Tips on caring for the Guyana pinktoe tararantula

(Avicularia avicularia)

The Guyana pinktoe (a.k.a. the common pinktoe) is a wonderfully docile tarantula that makes for a great pet. It is readily available in many pet stores, and is sometimes recommended as a beginner's species. It is indeed wonderfullly docile; however, there are several considerations that one must bear in mind when keeping these marvelous beasts. Although they are arguably suitable for beginners, they can be difficult to maintain if you don't do things right.

A few of these animals have died at my hand, and so I've learned from experience. I hope that this information will be helpful to others.


A Guyana pinktoe, shown here eating a cricket.

First, these animals are arboreal, and so they need a tall habitat for best results. I've found that pretzel jars work quite well.

They also require high humidity levels, and so it helps to mist their cages regularly or to keep their water dishes full. The high degree of humidity can also cause molds to form though, and even imperceptible levels of mold can be fatal to a spider. For this reason, one should maintain plenty of ventilation. Grilled covers work well, as do jar lids with large ventilation holes.

It is often reported that these animals can be kept communally, unlike most other tarantulas. I've found that this works well for short periods, but I don't recommend it for long-term captivity unless you have a huge cage. It seems that their proximity to each other causes stress, since I've had some mysterious deaths under such circumstances.

Can these animals be handled? You betcha, but they are also fairly fast and skittish. For this reason, I don't recommend handling them unless you are an experienced keeper and are exceedingly calm when it comes to handling tarantulas.


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