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Tliltocatl albopilosus / Brachypelma albopilosum (Curly hair tarantula) Care sheet

The Curly Hair would have fit in nicely with the 80s big hair scene. It's long, curly setae "hairs" give this species a very unique appearance, unlike any other tarantula. We not only love this spiders sense of style, it's also known for being docile (yet skittish), long-lived and quite hardy. For good reason they are one of our most requested and popular beginner tarantulas.

Origin: New World. Native to the tropical scrublands of Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Difficulty: Beginner

Type: Terrestrial

Adult Size: 5-6”

Growth speed: Slow

Longevity: Males 6+ years, females 20-40 years

Temperament: Docile yet skittish. If agitated T. albopilosus may flee and/or flick urticating hairs.

Bite potency:  Mild

Urticating hairs: Yes

Ideal Temperature:  70 to 74°

Humidity: Low to Medium

Fun Fact: We have a Curly Hair in our collection named "Bad Hair Day" who Jon acquired as an adult over 12 years ago. She is the tarantula we have had the longest and she will give us an eggsac nearly every year regardless if we choose to breed her.

Enclosure: Good ventilation is a must and safety should be a top priority when choosing and designing your tarantulas enclosure. The enclosure should not be too tall as to give the spider an opportunity to fall and injure itself. For spiderlings under about 1-1 1/4" we recommend the Terrestrial Spiderling Enclosure Kit. For specimens over 1" to about 2" we recommend the Terrestrial Juvenile Enclosure Kit. Specimens over 2" and under about 4.5 or 5" can go into a 7x7x11" complete terrestrial enclosure although because Curly Hairs can reach 5-6" in length we recommend the 8x8x14" Adult Complete Terrestrial as a permeant enclosure for 2-2.5" and over specimens. Click HERE to find out how to you measure a tarantula.

Substrate: While most adults will adopt a hide, slings often prefer to burrow. Cocofiber, vermiculite, peat moss and/or potting soil (or a mix) are all excellent substrate choices. Please make sure the substrate you choose is organic and chemical/fertilizer free. Do not use sand, pebbles, rocks or wood chips or anything else that could potentially cut or injure the tarantula.

In many cases a larger specimen would rather adopt or retrofit an existing hide than create it's own from deep substrate. Cork tubes half buried in substrate are what we use for our adult females. The specimen will excavate one side of the cork tube to it's liking. I like to think this makes the tarantula feel “at home” while minimizing the time and effort for the spider to settle in.

Spiderlings will often desire to create their own home by excavating a burrow. A tarantula with this talent and preference for tunneling is referred to as an obligate burrower. To encourage this natural behavior we recommend semi-moist substrate at least twice, and ideally three times as deep as the tarantulas DLS. Both the  Terrestrial Spiderling and Terrestrial Juvenile Enclosure Kit can be set up to encourage burrowing.

Water: Larger spiders 2” and over should be provided with a shallow water dish in order to drink. The water bowl should be rinsed our every time it is refilled. Being a scrubland species they will not require as frequent misting as an arboreal species however, I recommend keeping one corner of the enclosure lightly misted, especially if there is no water bowl.

Feeding: Adults will eat every 6-14 days depending on the size of the spider and it's prey. Spiderlings should eat more often, every 5-10 days. Adults may be fed crickets, mealworms or roaches. Spiderlings under .75” can only eat food small enough for it to overpower. This includes pinhead crickets, flightless fruit flies & freshly hatched "pinhead" rusty red roaches. It is not advised to feed your tarantula wild-caught food. It could contain parasites or pesticides that could be fatal to your pet. Keep your tarantulas enclosure clean. food waste left in the enclosure will invite mold, mildew, mites, flies and other pests. It is advised to remove uneaten prey items after 3-12 hours. If using a feeder who will not “bother” a tarantula such as dubia roaches it is alright to leave them in the enclosure as long as they are not causing stress to the specimen. A more detailed feeding, misting & troubleshooting guide can be found here: https://jamiestarantulas.com/guides/

Coloring & Sexual Dimorphism: Spiderlings are slow to obtain their adult colors and signature curly hairs, but in my opinion experiencing the transformation is part of the fun of raising a tarantula. It will take a while, typically a few years, but around 1 1/4- 1 3/4" leg-span spiderlings will typically develop a few curly hairs. After 2-2 1/2" or so the specimens adult coloring and trademark fuzzy appearance is usually more prominent. Keep in mind these are estimates and it does vary from specimens to specimen. What a joy it is to witness the transformation of an unassuming brown spiderling into a large, fluffy tarantula!

Male and females of this species are typically identical in appearance until maturity. Females will become more stocky with age while males are lankier in overall appearance. Mature males will have tibial hooks.

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