Top 10 New World Tarantula Species (With Pictures!)

There are over 900 tarantula species, and new ones are still identified every year. Today, we’re taking a closer look at New World Tarantulas specifically.

New World Tarantulas are those that are endemic to North and South America. They’re typically more docile than Old World species and often have urticating hairs. In addition, they’re often much less venomous than their Old World counterparts, which makes them more beginner-friendly.

In this list of the top 10 New World tarantulas, we’re going to list some beginner-friendly species, as well as some that are better suited for intermediate and advanced hobbyists. Furthermore, we’ll also list some of the lesser-known species. That way, it contains something for everyone. Let’s get started.


Top 10 New World Tarantulas

1. Avicularia Avicularia

Common namePink Toe Tarantula
TypeArboreal
Leg span4 to 6 inches
LifespanFemales: 10 to 12 years / Males: 5 years
Experience levelBeginner

The Avicularia Avicularia, also known as the Pink Toe Tarantula, is a docile New World species that is very suitable for beginners. They’re also called the Guyana pinktoe, common pinktoe, or South American pinktoe sometimes. All these names refer to the same species.

This spider is native to South America, more specifically Costa Rica, Brazil, and the southern Caribbean, where it lives in the trees.

They get their name from the pink coloration on the end of their legs. The rest of their body is very dark, so they’re a very recognizable species.

When they feel threatened they prefer to run away rather than fight. If they cannot run away, they do have urticating hairs and fangs to defend themselves, but they almost never use them. Luckily, even if you do somehow manage to get bitten, their venom is considered extremely mild.

2. Brachypelma Hamorii

Common nameMexican Red Knee Tarantula
TypeTerrestrial
Leg span5.5 inches
LifespanFemales: 25 to 30 years / Males: 10 years
Experience levelBeginner

The Barchypelma Hamorii, or Mexican Red Knee as it’s known in the hobby, is one of the most popular New World tarantula species for beginners. As its name suggests, they’re native to Mexico.

Their black body with orange bands on their knees gives this species a characteristic appearance that’s highly recognizable.

They’re not just pretty either, they’re also great personality-wise. They’re highly docile and are one of the best species to handle.

They almost never show a threat posture and are extremely docile spiders. Of course, if you push them, they can defend themselves, but if you treat them with respect they’ll almost never show defensive behavior, making them an excellent species for newcomers.

Even if you’re not new and already have a lot of experience this spider is still a great addition to your collection. They have an incredibly long lifespan, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy them for decades to come.

3. Theraphosa Blondi

Common nameGoliath Birdeater Tarantula
TypeTerrestrial
Leg span11 inches
LifespanFemales: 25 years / Males: 5 years
Experience levelAdvanced

The Theraphosa Blondi, also known as the Goliath Birdeater Tarantula is a massive spider. They can reach a leg span of 11 inches and are the heaviest spider in the world.

If sheer size is what you’re after in a New World Tarantula, this species is for you. Do note though, that they’re not suitable for beginners. They’re a very nervous and quite defensive species that are quick to strike a threat pose or throw their urticating hairs. Their massive fangs are definitely something to fear, even though their venom is not particularly dangerous.

On top of that, they’re extremely fast.

If you’ve got some experience with more docile species and want to try your hand at a massive spider, this is the one for you. They’re extremely beautiful to see and their size is definitely impressive.

4. Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens

snakecollecor, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common nameGreenbottle Blue Tarantula
TypeTerrestrial
Leg span6.25 inches
LifespanFemales: 14 years / Males: 4 years
Experience levelBeginner

The Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens, or Greenbottle Blue as it’s often referred to by hobbyists, is known for its incredibly beautiful colors. They showcase a variety of different colors on their body. Their legs are blue, their carapace is green, and their abdomen is covered in red/orange setae.

If you want a spider that will steal the show, this one is for you. They spend a lot of time outside of their burrow, which gives hobbyists plenty of time to enjoy their beautiful colors.

They’re also quite docile and do not have a very defensive temperament. Bites are extremely rare, and their venom is weak. They do have urticating hairs, but they do not have a big tendency to release them.

On the whole, if you’re new to the hobby you can’t go wrong with a Greenbottle Blue.

5. Ephebopus cyanognathus

Arnaud auryCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common nameBlue Fang Tarantula
TypeTerrestrial
Leg span4.5 to 5 inches
LifespanFemales: 12 to 15 years / Males: 3 to 4 years
Experience levelIntermediate – advanced

The Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens, or Blue Fang Tarantula is a Terrestrial spider from Guyana.

As you might’ve guessed from their name, they’re most well known for their striking blue fangs, but the rest of their appearance is no slouch either. They have colorful orange rings on their legs and exhibit a beautiful color palette of yellow, black, green, and orange on the rest of their body.

What’s interesting about this species is that the fangs of males are quite different in color compared to females. Females have fangs that are blue, while those of males are purple in color.

These spiders are beautiful, but they’re not well-suited for first-timers. They’re quite skittish and defensive. In addition, they tend to spend quite a bit of time in their burrow, which means that you do not get to see them as often as you might like.

6. Ephebopus murinus

Psychonaught, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Common nameSkeleton Tarantula
TypeTerrestrial
Leg span4.5 to 6 inches
LifespanFemales: 15 years / Males: 3 to 4 years
Experience levelIntermediate – advanced

The Skeleton Tarantula, or Ephebopus Murinus as it’s known scientifically, is an interesting Terrestrial New World Tarantula. They’re called the Skeleton Tarantula because of their unique white pattern on their black legs, which makes them kinda look like a skeleton.

These tarantulas are quite defensive which makes them less suitable for beginners.

However, once you’ve got some experience under your belt this species is a great addition to any collection! What’s interesting is that another species in this genus also exists in Emerald.

7. Caribena Versicolor

Common nameAntilles Pink Toe Tarantula
TypeArboreal
Leg span6 inches
LifespanFemales: 8 to 12 years / Males: 2 to 3 years
Experience levelBeginner

The Caribena Versicolor, or Antilles Pink toe, is a stunning new world tarantula that’s famed for its striking colors. They have a green carapace, red abdomen, and green legs with pink tarsi.

They’re not only nice to look at, but they’re also quite friendly. They’re docile, calm, and easy to care for spiders, which makes them very suitable as an introductory species to the hobby.

Even if you’re not a beginner, no collection is complete without a Versicolor in it!

8. Hapalopus sp Colombia

Common namePumpkin Patch Tarantula
TypeTerrestrial
Leg span2.5 to 4 inches
LifespanFemales: 10 years / Males: 3 years
Experience levelBeginner

The Pumpkin Patch Tarantula (Hapalopus sp Colombia), is a dwarf tarantula that’s native to Colombia. They’re called the “Pumpkin Patch” because of the black and orange pattern on their abdomen.

Though skittish, they’re quite friendly little fellows that do not often show defensive behavior. If you treat them kindly, they tend to return the favor.

They also have a tendency to create stunning webs, which is another nice feature.

9. Aphonopelma chalcodes

Common nameArizona Blonde
TypeTerrestrial
Leg span6 inches
LifespanFemales: 25 to 30 years / Males: 5 to 10 years
Experience levelBeginner

The Arizona Blonde (Aphonopelma chalcodes), is a tarantula that’s native to the South of the United States and parts of Mexico. They’re a terrestrial species that has a tendency to burrow.

They’re most well known for their blonde hair, although this is only really true in females. Males are much darker in color.

They’re quite a docile species that is not particularly hard to care for. This, in addition to their multi-decade long lifespan, makes them very suitable for beginners to the hobby.

10. Grammostola pulchripes

Common nameChaco Golden Knee Tarantula
TypeTerrestrial
Leg span7.5 to 8.5 inches
LifespanFemales: 20 to 25 years / Males: 5 to 10 years
Experience levelBeginner

The Chaco Golden Knee (Grammostola pulchripes) is a very docile new world tarantula species. They might look intimidating due to their large size, but don’t let that fool you, they’re really gentle giants.

They rarely put up a threat posture, and bites are almost unheard of. In addition, they have a tendency to spend time out in the open, which, combined with their large size and beautiful appearance, makes them an excellent show spider.

If you’re just getting started keeping big spiders, you can’t go wrong with the Chaco Golden Knee!


Final words

With over 900 identified tarantula species it can be hard to choose which one is best for you. Luckily, you don’t have to choose just one. Many arachnid enthusiasts create huge collections of big spiders consisting of dozens of different species.

Nevertheless, you can never own them all. I hope that this overview of my top 10 New World species gave you some insight into the options that are available.

Newcomers to the hobby have plenty to choose from when it comes to New World tarantulas because many of them are quite docile.

If you’re more interested in Old Wold tarantulas, I’ve got that covered too!

Jesse A.