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Best Beginner Species that Tolerates Handling

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by The Mantis Menagerie, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. The Mantis Menagerie

    The Mantis Menagerie Arachnoknight Active Member

    I eventually want to raise a baby tarantula, and I have been talking to breeders at Repticons about the best species, but I wanted to ask here as well. Before the anti-handling croud gets upset by the title, I want to point out that one of my main reasons for handling is doing programs for special events at science museums; it is not just for my amusement. I am currently thinking about either a Brachypelma albopilosum or a Grammostola pulchripes. I am looking for a species that is reluctant to kick hairs and grows fairly large.
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  2. TownesVanZandt

    TownesVanZandt Arachnoangel Active Member

    I can´t really see the need to handle them under any circumstances, but if you´re dead set on doing so then one of the calmer Grammostola species might be the easiest to deal with.
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  3. G pulchripes would be a great choice.
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  4. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Arachno-heretic Arachnosupporter

    Out of my tarantulas, my B hamorii tolerates handling fairly well, but in all honesty you shouldn't handle unless it's an emergency.

    If you must, place a large loosely folded towel under where you will handle and keep the T less then 6" above the ground at all times.

    New world species all have urticating hairs. If these get into your eyes, you might end up miserable or maybe even end up in the hospital getting them flushed out.

    I'm not saying don't handle, just have an awfully good reason to do so and plan for safety well ahead of time.

    My C versicolor can also be handled and as a sling walked on me in it's own several times. These guys engage in the great leap of faith on a regular basis.

    Just don't bother with that. When you aren't interested in handling, you'll find a lot of great first tarantulas which only require you to use a catch cup, lid and a small soft paintbrush instead of your hands.
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  5. weibkreux

    weibkreux Arachnoknight Active Member

    G. pulchripes is a tolerant species ime, even tends to climb my hand on its own. But be warned that every T has their own individuality even among same species. Plus be good in reading its current 'mood'.
  6. Potatatas

    Potatatas Arachnoknight

    B. albopilosums often have a good feeding response and mine has scared me to death a few times when it has shot across the enclosure to attack the tongs...

    I don't have any recommendations other than what the above have mentioned but just remember even the most docile Ts can be unpredictable and some can just be completely different to what you expect. Eg, @The Grym Reaper 's B hamorri that thinks it's an OBT.
  7. The Grym Reaper

    The Grym Reaper Arachnotank Arachnosupporter

    Mine was like that... Right up until she wasn't :hilarious:

    Bruv, she makes OBTs look docile :hilarious::hilarious::hilarious:
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  8. AnObeseHippo

    AnObeseHippo Arachnoknight

    Sooooooo, why do you want to handle at sciency events? So other people can see it is ‘okay’ and try it too..?
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  9. antinous

    antinous Pamphopharaoh Arachnosupporter

    Take everyone’s suggestions with a grain of salt, each individual can be different you might end up with one that’s pretty defensive.

    Also, I’ve worked in museums and zoos before as an interpreter, I find that you don’t always have to let them handle T’s to appreciate them.
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  10. The Mantis Menagerie

    The Mantis Menagerie Arachnoknight Active Member

    I would not be letting other people hold the tarantula at the events, but visitors are usually much more likely to start talking about tarantulas when they see that not all tarantulas are the vicious monsters they thought they were. I can tell you that my mom always hated spiders, but once she saw someone holding a Grammostola rosea at a science museum, she thinks they are cute. I am also wondering why many people are so adamantly against handling. If the tarantula walks onto your hand by itself, and you keep it close to the ground to prevent large falls, then shouldn't it be okay to hold it for at least a little while? I have seen tarantulas that seemed quite content being held, probably due to the warmth of my hands. @AnObeseHippo, that is a good point, and something else I need to consider. Many of the exhibitors do hold their tarantulas at those events.
  11. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX ArachnoGod Active Member

    No one. No Theraphosidae, actually, tolerates handling. It's not even a question of 'beginner species', suggested for handling only because they are slow as heck, loaded with a pretty weak, no big deal at all, venom -- just in case things goes wrong.

    There's some people that believes this, they believes that certain species may "tolerate" that practice, but they are wrong and said term is nowhere near how reality is.

    They are primitive, moved only by survival/defensive pure instinct, animals..."tolerate" is a term that doesn't exist in their DNA.

    Well, maybe every 1000 years a bass loving spider is born, but that's another story :yawn:
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  12. StampFan

    StampFan Arachnobaron Active Member

    And this is why this is probably not a good idea:
  13. Lyrognathus

    Lyrognathus Arachnosquire

    I think it's also important to point out that the spiders aren't trying to get anybody as well. When I first got into the hobby, threads like this was what started to make me afraid of my spiders, which is the opposite of what people should want.
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  14. Whitelightning777

    Whitelightning777 Arachno-heretic Arachnosupporter

    The other thing that you may run across without knowing it is that a few nimrods will cool or possibly gas the tarantula before holding it.

    Since your body temperature is warm, they sit still long enough for the clowns to photograph it and get bragging rights. I'm talking about the defensive species. (Look the OBT is on my shoulder chilling out!! Whoopee!!)

    Other more docile species may even choose to walk on you or do so when gently prompted.

    That's a stupid dirty trick & if you watch the videos of people handling pokies etc, it becomes obvious that the tarantula is cold, probably between 50 to 60 degrees or maybe even down into the high 40s.

    It takes a sharp eye to see the subtle changes and you'll have to watch it over and over to catch it. There may also be a Freudian slip about look she's so cool isn't she etc. That's another tip off.

    Still, with such a high proportion of these dirty tricks out there, the handle tolerance is no doubt exaggerated from what it actually is, especially with those known to be more defensive or aggressive.

    A paintbrush, catch cup and lid for the same area always your best friends.
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  15. cold blood

    cold blood Moderator Staff Member

    handling demonstrations are like going to the demolition derby to learn how to operate a car....it teaches new impressionable people that bad practices are good, normal practices....IMO it does the hobby as a whole a complete disservice.
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  16. EtienneN

    EtienneN Arachnonovelist Arachnosupporter

    Personally, considering how delicate tarantulas are, I would never attempt to handle one in front of a large crowd. You need to think about the needs of the T, and as a custodian of their care, do your utmost best to keep them out of danger. The risk reward benefit is basically zero, and you could have a dead spider on your hands at the end of the day. There really are stories of "experienced" keepers who witnessed tarantulas suffer a ruptured opisthosoma (abdomen) and subsequently slow and agonizing deaths. People who tell people not to handle really do so out of concern for the spider's well being.
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  17. The Mantis Menagerie

    The Mantis Menagerie Arachnoknight Active Member

    What would be the best beginner species for viewing? Again I am thinking for the events, and I want something that will not panic and hide when people walk by its cage or cast a shadow over it. It would also be nice if it stayed on the surface without any coaxing. I am still thinking that Grammostola pulchripes would be a good choice, correct?

    As far as a personal pet, what species would be the best to start with? By best, I am looking for one that will not kick hairs the second I open its cage, and preferably one that would not act defensively when I need to clean or reposition things in the tank. I have experience with a wide variety of insects and other arthropods, so I should be able to provide whatever humidity level that species needs. Now that I have decided to mostly avoid handling (impressive persuasion for only a single day of discussion), I am looking to some of the more decorative species. I eventually want to work my way up to owning a Orphnaecus philippinus as orange is my favorite color, but I obviously need more experience with docile New World species.
  18. Anoplogaster

    Anoplogaster Arachnodemon Active Member

    I hope you have been sufficiently convinced to not handle. This is coming from someone who teaches college science. And I have witnessed a slow death as a result of an abdomen rupture from an educational event. Needless to say, handling for educational purposes doesn’t decrease the likelihood of an accident. If anything, it makes the risk HIGHER, since there will be lots of noise and commotion. People get noisy when they’re excited and scared. And if you put a spider into a nervous hand, that hand will be shakey and sweaty.

    Here’s my suggestion: Go for a C. cyaneopubescens (Green Bottle Blue). Husbandry is fairly easy, and they are ALWAYS a crowd-pleaser. And best of all, handling is not required to make people fall in love with a GBB. Just strategically design the enclosure so you’re able to always see the spider. And when you teach, have a nice bright LED flashlight handy. Your students/guests will go NUTS! 4539A3EC-9932-4D27-A966-88206534D8BE.jpeg
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  19. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX ArachnoGod Active Member

    Another, extremely important thing to point out when "educational handling" (which is IMO a nonsense, but anyway) is concerned is that (assuming the "spider teacher" stick to scientific names and not with the absurd common ones) the average man/woman (obviously not in to T's and clueless) wouldn't remember exactly, once home, that a 'Grammostola pulchripes (or whatever) has weak venom' while a 'Poecilotheria ornata is faster, and carry a badass one'.

    He/she will simply remember something like "... ah, the brown/brownish one is laid back' while "... that blue one/grey one is baddy".

    Handling is nothing but a stupid, selfish, useless practice. Those that really, on the other hand, seeks to educate (and honestly, in real life, I'm not one, because I don't love to waste my time) the average, hesitant and scared persons about spiders, should explain to those how well and peacefully we sleep once the lights are turned 'off' into our homes full of venomous inverts without, surprise, bites and escape attempts that would terrorize the entire hood :)
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  20. The Mantis Menagerie

    The Mantis Menagerie Arachnoknight Active Member

    I just looked at Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens, and I am not sure how I would keep it viewable. The site that I read said that they lay down a lot of webbing.