Tom Patterson – Dealer/Breeder Review (100% Positive!)

Possibly the best tarantula ordering experience I have ever had.

My new N. tripepii female courtesy of Tom Patterson.

My new N. tripepii female courtesy of Tom Patterson.

When people order tarantulas online, they generally go to the major vendors. Folks like Jamie’s Tarantulas, Pet Center USA, and Swift’s Invertebrates have stellar and well-deserved reputations for carrying a variety of stock and for their dependability and professionalism. The fact is, when buying and shipping living animals, you want to make sure you order from the best. Due to the volume of animals these larger dealers move, there are always plenty of glowing reviews to read if one does just a bit of research, and their names quickly come up in any search for those selling tarantulas.

However, what often gets overlooked is that there are many awesome breeders out there who have been in the business for a long time and who offer great service with spectacular deals. Some of these same dealers are the ones who supply stock to the “big name” vendors as well. Unfortunately, these folks can be a little more difficult to find, especially for those new to the hobby who don’t know where to look.

Tom Patterson (aka “Philth” on Arachnoboards) has been in the business for a long time, and he has a sterling reputation. Although I’ve come close to ordering from him many times due to his propensity to carry some of the more unique species I’m looking for, I didn’t pull the trigger until recently when I saw that he was selling some Vitalius paranaensis juveniles for a great price. After going through his recent price list, I found that he had several species I was interested in, and that it was finally time to place an order from him.

Boy, am I glad that I did.

Tom carries a good variety of tarantula species, including many that he breeds and produces himself. Those into other inverts will also find some cool arachnids, like trap doors and true spiders, as well. As far as tarantulas go, he has a good mix of some hobby staples, like G. pulchripes, Hapalopus sp. “Colombia large”, and P. cambridgei as well as unique and hard to find spiders like V. paranaensis, P. crassipes, and Aphonopelma crinirufum . For folks looking for larger sexed specimens, he regularly posts young adult females for sale as well.

His prices were great, with the $25 P. crassipes slings, $50 4″ Sericopelma sp. “Santa Catalina” juveniles, and the $50 3″ P. muticus juveniles really jumping out at me. I also grabbed up a 5″ Nhandu tripepii sexed female, as I had been eyeing this species for a while. Tom doesn’t currently have a website, but instead periodically lists his stock on the For Sale section of Aracnoboards or in the Captive Bred Inverts – Classifieds on Facebook. Ordering was simple; I emailed him a list of the species I wanted to order, and Tom responded immediately with a Paypal invoice. Tom’s communication was excellent, and all of my emails were answered within an hour.

My new L. crotalus being rehoused. This unique species was one of FOUR freebies.

My new L. crotalus being rehoused. This unique species was one of FOUR freebies.

Because weather in my area was quite cold, we both decided it would be in the best interest of the animals to wait to ship until we got a few days of higher temps. During the wait time, I asked to add another spider to my order, and Tom was happy to accommodate me, quickly sending me a new invoice. When it looked like we’d get a stretch of warmer temps, Tom contacted me immediately to arrange shipping. He was happy to have my package held at my local FedEx facility (in fact he encouraged it), and my spiders were shipped overnight promptly.

What an amazing box of spiders.

All of my new animals arrived safely and in great shape. The box was foam lined and contained a heat pack, and each of the spiders was packed in its own vial, which was wrapped in multiple layers of newspaper, then cushioned with packing peanuts.

And, what could make this transaction even sweeter? How about FOUR freebies. FOUR. For those who watch the video above, my shock is genuine. I’m used to getting some of the “give-away” species like LPs and B. albos, but what he included was unreal. Added to my order was a 3″ P. muticus, an L. crotalus juvenile, a Lampropelma sp. “Borneo black” sling, and a Phlogius sp. “Eunice” juvenile.  What was already going to be one of the coolest boxes of spiders I’ve ever received was just made twice as cool by the awesome freebies.

Just WOW.

3" P. muticus juvenile rehousing.

3″ P. muticus juvenile rehousing.

Take the chance and order directly from breeders

My experience ordering from Tom Patterson was utterly perfect. Even if you took out the extra four (again FOUR) freebies, this would still be an excellent deal and transaction all around. Great selection, prices, communication, and packing made this purchase and amazing experience. There isn’t a doubt that I’ll be ordering from Tom again in the future, and I would encourage anyone looking for tarantulas to check out his listings.

NOTE: To view Tom’s Arachnoboards Classifieds posts, you have to be a member and signed in. If the link doesn’t open, I would encourage folks to create an account if only just to be able to view the For Sale/Trade/Want to Buy section. I will also be blogging his price lists whenever he posts one.


Tom’s Current Price List:

Thereaphosidae spiderlings

Aphonopelma cf burica “blue chelicerae” (AKA Aphonopelma crinirufum )
1″ $40.00

Augacephalus ezendami
2″ $30.00

Chaetopelma olivaceum
1″ $25.00

Cyriocosmus bertae
1/8″ $20.00

Grammostola pulchripes
2″ $30.00

Heterothele gabonensis
1/4″ $25.00

Kochiana brunnipes
1/8″ $15.00

Lampropelma sp. “Borneo Black”/Phormingochilus sp. “Borneo black”/ Lampropelma nigerrimum arboricola
3/4″ $25.00 each

Pamphobetues fortis
3″ $50.00

Pelinobius muticus
3″ $50.00 each

Phlogius crassipes
1″ $25.00

Phlogius sp. “Eunice”
2″ $45.00

“Phrixotrichus” scrofa ( Paraphysa scrofa)
1″ $20.00

Poecilotheria smithi (suspected males)
4″ $60.00

Psalmopeous cambridgei
1″ $20.00

Pseudhapalopus spinulopalpus
1″ $40.00 each

Sericopelma sp.”Santa Catalina”
4″ $50.00

Vitalius paranaensis
2″ $50.00

Thereaphosidae females

Hapalopus sp. “Columbia large”
3″ $85.00

Heterothele villosella
3″ $75.00

Nhandu tripepii
5″ $179.00

Poecilotheria tigrinawesseli
5.5″ $200.00


Cyclocosmia torreya
1.5″ $40.00 each

Macrothele calpeiana
1/4″ $30.00 each


Africactenus poecilus
Hatchling $10.00 each

Ctenidae sp. “Cameroon Red Fang”
1″ well started taking crickets $25.00 each

Cupiennius salei
Hatchlings $25.00

Heteropoda hosei
1″ well started taking crickets.$25.00

Heteropoda sp. “burgundy”
1″ well started taking crickets $25.00

Heteropoda sp “Sumatra violet”
Hatchlings $15.00

Kukulcania hibernalis WC females
2″-3″ $19.00

Viridasius sp.”Madagascar”
Hatchlings, taking crickets $25.00 each

Terms of Service
Live Arrival Guarantee
Purchase price must be over $25. Payments accepted , Paypal ( ) or Postal money orders. Shipping is $40 overnight FedEx only. Live arrival guaranteed. You must accept package on first delivery attempt. Temperature must be below 90°F or above 40°F. Must be 18 or older to purchase. U.S. sales only.
Refund Policy
Issues with shipment must be reported to me via (email, phone, Facebook) by 8 PM the night off delivery. Photo’s of DOA’s must be provided, or the deceased animal must be shipped back to me within 24 hours of receiving the package, at the purchasers expense. Refunds are money back without shipping cost reimbursed, or replacement spiders of equal value shipped at the purchasers expense. Not responsible for carrier delays. Freebies do not fall under the LAG

New England Reptile Distributors (NERD) – A Review!


NERD is not just for reptiles.

There’s a belief among many serious tarantula enthusiasts that if you’re going to buy tarantulas online, you should only purchase through a reputable tarantula breeder or vendor. Although many reptile dealers also peddle spiders (after all, the two hobbies are quite similar), many times it’s almost as an afterthought. Unfortunately, an expert in snakes does not an expert in tarantulas make, and although these folks usually mean well, they can sell overpriced stock that has not been kept optimal conditions. I’ve heard many horror stories about poorly packed spiders perishing in the mail, or of customers receiving animals of the wrong size, sex, or even species.

This is absolutely NOT the case with New England Reptile Distributors; it’s obvious that owner Kevin McCurley knows his tarantulas.

I’m usually weary of purchasing from businesses whose main focus is reptiles. However, while recently studying up on various species of the Phormictopus genus, I stumbled upon some P. atrichomatus slings for sale at New England Reptile Distributors (NERD for short). I immediately recognized the name from my days collecting snakes, and I remembered them having a stellar reputation. With that info in mind, I decided to place my first order.


I was immediately impressed by the selection that NERD offered. I expected to find a smaller listing of some of the more common species. Instead, I found a very large and diverse selection that included some hobby regulars as well as some rarer species, like the coveted H. pulchripes. Their prices, overall, were also quite good, and they seem to add new stock fairly often. I do hope they eventually put together a newsletter that announces new stock, but I’ve been on the site enough times now to recognize the new additions.

Communication and Customer Service

I reached out via email first to find out if they could hold my order until the weather warmed up, and if I could add to the order when it came time to ship. Kevin responded immediately, and was very friendly and helpful. He had no problem with holding my spiders until it was safe to ship, and had no issue with me adding to my order while I waited. As it turned out, it was over a month before the weather permitted shipping. During this time, we stayed in communication, and he always responded to emails immediately. I did end up adding a couple Ts to my order, a T. ockerti and an A. chalcodes, and both orders were combined with no issue. When I was ready to ship, the package went out that week.

Shipping and Packing

My tarantulas were shipped FedEx overnight for a very reasonable $35. My order shipped quickly, and I was emailed a tracking number. Kevin was even good enough to have my order held at my local FedEx facility for pick up.


My spiders were expertly packed in a foam lined box with a heat pack included. I loved that the heat pack was securely taped to the top panel of foam, keeping it from shifting during transit and cooking the spiders. The five vials and one deli cup that contained my tarantulas were safely nestled in crushed newspaper; they would have been quite safe if the package had been jostled or dropped.
Nerd heat packI’ve mentioned it other reviews, but how the spiders are packed into the deli cups or vials can make the difference between and easy or nightmarish transfer. My new acquisitions were perfectly packed in their travel containers, and they were very easy to rehouse as a result.



When I opened my box, I was delighted to discover that Kevin had included a freebie with my order. I now have a new 1.5″ Lasiodora parahybana sling to add to my collection. I love free spiders, so this was definitely a plus.

Condition of the animals

All of my new acquisitions were in great shape and had obviously been well cared for. All six of them we plump and well-fed, and they took to their new homes quickly. Five of them have already taken their first meal; the sixth, the LP, is in premolt. It is apparent that these animals received excellent care by the guys at NERD.

A. chalcodes from NERD.

A. chalcodes from NERD.

P. atrichomatus sling from NERD

P. atrichomatus sling from NERD

T. ockerti juvenile from NERD.

T. ockerti juvenile from NERD.

The guys at NERD know their tarantulas!

My transaction with New England Reptile Distributors could not have gone any better. Kevin was  a true pleasure to do business with, and it’s obvious that the guys at NERD know their tarantula husbandry. Their shipping costs were very reasonable, and their packing was excellent. This was an all-around excellent experience; I would recommend NERD to other tarantula hobbyists without reservation!

Great Basin Serpentarium – A Review

A fantastic spider shopping experience!

I recently discovered Great Basin Serpentarium while perusing the For Sale/Trade/Want to Buy section on Arachnoboards. I had been on the lookout for some T. stirmi slings, and GBS was offering 1.5 spiderlings for $90 each. Checking out the rest of the list of Ts for sale, I was excited to discover the they were also offering many other species I had been looking for. The prices were quite good, and I was floored to learn that they offered $20 FedEx next day shipping with any order of totaling $100 or more. 

I shot the owner, J Mugleston, an email query about a possible purchase, and he got back to me within the hour. In fact, his communication throughout the entire experience was exemplary with all of my emails being answered promptly and politely. Last Friday, I put my order in for seven slings: 2 T. stirmi, 2 P. muticus, 2 M. cabocla, and 1 B. auratum.

Mr. Mugleston worked with me to ship my items to the local FedEx on a day of my choice, and I picked up my package yesterday. The box was labeled “Harmless Invertebrates”, which I though was a nice touch (the clerk at the counter actually handled my package as if it were dynamite!).

My package for GBS. LOVE the labeling!

My package for GBS. LOVE the labeling!

My new acquisitions were very well packed in a box lined with foam insulation and crumpled newspaper as padding. A heat pack was included, which was great due to the unseasonably cold temps we’ve had in my state. Each spider was packed in a plastic dram vial in moistened paper towel, and the bottle lids were taped with electrical tape. These little guys were well-protected during shipping.

My package from Great Basin Serpentarium. My Ts were warm and very well packed.

My package from Great Basin Serpentarium. My Ts were warm and very well packed.

I should mention that the way the tarantulas were packed in the vials made it VERY easy to get them out for rehousing. The paper towels were packed in tightly enough to protect the T, but loose enough that towel could be carefully pulled out of the vial and unrolled to safely free the animal. This made rehousing these little guys a breeze.

The vials holding my new slings from GBS. All were well packed and labeled.

The vials holding my new slings from GBS. All were well packed and labeled.

The slings themselves were in fantastic shape, and it was obvious that they were healthy and well cared for. All were lively during rehousing, and all but one has already eaten (one of my P. muticus slings was a bit too busy burrowing to grab a snack).

Great prices, communication, and shipping costs!

I could not be more pleased with my experience with Great Basin Serpentarium. The prices, especially with the $20 next day shipping, were fantastic, Mr. Mugleston’s communication was outstanding, my order was perfectly packed, and the animals arrived healthy and lively. I would definitely recommend GBS to other tarantula enthusiasts, and I will definitely be shopping there again in the future.

And…a couple pics of my new acquisitions!

My new .75" P. muticus sling.

My new .75″ P. muticus sling.


My new 1/5" T. stirmi sling.

My new 1/5″ T. stirmi sling.





NE Herp – A Review

NE Herp

Although my T. stirmi enclosure has been holding at proper humidity with no pest or mold issues, I’ve been planning on adding isopods or springtails to help clean up any waste and to keep the tank mold free. While searching the net for dealers who carry these amazing insects, I stumbled upon NE Herp. Although I visited the site with the sole intention of procuring maintenance insects, I discovered that they carried so much more.

An amazing one-stop shop for all of your vivarium needs.

I first thought that NE Herp only carried invertebrates like D. Hydei fruit fly cultures, Springtails, and Dwarf Isopods, and it was quite by accident that I navigated to a page that presented the store’s ridiculously diverse selection of vivarium products. Water dishes, cork bark, bamboo, moss, hides, lights, enclosures, substrates…I could go on for pages. Keepers of frogs, lizards, snakes, tarantulas, or other invertebrates would be wise to check out the site.

I was elated to discover that they carry bamboo and cork bark at ridiculously low prices. Since entering the hobby, I’ve always been floored by the high cost of cork bark, and I’m constantly on the lookout for someone who sells this material for a reasonable price. NE Herp not only offers larger pieces for great prices, but they also sell a gallon-sized grab bag filled with medium to small pieces. At $7.99 (on sale for $5.99), this is an absolute STEAL.

Great packing and fast shipping!

My order was packed and shipped very quickly via Fed Ex, and it arrived on my doorstep a day later (NE Herp is just across the state from me, so the shipping time was extra fast). My order was very well packed, and NE Herp even included a cold pack to keep my springtails from baking in the hot temps. All of my items were heavily padded with packing paper and arrived in pristine condition.

The bag of cork bark proved an amazing value. I was elated to find that I contained curved and flat pieces ranging from 3 to 7″. As I like to include corkbark hides in most of my enclosures, the accumulated cost of buying this material can become costly. However, for about $6, I now have enough for at least a dozen cages.

My box from NE Herp.

My box from NE Herp.

The well-packed contents of my package.

The well-packed contents of my package.

My new cork bark, bamboo, plastic plants, and springtails from NE Herp.

My new cork bark, bamboo, plastic plants, and springtails from NE Herp.

I highly recommend NE Herp to any hobbyist.

I have already spent several hours on this site window shopping and putting together my wishlist for my next order. The amount of products they carry is staggering, and I’m still finding new things to add to my list. I will definitely be placing a second order soon. NE Herp carries an amazing selection of vivarium supplies, and their quick and reasonable shipping make ordering from them a very satisfying experience. I highly recommend them to any tarantula, snake, reptile, or frog keepers who are looking for reasonably-priced supplies for their enclosures.


Stamps Tarantula – A Review

The first of what will prove to be many purchases.

I had first discovered Steven Stamps several months ago on Arachnoboards  where he had posted several tarantulas for sale on the For Sale/Trade/Want to Buy board.  I was immediately impressed with his prices and the number of species he had available, and a quick look through his review thread revealed pages of glowing testimonials. It wasn’t until last month that I stumbled on his newly-launched web store with a $50 unsexed T. stirmi sub-adult for sale that I would finally make my first purchase from him.

The first, but definitely not the last.

A diverse offering of Ts at awesome prices.

The first thing that struck me about his site was the number of tarantulas he had available and the diversity of his stock. He had everything from rarer Aphonopelma, Avicularia, and Lasiodora species, to the more common Poecilotheria or Brachypelma species. There was definitely something for every type of collector. There were also several females for sale for anyone looking for breeders. His prices were fantastic overall, with many species selling for much less than I’ve seen elsewhere.

Communication was great, and all of my emails to him were answered in a matter of hours. Mr. Stamps was kind enough to hold the T. stirmi for me after paying so that I could add a few more tarantulas to the purchase in a couple weeks to get more out of my shipping costs. I though that was a fantastic gesture. He also worked with me to ship my package on a particular day so that I could be sure I would be home to receive it.

Top notch shipping and packing!

My animals were shipped next day, and the package arrived safe and sound. The Ts were expertly packed in a foam-lined box with plenty of padding and even a cold pack to protect the tarantulas from the high temperatures.  The individual Ts were safely nestled away in either large deli cups (for the T. stirmi) or plastic dram bottles (for the H. lividum, L. difficilis, and G. pulchripes slings) and padded with newspaper. Stamps also included an awesome flashlight as a free gift.

Very cool.

A package from Stamps Tarantulas.

A package from Stamps Tarantulas.

The package from Stamps, obviously well padded and insulated with foam.

The package from Stamps, obviously well padded and insulated with foam.

My package from Stamps. Notice how well-packed the specimens are.

My package from Stamps. Notice how well-packed the specimens are.

The contents of the box removed.

The contents of the box removed.

The animals themselves were in excellent shape, with all four emerging lively and sporting plump abdomens. Three of the Ts ate the first night; the fourth was in premolt, but has since molted and ate. It has been a few weeks, and all are doing fine. I was particularly impressed with the condition of the T. stirmi. I had seen many pictures of larger T. stirmi being sold that looked thin or haggard, and I worried a bit that my new acquistion might need some TLC. This beast, however, was was in AMAZING shape, and has acclimated to his new enclosure smoothly.

My new T. stirmi shortly after being housed.

My new T. stirmi shortly after being housed.

A great new online dealer.

I was 100% satisfied with my first purchase from Stamps Tarantulas, and I’m already planning my next order. Mr. Stamps carries a variety of species at great prices, and his communication, packing, and shipping are all top of the line. He has also proven willing to work with customers, which is always a plus. I highly recommend this vendor!


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