With over 800 species of tarantula recognized from around the world there is an astonishing range of differences between them. From the tiny dwarf tarantulas to the huge Goliath birdeaters of South America, from dull brown tarantulas to brightly-colored species covered in blue, green and red hairs.
And the same can be said for how quickly tarantulas grow with some taking just 18 months or so to reach maturity from hatching while others take several times this length before they are sexually mature.
In general the slower growing tarantulas come from dryer regions such as many of the Brachypelma spiders. In contrast the fastest growing species tend to come from warmer, more humid and tropical regions such as the forests of South America and South East Asia.
Another general trend is that the faster a tarantula grows, the shorter it’s lifespan is likely to be. For example a Pink Toe tarantula (Avicularia) may take 1-2 years to reach maturity yet may only live for 6-8 years as an adult. In contrast, Brachypelma tarantulas may take 5 years or more to reach maturity in the wild but can live for 20 years or more as adults so you should be aware if you are searching for a fast growing tarantula that it is likely not to live as long overall as the slower growing species.
So with said, what species of tarantula *are* fast growing? Which ones can be bought cheaply as spiderling or small juvenile and will quickly grow into an impressively-large specimen? Here’s a run down of a few of the more popular fast-growing tarantula species…
Avicularia – Pink Toe tarantulas
I have an adult male Pink Toe at present that I bought as a tiny juvenile just last year. Over that time he has eaten regularly and grown rapidly and I estimate it has taken him only 12-18 months to fully mature. Now certainly as a male he is unlikely to live more than 6-12 months as an adult but if he were a female I would expect to keep her for 8-10 years or so as an adult.
There are a huge range of Pink Toe tarantulas ranging in size and color but typically all of them are docile, arboreal, easy to care for a very quick growing indeed.
Poecilotheria – Indian Ornamental tarantulas
The Poecilotheria genus is one of beautifully-mottled tree-dwelling spiders from Asia. These are some of the greediest and fastest-growing tarantulas I have kept rapidly maturing when fed regularly and kept warm. They are also, to my eyes, some of the most beautiful tarantulas available and are even one of the few tarantulas that can be kept in a communal group when provided with suitable amounts of food and places to hide.
Lasiodora parahybana – Salmon Pink tarantulas
The Salmon Pink tarantulas have a lot going for them. As adults they are one of the largest tarantula species and possess fine pink hairs over a dark velvet-brown background making them tremendously attractive. They are fast growing and incredibly greedy and it is not unusual for specimens to be willing to eat a prey item almost as large as them every single day and when kept like this the growth rate can be really quite shocking!
Salmon Pinks are also very easy to keep and breed and often produce lots of young which can be difficult to sell on thanks to their numbers. In this way Salmon Pinks are reasonably easy and cheap to get hold of and can quickly grow into incredibly impressive spiders to keep in the home.