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Tarantula Species (CYC – HAP)

Cyclosternum fasciatum

(Costa Rican Tiger Rump)

One of the most colorful tarantulas in the pet trade, the fasciatum has a bright pink/orange carapace and a black and orange tiger striped patterned abdomen. They are known for producing copious amounts of webbing in their enclosures, which can be quite impressive to see.

My tiger rump still has some growing to do. Despite its size, however, this tarantula wasted no time giving me an attitude once I got it home! Within the first 24 hours of being in its new enclosure, the webbing process began. The picture below is shortly after that process started.

Eucratascelus pachypus

(Stout Legged Baboon)

This African tarantula has a very unique appearance. The front six legs, along with the carapace, are covered in short, grey hairs. The back two legs and the abdomen are covered with long, bushy black hairs. This gives the spider the appearance of wearing bell-bottom pants! Like other old world tarantulas, the stout legged tarantula can be on the defensive side, with a more powerful venom than new world tarantulas.

My pachypus was one of the first tarantulas I ever ordered through the mail. While this species is known as a burrowing spider, mine has yet to build one. In fact, she rarely uses the hide I have provided for her. This tarantula tends to be more nervous than aggressive.

Eupalaestrus campestratus

(Pink Zebra Beauty)

According to many tarantula owners, the pink zebra beauty (PZB) is one of the most docile tarantulas in the world! These gentle spiders can reach approximately 5 to 6 inches and have pink tinted stripes on the “knee” joints and along the legs.

Ever since I became interested in tarantulas, I began researching on the web to find out what would be the most gentle pet tarantula I could purchase. E. campestratus came up again and again. It took several months before I came across a striking adult female in a local pet shop, but it was well worth the wait. Gentle doesn’t even begin to describe this spider. She is not too fond of being disturbed when she is in her hide, and will usually flick a fair amount of hair. However, if you decide to pick her up, she calms right down and is a perfect lady! In fact, in one visit to an elementary school, our PZB allowed 75 first grade children to gently stroke her legs – and she didn’t budge once.

Grammostola aureostriata

(Chaco Golden Knee)

This gentle giant of the tarantula world is another very popular pet spider. For those looking for an impressive and docile display tarantula, look no further. The gold markings, impressive size (8+ inches as adults), and docile nature make these a great addition to any tarantula keepers collection.

I am happy to have two of these sweethearts in my collection - an adult female that is almost seven inches, and a small spiderling. My aureostriata spiderling is starting to get more and more of her colors. This is the only spiderling of mine that will occasionally take a walk onto my hand when I open the container it lives in. The adult is always a good sport when she is taking part in a tarantula presentation.

Grammostola rosea

(Chilean Rose Hair)

The rose hair is probably the most popular “starter spider” in the pet trade. Inexpensive, abundant in pet shops, and their generally docile nature helps make these guys a common first spider for most. While a lot of people report their rose hair to be very gentle, stories of the occasional “psycho rose hair” are not uncommon. Sometimes after a molt, these spiders will adopt a new personality. Just something to keep in the back of your mind.

The camps around owning rose hairs seem to be split. Some feel they are too common, and/or too “boring”  to be part of their collection, and so they move on to another species. Others, however, find that this “common” tarantula is one of the best treasures in the tarantula hobby.

Personally, I love our G. rosea. Like many others before me, this was our first tarantula. She has never minded being held and has NEVER shown any signs of aggression. A perfect little lady!