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!