Rose Haired Tarantula (Grammostola rosea), also known as the Chilean Rose Tarantula, Chilean Flame Tarantula, Chilean Fire Tarantula, Chilean Red-haired Tarantula and the Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula
Popularity: most common species of tarantula available in pet stores; low maintenance; better observed than handled
Origin: South America, mostly Chile
Native habitat: desert, scrub
Size: 3-5 inches
Lifespan: males: 5 years, females: 15-20+ years
Appearance: It is colorful with fine, pink or reddish-orange hairs covering the body.
Activities: docile, nocturnal
Defense Mechanisms: A threatened Rose Hair will flick its abdominal hairs, causing painful irritations to a predator’s skin and eyes.
Misc characteristics: A Rose Hair Tarantula can lose a leg, and it will grow a new one as it molts. This spider is venomous and can bite, and it can be painful, but not deadly to humans. It will also release its abdomen hairs, which can sting. They are aggressive toward one another, and so never house them together.
A Rose Hair Tarantula will do well in a 10-gallon tank. House them alone. They need a wide enclosure rather than a tall one. Put a hollow log or some cork bark in the tank as a hiding area. Provide artificial vines or plants for climbing and additional cover. Put about two inches of substrate on the floor so the spider can retreat to a shallow burrow. Sterilized potting soil, sphagnum moss, orchid bark, coconut fiber and commercial reptile bark make good substrate choices. Keep the substrate slightly moist to maintain humidity levels, but don’t let the water accumulate on the surface; it’s harmful to the tarantula’s legs. Aromatic woods are health risks. Inspect and clean the substrate daily, and change it regularly to prevent bacteria.
An ambient temperature between 75 and 83 degrees F. is best. You can heat one end with an under tank heat pad. Use a thermostat to make sure you do not overheat the enclosure. Place a thermometer two inches over the surface in the middle of the tank to monitor temperature.
Water and Humidity
Provide a water bowl for drinking filled with cotton or filter wadding equal to the size of the tarantula’s body. It will drink by climbing onto the filter and sipping water through the base of its fangs. Maintain humidity levels at 60-75%. Humidity levels in the low 50s are a health risk. Maintain them by misting and supplying a water bowl. Use a hygrometer to measure humidity levels and ensure they aren’t too high or too low.
These tarantulas need a photoperiod of around 8 hours of light daily. Avoid exposing them to longer periods of light, or light that is too bright, such as sunlight. Control artificial light with a timer. Use a low wattage red lamp for viewing at night. There must be a distinct day/night cycle, which you can provide with lamps and timers.
The staple of the diet for a Rose Hair Tarantula is gut-loaded crickets. Give young spiders pinhead crickets. You can also give the tarantula grasshoppers and locusts. Feed it 3-6 appropriately sized crickets twice per week.