The Curly Hair Tarantula is scientifically known as Brachypelma albopilosum. This tarantula is a terrestrial, burrowing species native to the neotropics. Adults of this species range from 4-6 inches and feature curly hairs that cover their bodies. This species has existed in the pet trade for decades and were once imported in huge numbers. Now on the CITES Appendix II list, virtually all curly hairs, include those sold at Josh's Frogs, are produced in captivity.
The juveniles tend to be a bit on the shy side, but as they mature, this species will spend more and more time out in the open, although they may always retreat quickly to a burrow if surprised or threatened. This species does possess urticating hairs that can be flicked when the tarantula is alarmed. As they age, this species generally calms down and tolerates occasional handling.
Being a primarily terrestrial species, the floor space of an enclosure is more important than it's height. A 10g or 12x12 Exo Terra makes a great enclosure, as do large critter keeper type cages. Make sure the enclosure has a secure mesh top to allow for ventilation. Josh's Frogs sells a variety of tarantula kits that makes setup and care simple.
Being terrestrial and loving to burrow, the Curly Hair tarantula should be provided with at least 3-4"" of substrate. Coconut fiber or Josh's Frogs Dig It is enough and beneficial for controlling humidity inside of the enclosure. If you want to use a cleanup crew of springtails and isopods, or you want to use live plants, get some Josh's Frogs BioBedding Tropical.
For this species, horizontal decor that the curly hair can take cover under is needed. Cork bark is an excellent choice as it doesn’t promote mold or bacterial growth, and doesn’t break down as easily as other types of wood. Include at least two different pieces of cork bark, and ideally, have one of them as a cork bark tube to allow the spider an easy hiding place to feel safe in.
Curly Hair Tarantulas are a grassland dweller and require a higher level of humidity. 70% relative humidity is ideal for these species. It is recommended that you have both a digital hygrometer and thermometer in your enclosure to monitor these conditions. If the enclosure gets too dry, the tarantula can have difficulty molting, and this can lead to death and disfiguring of your spider.
To keep conditions humid, keep a small water dish or bottle cap full of water available at all times. The enclosure can also be misted, but be careful not to mist the spider. This can agitate the spider and result in bites or escape attempts. Misting can be down along the walls of the enclosure so it is absorbed by the substrate. Additionally, you can mist some of the webbing to allow the spider multiple places to get water. Reverse Osmosis, Distilled, or Spring water can be used. If using tap water, make sure to use a quality water dechlorinator.
These tarantulas do not require any UV lighting or any heating lamps, just a day-night cycle. Be careful your spider's enclosure doesn't receive too much sunlight. Sunlight can cause temperatures to rise rapidly, cooking your spider in its home. A thermometer should be present in the enclosure, and temperatures should be kept around 75-80 degrees. This can be accomplished with a low wattage under tank heat pad during colder conditions.
The Curly Hair tarantula is a fast growing species, with spiderlings reaching 3 inches in a year. You will need to keep up with their fast growth when feeding. For these young spiderlings, 2 small crickets a week will suffice to help them grow. Other options include dubia roaches and other common feeders. For adults, feeding larger crickets or similarly sized prey once a week will be enough. As with all tarantula species in your care, remove any excess feeders from your enclosure after a day, and wait a week to resume feeding after your tarantula molts.
The Curly Hair Tarantula is generally a calm, docile species that tolerates handling well and does not have a dangerous bite. They do have urticating hairs, so proceed with caution, especially with young or nervous animals. Providing adequate hiding places in your enclosure can help decrease the need to flee in any situation where your tarantula feels threatened. These spiders are astonishingly fast and that speed should not be underestimated.
Curly Hair tarantulas can be quite long lived in captivity. Males can live about 4 years, and females can easily live over a decade if cared for properly.
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