Tarantulas can make fascinating pets. Their habits and mannerisms will provide the arachnid fan with hours of entertainment. If you have never owned a tarantula before and are looking for a good choice to start with, then the Chilean rose hair tarantula might be the one for you. Keep reading to learn more about them!
Quick Facts about Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas
|Species Name:||Grammostola rosea|
|Care Level:||Low maintenance|
|Temperature:||80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal|
|Color Form:||Dark brown, grey body; orange, red, pink, or copper hairs|
|Lifespan:||4-5 years for males; up to 20 years for females|
|Size:||4 to 6 inches|
|Diet:||Insects and small mice, frogs, and lizards|
|Minimum Tank Size:||Approximately 5 to 10 gallons|
|Tank Set-Up:||2 to 3 inches of soil, moss, or other substrate material|
|Compatibility:||Prefer infrequent handling|
Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula Overview
Chilean rose hair tarantulas are popular pets. They are fairly low maintenance and do not require much space, light, or food. People also like them because of their attractive appearance and docile behavior.
As pets, they are intriguing to observe. However, the Chilean rose hair does not like to be handled frequently. It can also be dangerous to handle these tarantulas too often as they are very fragile. If dropped, their abdomens can rupture, which is often fatal. Therefore, they are probably best suited as pets for adults and older children who will understand the need to observe rather than handle these tarantulas.
In the wild, Chilean rose hair tarantulas are found in deserts and other scrublands in South America. They live alone except when they are mating. The Chilean rose hair lives in burrows in the sand or dirt and does not spin webs to catch their food. Instead, they chase their food down and inject it with venom. These tarantulas are nocturnal and prefer to do all of their hunting at night.
How Much Do Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas Cost?
The cost of Chilean rose hair tarantulas can vary widely. Generally, many pet stores will sell male tarantulas for as little as $20. These are less expensive than females because of their shorter lifespan. If you are looking for a tarantula that will live longer or you wish to breed them, you will want to find a reputable breeder. The cost for a female Chilean rose hair from a breeder starts at around $60 and can be higher.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
One reason these tarantulas are popular pets is because of their docile nature. As long as they are not handled too often and are kept in a quiet, safe place, the Chilean rose hair will go about its day by burrowing, hunting, and arranging the materials in its enclosure.
If they feel threatened, the Chilean rose hair may eject small hairs from its body. These tiny hairs can irritate your skin or cause a rash. They can also bite humans, and while the venom is not usually dangerous to people, the bites are very painful.
Appearance & Varieties
The defining feature of the Chilean rose hair tarantula is the colorful hairs that cover their bodies. These hairs can be red, orange, pink, or copper. Under these hairs, the bodies are brown, grey, black, or tan.
The maximum size, reached after about 3 to 4 years, is 6 inches in leg span. Males tend to be smaller than females.
All Chilean rose hair tarantulas have 8 legs and 4 other appendages. These additional appendages are known as chelicerae and pedipalps and are located near the tarantula’s mouth. The pedipalps function as feelers while the chelicerae house the tarantula’s fangs and venom.
Because they are nocturnal, the Chilean rose hair does not have great eyesight. They do have eight eyes, but none of them are very powerful.
Finally, these tarantulas will molt throughout their lives as they grow to full size. Young Chilean rose hairs may molt up to 4 times per year. Mature females will continue to molt once per year for the rest of their lives.
How to Take Care of Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
Taking care of your Chilean Rose Hair does not require much work. You will need to make sure you have the proper materials and that their enclosure is kept at the proper temperature and humidity level, however, to ensure a healthy pet. The basic needs of your tarantula include the following;
These tarantulas do not require a large tank. A 5- to 10-gallon tank is a perfect size. A tank is preferred to another kind of enclosure because it is easier to maintain the proper temperature in a tank.
You should provide at least 3 inches of substrate in your tarantula’s tank. Dirt and peat moss works well as they can hold moisture and allow the tarantula to borrow.
The ideal temperature for a Chilean rose hair is 80 degrees F. The humidity level should be at least 70%. A small water dish can help maintain the proper level of humidity.
You don’t need to provide light for your tarantula. They are nocturnal and prefer the dark. If you use a light for heating purposes, a low wattage purple or red bulb would be ideal.
Chilean rose hairs are known to rearrange their enclosures so you may notice dirt in their water dish or sticks moved from one side to another. They do like a lightweight piece of bark or cork to burrow under. Other fake plants can be used to decorate the tank.
Do Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas Get Along with Other Pets?
Unless you are mating two Chilean rose hair tarantulas, they should be kept alone. They prefer to be on their own. If two females are kept together, they can become aggressive toward one another. If a male is kept around a female for too long, the female will eat the male. They should also be kept away from other pets in the home as the tarantula will bite when they feel threatened.
What to Feed Your Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula
Chilean rose hair tarantulas do not spin webs to trap their food. Instead, they stalk it and inject it with venom. Therefore, they should be fed live insects, such as crickets, mealworms, or roaches. They can also occasionally be fed a pinky mouse.
Typically, they will eat about 3 to 5 crickets per week. However, some will go through long fasting periods, so unless they are exhibiting signs of poor health, don’t worry if they don’t eat for several weeks.
Keeping Your Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula Healthy
These tarantulas make good pets because they are low maintenance. However, there are a few things you need to do to keep them healthy. First, maintain the proper temperature and humidity level in their enclosure.
When they are molting, you should not handle your Chilean rose hair. The new skin they grow during this period is very thin and needs time to harden or else it can tear and cause fatal injuries.
If you do notice any behaviors out of the ordinary or if your tarantula’s appearance changes, you should make an appointment with an exotic animal veterinarian.
The female Chilean Rose hair tarantula can lay anywhere from 50 to 400 eggs at a time! After they pass through her body and are fertilized, she will enclose them in a sac which she protects until they hatch.
The male dies soon after mating, which is why their lifespan is so much shorter than the female.
Are Chilean Rose Hair Tarantulas Suitable For You?
If you have always wanted to have a pet tarantula, the Chilean rose hair would be a good place to start. If you are willing to be a hands-off pet owner and can provide a safe environment for them, your tarantula can live for many years. They are docile, interesting, and low-maintenance pets for the arachnid lover!
Featured Image Credit: Audrey Snider-Bell, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.