Beginner Info - READ before posting

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Arachnoboards Team
Staff member
Jan 11, 2004
If you are thinking about acquiring your first tarantula, this is the thread to read.
If you are thinking about purchasing your second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, or tenth T, this is also the right thread!

Please refrain from starting new threads about beginner T’s until you have read this one. All new threads asking about starter T’s will be deleted, and the thread starter sent a private message with a link to this one.

Generally, your first tarantula should be a New World species because as a rule, they tend to be less defensive. Due in part because they possess urticating hairs as a defense mechanism. Here are some links on urticating hairs;

You likely don’t want to invest too much money into your first spider, so the top three will be relatively inexpensive species, on dealers’ lists, and commonly available in pet stores.

Grammostola rosea
  • Sold under the common name of Chilean Rose Hair, it is the classic first spider.

Aphonopelma seemanni
  • Sold under common names such as: Stripe Knee, Zebra Tarantula

Avicularia avicularia *arboreal
  • Sold under the common name of Pink Toe.

Other suggestions for beginner T’s can be found here:

Some quick care tips:
  • Do not place cotton or a sponge in the water dish, it breeds bacteria and is not required. The gel that pet stores sell is completely useless for a tarantula as it cannot obtain any hydration from it at all.

  • Do not use sand, gravel, or bark chips as a substrate.
Substrate Poll

Heat and Temps
  • A heat source is not required if your home is consistently kept at room temperature.


Feline owners beware;

To handle or not to handle...

If you answered "yes"...


Hopefully not something you have to contend with, but if you have to do some intensive research... here is a thread with a ton of good suggestions.


Live Feeding


Mating Hooks
  • List of species that do not have tibial spurs after the ultimate molt.


Random (but common) Questions:
  • What the heck does OBT mean???

Common Polls

What does the numbering system (0.0.0 or m.f.u) mean?

For inventory and communicative purposes, it is a way of expressing how many tarantulas one has, where m = males; f = females and u = unknown sex

Tarantula Hobby Tracking Software/Programs/Spreadsheets

Enjoy and welcome to Arachnoboards! Please use the search function liberally before posting questions. The results will be instant and incredibly informative. If you do not find the answers you seek, we look forward to trying to answer them for you.

As always, if you see a subject worthwhile that is not covered in this thread, pm us. If you have found threads that should be added under existing topics here, pm us. If you have an idea as to how newcomers could be alerted to the existance of this thread? Yup, you guessed it. ;)

The AB Team
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