Last updated on February 1st, 2023 at 09:57 am
Today we’ll answer the question: are Arizona Blonde Tarantulas good pets? We’ll look at their care requirements, what they eat, their lifespan, temperature and temperament…
Native to the US and some parts of Mexico, Arizona Blonde Tarantulas (Aphonopelma chalcodes) are great pets due to their docile nature. Also known as the western desert tarantula, they have simple care requirements and an easy diet. All-in-all, their only slight drawback is that they are less widely available than some more well-known species.
They are typically found in the summer rainy season in southwestern deserts. These tarantulas also have the mildest venom of their family, Theraphosidae.
As the name suggests, the body of an Arizona blonde tarantula is densely covered with pale blond hair and darker legs and abdomen.
As they are low maintenance arachnids, they make the perfect pet for all novice pet owners. Let’s learn more about this amazing little creature!
Are Arizona blonde tarantulas good for beginners?
Out of all the the Tarantulas you could own, an Arizona blonde tarantula is relatively docile. Their venom is also harmless to humans.
These spiders are good for both beginners as well as experienced handlers. As they are docile and mostly calm in nature, they can be handled for a short period of time.
However, it is worth mentioning that every spider has its own temperament. Hence, it is best to not handle a tarantula for long periods of time.
Can you pick up an Arizona Blonde Tarantula?
While Arizona Blonde Tarantula typically can handle a small amount of physical touch, they prefer being to be left alone. They are docile yet solitary creatures and hence make a great pet.
It is best to not let a child below the age of 10 to handle a tarantula. Children above the age of 10 can handle the spider with adult supervision to ensure a pleasant experience.
These spiders also kick hair as a defense. Hence children need to be instructed on how and when to handle their pet.
Simple care requirements
As Arizona Blonde Tarantulas are native to the US and are accustomed to the desert habitat, their care requirements are quite simple.
These spiders require a tank that is around around five to ten gallons large. As these nifty little creatures have a burrowing tendency, you must add at least 4 inches of substrate such as peat moss to the enclosure.
Generally, it is suggested that the size of your tarantula tank should be three times the span of the spider’s leg. Keep this in mind if you are purchasing a juvenile as you may have to start off with a smaller enclosure.
As the spider has a mild temperament, you can change the enclosure when they grow. Start off with a sizeable pill bottle, then move up to a deli cup, and after that you can prepare a final enclosure for your little pet.
To keep your spider happy, you can also add hiding shelters to give it some privacy. These are available at a pet store or if you wish to DIY one, there are many resources online that will help you build a perfect one!
Additionally, ensure that the enclosure does not have a movable mesh lid. This could lead to injury to the spider.
Here’s a quick list to help you with your spider shopping:
- Substrates such as peat moss, coconut fiber or a mix of other moisture retaining soil.
- 5-10 gallon horizontal enclosure.
- A shallow water dish.
- A hiding spot/tank ornament such as a hollow log or clay flower pot.
- Leaf litter.
- Plants (make sure these are the non toxic types for your spider). These are optional, and fake plants might be easiest
What do Arizona Blonde Tarantulas eat?
Like most arachnids, the Arizona Blonde Tarantulas prefer eating insects. You can feed them small crickets, flour beetles, or cockroaches.
Juveniles must be fed every other day, while adults usually prefer eating twice a week. It is best to consult with your vet to understand the right feeding plan for your spider.
If you plan on feeding live insects to the spider, make sure that you remove unwanted food within 24 hours to avoid stressing it. As for water, a shallow water dish should always be filled with fresh water.
It is important that you do not feed your tarantulas during or immediately after the molting process. Large insects such as crickets can harm your tarantula during this process.
The molting process can take around 15 mins to 15 hours.
Arizona Blonde Tarantula venom
Like all tarantulas, this species is also has a venomous bite. However, their venom is very mild and do not hurt more than a bee sting.
However, it is important to seek medical attention if you notice allergic reactions to the bite.
Additionally, they are also known to kick hairs from their middle when threated. This can cause skin irritation and hence it is important to wash your hands after handling a tarantula.
When tarantulas kick hairs, it is important that you do not panic. You should gently place the spider back in its enclosure and seek medical attention to avoid severe irritation.
Arizona Blonde Tarantula size
The adult size of an Arizona Blonde Tarantula depends on their gender. This is a difference that is quite noticeable across most species of tarantulas.
Males grow up to 6 inches long and are mostly covered with hairs of black brown hue. Their carapace is light brown in color.
Females, on the other hand, are slightly larger by 2 inches. These tarantulas have hair that is mostly blonde on the tips of their legs and carapace.
The leg length of these spiders can be between 3 to 4 inches long, again, depending on the sex. It is worth noting that the males tend to have longer legs whereas the females have a bigger abdomen.
Arizona Blonde Tarantula lifespan
Arizona Blonde Tarantulas are very slow growing spiders and have a very long lifespan. Hence, it is a factor you need to consider before purchasing or adopting one.
They take years to mature from a juvenile stage. Just like most tarantulas, females of this species tend to live longer than the males.
Female Arizona Blonde Tarantula can live up to 30 years. On the other hand, males typically pass away after mating and hence live only up to 10 years at most.
Arizona Blonde Tarantula temperature
Typically, it is important to maintain the temperature of your tarantula enclosure around 68-72° F which is usually a comfortable room temperature.
However, if you live in an extremely cold area, it is necessary to set up a portable heater to maintain a consistent temperature. As these tarantulas are desert dwellers, it would also be ideal to maintain a humidity level between 60-70% to help your spider to molt easily.
FAQ relating to are Arizona Blonde Tarantulas good pets?
A unique defining features of the Arizona Blonde Tarantula, AKA Aphonopelma chalcodes, is the pale colored fur that covers their body and legs. Other all features such as number of legs, pedipalps, and lifespan remain more or less the same.
As nifty little creatures, they like burrowing deep under the substrate and are usually active during the night. Arizona Blonde Tarantulas are solitary animals and hence should not be placed with other pets.
As tarantulas are exotic pets, it is necessary to check for a vet in your area that treats them. Not all vets treat tarantulas, which is why it is important to check before purchasing or adopting a spider.
This species of tarantula are native to the US and hence less expensive compared to the other New World Tarantulas, making them the perfect starter pet.
Is the Arizona Blonde Tarantula docile?
Yes, Arizona Blonde Tarantulas are usually docile. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that you do not squeeze or jostle them.
Also, as with all tarantulas, always sit on the floor to handle your spider as they can be quite finicky and a drop to the floor could hurt the animal.
How big can an Arizona Blonde Tarantula get?
An Arizona Blonde Tarantula can get as big as 6 inches. This is an important factor to keep in mind while buying an enclosure for your spider.
However, it is worth noting that the females of this species are typically larger than the males.
Do Arizona blonde tarantulas need heat?
Arizona Blonde Tarantulas generally do not require any additional heating or lighting if the room temperature in your house is 65°-80°F.
While a humidity set up is not necessary, it can help your spider during the first few molting processes. During molting, spiders shed their exoskeleton and come out with new skin and fur.
While this process should not be disturbed, it is helpful to ensure that your tarantula’s enclosure is properly misted before the molting starts. This helps the spider to safely molt their old skin without any complications.
Do Arizona Blondes kick hair?
Arizona Blonde Tarantulas are generally very docile. However, they can be defensive when threatened and kick hairs.
This is why it is necessary to first test the temperament of the spider before handling it. This can be done by using a small paintbrush to gently nudge the tarantula.
If it takes it well, without a recoil, you can safely pick it up. Remember, the danger of handling a tarantula is more for the tarantula rather than the handler. Hence, it is important to not be quick with your movements or to panic when stung.