Spiders as pets

Spiders as pets

Spiders as pets are very popular for those who are not squeamish about them. They will intrigue you with their hunting and homemaking skills. Just a word of warning, they are excellent escape artists, so please don’t keep any species you would not want loose in your house.

Spiders belong to the Arachnid class. This order also includes scorpions, ticks, mites, harvestmen, camel spiders, and whip spiders. Almost all adults have eight legs. Spiders are the largest order of Arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all orders of organisms. They are found on every continent except Antarctica. 49,623 species in 129 families have been recorded.

The smallest spider is the Patu diqua from Columbia and, is less than 0.37 mm (0.015 in) in body length. The largest and heaviest spiders occur among tarantulas, which can have body lengths up to 90 mm (3.5 in) and leg spans up to 250 mm (9.8 in).

Bahia scarlet birdeater spider
Courtesy Jolene Boshoff

Spiders are widely feared, but only a few species are dangerous to people. They will only bite you in self-defense. The most dangerous spiders are the Australian funnel-web spiders and the Brazilian wandering spider. Most of those with medically serious bites, such as recluse spiders and widow spiders, would rather flee and bite only when trapped.

Although rare tarantulas are quite expensive, other spiders are not. You can capture them about anywhere. Spiders are also low maintenance, but you need to research the needs, like the heat and humidity needs, of the species you have.

Mexican red knee spider
Courtesy Jolene Boshoff

Here is a list of the most popular species that are also great for beginners:

  • Tarantulas of the family Theraphosidae. At the moment, 1,010 species have been identified. You can look forward to a post just about them.
  • Brachypelma hamorii – Mexican Red-KneeTarantula – can be safely handled.
  • Jumping spiders of the family Salticidae.
  • Grammostola rosea – Chilean rose tarantula – relatively docile, low-maintenance, and inexpensive.
  • Dolomedes genus – also known as fishing spiders, raft spiders, dock spiders or wharf spiders.
  • Orb-weaver spiders of the family Araneidae.
  • Peucetia viridans – Green Lynx spider
  • The Thomisidae family of spiders – Crab Spiders

Featured photo courtesy Jolene Boshoff.

Spiders as pets
Avicularia purpurea, purple tree tarantula – courtesy Rebecca Majhor

Do you keep spiders? What is your favorite? Please let me know in a comment.

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