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So What Exactly Is the Rose Hair Tarantula?
The Rose Hair Tarantula is also known as the Chilean Rose Tarantula and sometimes referred to as the Chilean Fire Tarantula. They get their name because, while some may look light grey, a number often have a very subtle pink-ish hue with some even being a bit rosy. You most likely have seen them in pet stores, as the Rose Hair Tarantula is one of the most widely distributed spiders in North America, thanks to being relatively mellow (compared to some spiders with more aggressive temperaments), being low maintenance to care for, and being incredibly easy to breed for breeders who sell them to pet stores. If you are curious about Rose Hair Tarantulas then this article will tell you everything you need to know about them – from basic facts about their biology to how to care for them if you choose to have one as a pet! Below are some common questions and the answers to them, read on to become a pro about the Rose Hair Tarantula!
For more info on good spiders to keep as pets, read through The Three Best Kinds of Spiders to Keep as Pets!
Everything You Need to Know About the Rose Hair Tarantula
Rose Hair Spiders generally are found in dry grasslands and by the edge of deserts. Rose Hair Tarantulas like hot temperatures but also enjoy being able to hide-out in the shade when needed via logs and leafy trees.
Do they like their environment dry or wet?
Rose Hair Tarantulas need some humidity, but too much can stress them out terribly. They prefer their environments hot as well as dry, and if kept in an enclosure they do not need it misted or such. Should a Rose Hair Tarantula appear to be sitting in its water bowl then it may need some more humidity in its terrarium, but again, do not mist it, just add extra water to the bowl so it overflows a bit.
Yes, they often enjoy burrowing into loose soil in the wild and do it less in captivity but have been observed enjoying a bit of burrowing even when in an enclosure. With this in mind thick grass, dry (but loose) dirt, and other things that can be burrowed into are a favorite of them.
Do they weave webs?
Tarantulas in general do not weave webs, and the Rose Hair Tarantula also abstains from doing such. It catches its prey through crawling along the ground or in trees as opposed to making a web in an attempt to catch a meal. They will spin silk to assist with certain activities, but never will they make a web. Speaking of webs… did you know that male spiders are much less likely to weave webs than female spiders? Find out more in Do Male Spiders Spin Webs?
Do they jump?
Rose Hair Tarantulas can jump to some degree, but despite urban legends of species of Tarantulas that jump three or four feet in the air that simply has never been observed. Instead, they may lunge a couple inches when pouncing upon prey and use silk they will weave they help them get across long distances (such as between trees). A Rose Hair Tarantula will never try and jump out of cage however, instead possibly trying to climb its way out if it so desires.
All spiders molt, so the Rose Hair Tarantula does too! This process involves growing a new exoskeleton and shedding the old one. Sometimes when a Rose Hair Tarantula is doing this it can look alarming as they will behave oddly–not eating, laying extra-still for a long time, and even sometimes laying upon its back as if it is dead. There is not need to worry however, this is all part of the process that should not be interrupted or that can in fact kill a Rose Hair Tarantula. Allowing it to molt is a part of its growth process and perfectly natural. Do keep in mind for about a week after molting its body may be extra-sensitive so watch the temperature and do not handle your spider for a bit after a molt (although they can generally be handled, as discussed below).
When kept in captivity with no predators to shorten their lifespan, Rose Hair Tarantulas can live for a good deal of time. Males on average live only 5 years, but females can live for up to 30. This sharp difference lies in the fact that most Rose Hair Tarantulas reach, “Sexual maturity,” and can mate around age 2 or 3. Generally once they mate many males will simply die, or sometimes the female will even eat a male spider after mating to provide extra nutrients for her egg-laying. Females can continue to live on after laying eggs and do it multiple times in their lifespans (some female spiders die after laying eggs) before – as they grow older – having more difficulty hunting/eating and possibly dying due to this old age making them less effective predators.
When it comes to the space needed for Rose Hair Tarantulas, they require very little, happily living in a 5 or 10-gallon tank. As they are used to desert environments they generally can thrive in a home that is between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Should your house ever get cooler than that, it is generally wise to have a little supplemental heat (such as heat lamp on low-power) to make sure the spider’s tank is not too cool permanently (some occasional temperature-drops are fine as the desert can be very cool at night too)! Also, a dry environment is needed, with a source of water but the air not being humid, as touched-on above. Adding-in a hiding space such a little hollow log, some driftwood, or something like that from a pet store is smart so your spider can have privacy when desired. Artificial and living plants can give your spider some coverage too so that it feels content and safe. Having bedding that allows burrowing such as peat moss or a shredded coconut husk will please your spider as well due to the need the Rose Hair Tarantula feels to burrow on occasion. Also, they will do curious things such as putting dirt in their water dishes or otherwise moving decorations in a terrarium around in a manner they find suitable/pleasing.
What do they eat?
In the wild they will eat everything from insects to small mammals such as mice if they are large enough! When in captivity it is often recommended to feed them, “Meal crickets,” and other large insects. Feeding them three-to-five once or twice a week is usually enough to keep your spider well-fed and pleased! If you want to know more about spiders’ diets, check out What Do Spiders Eat? The Complete Guide!
Can I hold my Rose Hair Tarantula?
You can hold a Rose Hair Tarantula, but as with holding any living thing you need to exercise caution. Rose Hair Tarantulas are generally pretty docile and laid-back, so when being held if they are picked-up gently and not moved around too much they should be perfectly calm and even enjoy the warmth of a human’s hand. That said, should a Rose Hair Tarantula be stressed, tire of being held, or feel threatened it may use its urticating hairs (discussed more right below) to cause some irritation to a person, or even rear-back and expose its fangs as a warning it is considering biting (which can hurt a bit, as is also touched upon below). It can be advisable to wear gloves–especially when initially getting to know your Rose Hair Tarantula and figuring out its temperament, and by being intuitive and paying attention to the spider’s physical actions (e.g. if it is relaxed or skittish and showing its fangs) you can ensure a Rose Hair Tarantula is happy being held as opposed to upset or ready to attack/defend itself from a perceived threat.
Are Rose Hair Tarantulas hairy?
Yes! Tarantulas are in fact quite hairy and one way they actually defend themselves is via using what is called, “Urticating hairs.” Should a predator try to eat a Tarantula they can shoot-out their spiny hairs which contain a mild venom that tastes terrible to a potential predator and can cause irritation, swelling, and a mild rash. These spiny hairs usually only are, “Fired off,” if the spider feels extremely threatened as they can take some time to regrow, so as long as you gently hold a Rose Hair Tarantula as discussed above they should not use their hairs in an aggressive manner. Do note however that when a Rose Hair Spider has recently molted (as spiders do) you should wait a week to hold it as it will be feeling extremely sensitive. Also, hairs that have been molted or simply fallen-off can be kicked-up if you’re cleaning an enclosure so it is wise to always wear gloves when cleaning your spider’s enclosure and to of course wash your hands afterwards.
Is their bite venomous?
All spiders contain some degree of venom they use when hunting. They sink their fangs into their prey and liquefy them so as to be a meal they can drink not unlike some protein-loaded juice. The question comes down to if this venom is poisonous to humans, and the Rose Hair Tarantula’s bite is mildly poisonous to humans, causing some pain, irritation, and a rash at times. It generally is not any more severe than that however, and with their more mild temperament discussed above and the fact they usually will indicate if they feel threatened and want to bite (by rearing-back and showing their fangs) generally a bite can be avoided through simply paying close attention to the behavior of a Rose Hair Tarantula.
They can get stressed – just like us!
Besides how older Rose Hair Tarantulas may have trouble hunting, and the fact that males who mate with a female generally die not too long after or are eaten, the biggest issue to worry about with your Rose Hair Tarantula is it getting stressed. Too much or too little heat, an excess of humidity, too little food, over-handling, or other issues can make a Rose Hair Tarantula upset. When this occurs they may be extremely skittish and try to escape their terrarium via climbing. Should they fall from a great height in this process it can hurt or even kill them. By simply keeping your Rose Hair Tarantula well fed, in a comfortable environment, and being sure to give it enough space that can do wonders for it being happy as opposed to stress and acting-out.
Will my Rose Hair Tarantula bond with me?
As heartbreaking as it may be to hear, Tarantulas have never been observed to form any kind of unique or special bond with their owners. Ones that are handled on occasion will generally respond well to being picked-up and touched, and they may even recognize chemical, “Cues,” on certain humans to identify them (and that is one way they know we are not food), but a Rose Hair Tarantula does not feel, “Love,” for their human. It is not love so much as maybe having the feeling of being content and pleased with its environment, being fed, and knowing it is in a safe place. As long as the knowledge you have made a Rose Hair Tarantula happy is enough for you to feel satisfied then that is great, but if you expect one to, “Play,” with your or show a special kind of affection, you will sadly be out of luck.
The mating ritual
Should you ever try to mate your Rose Hair Tarantula/Tarantulas you will witness quite an interesting scene! Generally males will try to impress the female via a little dance and if the female finds it pleasing she will also tap her legs along too in the form of a dance and then present her genitals to the male so that they can engage in mating. As discussed above, once they have mated the male will then generally wander off an die or if he is not quick enough the female may grab and eat him once the mating has completed so as to gain extra nutrients for the energy-consuming process of laying eggs.
Can I keep multiple Rose Hair Tarantulas in the same cage?
Rose Hair Tarantulas are generally solitary hunters who only interact with one another when it is time to mate (and that is a male and female). Putting multiple Rose Hair Tarantulas together is therefore not the best idea unless you have a massive terrarium that allows them to all feel like they have their own, “Space,” lest they maybe fight (or even kill) one another due to not desiring competition for food.
What is the most important thing to remember about Rose Hair Tarantulas?
When keeping a Rose Hair Tarantula as a pet the most important thing to keep in mind is that this is a living creature with its own wants and needs. It is not a toy and it needs to be treated with respect so that it can be content and pleased with its living-situation. Making sure you always keep it fed, provide it with a comfy enclosure, and don’t over-handle it is sure to have your Rose Hair Tarantula be happy and live a long life compared to if you did not treat it with the proper respect.
- Fast Facts about the Rose Hair Tarantula:
- They mostly live in dry grasslands and by the edge of deserts
- They enjoy burrowing in soil!
- They don’t weave webs – but sometimes will spin silk!
- Just like other spiders, Rose Hair Tarantulas shed their exoskeletons by molting
- Males live an average of five years, but females can live up to 30 years!
- They will eat anything from insects to small mammals
- Rose Hair Tarantulas have “urticating hairs” which means that if a predator tries to eat them they can shoot out a spiny, venomous hair to protect themselves!
- Unfortunately, they are not known to develop bonds with their owners 🙁
- Female Rose Hair Tarantulas often try to eat males after mating, in order to gain extra nutrients for egg-laying
- They are very solitary, so keeping two in the same cage is not a great idea
Now you’re an expert!
You may have begun reading this article knowing very little about the Rose Hair Tarantula but now you know as much as any other arachnid aficionado. Whether you were just curious about their biology, were considering having one as a pet, or just wanted to know where the, “Rose,” part of the name came from, you know are fully-informed about the Rose Hair Tarantula!
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