How do wild tarantulas get their food
Spiders as pets?
Open your eyes when buying a spider
If you plan to get a pet spider, be aware that tarantulas can live up to 30 years. The eight-legged animals need expert care and feeding.
Slowly approach the purchase and inform yourself thoroughly beforehand about the requirements of the crawly animals.
So before you buy a spider directly in the nearest pet shop with a touch of spontaneity, contact reputable breeders and exchange ideas with other spider owners. They can tell you about their experiences and give you practical tips.
Even if some spiders are quite undemanding, as pets they need your expert care. Obtain specialist literature and become a spinning expert before you finally decide on an eight-legged roommate.
Buy offspring, not captured spiders
From the perspective of animal rights activists, all domestic animals are viewed as critical. So, if you want to hold a spider, there are a few principles to look out for.
You should absolutely refrain from buying captured animals, the so-called "wild animals". These animals have gone through a long path of suffering and can be terminally ill before they even move into your terrarium.
Listen to several expert voices. Experts complain that the advice in pet shops is often inadequate. So gather your impressions and get in touch with arachnologists, i.e. spider scientists.
There are no legal regulations for keeping exotic animals across Germany. In some federal states, such as Bavaria or Berlin, the requirements for keeping exotic and poisonous animals are relatively strict, but there are none at all in North Rhine-Westphalia.
To be on the safe side, contact the local veterinary office and clarify your individual case.
Eight-legged friends with manageable demands
When the time comes and you actually decide to have a spider as a pet, you have to think about what kind of spider it should be.
Tarantulas are a decent size and are usually pretty to look at. As a beginner when it comes to keeping spiders, you should not only base your selection on the appearance of the animal.
The spider should not be too aggressive and forgive small mistakes in posture. Animals from Africa and Asia are therefore largely unsuitable for beginners.
In addition, you shouldn't skimp on the equipment of the spider home. Even if you can get some of the spiders for little money, you should keep in mind that a terrarium and its accessories are not cheap.
Red chile tarantula
The five to six centimeters tall red chile tarantula is largely peaceful and robust. However, you should be patient with this copper-red, hairy specimen, as it grows very slowly and takes longer breaks to eat.
The terrarium in which you keep the red chile tarantula should be 30 by 30 by 30 centimeters. At the bottom, you should fill in five to ten centimeters thick soil. A mixture of coconut fiber and soil works particularly well. But you can also use unfertilized potting soil or special terrarium soil.
A small area in the terrarium can be kept moist - a separate water bowl has proven to be uncomplicated. The spider will thank you if you put a piece of cork in the terrarium with you. She can hide under this. Young spiders usually build a passage in the ground as a shelter.
You should feed the red chile tarantula with insects, but above a certain size this species of tarantula also eats nest-young mice.
During the moult you should generally refrain from feeding all tarantulas, as the animals are completely defenseless during this time and could be eaten by the food animals.
The red-footed tarantula is also very popular with spider fans. It is known to be a peaceful animal, but it requires a little more attention than the red chile tarantula. Also keep in mind that female red-footed tarantulas can live up to 15 years.
Because it is a tree tarantula, you should plan a high terrarium, at least 40 centimeters high. The spider needs climbing opportunities. A combination of branches and green plants is perfect. You should also think of a shelter when setting up the terrarium.
The red-footed tarantula, originally from Central and South America, loves a humid climate. The unfertilized potting soil should always be a bit wet. It is best to also cover the floor with moss so that the water does not evaporate so quickly.
During the day you should ensure that the temperature is between 27 and 30 degrees Celsius, at night 21 to 24 degrees are sufficient.
The red-footed tarantula needs to be fed once a week. Crickets, grasshoppers and cockroaches are particularly fond of this species of spider.
Instead of collecting the feed animals yourself, you should go to the pet shop and buy them there. So you can be sure that there are no diseases or parasites in the feed.
Mexican red knee tarantula
The Mexican red-knee tarantula is particularly beautiful. Even beginners can try this species of spider, as it looks for minor mistakes and is quite good-natured. However, you should know before buying that the females of the Mexican red-knee tarantula can live up to 30 years and therefore require much longer care than budgies and Co.
The spider owes its name to its extraordinary appearance. Her reddish knees stand out clearly from the otherwise black body.
To keep it as appropriate to the species as possible, you should create a terrarium with an edge length of at least 30 centimeters. Ten centimeters thick soil is a must, as the Mexican red-knee tarantula is particularly fond of burrowing. Loam mixed with sand is very suitable for this. This enables the spider to build caves and passages that do not immediately collapse again.
In general, you should keep the soil in the terrarium of your red-knee tarantula dry, but a corner can always be a little damp.
The Mexican red-knee tarantula also prefers a cork tube as a shelter. With the size, you should make sure that your spider fits snugly. If the tube is too small, it does not feel comfortable and if it is too big, it may not even go in.
If you put plants in the terrarium, however, make sure that they do not have any thorns or spines, otherwise the spider can easily injure itself. Think about artificial plants. Since they only serve to beautify the terrarium with this species of spider, that's enough.
The Mexican red-knee tarantula is also content with crickets, crickets and grasshoppers as food. In the wild, it sometimes eats lizards or even its own conspecifics. However, this should not happen in the terrarium with good care.
Spiders are not cuddly toys
Sure, in between you can take your spider out of the terrarium and put it on your hand. But in general: Spiders are not animals to cuddle and play with. The eight-legged crawlers prefer it when you leave them alone in their terrarium and only show up in between to feed them.
When you touch your pet, you create stress. This can cause the tarantula to fire a warning shot and shoot the poison hair at its abdomen. In extreme cases, however, it can also bite.
If you do want to pick up your tarantula, be careful. Hold one hand in front of the spider and use the other to slowly push the spider body forward. Be careful not to let the spider fall. This can quickly mean death for ground-dwelling spiders.
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