Chilean Rose Tarantula Fact File
Credit: Public Domain
Pretty in Pink!
The Chilean rose tarantula is named for the pinkish hue to the hair found across their back. Some of their hairs feature small barbs and can be detached if they are threatened by a predator.
This species is an active predator which will spend the evening seeking out insects and small animals such as frogs or rodents.
Males have a range of adaptations which allow them to grip the male and move her in to position for mating so that he is given a chance to fertilize her eggs.
They are threatened as a result of their popularity for the pet trade with large numbers collected from the wild to supply this.
Read on to learn more about these incredibly invertebrates.
What does the Chilean Rose Tarantula look like?
The body of the Chilean rose tarantula is dark in coloration with some rose-hued hairs found across the body.
As an arachnid they have four pairs of legs for a total of eight. The legs of the male are longer in proportion to their body than those of the female.
They are equipped with a pair of fangs which point downwards.
Near the jaw are appendages known as the pedipalps. These are used as feelers to determine where they are going and also are employed by the male during mating.
Females are significantly larger than males. They measure an average 12-13cm (5in) across compared to the males 9cm (3.5in) across.
How does the Chilean Rose Tarantula survive in its habitat?
If threatened the hairs found across their body can be dislodged. These irritate the skin of predators which they come in to contact with.
Their eyes sit on top of the head and are not primarily used for sight. Instead they mainly serve to detect light and shadows.
If these animals lose a leg they are able to generate a new one after their next moult.
Most spider species only have a single pair of book lungs but the Chilean rose tarantula is fitted with two.
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What does the Chilean Rose Tarantula eat?
Chilean rose tarantulas are classed as carnivores. Their diet includes a range of insects and small vertebrates including mice and lizards.
Prey is subdued using a venom which is injected using their fangs. This turns the prey item in to a soup which they can then ingest.
While no records exist of this spiders venom proving fatal to humans it can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.
This species is an active hunter and will chase after its prey.
Learn more about the Chilean Rose Tarantula in this video from Jet Porkins on YouTube
Where do you find the Chilean Rose Tarantula?
South America is the native home of the Chilean rose tarantula. Here they can be found in Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.
Where can the Chilean Rose Tarantula survive?
This species is found in desert and scrub habitats.
During the day this species will seek shelter in a burrow below the ground. They may dig their own burrow or make use of those abandoned by rodents. The inside of this burrow is lined with their silk.
Credit: Public Domain
How does the Chilean Rose Tarantula produce its young?
Breeding takes place during September and October.
Males develop a hook like appendage on the underside of their body following their final molt. This is used to lock the females fangs during mating and is also used to steady his body.
The male will then attempt to leave and go mate with other females but on occasion is unsuccessful and he is eaten by the female.
Following mating the female forms a web where she can deposit her 50-200 eggs. These are then wrapped in a ball. The eggs are fertilized as they leave the body by sperm stored from her last mating. If she sheds between mating and laying eggs they may not be fertilized.
Eggs hatch within 6 weeks of being laid.
As they grow they shed their exoskeleton. Spiderlings complete this five to six times during their first year of life.
Sexual maturity is achieved between 2 and 3 years old.
Males of this species breed once and die within a few months of this occuring.
What does the Chilean Rose Tarantula do during its day?
This species is active by night when it will emerge to hunt.
Outside of breeding this species is solitary.
At rest the heart rate of a Chilean rose tarantula is 30-40 beats per minute but this can spike as high as 200 when they are active.
Credit: Public Domain
Predators and Threats
What stops the Chilean Rose Tarantula from surviving and thriving?
This species tends to flee from danger rather than trying to defend itself. If this is not possible they may raise their legs and present their fangs to the threat. They become more aggressive following moulting.
They are popular within the pet trade which has lead to widespread collection of the species.
Humans are affecting their population through
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The name tarantula was first given to a small wolf spider from Taranto, Italy in the the Renaissance period.
This species was first named for modern science during 1837.
They may also be known as the Chilean fire tarantula or the Chilean red-haired tarantula.
Credit: Fucesa, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Lehigh Valley Zoo. 2022. Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula – Lehigh Valley Zoo. [online] Available at: <https://www.lvzoo.org/animals/chilean-rose-hair-tarantula/> [Accessed 4 April 2022].
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Smithsonian's National Zoo. 2022. Chilean rose tarantula. [online] Available at: <https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/chilean-rose-tarantula> [Accessed 4 April 2022].
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Oaklandzoo.org. 2022. Oakland Zoo | Chilean Rose Tarantula. [online] Available at: <https://www.oaklandzoo.org/animals/chilean-rose-tarantula> [Accessed 4 April 2022].