Curly hair tarantula, Tliltocatl albopilosus

Curly hair tarantulas are the perfect introduction to tarantula keeping

At a glance...
  • Curly hair tarantulas are an ideal beginner species
  • Hardy with easy to meet husbandry requirements
  • Easy to tame making them a good choice for beginners
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Do Curly hair tarantulas make good pets?

Curly hair tarantulas are one of the most popular species kept as exotic pets, due to their docile nature and adorable, long, curly hairs. They are a terrestrial species of New World tarantula native to Nicaragua and Costa Rica and were previously classified within the genus Brachypelma.

The defining feature of a Curly hair tarantula is its dark brown body covered with golden-red hairs along its abdomen and legs. Although tarantula venom is rarely considered to be medically significant, an adult Curly hair tarantula can produce a bite similar to that of a bee sting if provoked.

Curly hair tarantulas also possess urticating hairs, but are much less likely to bolt, kick hairs or bite than many other tarantula species, which makes them a great option for beginners. However, although this species is often handled, it is important to remember that they are tarantulas and their behaviour can be unpredictable.

At Swell Reptiles, all of our Curly hair tarantulas were captive bred in the UK, meaning you can rest assured that your new pet came from a reliable source, with minimal negative impacts on their native populations.

Which enclosure should I get for my Curly hair tarantula?

We recommend an enclosure size of around 45 x 45 x 30cm (18 x 18 x 12”) for an adult Curly hair tarantula, which will give them enough ground space to move around and create underground burrows. This can either be in the form of a decorative glass enclosure, such as the Exo Terra Glass Terrarium 45x45x30cm, or a similarly sized acrylic or plastic box type enclosure, such as the Tarantula Room Square Terrarium 41cm x 41cm.

Do Curly hair tarantulas need to be heated?

Curly hair tarantulas do best with a warm end temperature of around 26°C (78°F). In many instances, this can be achieved without much extra help, but you may need to attach a heat mat up the back or side of the enclosure, hooked up to an on/off thermostat to maintain this temperature if you have a cooler home.

What humidity does a Curly hair tarantula need?

To maintain proper hydration, a Curly hair tarantula should be kept within a humidity range of 70-80%. To achieve this, a loose, moisture-retaining substrate such as coco soil should be used, which will also provide good burrowing opportunities.

You will also need to periodically add humidity to the enclosure by misting with a handheld spray bottle, and providing a shallow dish for water, such as s milk bottle cap or traditional invertebrate water dish. It is useful to install an accurate hygrometer to keep track of humidity levels and mist when required.

How do I decorate a Curly hair tarantula terrarium?

Curly hair tarantulas are not too fussy when it comes to decor, providing you give them some form of hide, either using a hiding cave or pieces of natural decor such as cork bark and leaf litter, along with a shallow water dish and they will be content. You may wish to make the enclosure a little prettier using other pieces of decor, and foliage from live or artificial plants.

What do Curly hair tarantulas eat?

Like all tarantulas, Curly hairs are insectivorous and should be fed a varying diet of different livefoods, including crickets, locusts, cockroaches and mealworms. It is important not to leave any uneaten prey in the enclosure with your tarantula, as many can bite and pose a threat to moulting or freshly moulted tarantulas.

How do I buy a Curly hair tarantula?

If you like the look of our UK captive bred Curly hair tarantulas and would like to take one home, please feel free to come into our store and see us.

We will ask to see some photos of your set-up and ask a few quick questions to ensure you are ready for the commitment of one of these beautiful pets. We reserve the right to refuse adoption to anyone we feel is unprepared to adopt.

Common names Curly hair tarantula, Nicaraguan curly hair tarantula
Scientific name Tlitocatl albopilosus (previously Brachypelma albopilosa)
Country Nicaragua and Costa Rica
Captive-bred Yes
Adult size 15cm (6”)
Natural habitat Tropical scrubland
Housing 45 x 45 x 30cm (18 x 18 x 12”)
Ideal temperature 22-26°C (71-78°F)
Ideal humidity 70-80%
Diet Insectivorous
Average lifespan 4-10+ years (sex dependent)
Personality Docile
Ease of handling Easy, but should be kept to a minimum
Cohabitable No
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