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Handle-able tarantulas?

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by Ghkenn, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Ghkenn

    Ghkenn Arachnopeon

    I'm more of a cockroach kinda guy, but I've been branching out. I want a tarantula but I like handling my bugs quite a bit, any kinds that I can/ can't do that with?
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  2. Flexzone

    Flexzone Arachnodemon

    None of them, consider them like fish.. an observe instead of handle type of pet imo
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  3. TownesVanZandt

    TownesVanZandt Arachnoprince

    As @Flexzone said none of them should be handled, but if you´re dead set on doing so then one of the calmer Grammostola species might be the easiest to deal with. I will still advice against handling any tarantula, though.
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  4. Mpmackenna

    Mpmackenna ArachnoNerd

    Most of the members of the board are against handling because it poses a risk to the T because it raises the probability of an injury from a fall for the specimen. I would say if you are going to handle your T then you should handle an OBT. That way the risk of injury is equal for both you and the T.

    Note: Don't actually do that... That is a joke. OBT goes on the "never handle" list.
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  5. chanda

    chanda Arachnoprince Active Member

    Tarantulas do not like to be handled, nor do they benefit from it in any way. It is not an intimate bonding experience between tarantula and owner. Any time you handle the tarantula, you put both yourself and the spider at risk.

    If the spider gets spooked (or just wants to be left alone) you could get bit or - with New World species - end up with a painful, prickly batch of urticating hairs in your hands, arms, or face. That's inconvenient and unpleasant for you - but unlikely to cause long-term harm, unless you get the urticating hairs directly in your eyes.

    The spider, on the other hand, faces the risk of death every time you hold it. If the spider does bite you, your automatic reaction - jerking your hand/arm away from the bite - could easily fling the spider to splatter against the wall. Even if that doesn't happen, the spider could fall - and a fall, even a relatively low one, can cause limb damage or a fatal ruptured abdomen. A startled spider is very fast, too. If it decides to take off, even if it doesn't fall or suffer injury, it could end up loose in the house - where it could get lost in the back of a closet or under furniture or appliances, get mauled/eaten by another household pet, get squished by an arachnophobic housemate or roommate, crawl into a tub spigot/shower drain/heating vent/or other small, inaccessible spot, or otherwise end up lost or dead. Even the slowest, most docile tarantula can run surprisingly fast when it wants to - and some of the arboreal species don't so much run as teleport. There is also the risk of accidentally crushing or severing limbs while attempting to recapture an escaped spider.

    If holding the spider is something you absolutely feel like you must do, at least do it while sitting on the ground, over a soft surface (such as carpet or a blanket). The spider should never be more than a few inches off the ground or bed. Take it slow and easy, pay close attention to the spider's body language, and if it is indicating a desire to be left alone - such as raising its front legs and/or exposing its fangs in a threat pose, raising the back legs over the abdomen to flick hairs, curling its legs underneath itself, or trying to run away, respect that and leave it alone for the time being. You can try again later when it has calmed down.

    Before you attempt to pick up the spider, make sure the door to the room is closed and any other pets that might exhibit an unhealthy interest in the spider - such as cats or dogs - are locked out of the room. You should always have a catch-cup close at hand, just in case the spider does get away from you. Don't just snatch up the spider the way you'd pick up a baseball or something - put your hand flat on the cage floor in front of the spider, palm-up, and gently encourage the spider to walk onto your hand. Keep your movements slow and deliberate, to avoid spooking the spider. Don't put the spider near your face - particularly near your eyes - and try not to blow/breathe directly on the spider.

    There are definitely some species - particularly some of the Grammostola, Aphonopelma, and Brachypelma - that tend to be more docile than others. The good old classic "Rose Hair" (G. rosea/G. porteri) is notorious for being a bit of a "pet rock" - which typically translates into being more tolerant of handling - but as with any animal, the temperament of the spider will vary, not only from species to species, but also from individual to individual within the same species, and can even vary from day to day for any given animal. One day your little fuzzball will calmly sit on your hand - and the next, it's baring its fangs at you and kicking hairs.
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  6. Chris LXXIX

    Chris LXXIX ArachnoGod Active Member

    A pretty debatable issue but IMO the so called 'ORH' ('Orange Rose Hair', but less often called 'OBT') is probably one of the best Theraphosidae when it comes to handling, hands down :bored: :shifty:
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  7. Willuminati

    Willuminati Arachnosquire Active Member

    AVIC AVIC, just be ready for a jump here and there and maybe a poop-shoot attack, also from my experience Brachypelma Albopilosum are far more docile when handled than most other T's.
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  8. WoofSpider

    WoofSpider Arachnosquire

    Don't handle tarantulas. It's purely selfish. There's no benefit and plenty of risk to the tarantula from it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Anoplogaster

    Anoplogaster Arachnodemon Active Member

    Handling a tarantula is about as safe as a blindfolded human being scooped up by a bulldozer;)

    Jokes aside, most of us advise against handling because we love and care about Ts, and dislike the thought of putting them into harm’s way. Many keepers (myself included) have personally experienced loss due to handling. They are a lot more fragile than one would expect. People often leave out the detail that bleeding to death is a slow and painful process. The one I witnessed took nearly 24 hours to fully die, and was trembling in a way that’ll put knots in your stomach to watch.

    I personally love to watch a T being a T. They have so many interesting natural behaviors to experience. With handling, the only behavior you’re seeing is fight or flight. Relatively uninteresting, if you ask me.
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  10. I know it’s pretty frowned upon to handle your tarantulas, but this little guy seems to really love it. He’s never kicked a single hair (except for that one time I accidentally put him in the dryer but luckily the lint trap got the majority of it), and he will just sit on my bed all day long perfectly content. I’d definitely recommend picking one up, or maybe 10 (I’ve heard they can be communal)

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  11. Yeah... Get a calm Grammostola :p 20180329_210306.jpg
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  12. Kendricks

    Kendricks Arachnosquire

    You got me so good with that one.
    I read the first sentence, noticed all the 'funny' ratings posted by well established keepers, couldn't wrap my head around it... and only then clicked on the damn pic. :penguin:
    Well played, lady, well played. :bored:
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  13. Lol! I was prepared for a few “disagree” ratings from people only reading the first line!
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  14. Tim Benzedrine

    Tim Benzedrine Prankster Possum Old Timer

    Using the thumbnail so it looked like an actual tarantula photo was what really made it work.

    I kind of want the thing.
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  15. Inkydiamond

    Inkydiamond Arachnopeon

    I had my C. Rose For 18 years now, she's very much family, however, I handled her allot, I got a A in since class, and allot of people also faced their fears. You do have to be very careful, make sure you know your spiders and the warning signs they give you, legs up in the air, flicking hair. I ONCE recently was holding her and she gave me a few "what I call "warning bits, she barely punchers skin. To my surprise my reaction was docile, I pulled her in closer to get a better look, make sure I was seeing what I was feeling, I than gently put her back home.

    I also have an Brazilian Antilles pinktoe T. it's so much quicker then the C.Rose, which terrifies me at first, I didn't want to lose the little blue fuzz. As it got older and bigger I felt more at easy. I only handle it to clean the terrain, which isn't often. I am fortunate to not have dropped them and lose them, which would be devastating.

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    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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  16. Kendricks

    Kendricks Arachnosquire

    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Uial

    Uial Arachnosquire

    None of my T's will ever walk up to me when I change the water or something, they all retreat, because I've disturbed their habitat. They make themselves small and huddle close to the floor. My T. albo taps me with her front legs, but will retreat once I come closer than that. Other T's will get defensive when you disturb them.

    I have always interpreted this as a sign that the T does not want to be handled. If it wanted to be, I would come closer and try to calmly walk up to your hand. Like a dog or a cat or a rat or any other animal that enjoys cuddles. But they don't do that. Therefore, I don't handle them.

    Also, as others here, I have seen a T die from a relatively small fall. And I've killed a wasp by reflex, after it stung me because I've flung my wand against the table. So I know that I would probably fling my T somewhere, if it got startled during handling and bit me.

    So I agree with most others here, handling is just a bad idea all around. It benefits only you, the T gets nothing out of it, other than being scared half to death cause some big apex predator decided to play with her before eating her.
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  18. Brachyfan

    Brachyfan Arachnobaron Active Member

    Says it all buddy! I think this is someone looking to start a dumpster fire thread ala the one everyone knows. Identical post on a different handling thread too. :troll:
  19. vancwa

    vancwa Arachnosquire Active Member

    What, what? The cricket guy at Petco told me he has a friend that tamed a P. regalis.
    • Face Palm Face Palm x 1
  20. aprilmayjunebugs

    aprilmayjunebugs Arachnopeon Active Member

    Oh my. There's a lot wrong with that whole first (ahem) sentence.
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