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Rose Hair Tarantula, Gramastola rosea


Introduction Rose hair tarantulas occur mainly in Chile, but can be found in Bolivia and Argentina as well. They inhabit arid habitats such as deserts and scrub lands. As are most tarantulas, these animals live solitary lives and are capable of fending for themselves from hatching. They are nocturnal, most of the day is spent in the shelter of a burrow. They forage at night for small insects and even small vertebrate such as baby rodents.

Due to their docile behavior, rose hairs are a mainstay among tarantula hobbyists. Rose hairs are hardy, and can be kept under a variety of conditions. Meeting their needs for captivity is rather simple.

Acclimation and Quarantine As the majority of captive tarantulas are kept singly, acclimation and quarantine enclosures are not generally used to the same degree as they are with reptiles. We do recommend quarantining all incoming breeders before breeding attempts are made.

Housing A single specimen may be comfortably kept in a 2 to 5 gallon cage. Glass, plastic, Tupperware are all acceptable enclosures. If you choose to utilize Tupperware, a few small holes should be drilled along the side for ventilation.

An inch or two of shredded coconut husk, mixed with some mulch at a ratio of 2:1 respectively will make a good substrate. You my choose to put a thin layer of sphagnum moss on the top if you choose. The enclosure may be decorated with a one or two flat pieces of bark, a branch or two and some artificial foliage. These arachnids like to burrow, so be sure not to put anything heavy in the enclosure, as they may attempt to borrow under that object just to have it crush them (that is why we recommend flat pieces of bark).

Heating and Lighting Temperatures should be maintained between 75 and 85 degrees F during the day time with a slight drop during the night. Often times, room temperature is adequate. If not, the use of a a small heat pad ( 1 -3 watts) or a fluorescent light will provide the proper heat. Exposure to UV is not necessary for tarantulas. If you do not have any issues maintaining temperatures, the ambient light from the room will be more than sufficient in providing light for the tarantula.

Feeding The majority of the diet will consist of crickets. Meal worms, moths and small pinkies may be offered on occasion as well. Food items should be gut loaded when possible. Food should be offered 3 to 4 times a week for adults and daily for juveniles. Do not keep a lot of crickets in the cage at one time, as they may cause injury or death to a sleeping tarantula.

A Note on Venom While the venom of a Rose Hair's bite is not considered to be dangerous to most people, there is a possibility of some swelling, numbness and stiffening of muscles. Also be warned that if you are allergic to bee stings, you have a higher risk of being allergic to a tarantula bite. Safe handling procedures should be practiced, and tools should be used.