General Care and Feeding for Tarantulas
(Incl. habitat preparation)
Throughout the development of our collection every effort has been made to provide the best care possible for each tarantula.  Replicating their native habitat is a priority not only to insure longevity and reduce stress but to provide an aesthetically pleasing display as well.  Choosing the best food sources is also an important consideration not only for maximum growth but to reduce the likelihood of nutrition related disease or contamination of the habitat.

We have established positive relationships with several breeders in the United States as well as several local suppliers of tarantula related supplies and stock.  Here is a summary of what we have utilized and recommend.


Our enclosures for the spiderlings were purchased from Jamie's Tarantulas and are designed for both arboreal and terrestrial spiders.  Each enclosure measures 8 X 8 X 14 inches and is CNC machined from clear acrylic plastic.  There are plenty of holes for cross ventilation and each enclosure features a six inch door with a locking clasp for added security.  The design enables the breeder to add a 3-4 inch substrate without spilling whereby access to each corner of the enclosure is very easy.

The enclosures are available with, or without substrate, cork bark, artificial plants and sphagnum moss at an additional cost.

The manufacturer recommends this enclosure for spiders up to 6 inches.  We plan on moving adult spiders to a larger, permanent habitat in the future.
Feeding Options

Dubia Coackroaches were our first choice for feeding our tarantulas due to their high protein content, ease of care and longevity.  According to the breeder, Dubia are more nutritious than mealworms, superworms or crickets in terms of the relative amount of protein (36% in Dubia roaches as compared to 19-20% in the other feeders). Protein, in particular, is more important for reptiles than fats or carbohydrates (although smaller amounts of these two types of nutrients are required as well).

Nutrition Chart

Species Moisture Protein Calcium (mg/100g) Fat Ash
Dubia Roach   61% 36% 20%  7%   2%
Cricket      74%        18%         14%   6%   1%
Superworm    59% 20% 10.8%     6%           1%
Mealworm      59% 10%   3.28% 13%   1%
Silkworm 76% 64% 34 %       10%   7.5%
Phoenixworm N/A       17% 34 % 9.5% N/A
Butterworm   58.54% 16.2%    42.9%      5.21%     1.04%
Waxworm 61% 16% 13.14%   20% 1%

Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches represent a good alternative source of protein due to their relative ease of care and extremely large size.  These roaches are prolific breeders and supporting a breeding population has never been a problem in the past.  Just like the Dubia roaches, these do not fly and are easy to handle and feed.

    We have started a breeding stock consisting of seven mated pairs which will be housed undisturbed in a glass aquarium.  Our goal is to facilitate breeding at which time we can use these large insects as an alternative source of protein for our spiders.  They also make really cool study subjects in the classroom.

Mealworms represent another good option for us when it comes to providing a reasonably good source of nutrition and more variety for our spiders.  One of the advantages of using mealworms is that they are easy to maintain and do not require constant cleaning of their enclosure.  Unlike crickets, they do not smell and are very hardy resulting in fewer losses.

Reference Material

The Tarantula Keeper's Guide Second Edition (Barrons Publishing) is one of the few, truly comprehensive guides to raising tarantulas.  Authors Stanley and Marguerite Schultz present detailed information on the natural history and biology of tarantulas supplementing their text with a wealth of photos and illustrations.  The detailed chapter on the care of tarantulas has been revised and updated and came highly recommended from one of our breeders.  One of the most compelling points raised by the authors early on in the text is how little we know about these creatures and how often they are misidentified or even misrepresented in the exotic pet trade.  This guide has proven to be very useful as we learn more about the care and evolution of tarantulas.

This page was last updated: April 18, 2015
Tarantula Breeders

Stamps Tarantulas :  The acquisition of our collection was made possible due in part to the excellent service and quality of livestock from Steven Stamps of Stamps Tarantulas.  We found Steven to be not only responsive to our many questions but his prompt followup and excellent customer service really distinguished him from the other breeders.  On more than one occasion he provided useful advice that steered us away from a potentially problematic species which offered a poor chance for success.  Highly recommended.