As on the most common pet tarantulas in the world, the Chilean rose hair tarantula is one of the most docile, easy to care for and inexpensive arachnids. In the wild, they mostly inhabit dry grasslands of Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. They are naturally solitary, nocturnal hunters that live in moist, cool burrows.
They are medium-sized with the adult females having a leg span of about five inches and a body length of about three inches. The males’ bodies are smaller with a more petite abdomen. In captivity, females can live up to 20 years or more. However, males have a more diminutive lifespan of about two to four years.
Cage Setup and Hiding Spots
Chilean rose hair tarantulas should be kept in secure, well-ventilated enclosures. A 10-gallon glass terrarium is best for an adult, and smaller containers can be used for slings, or baby tarantulas. The minimum size needed is at least three times the length of the tarantula’s leg span; make sure it is big enough for roaming.
Make sure the cage has a secure escape-proof top. Add plants, stones and other decorations to help the tarantula feel less vulnerable as it explores the cage; however, make sure everything is securely placed to prevent injury. Provide hide areas so it can feel protected and comfortable. Use cork bark, coconut shell hides, wooden log caves or plastic décor.
Substrate, Heating and Lighting
Captive Chilean rose hair tarantulas do not dig burrows, but a thick layer of suitable substrate should be added to hold humidity. Use two or three inches of coconut mulch, organic soil or an ABG mix; use the ABG mix if you want to include “cleanup crews” of springtails and/or isopods or if you are using live plants.
Tarantulas do not usually require high temperatures or heating equipment. Room temperature and lighting are sufficient. However, you should still monitor for nighttime temperature drops, especially during the winter – check during the early morning when it is coldest. Heat pads can maintain a warm spot for the tarantula.
As they are nocturnal, tarantulas don’t require UVA/UVB lighting.
Water and Humidity
Include a shallow water dish on the opposite side of the hide area. If you use tap water, use a de-chlorinator. High humidity is not required for Chilean rose hair tarantulas, but a minimum of at least 65% humidity should be maintained and checked with a humidity gauge.
Don’t mist the tarantula directly; mist the cage, but be mindful that you don’t stress the tarantula. Another option is to overflow the water dish to help raise humidity.
Pay attention to the substrate color; dark colors indicate moisture while lighter colors mean it is too dry and needs hydration. If the tarantula is standing around, on or in the water dish a lot, the humidity could be too dry. Try covering up the ventilation to help retain moisture.
Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula Feeding
When you bring home your Chilean rose hair tarantula, give it about a week to adjust and settle in before feeding it. Do not feed it at least five to seven days after molting as live prey can harm the tarantula.
The main source of nutrition is insects. Food should be the same size or smaller than the length of the tarantula’s abdomen. Crickets are a good choice; offer three to five crickets a week. Dubia roaches can be an excellent alternative and are easier to keep long-term. Mealworms can be used but have a habit of burying themselves if not eaten quickly. Also consider waxworms, hornworms and phoenix worms.
Chilean rose hair tarantulas are among the most docile and tolerant, making them easy to handle. Note that excessive handling can cause stress. Handle your tarantula gently and with care. Do not handle it for at least a week during molting until it has completed the process; its exoskeleton may be soft, making it easy to damage it during this state.
Avoid exhaling or blowing on your tarantula, as the moving air will spook it and cause it to run or jump away. Understand your tarantula’s behavior and its warning signs. The classic threat pose is raising and exposing its fangs. It can also kick urticating hairs, or barbed hairs, from the abdomen.
Note that a tarantula bite is not venomous but can cause pain, itching and burning.
Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula Breeding
Breeding a Chilean rose hair tarantula is easy. They reach sexual maturity at two to three years of age. The male will make a sperm web to indicate that he is ready to mate. Make sure both have been fed well before attempting to breed. Carefully place the male in the female’s enclosure and allow him to introduce himself. If they like each other, breeding should commence.
When the male releases from the female, he should be removed from the female’s enclosure immediately, or she might kill and eat him. If the breeding is successful, the female should produce an egg sac in the next few weeks. Most egg sacs can produce between 250 and 500 babies. Once the male has fulfilled the biological function of mating, he will die of natural causes.