Lake Superior Zoo, Duluth, Minnesota

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Animals - Griggs Learning Center

Chilean Rose-Haired Tarantula 
Range: Forested areas of Chile.
Habitat: Shallow burrows.
Diet: Mostly large insects such as crickets, grasshoppers, beetles and roaches. Will also eat other tarantulas, frogs, spiders, and baby mice.
Fun Facts:
  • The tarantula relies on sensory receptors for hunting; the most highly developed are their hairs. They are vital elements of the tarantula's nervous system. The eyesight is very poor, despite having numerous eyes. 
  • A tarantula's molting process serves to replace their outer "covering" and replace any missing appendages.
  • The first defense for a tarantula is retreat. As a last resort, a tarantula will use its back pair of legs to rub its abdomen and flick hairs at its attacker. 
  • After breeding, the female lays about 400 eggs on a silk patch she has formed. She then forms a loose bag around the patch and her eggs. She guards the bag for about two months when the babies hatch.
  • Longevity is usually about 12-15 years, but varies with each species.
  • The venom is not poisonous to humans. The venom from the Chilean Rose-Haired Tarantula is about as harmful as a bee sting, although some people can have allergic reactions to a bite. This species is one of the most docile of spiders. Does not flick abdomen hairs easily, however, they often drop hairs from abdomen on hand, which may cause a little irritation.
  • Tarantulas are often misunderstood and feared even though most cannot cause death to humans. In the wild, they are being caught and used for the pet trade. We need tarantulas to eat other animals humans consider pests, such as insects.

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