How Much Does a Tarantula Cost?

Last Updated on February 4, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Owning an exotic pet tarantula can be an exciting and rewarding experience. But before taking the plunge, it’s important to understand the costs involved with purchasing and properly caring for a tarantula. This guide will break down tarantula prices, from the initial investment to ongoing expenses, to help you budget for a new eight-legged friend.


  • Purchase price ranges from $10-$250+ depending on species, age, size, and rarity
  • Initial habitat setup runs $100-$300
  • Monthly care and feeding averages just $5-$15
  • A lifespan of 20+ years represents a major commitment
  • Captive-bred tarantulas recommended over wild caught
  • Reputable breeders and pet stores best place to buy
  • DIY solutions can reduce housing and feeding costs
  • Overall an affordable exotic pet option with proper planning

How Much Does a Tarantula Cost?

Tarantulas range dramatically in price depending on factors like species, age, size, and rarity. The most common starter species cost between $10-$40, while rare exotic specimens can cost hundreds of dollars.

According to A-Z-Animals.com, pet tarantula prices range from $25 to $3,000+ for the rarest species. Additional start-up costs can range from $70 to $250+ depending on the species and enclosure. Common expenses for pet tarantulas, including adoption fees, start-up costs, and recurring costs, are detailed on the website.

Prices reported by Reddit.com users range from $40 for a subadult curly hair tarantula to $99.99 for a Mexican Redknee Tarantula available at Petco.

BackwaterReptiles.com offers a wide variety of exotic tarantulas for sale, with prices starting at $39.99. Deluxe tarantula cages and kits are also available, starting at $44.99.

Despite the initial cost, the biggest investment is providing proper housing, food, and care over your tarantula’s 20+ year lifespan.

What Determines a Tarantula’s Price Tag?

Several key factors influence the cost of purchasing a pet tarantula:

  • Species – Common beginner species like the Chilean Rose Hair and Mexican Redknee are very affordable, usually $10-$30. Rarer species like the Cobalt Blue can cost $100-$200+.
  • Age – Older, more mature tarantulas command a higher price. Spiderlings and juveniles are cheaper.
  • Size – Larger tarantulas tend to be more expensive.
  • Rarity – Supply and demand affect prices too. Newly discovered or rare breeds are more coveted and expensive.
  • Breeding – Mass-produced captive-bred species are cheaper than wild-caught specimens.

Price Range for Different Tarantula Species

Here are typical price ranges for popular tarantula species:

  • Chilean Rose Hair – $10-$30
  • Mexican Redknee – $20-$40
  • Brazilian Black – $30-$60
  • Costa Rican Zebra – $40-$100
  • Cobalt Blue – $100-$200
  • Thai Black – $250+

In general, common docile species that tolerate handling well and make good starter pets tend to be on the affordable end. Rare, exotic species with unique markings or behaviors have higher price tags.

Initial Housing and Setup Costs

Tarantula on SandThe initial investment for a proper tarantula setup runs $100-$300 depending on size. This covers:

  • Enclosure – A hardy, adequate sized tank, around 5-10 gallons for most species. $20-$60
  • Substrate – Shredded coconut fiber, peat moss, vermiculite, etc. where the new pet can burrow $10-$30
  • Decor – Hides, plants, wood pieces, water dish. $20-$60
  • Heating – Under tank heat mat or lamp if needed. $20-$60

Many tarantula owners also invest in handling tools like catch cups and soft paintbrushes for maintenance. Basic setup supplies would cost around $100 for a juvenile, and up to $300 for an adult in a large customized vivarium.

Monthly Maintenance Fees and Vet Costs

The monthly cost of food and basic care for a single tarantula averages just $5-15. However, there are also potential veterinary costs to consider:

  • Food – Live crickets or other feeder insects. $5-10/month
  • Substrate – Spot cleanings and full substrate changes 1-2 times/year. $5-15/year
  • Vet visits – For any health issues. $100+ per visit
  • Medications – Antibiotics, antifungals if prescribed. $20+

With proper care, most tarantulas remain healthy into old age. But exotic vets are recommended for serious health issues, at additional cost.

Is a Pet Tarantula Worth the Investment?

Tarantulas require an initial investment of $100-$300 for a habitat and supplies, plus $5-15 in monthly care and feeding. Adult females have 20+ year lifespans, so they are a long-term commitment.

While not cheap pets, tarantulas offer an unparalleled opportunity to interact with a fascinating and docile exotic animal. Their specialized care requirements also appeal to hobbyists seeking an engaging challenge.

With proper research and planning, a pet tarantula can be an incredibly rewarding companion for years to come. If you’re ready for the responsibility and cost, they make unique and worthwhile pets.

Where to Buy a Pet Tarantula

Purchase terrestrial tarantulas from reputable breeders through expos or online. Avoid wild-caught individuals. Breeders should provide paperwork confirming captive breeding.

You might also like our articles about the cost of an iguana reptile, a finger monkey, or a praying mantis.

Recommended breeders:

Pet stores carry beginner species like the Chilean Rose Hair as well. Ensure any store-bought tarantula is captive bred, healthy, and housed properly.

Saving Money on Tarantula Pet Care

Here are some tips for reducing tarantula care costs without sacrificing quality:

  • Choose beginner species – More affordable and easier care.
  • Buy young – Spiderlings eat less and need smaller enclosures.
  • DIY enclosure – Convert large plastic storage containers.
  • Fake plants – Cheaper than live plants.
  • Simple substrate – Topsoil or coconut coir instead of specialty blends.
  • Breed feeders – Start your own cricket or mealworm colony.
  • Pet insurance can surely help in the event of a medical emergency

Proper husbandry should always take priority over costs. But with DIY solutions and smart choices, you can reduce recurring expenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is A tarantula a good pet?

Yes, tarantulas can make very good pets for the right owner. Tarantulas are quiet, low maintenance, and have relatively simple care requirements. While they don’t interact like dogs or cats, tarantulas exhibit fascinating behaviors and are interesting to observe. Their unique appeal makes them a worthwhile pet for enthusiasts.

Some reasons why tarantulas make good pets:

  • Most species have calm temperaments and are unlikely to bite
  • They don’t require walks or intensive daily handling/care
  • Feeding them live insects on a weekly basis is easy
  • Their terrarium habitat is compact and simple to maintain
  • They have long lifespans of 20+ years in captivity

Tarantulas do best with owners who appreciate their subtle charms and are dedicated to proper handling and husbandry. While they aren’t for everyone, tarantulas can be ideal low maintenance, exotic pets for the right individual.

Do tarantula bites hurt?

Yes, most tarantula spider bites are painful, but not life threatening. Contrary to popular myth, tarantulas are not deadly to humans and their venom is designed to subdue small prey like insects, not large animals. However, their large fangs can still deliver a painful bite.

Most pet tarantulas are reluctant to bite humans unless severely provoked or threatened. If they do bite:

  • Bites cause immediate sharp pain and burning at the site.
  • Venom can cause localized swelling, tenderness and itching lasting several days.
  • Rare cases show flu-like neuromuscular symptoms like muscle cramps but these are temporary.
  • No cases of lethal toxicity have been reported from pet tarantula bites.

With proper handling precautions, tarantula bites are exceedingly rare. Their venom is medically significant but not considered deadly or highly toxic. Quickly cleaning the bite area thoroughly helps reduce any reaction. Overall tarantula bites are best avoided but not cause for panic if they do occur.

How long do tarantulas live for?

In captivity, new tarantulas can live 20-30 years with proper care. Female tarantulas generally live quite a bit longer than males, averaging 20-25+ years compared to 10-15 years for males.

Some factors that influence longevity include:

  • Species – Some species naturally live longer than others. The Chilean Rose Hair can exceed 30 years in rare cases.
  • Gender – As mentioned, females outlive males by a large margin.
  • Husbandry – Proper housing, temperatures, humidity and feeding maximize lifespan.
  • Molting Issues – Failed molts due to poor health or injury can shorten lifespan.
  • Injuries/Accidents – Falls, animal attacks, mishandling etc. can kill prematurely.
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