Chilean Rose-Haired Tarantula, Grammostola rosea

This is a desert scrubland species native to the northern Atacama Desert region of Chile (one of the driest deserts on earth). To avoid overheating in the hot daytime temperatures, it is nocturnal, emerging from their burrows at night to feed on crickets as well as other insects and small rodents.

There are at least 800 species of tarantulas. Tarantulas do possess venom, although there is no scientific evidence that any of their venoms are lethal. However, bites from some species can be painful and cause unpleasant symptoms.

Tarantulas molt as they grow. They do this by splitting the exoskeleton on the carapace (top of the front body part where the legs are attached) and then working the rest of the body and finally the legs out of the molt. Usually they turn on their backs or sides to molt. After molting, it will take an adult tarantula at least several days to harden its exoskeleton and begin feeding.

If a tarantula loses a leg, it will gradually regenerate over the next few molts, unless the spider is a mature male as they do not molt once matured. Tarantulas molt throughout their entire lives, which is typically 4 -5 years for males but can be up to 15 years for females.


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