Habitat: The Chilean Rose-Haired Tarantula lives in South America in Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina. They live in the deserts of these countries and are nocturnal. These tarantulas, like many tarantula species, are solitary and live in burrows.
Diet: The rose-hairs eat all manner of insects including crickets, worms, moths, and beetles. They will also eat the occasional small rodent.
Interesting Facts: Chilean Rose-Haired Tarantulas are very popular in the pet trade as they are usually very docile and generally require little maintenance. Many spider species, including the rose-hairs, can “throw” hairs from their bodies at potential threats. These hairs are called urticating hairs and can be quite painful or irritating to the skin. Therefore, all spiders, even pet spiders, must be handled with care.
At the Museum: Our resident rose-hair is Aragog. He is a very calm tarantula and loves to crawl on the staff as they work. Although Aragog is full grown, he will molt his exoskeleton throughout his life. Spiders molt, or “shed their skin,” as they grow or when they need to heal from a wound.
Aragog’s favorite food is crickets, but he also likes mealworms. Sometimes, when he is in a good mood, Aragog will let the staff rub his belly and he will spin a web for us. Aragog is just one of our animal ambassadors at the museum. Come visit and check them out!
Aragog will be making an appearance at our Creature Feature in October when we look at Nocturnal Niches.