Lifespan - 5 to 30 years depending on sex and species
Tarantulas have been kept as pets all over the world (including other states of Australia) for many years. In Western Australia the keeping of invertebrates as a whole is a brand new and exciting concept! Currently there are no license requirements to keep these critters if purchased in the state of WA.
Whether you are arachnophobic or have a fascination with spiders an Australian tarantula could very well be a perfect pet, be it ornamental or somewhat interactive is dependent on the individual person. Tarantulas have been a tool in the treatment and cure of arachnophobia. This is based simply on the highly regarded opinion that people are afraid of what they don’t know. Once you have a large spider at your home (secured in an enclosure), that relies on you for feeding and its necessities and once you have observed its natural instinctive fear of you (whether you like it or not, you are a massive predator to a spider smaller than your foot), you will not only see, but begin to believe what you see. That in fact far from the scary beast you assume, is a shy and reclusive critter that would rather hide from you than risk you ‘finding’ it in its well-hidden den. After all it has no idea that its den resides in your lounge room.
Tarantulas are primitive and instinctive. Your spider will never love you, which ultimately shows how tolerant they really are. They will avoid biting and contact where possible, with preference of flight than fight. Don’t get me wrong, they are very capable of inflicting a painful, venom filled bite but they would prefer not to.
Yes, Australian Tarantulas are venomous. They are classified as not dangerous to humans because their bites have been documented to mainly only cause minor symptoms such as severe pain. They have been documented as extremely toxic to canines. Of the seven reported cases of dogs bitten by Australian Tarantulas, all were fatal. This is not to say that for every person the venom will have no serious effects. There is always the exception to this rule. Every individual person has the potential to react differently to any toxin, potentially due to a secondary reaction in the body. As yet there have been no deaths or serious illness caused by the venom of Australian Tarantula. It is assumed that Australian Tarantulas contain potent neurotoxins that are active in several species of vertebrates. Obviously canines are one of such vertebrates and humans are simply not.
Adult female Australian Tarantulas live in web lined burrows in the ground. Younger spiders and males may create webbed retreats under logs, rock crevices or burrows.
Enclosure size is dependent on the occupant. A good general rule of thumb is 2x the legs pan of the spider across and 3x the leg span of the spider in depth.
In saying this, an adult spider can be given as much room as you choose to give, though the chances of them utilizing a lot of space is slim to none. A spiderling however, if given too much space, will not flourish as well as one in a smaller environment. This comes down to their ability to catch their food in a bigger space. A 25cm square tank is going to be much more taxing and difficult to catch food in than a 5cm across x 5cm deep round disposable takeaway container. A 25cm cube tank is a great size for adult tarantulas.
Coco peat is the best choice of substrate because it stays moist longer than anything else. When it begins to dry out spray it down thoroughly on one side and slightly on the other. Always give your spider a hide on the surface in the form of a crazy crab hut or similar for adults (if you haven’t already provided a false bottom or burrow). A plastic leaf or something similar will work well for a spiderling. Decor is up to you, providing materials aren’t of a harmful nature or manufacture.
Their diet generally consists of crickets, wood roaches, king worms and the occasional pink mouse. Spiderlings usually eat twice a week, with adults feeding once a week.
- Enclosure suitable for the size of your tarantula
- Coco peat
Keeping records and notes on your tarantula is always a good idea and you will find a record page in the downloads at the bottom of this page. This gives you good opportunity to notice if something isn’t as it should be and when concerned you need only a quick glimpse at the record to ascertain that its due to moult or hasn’t eaten etc. This is also a great way to learn what isn’t necessarily written in books. You will start to see patterns emerge of drops in feeding in cooler or warmer weather, moulting frequency (as tarantulas grow as fast as they eat and as often as they moult), and changes in temperament and activity levels. All of which could see you being the person to offer advice to the new spider owner in the near future... You’ll learn so much so fast! It really is awe inspiring and somewhat amazing the things that a person can learn from a completely primitive and instinctive creature, things that no person could ever teach you. Your fascination will always grow where it budded and it won’t be long before you have many tarantulas and can keenly admire the differences between them all.
If you have any questions about keeping Australian Tarantulas in Western Australia please drop in at one of our stores for a chat. One of our specialist staff will be able to assist you with caring for your tarantula.
Please note the information provided above is a species background, NOT A CARE SHEET. We recommend adequate background reading and research to be undertaken prior to purchasing this species. A care booklet is provided upon purchase of a tarantula.