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The Top Ten Beginners Tarantulas

This table is a rough guide to advise those that are thinking of getting a tarantula which ones are suitable for a beginner. The easiest are at the top of the table. The further down the table you go the more difficult, skittish or aggressive they are likely to be.


Common & Scientific Name



Chilean Rose
Grammostola spatulata
Now re-classified as G. rosea!
This was my very first tarantula and she (Helga) has always been very docile. I consider this species to be the ideal starter for budding tarantula keepers.


Chilean Beauty
Grammostola cala
Now re-classified as the red morph of G. rosea!
Very similar to the Chilean Rose, somewhat more pink in appearance than its close relative. It is also very docile and again ideal as a first tarantula as it is not very demanding and can handle wider temperature and humidity fluctuations.


The Mexican True Reg Leg
Brachypelma emilia
My own specimen of this species (Bracken) was obtained as a 1st moult spiderling (under 1" across) and now has a 5" legspan. A little more skittish and prone to hair flicking but a beautiful and interesting spider nonetheless. It is believed that this species may have a higher venom level than many other tarantulas, so if you wish to handle it do so with care and respect!


Mexican Red Rump
(Black Velvet)

Brachypelma vagans
A very handsome spider, with its jet black body and legs with distinct red hairs on the abdomen. Be warned that this spider is generally fast and may be a little aggressive.


South American Pink Toe
Avicularia avicularia
One of the most charming spiders I have ever seen. Almost completely black with red/orange/pink tips to the legs. It requires a tall tank as it is an arboreal species and high humidity to ensure that it doesn't dehydrate.


Mexican Blond
Aphonopelma chalcodes
A tan and light brown spider that can be expensive and although it is a ground dwelling species it appears to like to climb. They can be very fast.


Honduran Curly Hair
Brachypelma albopilosa
This is similar to the Mexican Blond but with long curly hairs, like it has just been blow-dried! They can be very mercurial, one minute docile the next skittish.


Mexican Red Knee
Brachypelma smithi
The archetypal tarantula that is very much a film star (Raiders of the lost ark, James Bond....) Generally docile but expensive as it it now protected and can no longer be collected from the wild. Can be a bit of a hair flicker.


Trinidad Chevron Tree Spider
Psalmopoeus cambridgei
Another beautiful arboreal spider, which can be very skittish and requires high humidity and temperature to survive. This spider really requires more experience to successfully keep.  Although it may be suitable for the more adventurous.


Costa Rican Zebra
Aphonopelma seemani
Another extremely striking tarantula, but it is known to be rather aggressive, not generally a good choice for a first spider, although it may be suitable for the more adventurous.

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Last Updated: April 04, 2007