Chilean Rose Tarantula
Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula (Grammostola rosea) Care Sheet - Information
Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula
Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula
The true name of the Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula, according to the American Arachnological Society (AAS), is actually the Chilean rose tarantula. This care sheet, like many other resources, refers to them as the Rose Hair because of how synonymous it has become with the Chilean rose tarantula. It has become so synonymous that pet stores and private breeders also call them Rose Hair Tarantulas.
The Chilean Rose is a very common species for new enthusiasts because of how easy they are to acquire and care for. This species is extremely hardy and natively comes from a scrubland and desert habitat.
The rose hair is ideal for beginner arachnoculturists and is of medium build, with a leg span around 6 inches. They are a terrestrial, burrowing species.
Newly acquired rose hairs should not be bothered or fed for the first week of being placed in their new environment. This will give them time to adjust.
The Chilean rose is also commonly referred to as the Chilean Rose Haired Tarantula, Chilean Common Tarantula, Chilean Fire Tarantula, Chilean Flame Tarantula and Chilean Red-haired Tarantula.
As one might suspect, the Chilean rose is native to Chile but can also be found in Argentina and Bolivia. They are a terrestrial, burrowing species and can be found in the scrubland and desert environments. They are primarily active at night or in the evening in the wild but may be seen during daylight hours in captivity.
Enclosure - Housing
This species is easy to house and does well in a well ventilated 10 gallon aquarium. Some enthusiasts also use Kritter Keepers and plastic tupperware storage containers. You want to provide a well ventilated enclosure that is between 2-3 times longer than the leg span of the rose hair. The enclosure should be at least as tall and wide as the spiders leg span.
This species burrows in the wild. Replicating a scenario where this behavior can be mimicked is ideal, though this species seems to have adapted to not burrowing in captivity. Our suggested set-up is to help provide the tarantula with an enclosure that does allow for burrowing.
These arachnids are terrestrial burrowers. To allow them to burrow, your substrate should be 6-8" or deeper. This will allow for them to burrow and will make sure that they aren't hurt if they decide to climb and ultimately fall. The substrate used in the enclosure should be prepared before the tarantula requires it. You will want to provide the substrate with adequate time to dry out. Moist substrates will stress out your tarantula and isn't natural to this species.
After you have mixed your substrate with some water it will need to be added to the enclosure when it is ready. The best way to tell if your substrate is ready for use is to grab a handful and squeeze it as hard as you. When you open your hand, the substrate should retain the shape of the inside of your clenched fist. If you begin squeezing and water begins to drip out, you will need to add additional dry substrate to absorb some moisture. If you open your hand and the substrate falls apart, you will want to add more water until it retains its shape without dripping water. Some extra moisture can be overlooked initially because you need to provide the enclosure some a couple of days to dry out before adding the tarantula.
Horticultural Peat Moss
This is a popular substrate and shouldn't be confused with dried sphagnum moss, which is also sometime referred to as "peat moss". It does well on its own or as a 50/50 mixture with either the coconut husk or the potting soil. You will want to pack the substrate in fairly well. Firmly compressed substrates will retain their shape better if the rose hair decides to burrow. Rose hairs prefer a firm base and compression achieves this. Prepare this substrate or a mixture of substrates as described above.
Shredded Coconut Husk
This is a popular substrate also and is often used as part of a mixture, though can be used on its own. It does well on its own or as a 50/50 mixture with either the peat moss or the potting soil. You will want to pack the substrate in fairly well. Firmly compressed substrates will retain their shape better if the rose hair decides to burrow. Rose hairs prefer a firm base and compression achieves this. Prepare this substrate or a mixture of substrates as described above.
Organic Potting Soil
If you decide to use potting soil, you will want to ensure that it has no additives and is all organic and natural. Insecticides and germicides can kill your tarantula. Potting soil does well on its own or as a 50/50 mixture with either the coconut husk or the peat moss. You will want to pack the substrate in fairly well. Firmly compressed substrates will retain their shape better if the rose hair decides to burrow. Rose hairs prefer a firm base and compression achieves this. Prepare this substrate or a mixture of substrates as described above.
Don't bother using sand within your mixtures. Sand does not remain compressed when it dries out and there are better alternatives. If you do decide to use sand, it should only constitute a small portion of your substrate compound.
If you decide to simply bypass burrowing entirely you can use the same substrates but are only required to provide 2-3 inches of substrate.
Make sure that the enclosure has plenty of ventilation. This species does better in a dry environment.
As with all substrates that you use, always make sure that they are pesticide and additive free.
Rose hairs are burrowers and may utilize a hide above the entrance to their burrow. The hide, which could be a flower pot cut in half, a coconut shell hide, cork bark or a commercially available hide, will help keep the burrow dark and the spider feeling secure. Place the hide to one side of the enclosure and dig a depression beneath it that extends in at an angle, 2 inches deep or so. The depression should be almost as wide as the tarantula is. This will offer your rose hair a starting point for their burrow and may encourage its use. Do not feel disheartened if your tarantula doesn't continue excavating the started burrow. Most rose hairs do not burrow in captivity.
A hide created from a flower pot cut in half, a coconut shell hide, cork bark or a commercially available hide should be made available even if the tarantula doesn't utilize it or a burrow. The option to feel more secure should always be made available.
Many people do not keep their rose hair tarantulas at a specific temperature. Their native habitat has extreme hot and cold temperature ranges that these spiders survive in. For many enthusiasts, room temperature will be fine so long as it doesn't drop below 65° or exceed 90°. For those who wish to create uniformity or simply feel the need to be in control, a temperature maintained between 74° - 85° would be ideal.
In most cases, providing additional heat will not be required. Heating the enclosure requires regulating the temperatures to prevent death. If a heating devices use can be eliminated from the equation, it should be.
Under Tank Heaters
Under Tank heaters (UTH) are used by many enthusiasts for heating their tarantulas. A UTH should be affixed to either the bottom of the enclosure, away from the spiders burrow, or to the side of the enclosure. The size of the UTH will be depicted by the size of the housing that you are providing. Keep in mind that this species likes to burrow. If you place the heat pad beneath their burrow, it could dry out the burrow and could even slowly cook your tarantula, turning fatal.
Overhead lighting can be used to heat the enclosure pending the lighting is a dark blue or black light. You will want to use a low-watt, dark light emitting bulb and will need to experiment with the wattage you use to reach the desired temperatures. Lights that are too warm can quickly overheat smaller enclosures and will zap whatever humidity it can evaporate. The light needs to be a dark light emitting bulb because this species does not like bright lighting and will become stressed.
Digital thermometers and heat guns are perfect for monitoring the temperatures within your tarantulas enclosure.
The best digital thermometers are those that read both the indoor and outdoor temperatures at the same time. These units have an external probe that is designed to be placed out of a window while the base unit remains inside. From the comfort of the indoors, you can see the temperature of both the room you are in, as well as the temperature outside. This type of digital thermometer can be purchased at varying retail stores such as Target and Wal-Mart. Unbelievably, these can actually be bought for under $15.00 and sometimes as low as $10.00. The investment in this single unit will allow you to place the base of the unit over on the cool end of the enclosure and have the probe resting on the warm end. With this single unit you will be capable of monitoring both ends of the enclosure at the same time, and with great accuracy. This is the best solution for monitoring the temperatures.
Temperature guns are an accurate and swift method to check out the temperature of your cages and environments instantly, at any time. Using infrared technology, you simply aim the hand held device exactly at the point you are looking to get the temperature of, and you press a button. Within seconds, you get the exact temperature reading for that location.
Ambient lighting is best for this species. Keeping this species in a quite room that isn't used much is ideal. With the curtains drawn back this species will adapt to the natural day and night cycle that nature provides. The enclosure should never be placed in direct sunlight.
If artificial lighting is used on your enclosure, use the lowest wattage you can find. Bright lights should be avoided to prevent stressing your tarantula.
This species doesn't require excessive humidity and does well when kept below 60% ambient humidity. In most cases, nothing will be needed to increase the humidity unless you use a dehumidifier in your home. A shallow water dish should remain in the enclosure and will slowly evaporate providing what little humidity will be needed. Your tarantula will also let you know if the humidity is too low. If your rose hair is spending long amounts of time on or around its water dish, it could be indicating it needs a raise in ambient humidity. A light misting of the enclosure, furthest away from their burrow or hide, can quickly remedy low humidity levels. Tarantulas having a difficult time molting may also require a bump in their humidity. Never spray your tarantula directly or leave wet substrate in the enclosure.
(1) - Jointed Legs
(2) - Cephalothorax
(3) - Abdomen
Rose hair tarantulas should be fed prey that is appropriate in size. Appropriate sized prey items would be something smaller than your spiders cephalothorax as described above. Crickets and roaches are typically used as primary food sources and should be offered once a week. Rose hairs will feed regularly if allowed to and will become unhealthy and fat. Most people overfeed their rose hairs because they readily continue eating. One properly sized prey item per week is adequate. If your rose hair begins to lose weight you can increase your feedings to twice a week or increase the size of the prey you are offering.
If your tarantula stops eating and you haven't changed any of its husbandry (heating, lighting, humidity, etc.), it is likely that your tarantula is preparing to molt. External changes or inadequate husbandry can also cause stress and prevent your tarantula from eating. Undersized prey or feeding too infrequently can cause the abdomen to appear thin. If your tarantula appears thin and is consuming the prey you offer, provide larger or more prey to be consumed at feedings.
Spiderlings can be started off on fruit flies and then properly sized crickets and roaches as they mature.
Avoid leaving uneaten insects in the enclosure, especially during a molt. Insects will nibble upon the tarantula if given the opportunity.
This species will stop eating occasionally. It is actually very normal and can stress out new owners. The rose hair can go months without eating. If your spiders abdomen isn't getting thin, just keep ensuring that you are providing the proper husbandry and continue offering prey once a week. Well fed rose hairs can go up to 2 years without eating, without starving to death.
A shallow dish of water should be left in the enclosure. A rock should be placed inside the dish to prevent the tarantula from going in the water and to help drowning prey escape so they can still be eaten. Clean water should be made available at all times.
Molting is commonly considered the most dangerous time during your tarantula’s life-cycle. While your tarantula is molting it is susceptible to attack from its prey. If you notice your tarantula is preparing to molt, ensure that there are no prey items inside of the enclosure. Poor humidity can hinder a molt and that can lead to mangled limbs and can even be fatal.
When they begin to molt, your tarantula will lay on its back, with its legs facing up in the air and they may appear to be dead. Do not disturb your tarantula during this time.