When you visit a pet store, you are likely to notice that nearly every tarantula offered in the various glass enclosures is a mature adult or is a large spider closely approaching maturity. Exotic pet stores will occasionally offer spiderlings, or slings, but it can be easy to overlook these small arachnids in favor for the larger, more colorful varieties. However, purchasing your tarantulas as slings offers a variety of benefits and can change your entire outlook on the hobby.
Many species of spiders look drastically different as babies than they look as mature adults. Some varieties, such as the Greenbottle Blue are an entirely different color as a spiderling than they are as an adult. When you raise your tarantulas from their early molts all of the way through adulthood, you will literally get the opportunity to watch them “grow up.” You will witness as they slowly grow up, change color, and reach maturity. As a tarantula owner, this is an experience that is highly enjoyable.
While many species of tarantula can live for well over 10 years, raising your spider from it’s early molts will add to the time you spend with your beloved pet. When you purchase an adult spider from a pet store, it is unlikely you will be provided with any verifiable information regarding the age of the spider. Unless you buy your tarantula from a reputable breeder, you may never know exactly how old he or she is. When you purchase your arachnid as a sling, you will know exactly how old your pet is.
Some species of tarantula, such as the Cobalt Blue can sell for upwards of $700 when fully grown. In comparison, Cobalt Blue spiderlings can be purchased for under $100, though prices will vary from one breeder to another. Purchasing your tarantulas as spiderlings can save you a considerable amount of money, especially if you have your eye on an extremely rare or exotic species that is generally expensive when purchased as an adult.
Despite owning a tarantula as a pet, some owners still experience some symptoms of arachnophobia. A large spider seems far more threatening and menacing than a large one, and you may be afraid to handle your pet. Purchasing tarantulas as slings will allow you to see the spider when it is very small and slowly watch it grow into a large, mature tarantula. Many varieties of tarantula are less than 1″ in leg span as babies, in comparison to species that can be as large as a dinner plate in adulthood. If you have any fears regarding your pets, owning slings can help you overcome them and feel more comfortable and at ease with your spiders.
When making the decision to purchase a tarantula spiderling, make sure that you are familiar with how to raise tarantulas. Taking care of a young spider can be more work than taking care of a mature tarantula. You will need to pay more attention to the size of the live food you feed to your tarantula and will have to rehouse the spider more often. Slings also cannot have water dishes in their enclosures, as they are more likely to drown. It is recommended that you do not include a water dish in your spider’s enclosure until it reaches a leg span of at least three inches.