Chilean Rose Tarantula

Chilean Rose tarantula at Wingham Wildlife Park

Size
This spider has a leg span of 4.5 inches to 5.5 inches (11cm to 14cm).

Habitat and Distribution
This spider lives in arid scrub throughout Chile, Bolivia and Argentina.

Age
The average life of these spiders in captivity seems to be between 15 to 20 years.

Diet
These spiders feed mainly on insects which pass by their burrows, however when the chance arises they may also take young mammalian or bird prey. However they struggle to deal with any older vertebrate prey, and rarely will go out of their way to hunt for such prey items.

Groups and Breeding
These are solitary spiders which only come in to social contact during breeding encounters. Females will after breeding lay all of their eggs in a cocoon like web called an egg sack which can contain in excess of 500 eggs, which often hatch out at much the same time.

Threats
Their largest threat came from collection for the pet trade, however a ban on collection was enforced at the start of 2009 to allow the declining population of these spiders in Chile to recover.

Interesting fact’s
Due to their exoskeleton being solid, to allow the spider to grow it must split this skin open and move its way out of it, shedding the old skin. The new exoskeleton underneath the old one will be very soft and fragile, making the spider easy prey even to something as harmless as a cricket.