Chilean Rose Tarantula

Location

In the Zoo

Scientific Information

Scientific Name: Grammostola rosea
Class: Arachnid
Order: Araneae
Family: Theraphosidae
Genus: Grammostola

Size

Male

Female

Height:
Length: 4.5-5.5 inches 4.5-5.5 inches
Weight: 2-3 ounces 2-3 ounces
Maturity: 2-3 years 2-3 years

Lifestyle and Lifespan

Diet: Carnivorous
Activity Timeframe: Nocturnal
Interactivity: Solitary
Sexual Dimorphism: Yes
Gestation: 6-7 weeks
Lifespan in the Wild: Males 5 years; Females 20 years
Lifespan in Captivity: Males 5 years; Females 20 years

Geographic Range

Found throughout Chile in environments ranging from Mediterranean climate to a coastal rain forest.

Conservation

Status in the Wild:
Threats:

Characteristics

Chilean Rose Tarantulas have a dark brownish black body covered with orangey-pink hair. They have 8 hairy legs, 2 pedipalps (additional legs used as sensory organs and manipulators), and small hairs covering the cephalothorax and abdomen. Can reach 5 or more inches in size. The female lacks the mating fingers, or claspers, on the front legs which the male uses to hold the female until he can mate. Females are also larger and heavier than males, while males have longer legs.

Species Specifics

Physical Characteristics

Chilean Rose Haired Tarantulas have tiny hair-like structures called urticating bristles. These hairs are actually barbs that can be used as a defense. When threatened, a tarantula can use its legs to flick these loosely-attached bristles onto a predator, causing an irritating, and sometimes itchy or painful sensation.In addition to their 8 legs, tarantulas also have a pair of pedipalps. Pedipalps are small pairs of arm-like appendages near the front of the spider. They act like a pair of arms than can manipulate prey or silk. The inner tips of the pedipalps are equipped with hairs that act as filters when the spider is sucking in liquefied food. The foremost appendages on the cephalothorax are called chelicerae, which consist of a thick base and moveable fangs. They are equipped with venom glands and small teeth to mash prey. The tarantula's paralyzing venom is injected into prey through the fangs to aid hunting. After the prey is paralyzed, the tarantula will inject digestive enzymes into the prey which liquefies the insides. The tarantula then eats the resulting liquid. Their venom is not dangerous to humans. On the rear of the abdomen, these tarantulas also have spinnerets, which are used to create silk for mating, or to create a protective barrier in the spider's burrow.

Ecology

Habitat

Desert and dry scrubland

Distribution

Diet

They primarily eat other insects or invertebrates, occasionally eating small vertebrates.

Ecological Web

Tarantulas help control the population of smaller insects, and act as a low-level predators.

Activity and Behavior

Activity Pattern

Chilean Rose Tarantulas live in burrows in the ground which they have dug or found abandoned by rodents. Their burrows are lined with silk produced by the spiders. They don't make aerial or food catching webs. Immature tarantulas molt up to 4 times per year; adult females molt once a year throughout their adult life.

Behavior

Social Behavior

Reproductive Behavior

Mating takes place at various times according to the species, usually in the fall from September to October. Males begin by creating a 'sperm web' consisting of dense webbing injected with his own sperm. He then attaches this web to his own pedipalps before searching for a female. Once he has found a female, he will tap and vibrate the webbing in the entrance of her lair to lure her out. Once she is near the entrance, he will lunge forward and use his legs to hold her chelicerae and push her into an upright position. Then he uses his pedipalps to inseminate her through her epigyne, which is an external reproductive organ. Once mating is complete, the male will continue to search for females, while the female may or may not attack and attempt to eat him. A few weeks after mating, the female will create an egg sac, which consists of eggs wrapped in a protective silk layer.

Offspring

The Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula deposits between 100 and over 500 eggs each year.

Conservation

Status

This animal has not yet been evaluated by the IUCN.

Historical

Current Threats

Our Role

How You Can Help

If you are considering getting a tarantula as a pet, make sure that it was bred in captivity and not taken from the wild.

Fascinating Facts

Since tarantulas routinely molt their entire exoskeleton, any dropped limbs can be regenerated after 1 or 2 successful molts

Tarantulas have a resting heart rate of 30-40 beats per minute, which can speed up to 200 beats per minute when active.

References

"Chilean Rose Tarantula - Woodland Park Zoo Seattle WA." Chilean Rose Tarantula - Woodland Park Zoo Seattle WA. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

"Rose Haired Tarantula." Maryland Zoo. N.p., 31 Aug. 2015. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

"Home." Grammostola rosea. Saginaw Zoo, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2017.

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