be found in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras, in regions of the rainforest. They are also found near rivers, in areas of the rainforest mostly which are cleared along the Atlantic side of these countries, and also at the base of trees.
The venom or poison of these New World tarantulas is not medically significant, however, they do possess urticating hairs that they can kick into the air if they feel frightened and threatened as well as kick around their burrow on the webbing.
Urticating hairs can cause blisters and itching. But I discovered this species’ hairs are not as irritating as other species. They are relaxed, slow-moving, and very rarely demonstrate a threat pose.
Curly Hair Tarantula Species Overview
Scientific Name: Tliltocatl albopilosus (formerly known as Brachypelma albopilosus)
Adult Size: 5.5 inches long (including leg span)
Common/General Name: Wooly Tarantula or, Honduran Curly Hair Tarantula or, Nicaraguan Curly Hair Tarantula
Spider Type: Terrestrial
Spider Category: New World Tarantulas
Location: Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua
Adult Tarantula Body Length: 8cm (3”)
Diagonal Leg Span (DLS) of Curly Hair Tarantula: 6.5”(17cm)
Do They Have Urticating Hairs?: Yes (Type I & III)
Growth Rate Type: Slow
Lifespan: In captivity, females live 8 to 10 years on average. On the other hand, male tarantulas live on an average of 4 years.
Experience Level (recommended): Beginner
Curly Hair Tarantula Temperament and Behavior
These kinds of tarantulas make extraordinarily quiet and mellow pets. If you expect to have a lively animal then you might find them boring.
The curly hair tarantula will move around their enclosure. They might even rearrange some of the items or things you offered to them, for example, pieces of bark.
However, in most cases, these spiders will sit in a relaxed mode unless it is hunting their prey.
Apart from this, the curly hair tarantulas can easily be spooked, so you have to keep any handling to a minimum level. As long as you handle some spiders very gently and calmly, they won’t mind sitting on your arm or hand.
To sit on the floor would be best while handling these creatures in case they try to flee due to fear. Even a fall from a few feet height may seriously hurt or kill them.
The curly hair tarantulas might use their defense mechanisms if they feel seriously threatened. These spiders can kick hairs off their abdomens which can irritate a human’s skin and cause severe damage if the hairs get in your eyes.
So, it’s very essential to wash your hands after touching tarantulas and do not rub your eyes after handling a tarantula or any item in its enclosure.
Though they’re usually docile, the curly hair tarantulas might also bite to defend themselves from outside threats. While they bite, they release a mild venom which can cause redness, local pain, and swelling in most cases— that is similar to a bee sting.
A lot of people can have more severe allergic issues like trouble breathing.
Your tarantulas should be kept away from young children and any other animals residing in your house because they might handle them inappropriately.
Curly hair tarantulas should not be housed with other pet spiders of their own species because they are solitary animals. You can expect to spend a few hours every week cleaning and feeding. Then you just enjoy watching this interesting animal.
Housing Your Curly Hair Tarantula
For your curly hair tarantulas, a 5 to 10-gallon tank would be suitable. They are not so big climbers. For them, the ground area is more important than its height. The minimum width of the tank is 2 to 3 times more than the leg span of tarantulas.
Add a minimum of 3 inches layer of vermiculite, chemical-free potting soil, or peat moss, to the tank’s bottom. Alternatively, you can also use coconut husk bedding, which can be found at many pet stores.
Then, add a hollow log, half of a small clay flowerpot, or even pieces of cork bark, to serve as a hiding place for your spider.
Maintain your tank between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep the appropriate temperature a heating pad can be used under the tank. You should monitor the temperature on a regular basis with a thermometer. Keep away the tank from direct sunlight.
Apart from this, a humidity level of around 65 to 70 percent is required by your tarantula in their tank, which you can easily measure with a hygrometer. If you need to increase the humidity level, mist your tank with some water in a spray bottle.
To keep the spider’s enclosure clean you should remove any unconsumed prey after 24 hours. Also, mold growth can occur due to the humidity, so monitor for it.
If you see any mold that starts to grow on your tarantula’s bedding, remove that portion ASAP. Expect every four to six months to do a full change of the bedding.
Food and Water
Curly hair tarantulas eat roaches, waxworms, live crickets, and various insects. The insects that you offer to your spider to eat should not be bigger than the body size of your tarantula. Also, you can offer your adult tarantulas the occasional pink mouse to consume.
Generally, adult tarantulas need feeding once a week while young tarantulas will require to eat every two to five days.
Consult your veterinarian for the quantity of food and appropriate variety to offer to the special creature.
Just drop the food into the tank near your spider. It’s suggested to feed them in the evening when your tarantula is more active and ready to take their prey.
Unwanted food actually can stress your spider, so remove those unwanted prey within a period of 24 hours.
Curly hair tarantulas obtain the majority of their hydration from their diet. However, you should still give them a shallow dish of water in their enclosure. Ensure that your spider can easily climb in and out of the dish you offered.
Common Health Issues
When kept in the appropriate environment and fed the proper diet, tarantulas usually don’t face a lot of health issues. But if the spider isn’t eating or has become lethargic consult your veterinarian to support you figure out the actual root cause.
More often, those behaviors of tarantulas are an indication that they are getting ready to molt. The tarantula sheds their exoskeleton and regrows a new one during a molt.
A lot of tarantulas molt when lying on their backs with their legs curled up, which new pet owners who are unfamiliar with the system may make a mistake for a spider dying.
The real molt is complete within a few hours, however, the whole process can take several weeks. For the spider, the newly grown exoskeleton must harden to become protective for them.
But, if you think your spider’s molt seems abnormal or, taking a longer time than it should or, consult it with your nearest vet.
Own Your Curly Hair Tarantula
In most areas, curly hair tarantulas are legally allowed to keep, though certain landlords or local laws might restrict them to keep as pets.
Sometimes you can search for this species at some pet stores. But, it’s recommended to go through an exotic pet rescue group or a reputable breeder.
Your local exotic animal veterinarian might refer you to a good pet store. Its average cost is between $20 and $50.
The local pet store should be able to provide you with information on the curly hair tarantula’s health and origin. It would be good to observe the animal in person before committing to having it. Ensure that it is active with a round belly and shiny hairs. Most often a shriveled or a dull look indicates disease. To confirm, ask to see the tarantula eat.
For some good reason, curly hair tarantula is a staple in the hobby. They are easy to care for, relaxed, visually appealing, and also they can be kept at normal room temperature with zero special arrangements. If you feel comfortable, then your tarantula also feels comfortable.
They seem to be shyer and hide so much as spiderlings and even juvenile spiders. But, once they are matured and over 3 to 4 inches they spend their maximum time out where you can easily see them.
Although as adults they are slow-moving creatures, you should be aware of the fact that juvies and spiderling are a lot more skittish. When they feel disturbed, they will suddenly dart into their burrows.
You should be cautious anytime because you have the spider’s enclosure open as they can quickly bolt out an opening and before you react, they can escape their enclosure faster.
So be careful and have a catch cup handy while rehousing and feeding them when they are so small.
Curly hair tarantula is a species you should have in your pet collection before you can declare it complete.
For anyone new to the hobby it makes a perfect tarantula and is equally enjoyable and fascinating for so many experienced keepers.
This species is fairly inexpensive and widely available. When you order tarantulas from some online breeders they offer them as freebies. Therefore if you get the chance to pick up one of these tarantula species, don’t let it go!