The curly haired tarantula (also written as curlyhair tarantula) hails from Nicaragua or Honduras. Its scientific name is Tliltocatl albopilosus although, it is also called Brachypelma albopilosum.
If you are planning to keep the curly hair tarantula as a pet, then read on, this guide is for you. This is an excellent variety of New World tarantula to keep as a pet, since it is fairly docile.
Curly Hair Tarantula Facts
- As stated earlier, the curly hair tarantula is native to Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Curly hair tarantula natural habitat includes areas near the river, cleared rainforests, and tropical scrublands.
- They are mainly terrestrial tarantulas. However, they also like to burrow.
- The name curly hair is due to the fact that their hair has a tendency to curl.
- Their scientific name Tliltocatl albopilosus comes from Tliltocatl which stands for the genus masculine and albopilosa means white and hairy.
- Curly hair tarantulas are New World Spiders.
Physical description of the Tliltocatl Albopilosus
The curly hair tarantula has a round body covered with bristles that tend to curl. These curly hairs are either dark brown, black, or golden in color. Overall, this beautiful tarantula gets a golden-bronze coloring which makes it fascinating to look at. The male curly hair tarantula has a lighter coloring than the female.
Adult curly hair tarantula size – males and females both grow to the size of approximately 5.5 inches leg span (less than 8 cm). Since the curly hair tarantula growth rate is slow, they do not reach their full size until almost 5 years of age.
Longevity of the Brachypelma Albopilosum
In captivity, the curly hair tarantula lifespan is 5 years for males and nearly 20 years for females (some even last up to 25 years!). Like all tarantula species, the female curly hairs live longer. The reason for this may be because, in the wild, the males tend to wander off more and usually get killed by predators. Also, tarantula fanciers take better care of females because they give birth and that means more tarantulas! Also, male tarantulas usually die off right after they reach maturity.
Difference between Nicaraguan Curly Hair Tarantula and Honduran Curly Hair Tarantula
The main difference between the Nicaraguan curly hair tarantula and Honduran curly hair tarantula is that the latter has more bronze-colored hairs. The Nicaraguan curly hair tarantula on the other hand, has lighter colored hair. It is also smaller and has a darker colored body than the Honduran curly hair.
Some experts believe that Honduran curly hair tarantulas are the same as Nicaraguan while others believe that they are ‘hobby form’ meaning hybrids and not thoroughbred.
More studies are needed to know the exact differences between the Nicaraguan curly hair tarantula and Honduran curly hair tarantula.
Curly hair tarantula temperament and personality
As stated above, the curly hair tarantula is fairly docile and makes a great pet for beginner hobbyists. However, like all New World tarantulas, this one can send urticating hairs when handled. These can be very painful and could cause itching and swelling too.
Unlike other tarantula species, your little guy or girl would be more willing to come out in the enclosure and show its cuddly little self! You won’t see this confident fella hiding all the time.
Sometimes, they even like to move pieces of bark and other decorative items you may have provided in the enclosure. At other times, they will sit restfully.
If you plan to handle your curly hair tarantula, then make sure you are sitting down on the floor when doing so. This way, your pet won’t get injured if you accidentally drop it. Also, do not let children handle these tarantulas (or for that matter other tarantula species) without supervision.
Never mistaken for once that these docile and mild tempered species can get along with other tarantulas. Cannibalism is very much prevalent in this species, so do not house two or more curly hair tarantulas together.
Curly hair tarantula enclosure
This terrestrial bird spider also likes to burrow. So an ideal terrarium or enclosure would be 40 x 30 x 30 (L x W X H).
Do not overheat the terrarium. Ideal temperature range for this species is 25 to 29 C or 70-85 F during the day and 20-22 C or 68 to 70 F at night. Please keep the tank/enclosure out of direct sunlight.
Also, the curly hair tarantula care sheet recommends a humidity level of 60 to 75% from January to April and 75 to 85 F from May to December.
Since the curly hair tarantula full size is 7 to 8 cm in length, you need to provide a substrate of at least 3 to 6-inches. They like to burrow, so look for substrate that allows this activity. Substrates that retain shape are a good choice.
Don’t forget to keep a shallow water dish in the enclosure for your pet to sip water from. Also, you can mist or spray the walls of the enclosure as well as the substrate. This will help maintain the enclosure’s humidity as well.
Spend some time cleaning the enclosure every few weeks or once a month. Remove moldy substrate, eaten prey carcass, and other unwanted stuff. Also, you must change the substrate or bedding every 6 months. This is very important for your curly hair’s health.
Feel free to read our article on our recommendations for tarantula enclosures here.
Feeding a curly hair tarantula
Like other tarantula species, curly hair tarantulas eat worms, roaches, mealworms, wax worms, crickets, etc. Feed your younger spiders every 2-3 days and your adult tarantula once a week. Remove any unwanted worms or prey since it could stress your buddy out.
You can easily find curly hair tarantula feeding prey in pet shops. Drop the prey into the enclosure and your pet will eat it. Avoid adding prey in the enclosure when your spider is molting.
Breeding your curly hair tarantula
Fanciers of the curly hair tarantula recommend not to breed this species unless you are sure you have a pair that are truly Nicaraguan or Honduran. A lot of hybridization takes place due to such cross-breeding. So, unless you trust your source for the exact species, please do not attempt to breed them.
Once you are sure you have a thoroughbred pair, then breeding is fairly easy. Female curly hair tarantulas, unlike other tarantula species, go easy on males. If however, you start to notice the female getting aggressive, separate them right away. Otherwise, it is quite likely that cannibalism can occur.
Here are general tips to help you breed your curly hair tarantula:
- Make sure the female has molted before she is bred. If she molts between mating and cocoon formation, then the eggs could remain unfertilized.
- Keep temperature and humidity constant to encourage breeding. However, some females tend to ‘get triggered’ when the humidity and temperature are both increased a bit.
- Your female will start making a cocoon nearly 3-4 weeks after mating occurs. You can separate the eggs in a different enclosure and store them at 80-90% humidity with temperature between 70 and 85 F.
If all goes well, you can expect about 300 to 500 curly hair tarantula spiderling to emerge from the eggs.
Curly hair tarantula molting
Curly hair tarantula molting is an interesting phenomenon to watch. This can take anywhere between 15 minutes to several days. Do keep an eye out on your pet during this phase. Molting is normally a safe process and it is also natural. However, some spiders tend to get trapped inside their carapaces and could die a slow painful death.
Curly hair tarantula molting is usually not painful but it can be a sensitive and vulnerable time for your spider. Consequently, you must avoid adding any prey in the enclosure at this time. Even a small cricket can hurt your pet at this stage.
Curly hair tarantula venom and bite
Your curly hair tarantula bite is not venomous or fatal but it can sting like a bee’s. You could also develop some swelling and redness in the bitten area. If someone is allergic to curly hair tarantula venom, then there is a chance that they could go into anaphylactic shock.
FAQs on Curly Hair Tarantula
1. Is it safe to hold a Curly hair tarantula?
Yes, this is a docile creature so Curly hair tarantula handling is quite safe. However, they are also rather delicate, so handle your buddy with extreme care. Don’t forget that this New World Tarantula could shoot out urticating hairs which can cause pain, redness, itching, and swelling.
2. Are Curly hair tarantula aggressive?
No. Like most New World tarantulas, the Curly hair tarantula is not too aggressive. It has a docile temperament and can be handled with ease. It is also quite bold and won’t hide – although it does burrow in its substrate.
3. Is the Curly hair tarantula good for beginners?
Yes, due to its docile and mild temperament, this can be considered one of the best New World tarantulas for beginner hobbyists.
4. Do Curly hair tarantula bite?
Yes, to defend itself, this docile and mild-tempered creature could bite its handler. However, you need not worry about its venom – it is generally very mild and might only cause some swelling and redness.
If you are looking for curly hair tarantula for sale, then you can easily find one for a price of $20 to $50 depending on the breeder. This is a great beginner’s tarantula and is fascinating to watch.
We hope this guide helps you set up a comfortable curly hair tarantula habitat at home.