New World tarantulas are those that come from the Americas. Namely North American, Central America and South America, together with the Caribbean Islands.
This is in contrast to Old World tarantulas which come from the rest of the world, particularly Africa and Asia.
While there are always exceptions to any rule, New World tarantulas are generally thought to share the following characteristics:
- Lower venom potency – If bitten, it is generally agreed that New World tarantulas are less likely to cause serious complications.
- More amenable attitude – While there are definite exceptions, many “classic” tarantulas including most that are recommended for beginners are New World tarantulas. They are generally recommended because they are less defensive and more easy-going.
- Possession of urticating hairs – The flipside is that urticating hairs are only found in New World tarantulas, so care should be taken when handling or during maintenance to avoid coming into contact with them.
Examples of New World Tarantula Genera
Some examples of tarantula genera that hail from the Americas, so are considered “New World tarantulas” include:
- Acanthoscurria – huge, burrowing tarantulas.
- Avicularia – the pink toe bird eaters.
- Brachypelma – “classic” brightly colored tarantulas.
- Caribena – including the “top ten” species the Antilles Pink Toe.
- Grammostola – many slow moving, slow growing species ideal for beginners.
- Lasiodora – some of the largest tarantulas from South America.
- Megaphobema – brightly colored and stunning, but skittish.
- Nhandu – easily bred, and so very cheap to buy.
- Phormictopus – Big and feisty with an amazing feeding response.
- Psalmopoeus – Tree dwellers including favorites like the Suntiger and Trinidad Chevron.
- Tlitcotl – Home of the Mexican red rump and curly hair tarantulas.
Popular Pet New World Tarantulas
Now let’s break things down even more. To help you identify a little more easily which species are considered New World tarantulas let me give some specific examples that are commonly seen in the pet trade.