Keep in mind, certain species are more tolerant of handling than others. Please do your research. Some of the more docile tarantulas include the Mexican redknee (Brachypelma smithi
), Chilean Rose hair (Grammastola rosea
), and Curlyhair (Brachypelma albopilosum
). Check out my list of the best pet tarantulas
There are a few notable methods for handling tarantulas, including pinching, cupping, and free-hand. I don’t advise the “pinching” method so I won’t detail it as it involves gently squeezing the rear legs together and is generally frowned-upon.
“Cupping” or “palming” a tarantula involves using your hand to fairly quickly and deliberately “cup” the spider in your palm. The action is done swiftly from above to prevent the tarantula from spinning around to bite in defense.
If you were to freeze-frame my hand once it makes contact with the tarantula being picked-up, my right thumb is against the left legs, my index finger is gently but firmly upon the chelicerae (basically the muscles that control the jaws), with the rest of my fingers on the right side of the tarantula’s legs.
I then swiftly turn the tarantula upside down and generally there is no struggle at all. A bite is essentially impossible if you’re doing this correctly, as the tarantula is immobilized in your hand. But, you have to ask, if you’re restraining the spider like this, what’s the point of interacting?