Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Rose-haired Tarantula!
Do you have an interest in spiders? If you are one of the many people who are fascinated by spiders rather than terrified by them, then the Rose-haired Tarantula Grammostola rosea may be the perfect pet for you! These are one of the most popular spiders kept as pets and they are also one of the hardiest!
Other names the Rose-haired Tarantula commonly goes by include the Chilean Rose Tarantula and the Chilean Rose-haired Tarantula. Part of the reason they are so popular in the pet spider world is because they are very gentle and tame. They are easy to care for and females can live up to 20 years! (Males only live to about 6 years). This makes them ideal as pets and also a good candidate for science projects. They are easy to hold and reach about 5 inches when full grown. They are fairly cheap in price and are available at almost any pet store or online.
These tarantulas originate in Chile in the Atacama Desert. This desert is one of the driest in the world – hence why these guys are so durable! They were first “discovered” in 1837 by Walckenaer. They are called “rose” because of their color. Black or dark tan is their base color, with reddish orange or pink long hairs covering their body. This gives them a rose colored hue.
The Rose-haired Tarantula has simple care and feeding requirements. They do not need a large environment, but would appreciate some plants and other decorations. They also like to hide in burrows and would be happy with a log or piece of wood that would allow them to retreat. The temperature should be around 78 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity around 60 to 80%. Misting the plants in the cage on occasion can help keep the humidity at a comfortable level for them. In the wild these tarantulas eat a variety of insects. In captivity just make sure to provide them with live crickets or other insects once or twice a week. Take note, however, that these tarantulas should be kept alone. They are not compatible with any other pets and will eventually kill or be killed by any other housemate.
Tarantulas do molt their skin. This can be quite stressful for them, but if they are kept in a comfortable environment with enough humidity they usually have no problems with it and come out fine. A few weeks before the molting process begins they may stop eating and become lethargic. They will lay on their backs when the molting begins and the process usually doesn’t take too long. Within a day or so they will begin to harden again and are ready to eat again within a week or so.
Breeding Rose-haired Tarantulas in captivity is common and has been done for a long time. You can tell the difference between the sexes because males usually look “fuzzier” than the females and have longer legs. Females are also much stockier looking. The process of breeding is pretty straightforward. Once the male and female are ready to mate, simply introduce the male into the female’s enclosure. He will then fertilize the female. The males then generally die within a few weeks of mating. If the female was successfully fertilized she will produce an egg sac with around 500 eggs.
Rose-haired tarantulas very rarely have problems. As noted before, they are very hardy spiders. They may be more stressed out if held a lot or if moved to a new environment. If they show signs of stress (pacing, lethargic, not eating, etc.), try to provide more hiding places and leave them alone for a while to give them time to de-stress.
There is much more to learn about these spiders. If you would like to know more, check out Animal-World’s Rose-haired Tarantula page!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.