The hobby is changing…
With the recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ruling on the five Sri Lankan Poecilotheria species coupled with the latest controversy surrounding species from another country, the landscape of tarantula commerce may be changing drastically. For years, hobbyists have enjoyed the ability to order their spiders from online dealers anywhere in the country without worry of breaking any laws. However, with some species now on lists that render interstate sales of these animals illegal, those looking to buy these restricted spiders may only be able to do so from vendors and sellers in their own respective states.
Keeping this in mind, it’s important that tarantula hobbyists are aware of who the breeders and dealers are in their own states. In the past several weeks, I’ve received numerous emails and comments from folks hoping I could tell them where they can legally buy some Sri Lankan Poecilotheria species. Unfortunately, I honestly don’t know who the reputable dealers are state to state. That said, I think that it is important that such a list is assembled and made available for anyone looking.
This is where you all come in…I need your help.
Although I’ve started to compile a list from dealers that I’m familiar with, it is currently woefully incomplete. Therefore, I’m reaching out to readers and hobbyists to find out who the reputable dealers and vendors are in their home states. My goal is to take this information and post it on the Tom’s Big Spiders website so that it’s easy to find for those who need it. Hobbyists looking to legally acquire these five Poecilotheria species would then know where to go.
A couple notes about what I would like to see (and not see).
- If you submit a pet store, it should be one specializing in exotics that demonstrates a basic understanding of tarantula care. This would pretty much rule out most box pet stores.
- I’m honestly not interested in pet stores that just carry a few tarantulas but don’t know anything about them. Many of these places sell misidentified spiders and can’t really be counted on to keep the hobby supplied with purebred stock.
- For breeders, it would be nice to see folks with solid track records and good experience breeding tarantulas. This would rule out folks who take on a project here and there. For example, I’ve bred a few species, but I definitely wouldn’t count myself as a breeder.
- I will personally be researching reviews for dealers on the list, but it will take some time. It would be much appreciated if folks that haven’t had personal experience with the individual/establishment they are submitting could take a moment to research reviews. Even a cursory Google search can usually give you an idea about the respectability of the establishment.
The more participation I get with this, the faster I can put it all together. Although I normally never ask folks to share my posts, in this case I would ask that if you know a venue that could garner some response, please feel free to post or share this. My hope is to get a bare bones list done in a couple weeks, and then continue to add to it as we identify holes.
Those looking to contribute, please leave a comment . If you could, please include the following information:
- Name of vendor/breeder
- Website (if applicable)
- A quick note if you’ve personally used them before
If you have more than one, by all means, please include all that you are aware of. I’ll be monitoring the comments as I compile the list. I’m hoping that by keeping most of the responses in the public comments, it will enable folks to chime in if they have information on one of the dealers (good or bad).
Once it’s established, I will continue to monitor reviews and feedback to try to ensure that anyone included on it is reputable.
I hoping that with all of your help, we can take away some of the stress that may come from trying to buy these prohibited species. Again, a HUGE thank you to all who participate in this!
Map image from: http://www.freeusandworldmaps.com/html/USAandCanada/USAandCanada.html
40 thoughts on “State Tarantula Vendor List – Your Help Is Needed”
Hey Tom, glad to see that you’ve taken on this task…it’s monumental.
Name of vendor/breeder: Underground Reptiles
Website (if applicable): https://undergroundreptiles.com/
A quick note if you’ve personally used them before: These guys have been in the industry for a very long time. While their core business/breeding revolves around Tegus and other reptiles, I can attest to the fact that they’re in fact extremely responsible and cautious about all of their captive bred animals; T’s included.
You find anything to the contrary, please let me know.
Underground Reptiles is a good place. I’ve bought some tarantulas from them and also get my pinheads for my slings there.
The have a good variety of tarantulas umong the reptiles. I’ve also seen some primates and a few other mammals for sale. Also what is important to me in a pet shop is that it does not smell bad and it looks well kept compared to some other places I’ve been to in South Florida.
” Also what is important to me in a pet shop is that it does not smell bad and it looks well kept compared to some other places I’ve been to in South Florida”. Totally agree, and feel the same, Dave.
Contact Kiffnie at the Kansas State University Insect Zoo, in Manhattan, Kansas. They have a large assortment of tarantulas that they breed and sell to the public.
Thank you, Jena! That’s a great one! 🙂
I wish I would have read these before I posted but that to for Kansas State University Insect Zoo awesome place Kifnie is amazing.
Name of vendor/breeder: Anastasia Haroldsen
Website (if applicable): http://www.net-bug.net
A quick note if you’ve personally used them before: Yep! She vends in Long Island and White Plains, NY; Hamburg, PA; and Manchester, NH.
Thank you, Mel! 🙂
Anastasia is great. She’s very experienced and has excellent communication and customer service.
Vendor name: Creative Ectothermic Solutions
Website: http://www.cectos.com (also on Facebook, just look up Creative eEctothermic Solutions and their associated picture is of a mushroom)
Note: I don’t have a lot of experience with them. I have purchased 1 Tarantula from them, and spent a little time talking with them at a Reptile Show. Super friendly, all the animals appeared healthy. I will be purchasing again from them very soon.
I did a little digging and could not find many reviews on them. The few I did see were very positive.
Hope this helps bud!
Name of vendor/breeder: Kelly Swift
A quick note if you’ve personally used them before: Yes, he’s awesome!
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Pets ‘N’ Such
I’ve gotten almost every Tarantula I own from this pet store. They’re knowledgeable, ethical, friendly and fair and has a very large inventory of Tarantulas and I highly recommend them for anyone looking to purchase one to contact or visit Pets n Such. Jesse is the spider expert.
Name of vendor: Natures Exquisite Creatures
Notes: I have met both owners multiple times at shows, friendly and knowledgeable people. I’ve purchased from them multiple times and every T I’ve gotten has been in great health. They do a fair amount of breeding and told me they have produced sacks from multiple of the Poecilotheria species, my MM P. miranda has been on loan with them and we’re just waiting for a sack now.
These folks are great! Bought several spiders from Jerry and have 0 complaints.
Heck, they even coached me on a snake i recently adopted that had a major attitude, haha.
Top notch guys in San Antonio, TX.
Name of vendor/breeder: Twin Cities Reptiles
A quick note if you’ve personally used them before:
I have 8 tarantulas, all purchased from them. Extremely helpful, and understand teaching husbandry. The sales person actually interviewed me a bit to make sure I was ready for OBT and P. Rufilata.
They have enclosures, feeders, everything you need. No heat mats 🙂
State: New Hampshire
Name of vendor/breeder: The Rumney T Room
I purchased two A. seemani slings from the Rumney T Room at the reptile expo in Manchester, NH. I also bought a female N. chromatus from her not too long ago, and Maxy (the owner) offers free delivery within 50 miles, which is awesome. She met me halfway to hand deliver my tarantula. Maxy is extremely nice and always very helpful. I definitely plant to get more tarantulas from her in the future.
Kansas State Insect Zoo/Kifnie Holt
This is an amazing place in the Manhattan and Junction City KS area. I believe she’s only going to be breeding Poecilotheria for her education purposes now that the ruling on them has been made. So she’s only selling regalis at this time. She sells several other genus and species. She sex’s molts for free. Very wonderful person I’ve bought the majority of my 37 T’s from her and the insect zoo.
Jerry and I are the owners of our business. We breed tarantulas and have posted a lot on our channel YouTube.com/axsisdnied but haven’t gotten around to posting lately. We breed all throughout the year and have many great reviews on Facebook. I just got our Arachnoboards review page up and we have one review there. This is our full time employment. Tarantulas are literally our life. Thank you for your time.
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Hello, Jerry! Your channel was one of the first YouTube channels I followed. Great to meet you! What state are you guys in? I will definitely include you. Thanks! – Tom
http://naturesexquisitecreatures.com/ five stars!
Eight Legged Beauty
I’ve bought several species from Brian. I believe he’s going to be breeding some of the species that are involved in the interstate commerce ban. I actually bought several pokies from him two of which were Sri Lankan. He’s always trying to make sure he finds the T you are looking for. Great guy.
Name of vendor/breeder: Mostly Reptiles / Von & Ruth Cowper
Ruth is a superstar. She is an amazing personality and remembers her customers. Her tarantulas are always top notch as well, and she has a wide variety. I haven’t met Von but I am sure he works with the same integrity and passion that Ruth does.
Name of vendor: simply spiders
Dustin Blevins, and Bradley Buth
They have great quality animals, they are breeding P. Ornata, and P. Vittata.
Animart Pet Store
Locally owned pet store with three locations: Madison, Beaver Dam and Waunakee WI
I am the Store Manager at the new Waunakee location and managed the Madison location for a number of years. We carry primarily slings and label them with both scientific name & common name, as well as all old worlds are listed as advanced. We will not sell any advanced species as a first t. We pride ourselves on the ability to help people enjoy the hobby by finding the right species to start with for them and carry a good selection for those who are excited to expand their collections.
I’ve bred off and on for decades. Getting back into things now. I’m in central New York.
Clarification: I don’t sell. I only trade with vendors once I have babies.
Scales n tails (several locations)
I’ve bought several of my T’s from the Northglenn location, usually a good experience
I personally know of 2 pet stores that always have Ts. They aren’t breeders so to say but they both have an idea on their care and aren’t just throwing them on wood chips. I have purchased from both and had good dealings with both.
State – Tennessee
Name – Clarksville Reef & Reptiles
Website – http://www.clarksvillereefreptiles.com
Notes – I’ve dealt with these guys a few times and for the most part they know what they are doing. They tend to lean towards common names vs scientific but have always had correct common name. I’ve personally purchased my P. cancerides, C. lividum, and Hapolopus sp “Columbia” large from them. I’ve seen many others including P. metallica and P. vittata in their shop. I prefer ordering online but I always check this place out when im in the area.
State – Tennessee
Name – The Aquatic Critter
Website – https://www.aquaticcritter.com
Notes – I have only been at this vender once but they did have a good selection of tarantulas. They are a tad bit on the high side when it comes to their prices but again, had a good selection…i seen GBBs, a few pokies, some Brachys and I think an OBT. They had common names as well but a few had scientific names. I didn’t buy a T from these guys but instead a centipede. Nice guys and somewhat knowledgeable on their inverts…
Location: Tucson, AZ
Vendor Name: Tucson Reptile Shop/Ken the Bug Guy
Notes: Tracy keeps a good stock of local tarantulas and some species of new and old worlds. Half of the business is reptile keeping, but this is certainly a good place to get many of the hobby staples. I have bought a handful of tarantulas from Ken and Tracy. Order through website.
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Vendor Name: Bug Cage Company
Notes: I have bought tarantulas from BCC at Repticon Tucson and Phoenix. They have great prices and great stock (slings, juvies, and adults). BCC gets in a lot of new hobby trends, like Aphonopelma Moderatum, which is popular right now. It’s nice to know that they will try to follow and breed the popular species for the state. BCC also sells their own enclosures. Order through Facebook.
Location: Mesa, AZ
Vendor Name: Rampage Exotics
Notes: I have not bought from Rampage Exotics, but I have spoken with them several times. They keep a quality, smaller stock and focus mostly on old world tarantulas. They are starting to get more new world species. Rampage also sells reptiles. Order through Facebook.
Illinois (near chicago)
Renee Brazzale (mezoopets)
Renee is you’re very friendly and knowledgeable person to work with
Fins, Feathers, Paws and Claws
Locally owned pet store in Harleysville and Quakertown, PA.
I have purchased quality slings from this store. The owner is knowledgeable and his Ts are happy and healthy. He does have some pokies for sale that I have seen. He does not breed, but he does sell from local breeders.
Il., Renee brazzale, Mezoopets.com, have not personally used
Adam Erickson/ Ericksons Exotics
Never used them, have heard alot of good things.
Yes. Great guy. He was having website issues, didnt get a notification of my order. I contacted him a week later. I was well compensated with out asking.
Always appreciate all the knowledge you share and work you do.
Name of vendor/breeder: Evil’s Arachnids (Randy Martinez)
The owners make is Randy. Randy and his dad are honest people with a passion for quality a arachnids! In fact, 99% of everything he sells is captive bred, with except of some unknowns when he acquires a collection. He’s the only person I buy from locally. Check out his Facebook page!
I think Randy is a reseller. He buys bulk specimens and resells to make profit. I suspect he sells some unsexed juveniles as males. His stock is overpriced for someone who only does local sales.
I second the recommendation for Nature’s Exquisite Creatures. http://naturesexquisitecreatures.com/
State: Texas – Austin
Name of vendor/breeder: Zookeeper Exotic Pets / David Moellendorf (of the recently described Aphonopelma moellendorfi Hamilton 2016)
Website (if applicable): https://www.facebook.com/Zookeeper-162861187065325/
A quick note if you’ve personally used them before: Indeed, I have purchased slings from them on several occasions. Excellent.
State: Texas – Dallas
Name of vendor/breeder: DFW Reptarium
Website (if applicable): https://www.dfwreptarium.com/
A quick note if you’ve personally used them before: I have spoken with the owner on numerous occasions and have purchased supplies. They are very strict about only selling to qualified keepers, which is an uncommon grace. They also are very strict about only sourcing animals from breeders, and primarily local breeders. DFW Reptarium is one of the few exotic pet stores that puts excellent business practice and animal husbandry ahead of all else.
State: Texas – San Antonio
Name of breeder: Chelsey Aldridge @vestigiallegs
Website (if applicable):
A quick note if you’ve personally used them before: I got a mature male albopilosum ‘nicaragua’ from her on a breeding loan and her service and packing was impeccable.
State: Texas – Dallas
Name of breeder: Joshua Oudin (myself)
Website (if applicable): instagram @joshua.oudin
A quick note if you’ve personally used them before: I have been keeping and breeding tarantulas for over 20 years, and have scaled this up substantially in the last five years. I am passionate about conservation and thus when appropriate I will breed threatened species for no profit incentive or commercial intent.
I breed a lot of stuff, mostly African species. I mostly wholesale to people like Jamie’s tarantulas, Fear not Tarantulas, Pinchers and Pokies and others but I do retail a bit.
Location is in the name for this one. A local one for me.
TNT Reptiles Cleveland Ohio
Can be found by searching on facebook
The owner is named Phil and is a super swell guy. Have bought several Ts from him already, all in great shape and great prices. Ships nationwide (I think) and also has an assortment of other reptiles and inverts. You can just message the page for more info.
I’ve used these guys a few times and have had great experience, great selection, seem to have a really great operation there.
Nature’s exquisite creatures in San Antonio Texas
I’ve personally been to there location and have a great operation there as well.