Red trapdoor spider care


Dec 31, 2009
I was looking at getting my husband a red trapdoor spider for Christmas. I have searched around and have not found much about care, or how venomous they are to humans. I was wondering if someone could give me a link to a good care sheet, or some advice regarding their care and venom potency. My other concern was that the one I looked at, was pretty skinny, and looked like she hadn't been eating. I could see that the pet store workers had torn up one of the burrows, when she showed it to me. If we were to bring her home, will she have trouble adjusting and eating, after that much stress? Any advice would be great, and thank you in advance.


Old Timer
Apr 11, 2007
I'm assuming the spider you're looking at is from the "African Red" group. There are actually several species being imported as such that are fairly similar. Care is essentially the same though.

The one specimen I've kept wasn't too difficult. I had a mix of peat/coco about 8" deep in a 1 gallon plastic jar. In the middle of the jar I placed a stick partially buried at an angle and made a starter burrow along the side of the stick. The stick wasn't really necessary but gave a little support to the burrow and a bit of shelter. I put a little shredded up dry moss in there and some cut up silk plant leaves. She used some of that to build her trapdoor and line the burrow.

Keep the soil on the dry side but not bone dry. Provide a water dish and feed 1-2 times monthly.

As for venom, it's probably fairly hot. I wouldn't be surprised if their venom is on par with some of the nastiest of the tarantula world like Stromatopelma or Poecilotheria. They can't wrestle and roll about with prey like terrestrial tarantulas do so they need to subdue prey quickly. Try not to get tagged. On that note, be careful doing transfers as these guys can be incredibly ferocious when yanked out of their burrow. They get very angry and can stay that way for hours. The scope of their rage makes even the meanest OBT look like a Care-Bear.

Also, i'd be careful getting one that already looks unhealthy. These are all wild caught animals so you never know what kind of pathogens or parasites it may already be carrying. On the flip side, it may just be dehydrated.