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Introduction

ARACHNOIDEN:

Located in north-central Massachusetts, we import, breed and sell tarantulas. Available are species from hundreds of captive-bred lines maintained by private breeders and arachnologists in the European Union. Our long-established relationship with the most productive breeder in Germany means better pricing and access to species not offered elsewhere.

All species are listed alphabetically on a single, scrollable column, subdivided into spiderling, juvenile, immature and adult categories. All specimens beyond juveniles are sexed. Experienced keepers may appreciate the list format. New hobbyists may prefer to peruse and shop using the photo gallery at the bottom of the page. As you review the offerings, pay attention to species unfamiliar to you. Our bias with new and rare species is understatement.

In addition to a wide and changing selection, we provide photographs and short essays (under Description). Color-enhanced photos are verboten. Essays may help you place a species in its natural setting, showing there is more to a spider than colorfulness, coir, hide and a water dish. Information comes from a variety of sources, typically overseas and US breeders, field collectors, arachnologists, arachnology texts and original scientific manuscripts. The most important statements have references or hyperlinks. Hobbyist and personal experience are given if helpful. Anecdotes, critique, research, and photos are welcome and anything used is posted with attribution.

Safety

Safety for the owner goes hand in hand with safety for the spider. Internet photos of people holding tarantulas, even decorating their heads and faces with them, demonstrate risk to human (a bite and/or flicked urticating hairs) and tarantula (injury, stress). Photos don’t show the tarantula being flung across the room when handling goes awry. If you want to handle your pet, get a cat.

Bites from New World tarantulas are painful and associated with local inflammation, akin to a wasp sting. Bites from Old World tarantulas may in addition cause neurologic symptoms, sometimes lasting weeks. All tarantula bites have potential to cause more serious symptoms should infection develop or allergy to venom exist. Fortunately, to date there have been no deaths reported from a tarantula bite.

Many New World tarantulas will upon disturbance flick urticating (itchy) hairs from their rumps. These hairs have potential to land on skin, eyes or be inhaled. Self-limited, local irritation is the most common result, but allergic reaction and/or infection are possible. Consultation with an ophthalmologist or other medical professional may be needed.

If in doubt about a tarantula-related symptom you have, seek medical attention.

Starting in the hobby

For those of you new to the hobby, welcome! Here are a few tips to facilitate your venture into the field:

There are many sources of reliable information, but time-tested The Tarantula Keepers Guide (TKG) by Stanley and Marguerite Schultz has helped thousands of hobbyists with the basics. It is worth reading before your first purchase.

Whether you plan to keep one species or one hundred, spiderlings are generally the most economical investment. Like any young animal they require slightly more care. For some, it’s part of the fun. Once you’ve learned the basics, we can answer specific husbandry questions.

Because female tarantulas live 2-5x longer than males, collectors prefer females. Tarantulas aren’t easily sexed as spiderlings, but sexing becomes easier and more reliable with increasing size.

Sexing and cost

We raise spiderlings to a size where sexing is reliable by molt and/or ventral examination. At this point we’ll remove a species from the website and a short time later list it under females, males or pairs. Because hobby collectors far outnumber breeders, males are not often listed. We do list and sell a few, but most go unsold. Decreased male saleability and male egg-sac bias, up to 70% in some species, are two reasons why females cost 2-3 times more than their unsexed counterparts.

Sexually mature males are sometimes available. We list molt dates to the nearest day, week, or month.

Size

We use anterior-posterior leg-span, with size ranges approximating variation in measurement or sizes within a given batch. A 1 1/2″ Xenesthis is a leggy months-old lightweight, whereas a 1 1/2″ Grammostola is several times heavier and a few years old. A 1 1/2 inch Cyriocosmus dwarf may be sexually mature.

Collectors

We will consider purchasing or trading for any species you’d like to offer, the exception in some cases being species that cannot be easily identified by visual inspection. Please include delivery in your proposal. We can help with shipping materials and technique for first-time shippers.

Breeders

We will consider purchasing or trading for spiderlings from US breeders. We may ask you for photographs of mother and father if you are new to us, and ask you to include delivery in your proposal.

Thank you everyone.