Animal Stories - Pink-toed Tarantula

Animal-World Information about: Pink-toed Tarantula

The Pink-toed Tarantula is Energetic and friendly, making it fun to keep!
Latest Animal Stories
Mairead - 2014-09-09
Hi everyone. I am doing an investigative project at college and I have chosen to use our Pink Toe. It has never been handled before and so I'm going to attmpt to make it easier to handle. Already so many of your comments have been so helpful but I was just wondering if anyone had any personal advice they could give? I have handled tarantulas before but never tried to handle one that is not used to being handled. The Pink Toe is already an adult and so I'm not sure how this is going to play out. Please do let me know if anyone has any advice or ideas that I could iclude. Thanks!

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  • Xayin - 2014-09-09
    Common Pink Toe tarantulas (Avicularia Avicularia) are very gentile. I recommend only holding the spider when it's out of its web and has a serious case of the 'walkies'. If the spider is out of its web but isn't walking around, use the same approach as you would a terrestrial T. first brush the hind legs/abdomen with a soft paint brush and if the spider doesn't react negatively, then it's in the 'mood' to be held. Then gently scoop it into your hands trying not to drop the spider. (There are several ways of picking up a tarantula, check out Youtube, you can find a lot of info about handling tarantulas there) If the spider is spooked it is likely to shoot poop and is quite likely to jump. (just a side note, the genus Avicularia are known to jump when spooked, they don't normally flick hair and they don't usually bite). With this in mind I would handle them near the ground or on top of a table. Also, Avics are arboreal spiders, so once you're holding it, it will begin to walk up your body. I have found that the arboreals I've had like to sit on the back of the shoulder, near the top of the shoulder blade, where the shirt isn't ruffled much. At any time when handling the spider it might spook for any unknown reason, don't freak out, keep your head and wait a while for the spider to 'chill', then continue handling it. I don't normally recommend handling arboreals because they are generally a lot more fragile than terrestrials. so one fall from chest height can break the spider's legs or worse rupture the spiders abdomen. I hope this helped you. Good luck in your project.
  • Paige - 2014-09-14
    I would agree with the advice the person above me gave. Also, I would keep in mind it shouldn't really matter that the tarantula isn't handled. They don't necessarily get 'used' to handling. They are simple, instinct driven creatures who don't have the mental capacity to feel. That being said, I would agree to being careful because they are a bit jumpy and can get spooked easily. I held my adult not too long ago and I didn't even do anything to necessarily spook him I just breathed out a little too loud one breath, and I kid you not he scurried up my arm and was crawling on my back within like 2 seconds!! My boyfriend was there to safely grab him thankfully, but I definitely wasn't used to that! Haha but good luck I'm sure it'll be fine as long as your careful :)
  • Mairead - 2014-09-14
    Thank you so much guys! I will keep all of that in mind. I only asked as the technicians at college specifically asked me to handle it to see if it could be held by other students as I'm the only one comfortable with the tarantulas hehe. I'll let you know how it goes.
sean - 2014-02-27
My pink toe hadn't eaten in about two weeks and now he's having problems gripping the glass. He can't climb the side of his terrarium, when he tries he just slides down or falls off. If anyone has any ideas please help me by responding.

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  • Sydney - 2014-03-08
    My 1 1/2 year old mexican red knee female is currently experiencing the same problem and I have no idea why.
  • Jennifer - 2014-03-08
    Our pink toe has recently started sliding down the glass as well. He has no traction and falls a lot. He's been spending time down on the substrate, and I'm wondering if his toes are dirty. I haven't seen him grooming for awhile and he used to do it quite often. He is an adult male, so I don't know how much longer he will live. I hope the slippery feet isn't a sign of old age.
  • sean - 2014-03-13
    Now my pink toe has cocooned himself at the bottom of the cage, I'm hoping this is just a stage before the molt. Please help if you know something I don't.
  • Nora - 2014-04-23
    It sounds like you are misting/spraying the walls of the vivarium. Pinktoes grip is amazing and if yours has moulted; the moult has grip as well. My advice would be to spray cooled boiled water onto the susbstrate (two quick sprays should do) and any plastic plants you may have in there.
  • Anonymous - 2014-05-09
    Tarantulas will often act this way before moulting.
  • Rhijanna Edney - 2014-08-30
    Make sure it has lots of water.
Jenn Lewis - 2014-07-22
Hi My Room mates and i were handling are Pink toed Tarantula this evening and while holding her she shot out web i was just wondering if this was normal or if there might be something wrong?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2014-08-05
    Tarantulas will should 'hairs' from their abdomen when they are stressed, it is a defense mechanism and signals that they are uncomfortable.
  • TC Brown - 2014-08-16
    I've a had my pink toe for a little while now. I've noticed that when she is handled a lot she starts to leave a few web strands. I think she does it instinctually. Like as a life line. I also noticed that when she just around one or two people she more chill. But when passed around. (You know how kids get), her hairs seem to stiffen and instead of shooting the hairs she lays down and rubs her abdomen on you. It doesnt hurt but it itches until you move her back to her cage and brush off the hairs. She very fun and agile like described she jumped a few times from my shirt to hand. Neat creature. I say handle it til she's tired and then put her away. Its a cool pet and isn't likely to bite. I let her chill on my shirt everyday.
Morgan Lewis - 2014-04-23
My pinktoe that I just got yesterday is doing pretty well, but I have to keep her under a heated light of 75 watts sitting on top of the cage until I can get her a heating pad. She goes up to the top of the cage (normal) but she sits directly under the light (is this normal?). I know that her sitting right under it could potentially cook her, so I will move it but she just follows the light. What should I do? Should I be worried?

Dan - 2013-08-28
I have had my Pinktoe for about two and a half years, and she has built herself a nice big condo at the top of her terrarium, as she has done in the past. She just went through a moult, so I'm leaving her be for a while before I try to get the old shell out. My question, and I cannot seem to find an answer anywhere, is how often is it recommended to remove her web? I understand that they build it for reason, and I want to leave it as long as possible so as not to stress her, but let's face it, she eats in there, and as clean a critter as they are, the web gets, let's call it 'juice' on it, as well as day to day dirt and dust. Thoughts?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-09-01
    I haven't seen the answer to this either, but I would bet that after the molt would be an okay time. Then she would have time to rebuild before she molts again.
  • justin - 2013-11-16
    It is a guy it getting sperm on it lagers to have sexes so it needed that web so please do not mess with it
  • Dee - 2013-11-26
    Hey, 'Dan', I had the same problem for the first few years with mine. When her housing gets a little too covered in s*it and her web gets too much for her habitat, I transfer her to a new one...not easy to do but that's why I keep her in a 10 gal. tank-easily afford a new one once a year and the feed don't breed!
Daniel Foster - 2013-06-30
I've just recently brought a Spider. First time getting one all cause of a youtube video of a guy doing a voice for a spider. A nice Mexican Red Knee, 1'5 inches legspan you can say I am really enjoying the experience though I do have a bad fear of spiders. A bit ironic but it's such a nice experience I am always worried about her not eating or touching the water bowl. She has stayed hidden in her den but is eating. I know they don't always eat but sometimes I do worry but I try not to as it's in its nature. Is there any advice people could give me in case as I want this expience to go smoothly but I know faults or possible a molting death can occur.

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-07-01
    It sounds like you are doing a good job so far! My best advice is to just keep her cage clean and a good temperature/humidity. Remove any uneaten food/prey items within a day to make sure they don't harm your spider or attract parasites. The temperature should be between 78 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, with a humidity level of around 55%. Mist the cage every few days to keep it this way. Also make sure she has a deep, slightly moist substrate to burrow in, such as peat moss.
  • - 2013-11-16
    She is in a moth so she is shating like a snack after it get do it won't eat and do not touch it gave it to 3 or 4 weeks
Jay - 2013-08-30
Hi everyone! I recently got my girlfriend a T for her birthday... Kwaku is her name (not my girlfriend's name) and she has settled very well into her vivarium. She seems to have a favorite corner and has built herself a beautiful little web in it. One issue though - it has been a while since she has left that corner, she has pretty much enclosed herself in there except for one opening near the top she seems to just fit through but doesn't use... Is she ok? Should I be worried or is there something I need to change/do? Thanks....

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-08-31
    I would be worried if she never eats. As long as she is eating, I wouldn't worry too much. How long has it been since she came out? Other things you can do include making sure the environment is optimal. Make sure to spray the cage every few days to keep the humidity right, keep the cage clean, provide clean water, and make sure the temperature stays around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Jay - 2013-09-04
    Thanks Jasmine. I'll keep an eye on the humidity... she eats fine-every second or third day. She actually poked her head out yesterday so all seems fine!
  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-09-05
    That's good to hear! Keep us posted!
  • Jay - 2013-10-04
    She molted! It was an amazing thing. Happened over night (as suspected) and now the small leg she had when we first got her is now normal size!
Jared - 2013-06-18
Hi 2 all!! I've been collecting Tarantulas now 4 close on 2 years.. I've had 1 escape from its enclosure & more recently I had another pass away! Other than those 2 isolated incidents, I've had an extremely pleasant experience with my tight collection of 14 spiders! I have several burrowing species, some obligate & some opportunistic!? I also have several terrestrial species (bird eaters), a semi-arboreal GBB & most recently I purchased # 14, a Guyana Pink Toe!  My 1st true-arboreal Tarantula! Its an incredibly vividly colored species but unfortunately not much is known about this particular species as its relatively new to the Pet-Trade. If anyone has any comments about that specific species/variety of Pink Toe Tarantula, then plz do share!! :) As 4 the 'sponge in the water dish'.. Obviously not a good idea as a permanent fixture, but a helpful tool when transporting (terrarium & all)!! As 4 the comment about your Tarantula that you think may be dying  (the 1 that's less than a year old). Well, u may not know this but some species of Tarantula are prone 2 hibernation in the colder ragions during the winter months!? So is it not possible that your T may in actual fact b hibernating?  My Brazilian Giant White Knee Bird Eater isn't a species prone 2 hibernation, yet it is currently hibernating in a burrow under its water dish!! Now when I say 'hibernating', its more of a case of the spiders metabolism slowing down due 2 the lower air temps & the fact that its a cold blooded organism!? As well as a form of fasting (pre-molt fasting)!! So there really isn't anything 2 worry too much abt, u could try & increase the temp with a heating pad, heated lamp, etc.. Or if you're in a colder climate then perhaps its best 2 just keep the temp as ambient as possible 2 keep it comfy & let nature take its course!?! Not much is known in the area of Tarantula Medicine so best take people's opinions with a pinch of salt!? Mine included!

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-06-18
    I really enjoyed your entire post! Refreshing to hear such interesting experiences and cool info. And I especially like your last sentence... '... best take people's opinions with a pinch of salt!?'... lol. Well said:)
Nick Palmer - 2012-03-24
I have pink toe that has not been moving around like she did or been eating. What is the best way to keep the humdity up?

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  • Christopher Riley - 2012-05-22
    They build a web to stay in at night they become active
  • Ian - 2013-06-18
    Not sure how long you've had your T. It may be preparing to molt. In that case, not being as active and not eating are perfectly normal behaviors. Get yourself some peat moss and terrarium substrate, get it wet, and apply heat. Heat pads are best. Be careful with heat lamps, they are Not good for humidity, only temperature. Eventually you'll have to add moisture to terrarium every so often. I spray inside 1-2 times a week. If your T has made quite an epic web and maybe even closing off openings, it's definitely gonna molt. During the process, humidity is really important. If its not a major hassle, consider putting your terrarium in the bathroom while you run hit water bath or shower to create humidity.
Chris Townsend - 2013-05-23
have a metalic pink toe maybe a her have had for little over a month 1st week gave her 6 crickets as store recommended she ate them ... 2nd week gave her 6 more she ate 2 the rest died on there own.. waited an extra week 6 more hasnt touched them ... has me worried but shop told me they can go long times withotu eating ... noticed last 2 days she has been at the bottom not climbing as usual, so i paid attention to what she has been doing she tries to climb but is sliding down the glass like she is not sticking. I have read others ask this question is it normal? I have seen from its normal to molting around the corner. I guess im just worried is my 1st and have wanted one for years and well wife finally gave in, the no eating and now not being able to climb has me sorta freaking.

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  • Chris Townsend - 2013-05-24
    worried it may be dieing but is much younger than a year old no hooks on legs etc. but i guess all i can do is wait see what happens
  • Cheryl Luhrs - 2013-05-24
    From the comment you made regarding your A. avic's age and the fact that there aren't any hooks on the 2 front legs, I would say you're on the right track in eliminating the 'dying male' comment. I would be more inclined to look into the possibility of mites, small ants, mold etc. being the problem and once those are eliminated, consider that it could be going into a pre-molt. Also, increase the humidity-tree spiders mainly come from the tropics. They require high humidity and like the temp. to be in the mid. to high 70's. Oh, and should you lose your lil guy/gal-DON'T GIVE UP or think it's your fault. Avics do have a higher than normal mortality rate. Why? I don't know. I have 28 spideys now, most I raised from tiny 1/2' slings. Amazing watching them grow. Check out Petcenter USA, Net-bugs, and Jamiestarantulas. All 3 online vendors really care about what they're doing and all 3 are into captive breeding. I started out with 4 lil slings and have been adding a few each month. Oh and welcome to the Hobby!
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-25
    Cheryl, you have some great info! (Especially since we now know this little fellow isn't close to being a year old)  I really learned a lot from your post on all sorts of things about these guys... awesome! One of the best tips is about the common practice to use sponge in their drinking water, but the fact that a sponge can become a bacteria haven is really a good piece of info. Thanks so much for sharing all your expertise:)
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-05-24
    With it not climbing the glass and not eating, I'm thinking you may have a male that's nearing the end of its life. They are more frail looking than the females and only live for about a year.
  • Cheryl Luhrs - 2013-05-24
    Before you give up on your A. avic., consider a few other things such as the humidity ad temp. I have several different sp. of Avicularia Tantulas and in observing them, I've found that they require high humidity. I make sure my substrate is moist and I also mist the inside of their cage, making sure I don't spray the lil guy. Also, check for mites or other observable parasites. I had a problem with tiny sugar ants invading my cages and, believe me, the pink toe showed it's stress by huddling in the bottom of the cage. I totally cleaned the inside of their cage, replaced substrate etc. Then wiped down the area around them with vinegar. So far, no more ants.

    Another option could be that it' gone into pre-molt. They become real quiet and cease to eat during this time. In a week or two, depending on the sp. (sometimes longer) they will turn over onto their back and begin to molt. Don't bother the T during this process or you could kill it. They are very fragile during this process and won't eat afterwards until their exo-skeleton has hardened back up.

    I would also note that 6 crickets is a bit too much. Over feeding is thought to shorten their lives. One or two crickets are plenty. Oh and one last thing. Use a small plastic lid or purchase one, for their water and don't use any sponge in the water. It can breed germs big time.

    To determine the sex of your pink toe, look for tiny hooks on the front legs of your T. The male uses these to pin back the females fangs during mating. Also, are the pedipelps, (smaller legs on each side of their mouth area) the same thickness through out or do they look to be fatter, more bulb like on the ends. Also, a male will have much longer, more spinkly legs than a female and it's over all body structure will appear thinner more gaunt than a females.  You can also find pictures of what the sex organs look like. This will also determine the sex.

    Personally, I'd consider many other options before thinking it's about to die for what ever reason and giving up on it.  Maybe it's just too cold, or gettig ready to do a molt, or doesn't like something in the cage aka type of substrate, mold, mites etc.  In the mean time, go online and check out some of the great info. sites available and also the websites that sell T's.  Take it from one hooked hobbiest. Baby T's are fun to raise and there's so many sp. to choose from. My 3 favorite vendors are Net-Bugs in the N.E., Jamies T's and Petcenter USA both in Cal. 

    Oh and should you lose this spider for what ever reason-don't give up having a T as a pet.  Good luck to you!!!