Tarantulas are not the best pets for everyone (especially if you have a fear of spiders) but for some people the quiet, ease of care, and unique qualities they possess are right up their alley. Pink toes are a good option for someone who loves spiders and wants a docile pet they can handle but also be entertained by.
Pink Toe Tarantula Name Variations
Avicularia avicularia, Guyana pinktoe, common pinktoe, South American pinktoe, pinktoe, pink-toe, Pink-toed tree spider, and pink toed tarantula all refer to the same species of tarantula.
They get their names from their popular pink/orange toes on their furry black/grey bodies.
Size of Pink Toe Tarantulas
Pink toe Tarantulas reach a leg span of around 3.5 - 5 inches
Lifespan of Pink Toe Tarantulas
Females can live up to 10 years but males have much shorter lifespans. Most pink toes live around five years.
Housing Pink Toe Tarantulas
Pink toe tarantulas are arboreal (tree-dwelling) so they need a taller tank than terrestrial species with room to climb. They can be housed with other pink toes but are recommended to be housed alone to avoid cannibalism among themselves unless you have a large enclosure and feed them often.
A 10 gallon tank is sufficient for one pink toe tarantula as long as there is something to climb, such as a log. Two to three inches of peat moss or soil (without any fertilizers or plant food in them) can be used as substrate (bedding) and branches and live plants/vines should be provided for climbing.
Pet store options for reptiles are typically utilized for pet tarantulas but you can also use items marketed for pet birds, decorative gardening items, and even things from your yard (after you have cleaned them).
A secure lid is a must since this species of tarantula will be up and down their climbing opportunities.
An escaped tarantula is not only in danger of being hurt (or killed) but you'll also likely scare a neighbor if they are found.
Heat and Lighting for Pink Toe Tarantulas
The tank should be kept at 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit (24-30 degrees Celsius) at all times. This typically means you need to provide some sort of supplemental heat to your tarantula, unless you live in a climate that stays this warm year round and do not utilize air conditioning where your tarantula is kept. Undertank heaters and basic reptile heat lights are the most popular options for warming a tarantula cage.
Humidity for Pink Toe Tarantulas
Humidity in the enclosure should be maintained at 65-75%. This is to properly mimic their native environments in Costa Rica and Brazil. It can be accomplished by providing a sponge soaked in water, misting the cage every few days with water, providing live plants in the enclosure, and making sure a few shallow bowls of water are in the cage at all times. Keeping the humidity level this high is a very important, and possibly the most difficult, part of owning a pink toe tarantula.
Feeding Pink Toe Tarantulas
Crickets and other large insects (if you catch them yourself they must be pesticide free) and the occasional pinky mouse or small lizard can be fed to adult pink toes.
They are voracious feeders and especially love to catch flying food like moths.
Pink Toe Tarantula Behavior
Pink toes are very agile since they are arboreal tarantulas so while they aren't known to bite, they can be fast and jump out of your hands. Therefore it is important to make sure you are sitting on the ground while handling your pink toe tarantula so if they jump off of you their fall won't be as hard as if you were standing. If they get nervous or scared they will shoot a spray of fecal matter as a defense mechanism so this is a good indication that your pink toe needs some time alone.
Regular handling will make your pink toe less likely to try to jump off of you or spray you but make sure you don't pin them down to hold them still or handle them right after molting.