People ask me all the time, "Jungle Bob, what's the best tarantula for my kid? He wants to get a really cool pet, and I want to get him a tarantula because it's a wow type of an animal to own." And it's a tough question to answer sometimes, because there's a lot of choices. But if I have to choose, here's the three I'd go for most of the time. Number one is the Chilean rose hair tarantula. And my criteria, being a father as well as a pet store owner, is that I really don't want anybody to get bitten. You never know what's going to happen from a tarantula bite, because people who are allergic to bee stings can have a hard time with it, and wasp stings.
But tarantula venom isn't something that is deadly, so to speak, but if you are allergic to it you could go into anaphylactic shock if you are bitten by a tarantula and it doesn't do well in your system. So let's pick a species, therefore, for a beginner, that is reluctant to bite. Number one on my list, again, the rose hair tarantula. Number two, if you're looking for a desert species that is also very, very calm, would be the palomino blonde. This is an American tarantula found in the deserts of Texas and the Southwest, kind of plodding, kind of slow-moving, not the most exciting tarantula maybe, just like the rose hair. They don't do much, but they're not going to flee from you, and they're certainly not going to bite you for any special reason. They're very, very docile creatures to deal with.
So I think that's a good criteria for a beginner. In terms of keeping, ten-gallon tank, desert, a little more humid environment when it comes to the rose hair. And they eat very, very infrequently. A couple of crickets once a week or some kind of an insect item, and they're good to go. All tarantulas need fresh water at all times. But you don't want to put a bowl in like you do for your cat or your dog. You want to do a shallow dish, and we usually put a sponge or some type of moisture holding instrument that the tarantula more can suck on than he will drink. You don't want to give them a bowl. They can potentially drown in a bowl of water. So that's pretty straightforward and pretty simple. If you're looking to turn that up a notch, you want to go to the very, very beginner animal to the next step, phase two maybe, let's look at arboreal tarantula like the pink toe from Trinidad.
They are easily handled, easy to keep, small cage. Rather than a ten-gallon cage which is more vertical, you want one that's got some height because it's a tree-dwelling creature. The reason he's a secondary animal and a little more difficult to keep in these but still in the beginner class is because pink toes can be extremely quick. You can hold them, interface with them, but when he gets nervous, he darts, and he darts fast. So that makes him a little less of a beginner, but still in the beginner category for sure. The rose hair, the palomino blonde, or the pink toe would be my three readily available, inexpensive beginner tarantulas. Good luck.