Rose Haired Tarantula at the Zoo:
Chilean rose tarantulas are calm, docile spiders native to desert scrub habitats in South America. They are fairly large with a 5-6 inch leg span; females do tend to be heavier and larger. Their coloration ranges from a light brown to a dark copper color, and some individuals even have a pinkish-red hue. Like most tarantulas, the Chilean rose hair tarantula is covered in thin hairs called setae that they can use for climbing, sensing, and defense.
What do they eat?
A variety of invertebrates as well as small vertebrates like mice, frogs and lizards.
How long do they live?
Females live up to 20 years in human care, significantly longer than males. Males pass away a few months after mating.
How many are born at a time?
The female makes a web in which she lays 50 to 200 eggs that become fertilized as they pass out of her body. The female then wraps the eggs into a ball and guards the egg sac.
Where can they be found?
The Chilean rose tarantula is native to Chile, Argentina and Bolivia in desert and scrub habitats.
A tarantula’s fangs fold under the body, meaning that it must strike downward to impale its prey. In addition, they have four other appendages near the mouth called chelicerae and pedipalps. The chelicerae contain fangs and venom, while the pedipalps are used as feelers and claws; both aid in feeding. The pedipalps are also used by the male as a part of reproduction. These spiders can throw irritating hairs from their body in defense.