Chilean Rose Hair [Grammostola porteri/rosea]
Common name: Chilean Rose Hair
Scientific name: Grammostola porteri/rosea, G. rosea
Appearance: Chilean rose hair tarantulas can range from brown to reddish-brown to pink in color.
Origin: Chile South America
Type: New world, terrestrial
Size: Adults can get between a 4.5 and 5 inch legspan. Chilean rose hairs reach adult size after 3-4 years.
Life span: Male: 5 years, Female: Up to 30 years
Attitude: Chilean Rose Hair tarantulas are often thought of as a good spider for beginners, due to their reputation for being a more docile species of tarantula. However, they are known to be moody and can become defensive.
Defensive behavior: When feeling threatened, a Chilean Rose Hair will rear up and display its fangs. It may also flick urticating hairs off of its back, which can create a nasty rash.
Bite danger: All tarantulas have venom, but luckily Rose Hairs’ venom isn’t very potent. Most humans don’t have systemic effects from a Rose Hair bite. Most symptoms include localized pain, itching, and burning – however every person reacts differently. Unless you are allergic to the spider’s bite (which you unfortunately won’t know until after the fact), a bite from a rose hair will just be a little irritating.
Handling: These spiders can be handled if the owner is careful and knows how to read the spider’s behavior.
Diet/Nutrition: Chilean Rose Hairs will eat live crickets, mealworms and roaches. Adults should be fed about once or twice a week, slings may eat more often. It has been reported that these spiders can eat small pinky mice, however it is not suggested because the calcium in the mammals’ bones is not good for the tarantula.
- Substrate: Coconut husk substrate is recommended.
- Decor: Every tarantula’s tank should have a hide for the spider to retreat in. A hollow log or driftwood is recommended. Small artificial plans can also be included for decoration. Get creative!
- Humidity: The humidity should be high, 60 to 80%.
- Water: A small, shallow water dish should always be present.
Temperature: The ideal temperature for Chilean Rose Hairs is 78° to 82° F.
Common problems: Chilean Rose Hairs are well-known for going through random prolonged fasting periods, which may be stressful or disheartening for the first-time tarantula owner. They are also commonly called “pet rocks” because they go through long periods of inactivity.
These tarantulas also tend to be stressed out easily – especially when moving to a new enclosure. They will often climb the walls of their enclosures, which could result in a disastrous fall leading to injury or death for the spider. You can safeguard your tarantula’s tank using this method.
Fun facts: Chilean Rose Hairs enjoy burrowing and have been known to do strange things such as filling their water dishes with dirt, redecorating their tanks (aka undoing their owners’ hard work) and making little waste piles in the corners of their tanks when they go to the bathroom or finish a meal.