Name: Chilean rose tarantula
Scientific Name: Grammostola rosea
Identification: A Chilean rose tarantula's body colour can be dark brown, tan,
blackish or grey; with hairs all over their body that can be copper or pink.
These tarantulas are small, not very strong, have eight legs (four pairs) and eight eyes.
They have four appendages near the mouth called chelicerae and pedipalps. The chelicerae contain the fangs and venom, these fold under the body - tarantulas must strike downwards to impale their prey. The pedipalps are used as feelers and the claws for eating, males also use these when mating.
Body length: 11 – 14cm
Weight: 56g – 85g
Lifespan: Females: 25 years. Males: 5 – 10 years.
Distribution: Found in northern Chile and parts of Bolivia and Argentina.
Habitat: Chilean rose tarantulas are primarily desert and scrubland dwellers. They dig
burrows in the ground or inhabit burrows abandoned by rodents. They produce silk to line
their burrows. They do not make webs for catching prey.
Diet: They are carnivores that eat a variety of invertebrates including crickets,
cockroaches, mealworms as well as small vertebrates like mice, frogs and lizards.
Feeding Behaviour: Chilean rose tarantulas are nocturnal predators. They chase their prey - unlike spiders that spin webs to catch their food - injecting venom and enzymes to break prey down into ingestible fluids.
Breeding Behaviour: Chilean rose tarantulas are oviparous, laying about 100 eggs at a time in a silken sac-like case. If the eggs are fertilised the female will produce an egg sac a week after mating, these egg sacs can contain in excess of 500 babies.
Conservation status: Least Concern
Predators: Large mammals, reptiles, birds, other tarantulas and Pepsis hunting wasps (they paralyze the tarantula with one sting and then feed them alive to their larvae).
Threats: Pet trade.
Did you know: There are 800 species of tarantulas ranging in size from the size of your fingernail to 30cm (Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula) and none of them are dangerous to humans.