Mike's Basic Tarantula
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Spiderling General Care Sheet
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This page is a general care sheet for spiderlings.
The first tarantula I owned was a Grammostola porteri (Rose Hair). It was an adult and probably wild caught. Her name was Charlotte. I bought her in 1988 and kept her for twelve (12) years before I purchased another tarantula. I was surfing the internet and came across an ad that was selling tarantulas. I started looking on different dealers website for pricing. I discovered that juveniles and adult tarantulas were very expensive, but spiderling were inexpensive in comparison, so I decided to purchase a few spiderlings. I purchased my first group of spiderling from Pet Center USA. I bought four (4) Brachypelm hamorii spiderlings for fourteen dollars ($14.00) each. I had them shipped express (one day); I think this is the best method for shipping tarantulas. They arrived, and I unpacked them and when I seen how small they were (1/4") (.635cm), I wondered, how am I going to care for them. Out of the four, one matured as a male and was traded, one mysteriously died at around 3.5” (8.89cm). Another I gave to one of my sons and the last one is a solid seven inches (17.78cm) in leg span (LS). She is one of my oldest tarantula.

After breeding and nurturing the young of over forty (40) species of tarantulas, also having bought one hundred forty plus different species as spiderlings, here is what I have learned after raising thousands of spiderlings. Most spiderlings can be raised in a relatively warm climate, between 74°-82° Fahrenheit (23.3 °27.8 ° Celsius). Personally, I have kept all of my spiderlings on the warmer end of the spectrum. There are a few exceptions. The Megaphobema mesomelas and the Poecilotheria subfusca (highland) requires a cooler temperature. The warmer climate causes species that are known for slow growing, to grow much quicker when power fed. The down side to a warmer temperature is the need for a stricter maintenance.

Because spiderling molt more frequent than an adult, the humidity should be between 70% – 80% at all times, regardless of the species. Even the Theraphosa blondi and the Xenesthis immanis, that requires high humidity as adults, I keep the humidity the same as other spiderlings, with no problems. I use a vial that allows three inches of damp substrate for small spiderlings. The larger spiderlings, as the afore mentioned species, because the spiderlings are about an inch (2.54cm), I start them off in a four inch (10.19cm) deli cup. The mixture of substrate is the same as the mixture with my adults. I keep the medium damp, but not too moist or wet. To help conserve the humidity, place the ventilation holes in the side of the vial or deli cup, instead of the top. Whenever needed, mist the inside of the vial. If the spiderling is thirty, it will drink from the drops on the side of the vial or from the earth. After the spiderling has burrowed, which it will, the less you need to be concerned about the spiderling desiccating, for the damp soil will help keep the spiderling hydrated.

Most new hobbyists are concerned when their spiderling stays in its burrow for an extended periods of time, remember this is the most vulnerable time of a spiderling life; so when it has eaten its full, it will have a tendency to stay burrowed. There is no need to worry, in the safety of the burrow, it will molt and grow. Please don’t disturb this crucial time by unearthing your spiderling to see how it is fairing. This can prove fatal. I have learned that spiderlings are resilience litter buggers. Just give them the basics and they will survive as they have for ages. Once a spiderling reaches a certain size, it will become more visible, unless it is an obligate burrower.

Feeding a spiderling is the key to its growth. Therefore I feed my spiderlings as much as they will eat. Their diet doesn’t need to be varied, but simple. It should consist of one staple food as crickets, roaches etc. If the roach is to large, twist off a leg or dissect it. Give the spiderling a twenty four hour day to consume the food. If there are any remains, discard it to eliminate the spread of mites. If there is a mite infestation, dig up about one half inch (1.27cm) of substrate, throw it away then replace it. If the infestation is in the burrow, leave the food remains on top of the medium and the mites will surface to eat the carcass. Once they are on top discard one half inch (1.27cm) of substrate along with the carcass. 
With the exception of dwarf species, I consider a baby tarantula a spiderling that is under the size of one inch (2.54cm).

Be careful when opening and closing the top of the enclosure for the escape artist and injury.

I don't change a spiderling into a larger deli cup until it reaches the one inch mark (2.54cm).


* I recommend that you join a good forum and begin to post pictures of your babies.