Until now I've never been part of a forum for tarantulas and I don't personally know anyone else who is heavily into them. Many questions have come up over the years, and I'm left to guess and speculate based on experience with other species, or based on the opinions of other keepers who really don't "know" the answers either. I thought some of the people here might have insights into these questions, and thought it would be a fun and interesting discussion either way. Question #1: Do tarantulas, like most other animals require some variety in their diet? Many say "no" and point to examples of spiders raised entirely on crickets and nothing else. Others feed a wide variety of prey insects and feel their spiders benefit from the variety. I suppose the gut loading of the prey insects is a factor to consider too. I've always had a wide variety of prey insects to offer, so that's what I've done. At one time I had 18 species of cockroaches and there were lots of surplus males to feed out. Is it "better" that way? I don't know. My results have been good and my "slow" growing species seemed to put on size pretty quickly, but I wonder how people who feed a single species of feeder insect feel about it. If the single prey species is gut loaded with a wide variety of foods over time, does this make up for a lack of variety? I'd love to hear thoughts and insight on this matter. Question #2: What are your thoughts on feeding wild caught insects? Of course there is the risk of residual pesticides, but are their other risks? Toxicity? Parasites? I have a lot of tortoises and I grow my own food for them. It is a constant battle to fight off the local desert critters who all want to eat my tortoise's food. I get lots of grasshoppers, pincher bugs and caterpillars constantly. My area is very rural and we all have animals, so none of my neighbors use any poisons or pesticides either. I'm on 5 acres, so it is doubtful that a pincher bug found in the middle of my ranch came from a neighboring ranch. And even if a moth or butterfly has been exposed to chemical toxins, when they fly over and lay their eggs, the hatching caterpillars will have been hatched on my ranch and have had no exposure to any chemicals or pesticides. Are these soft bodied morsels toxic? I get these brownish ones and some light greens ones. We also get the ones with the black spiky fuzz. Can these be fed to our tarantulas? I know some of them are toxic to reptiles because of what they eat, but these ones are eating non-toxic foods that are grown with no chemicals or pesticides for my tortoises to eat. And the grasshoppers… Man I hate those things. I must kill 100 a year and they eat so much of my food! How fun would it be to watch a big mature OBT tear into one of those? I had a couple of squirrel monkeys and they would regularly catch and eat the grasshoppers that flew into their large outdoor cage, and both of them lived long happy lives, so I'm pretty sure this species isn't toxic. What say you? A good way to provide variety, or not worth the risk since I have other safer food sources available?