The Chilean rose hair tarantula (Grammostola rosea) is one of the most common tarantulas in the pet trade. They are inexpensive, relatively docile, and easy to care for.
In the wild, rose hairs inhabit dry grassland regions at the edge of deserts in Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina. They are solitary and nocturnal hunters, living in moist, cool burrows and venturing out at night in search for food or a potential mate. In captivity, males are short-lived, with a lifespan between 2 to 5 years. Females, however, can live up to 20 years or more.
Chilean rose hairs are medium-sized tarantulas. Mature females have a body length of 3 inches and a leg span of about 5 inches. The body of males are smaller than females but their leg span remains the same.
Rose hair tarantulas can be housed in any secure, well-ventilated enclosure. A 10 gallon glass aquarium is recommended for an adult. A suitable guide to the minimum size needed is at least three times the length of the tarantula’s leg span. The ideal enclosure should be large enough where it can roam freely, but not be overly exposed. Ensure that the cage has a secure escape-proof mesh top.
In captivity, rose hair tarantulas typically do not dig burrows. However, a thick layer of suitable substrate should be added to help hold humidity. Two or three inches of Josh’s Frogs Dig It is suitable and may encourage burrowing. If you’d like to include a cleanup crew of springtails or isopods, or use live terrarium plants, use Josh’s Frogs BioBedding Tropical.
Provide a hide area to make your tarantula feel comfortable within its home. A cork bark half-round log is ideal. You can add additional decorations to the enclosure, but make certain that they are well-secured to prevent injury to the tarantula.
Water & Humidity
A small, shallow water dish is mandatory and should always be present on the opposite end of the cage from the hide house. High humidity is not required for this species, so levels inside the cage may vary, but levels of at least 65% should be maintained.
Avoid misting the cage or the tarantula. It is unnecessary and will only cause stress. Instead, you may overflow the water dish occasionally so there is a moist area in the enclosure to help raise humidity If your Chile.an rose is observed standing around or on its water dish for an excessive amount of time, it is most likely due to the ambient humidity in your home being too dry.
Reverse Osmosis, Distilled, or Spring water can be used. If using tap water, make sure you use a quality water dechlorinator to make it safe for your tarantula.
Heating & Lighting
Chilean rose hairs do not require high temperatures or artificial heating equipment. Room temperature and ambient room lighting is sufficient. Temperatures should still be monitored in case temperatures drop significantly at night during the cold winter months. A general rule of thumb is if you feel comfortable, so does your tarantula.
Because this is a nocturnal species, UVA and UVB lighting is not necessary. It is however important that the tarantula can still perceive when it is day or night, so a basic light can be used if in a dark area.
When you first bring home your Chilean rose hair, allow it to adjust to its new home and avoid feeding it for at least one week. Also do not attempt to feed your spider for several days after molting, as the prey may harm or injure your tarantula during its process of hardening its new skin.
The main source of nutrition for a rose hair tarantula is live gut-loaded crickets. Offer your tarantula 3 to 5 appropriate-sized crickets a week. A good rule of thumb is its food should be the same size or smaller than the length of the tarantula’s abdomen. Dubia roaches are also a good alternative.
Chilean rose hairs are known to be docile and tolerant, making them easy to handle. However, excessive handling can cause stress to the tarantula and could lead to being bitten. The bite of a Chilean rose hair is not very venomous but can cause localized pain, itching, and burning.
It is important to understand your tarantula’s behavior and to be capable of reading its warning signs. Aside from the classic threat pose of rearing up and displaying its fangs, this species of tarantula will kick urticating hairs from their abdomen when threatened.
Handle your tarantula gently and with care. If you handle your tarantula, do not do so for at least a week after it has molted.
Chilean rose hair tarantulas reach sexual maturity at 2-3 years of age, and breeding them is quite easy. When your mature male makes a sperm web, he is ready to be introduced to the female. Carefully place the male into the females enclosure at the opposite end to where she is residing. When the male disengages from the female, he should immediately be removed from the female’s enclosure, or else he may be at risk of being killed.
If the female has been successfully mated, she will produce an egg sac over the coming weeks. The egg sac can produce 250-500 babies.
Once the male has fulfilled the biological function of mating, it usually will die of natural causes or the female may eat him.