Arach Attack!

Spiders are a source of fear and revulsion for many people. There is something about all those legs and all those eyes that just rubs people the wrong way. Very few spiders hold up to their supposedly deadly reputations, especially tarantulas. With their great size and hirsute appearance the rose hair tarantula seems to be an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare but in reality they are far from scary.

Where do rose hair tarantulas live?

The rose hair tarantula is native to South America. It can be found in the deserts of Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina. A nocturnal species, it often spends daylight hours resting in burrows safe form potential predators.

How big are rose hair tarantulas?

Tarantulas are the largest members of the spider family. While bigger than a great many other spiders, the rose hair tarantula is considered a mid-sized species. Their leg span is generally five or six inches. Many arachnids are sexually dimorphic with the females being the larger of the two sexes. Rose hair tarantulas are long lived, males living around five years and females up to 20. In that time, they will molt their exoskeleton several times as they grow.

What do rose hair tarantulas eat?

All spiders are carnivores. Rather than spinning a web and sitting in ambush, tarantulas actively forage for prey. In many ways, they are like arachnid big cats. Their preferred hunting tactic is to creep up as close to a potential prey item as possible before pouncing and physically overpowering it to deliver a lethal bite. Tarantulas prey on a wide variety of insects and other arthropods but thanks to their size and strength, they can even take down small lizards and rodents on occasion.

Are rose hair tarantulas dangerous?

Despite their particularly fearsome appearance tarantulas rank among the least dangerous of all spider. They do possess huge, dagger like fangs that can administer a very painful bite, but their venom is only about as potent as that of a honey bee. Barring an allergic reaction, people generally have to worry more about the mechanical damage from the bite than from the toxin. Tarantula venom’s main purpose is to liquidate the innards of prey for consumption. Their primary defense is the urticating hairs on their abdomens. These barbed hairs are easily dislodged and causing burning and irritation. However, rose hair tarantulas are known for their docile dispositions and rarely throw hair let alone bite. In fact, this species ranks among the most popular pet spiders in the world due to their ease of care and handleability.

 

Chilean Rose Hair Tarantula