Chilean Rose Tarantulas is a relatively non-venomous and non-aggressive spider. It is sometimes referred to as the Grammostola genus. The taxonomy of tarantulas is quite chaotic, and it changes with a new survey: the same species can hide under different synonyms. The inhabitant of the highland deserts of Chile and southern Peru is one of the medium-sized tarantulas and is considered the most popular in the modern pet trade. In captivity, he lives to be 12 years old.
An adult spider with straightened limbs fits in the palm of your hand. In natural conditions, he weaves a web, using it as a shelter. It lines abandoned burrows, rocky crevices, and any secluded depressions. In such a shelter, the spider spends the day and crawls out only at night, hunting for spiders, crickets, locusts, and caterpillars. It happens that the tarantula binds prey and carries it to its shelter, where it eats safe and sound. Some spiders “drink” dew directly from the cobweb or from their own body. However, the spider lives in the desert, and therefore, as a rule, receives moisture from swallowed insects.
Purchasing Your Chilean Rose Tarantula
Before you purchase a tarantula, you need to pay attention to the following important points:
- Is the spider making a refuge or is it sitting, unprotected, right in front of the screen?
- What size is it and does it have limbs?
- How long has he been in the pet store?
The healthy tarantula is deep brown to pink or chestnut-colored and is covered with shaggy “bristles”. The presence of bald patches or uneven coloration on the abdomen indicates malaise or stress, which will immediately lead to a deterioration in the pet’s condition. An experienced shopper will notice these symptoms and can buy the same spider elsewhere. Newly caught and imported spiders die for a variety of reasons, from shock or stress after a week or more.
Consequently, an animal that is in a pet store for 10-15 days and is intended for sale has already undergone adaptation immediately after catching.
If you find a healthy specimen, find out how it feeds. A healthy spider rushes to the victim with greed. If a spider refuses to eat, it may simply not be hungry. Return to the pet store two days later and try feeding him again. If he refuses to eat on the second or third attempt, then it is better to refuse such an individual.
All normal tarantulas usually hide from prying eyes. In natural conditions, they take refuge from birds, lizards, rodents, and other enemies. Any spider you intend to acquire should build its own shelter in the pet store’s cage. He is satisfied with a splinter of rock, a hollow, or a corner, woven with cobwebs until he builds himself a real refuge. Deeply stressed or very old individuals do not seek to make cobwebs. For a healthy individual in natural conditions, this is unnatural.
The habits of the tarantula should also be considered. You can bring home the finest, showy spider and find it is a ferocious monster. Contact a pet store sales consultant to teach you how to handle a tarantula by identifying the features of his behavior. If you touch a spider, at the slightest attempt it will try to escape by running around the cage. But he should not panicky rush around the terrarium like a madman or stand on his hind legs in a defensive position. In both cases, this means that the animal is unnecessarily nervous or aggressive, and therefore can only serve for demonstration. Aggressive or overactive spiders are stressed and may be more likely to bite the wearer than their level-headed cousins.
It is better, if you have a choice, to look for a medium-sized tarantula. Having examined several individuals, you will get an idea of their size. Small and brightly colored specimens are younger and healthier than large and dark specimens. Like any animal, the spider becomes irritable, capricious, and wayward with age. The young get used to the hands more easily and feel better in captivity. The safest way to handle a spider is to open your palm, placing it on the substrate in front of it, and gently force it with your other hand so that it can climb onto the palm. From this platform, let him walk if he wishes, transferring him from hand to hand, but if he sits quietly, leaves him alone. Do not allow him to be lifted into the air to a height of more than 30 cm on any surface, because a fall from a great height can end up sadly for him.
Housing the Chilean Rose Tarantula
The cannibal’s habits make it necessary to keep Chilean Rose Tarantulas, as well as many spiders and scorpions, separately. For an adult spider, a 40-liter cage is quite suitable, but taking into account its hermitic lifestyle and limited night walks, a 20-liter cage will also suit it. Although they cannot climb glass, an adult spider can wrap cobwebs around a terrarium and get out of it. Therefore, you will need a reliable, ventilated metal mesh cover. So that nothing unexpected happens, the cover should be carefully adjusted.
The shelter should be dark, with one entrance and exit, since this spider belongs to burrowing animals. A piece of bark ripped from the slab of a cork oak serves as a natural, magnificent shelter, but in the absence of this, it is enough to half-dig into the ground with some pipe made of plastic materials. Although this hideout is not as aesthetically pleasing, it will not deteriorate over time. A small cactus planted in a flower pot with sand dusted soil will add natural aesthetics to an artificial habitat and can be used by a spider: it will surely braid the cactus with its webs. The flat stones on the supports provide an excellent shelter for our hermit.
Humidity should be low since this species of tarantula lives in deserts. A mixture of sand and aquarium gravel with crushed tree bark is suitable as a substrate. A convenient substrate can be vermiculite or sterile organic soil for ornamental plants. Sterile sand mixes best mimics natural soil and is useful in fighting pests and microbes. Although the Chilean Rose Tarantula is a desert animal, in natural conditions its burrows retain to a large extent relative humidity. At least one shelter must be damp. This can be achieved by covering the wet vermiculite area with a piece of bark, or by pouring water into the spider’s burrow when it is not there.
Food and Water
Feeding the tarantula is not very difficult. Feeding takes place, as a rule, 2-3 times a week when the spider shows signs of hunger. These animals only eat when they are hungry. Tarantulas readily devour crickets, mealworms, wax moth larvae, and even newborn mice. He needs calcium-vitamin supplements. Grasshoppers, filly, beetles, and other insects caught in the field are a welcome addition to the diet. Please note that the insects you collect can be contaminated with herbicides, pesticides, and other chemical compounds, which can lead to the sudden death of the tarantula. Food animals should not exceed 1/2 the length of the spider.
Chilean Rose Tarantula receives a significant portion of its moisture from its victims. During times of molting and stress, your pet will start looking for additional sources of water. A small sponge in a low saucer of water will fully meet his needs. Even if he does not want to drink himself, as we already know, the spider can use his chelicerae and pedipalps, absorbing moisture from the sponge. In addition to the sponge, there should always be a saucer with water in the cage. At night, moving around the cage, the spider stumbles upon a container necessary for molting or drinking. Light daily spraying of the cage mimics the dew or fog that a spider encounters in nature.
Habitat in Nature
Chilean Rose Tarantula is found in Chile and Argentina, and can also be found in Bolivia. Chooses mostly wet regions in those areas where there is loose soil. Some populations have mastered the Atacama Desert, which is considered the driest in our land. Chilean Rose Tarantula is a night spider. In the places where it lives, daytime temperature drops in a wide range, which depends on the season, are the norm. In the summer heat, the spider hides in the upper layer of the soil, digging holes for itself about 1 m deep. In winter, when the air temperature drops below 10 ° C, it hibernates. This creature loves warmth, therefore, humbly awaits the first rays of the sun in the bowels of the earth. Individuals of this species try not to approach each other since there are frequent cases of cannibalism from insufficient nutrition.
Reproduction in Nature
The mating season for tarantula spiders begins in the spring season when hibernation ends. The soil at this time warms up to 13-15 ° C and the males start looking for a pair. In this, they rely entirely on the strength of their sense of smell. The Chilean Rose Tarantula finds a female by the pheromones it emits.
3-6 weeks after mating has occurred, the female produces from 100 to 200 eggs, which she entangles in a cocoon with the help of a web. Under favorable circumstances for the female, clutches of up to 500 eggs are found. Small spiders are born within 8-10 days. Nymphs in their cocoon undergo several stages of maturation, during which they molt twice. Closer to week 10, small spiders are formed. For only a couple of days they still live near their mother, and then scatter in different directions. The offspring, like the mother, is driven by the survival instinct. Indeed, in the event of a shortage of food, a starving mother can eat her offspring, forgetting parental duty. A young Chilean Rose Tarantula eats small insects. Since babies are most vulnerable during this period of time, they often become victims of larger predators. Most of all, they should be wary of centipede, ants, and wasps. Gender maturation in arthropods occurs quite late when they are 6-8 years old.