I love recommending the Arizona Blonde Tarantula as a pet for first-time tarantula owners, as these tarantulas require little care and aren’t aggressive by nature. If one feels threatened or stressed, it can bite, which feels like a bee’s sting. But their bites aren’t poisonous and will usually just cause redness or swelling on the skin. In this guide, I’ll share all you need to know about these tarantulas, including their habitat, appearance, temperament, and how to care for them, so you’re fully prepared before bringing an Arizona Blonde Tarantula home.
- What is an Arizona Blonde Tarantula?
- Arizona Blonde Tarantula appearance
- Arizona Blonde Tarantula temperament
- How to care for Arizona Blonde Tarantulas
- Are Arizona Blonde Tarantulas venomous?
- Handling an Arizona Blonde Tarantula
What Are Arizona Blonde Tarantulas?
Arizona Blonde Tarantulas are native to southern Arizona and northern Mexico and have 3–4-inch long legs. This type of tarantula has a relaxed attitude and grows at a slow rate, and the females can live up to 30 years. You can find them in saguaro-dominated plant communities, such as the desert southwest, but they can be difficult to spot. In fact, in winter, they create their own burrows using rocks, soil, and silk for survival where they live off stored fat.
Also referred to as Aphonopelma chalcodes, they make a great pet if you’ve never owned a tarantula before. In fact, they don’t require a lot of handling and enjoy being left with their own company. So once you introduce a healthy, balanced diet, they’re happy enough. Similar to other tarantulas, they have eight legs and two pedipalps for catching and eating food.
Arizona Blonde Tarantulas Appearance
The male and female species appear different, but both have hair covering their body. The female has a tan color across the body whereas the male has black legs, a reddish abdomen, and a copper-shaded cephalothorax. Males typically have longer legs than females, and the average length is 15 cm.
Arizona Blonde Tarantulas Temperament
These tarantulas have a docile and calm nature, which makes them easier and safer to handle than most species (although you should avoid handling them if you’re not a professional).
Despite having a relaxed temperament, these species can be defensive when they think they’re in nature. When they feel threatened, they flick urticating hair or can bite. Furthermore, Arizona Blonde Tarantulas can be unpredictable and defensive due to their nervous personalities. They’re also nocturnal, and you can usually find them burrowed under knocks or in secret holes.
How to Care for Arizona Blonde Tarantulas
They require a temperature of 75–80 degrees Fahrenheit for comfortable living. Despite being acclimatized to temperature drops at night, it’s best to provide a heating pad to keep them close to their desired temperature and help them to feel content. They originate in dry desert climates, so aim for a humidity of 65–70 per cent. When they’re babies, avoid giving them a bowl of water, as they can affect the humidity levels in the air. Once they reach an adult, a shallow water dish is fine (so long as it’s not filled more than halfway).
Additionally, opt for a 5- to 10-gallon tank with a secure lid that provides ample ventilation. We also suggest a transparent, glass material, so you can monitor your pet without removing them from their cage. When choosing the right length size for the cage, it should be around three times the spider’s leg size with a height of around one foot. Don’t purchase a tank that’s too tall because the tarantula could fall and injure itself.
Add a clay flower pot inside of the cage for the spider to shelter itself and sleep. You can also add a hollow log and cork bark for some nature in their new habitat.
Cleaning Their Tank
Keep their environment clean to prevent any health concerns and to make them feel as comfortable as possible. Poor cleaning habits can result in parasites, mites, and stress. Remove any uneaten food to prevent bacteria from forming. While cleaning the cage, remain calm and perform actions in slow motions to not startle the tarantula, as they can flick hairs if they feel threatened,
Owning a tarantula, it’s common to encounter molting. But if you notice that the spider is on its back, don’t touch or move them, as they react as though they’re being attacked. Leave them alone, and continue cleaning their cage another day.
This species eats mealworms, roaches, live crickets, and other insects. Once Arizona Blonde Tarantulas are fully grown, they usually eat once or twice per week while younger species will eat every one or two days.
When feeding your pet, drop the live prey near the tarantula, leaving them to eat in place. Discard any uneaten food after 24 hours, as leaving it can stress them out. Be sure to always keep a shallow bowl of water nearby, ensuring that it’s not too deep that the tarantula could drown in it. Provide fresh water daily. It’s also worth noting that it’s common for these tarantulas to go months without eating as the weather gets cooler. They typically don’t eat anything bigger than them.
Are Arizona Blonde Tarantulas Venomous?
These tarantulas don’t have a poisonous bite, but their bite can irritate the skin or have a stinging sensation for most people. So, you should still take care not to surprise or spook them. Always handle them gently, and move in slow, calm motions. If you experience a particularly strong reaction to one of their bites, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor.
Can You Pick up an Arizona Blonde Tarantula?
It can be tempting to want to hold your pet tarantula, and while they have a calm temperament, you should avoid handling them too much. You can pick them up if you handle them gently, but you should never squeeze them. Always sit on the floor when handling a spider because even a drop of a couple of feet can injure them. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching them or cleaning out their cage.
Should I Get an Arizona Blonde Tarantula?
Arizona Blonde Tarantulas can be a great choice for tarantula beginners because they’re relatively docile. But, remember that temperament will vary from one tarantula to the next. Some could be more easily spooked than others. Make sure you do plenty of research about this tarantula before committing, so you know you can provide the right level of care!