The Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula – March 2013

By Shawn Bowman

Grammostola Pulchripes

Have you ever been curious about owning a tarantula for yourself? The Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula is an excellent choice for a first time arachnid due to its mild temper, low maintenance, and large size!

There is no doubt about it; tarantulas are one of the lowest maintenance pets you can have!

Gold knee tarantulas are a burrowing species so deep bedding is suggested.

A five gallon enclosure with 3 to 4 inches of bedding will be used if provided.

Any of the coconut beddings such as Eco Earth or Plantation soil will work well. Some keepers choose to mix in bark or vermiculite.

Keep the bedding fairly dry with a weekly misting. A small water bowl can be provided however most spiders are okay with occasional misting and food items as their water source.

The spiders should be fed an appropriate sized prey item once or twice a week. Depending on the size of the tarantula, this can range from a fruit fly to large crickets. It is important not to feed more crickets than the tarantula will be eating.  If crickets die in the tank the natural mites a cricket carries will multiply, and the large number of mites can eat your tarantula while molting. That being said, one large, easy to catch prey item is usually better than multiple small prey items.

Why a Chaco over another species of tarantula?  The size is what’s cool about these arachnids.  They are generally as docile as their relative, the Rose Hair Tarantula. It gets a leg span that reaches up to 8 inches making them one of the more impressive large tarantulas that could be considered a beginner species. The female spider can live as many as 20 years with male spiders averaging a lifespan of about 3 years.

When looking to handle your tarantula, keep in mind each animal is going to act a little different. I suggest getting your tarantula at a small size because this species is usually not aggressive as a spiderling and is typically very easily handled. This will help build your confidence and understanding of the tarantula before it attains its full size. Keep in mind that they can bite if they feel threatened.  Slowing  down and reading the signs of your spider is the best way to keep yourself out of danger and keep your tarantula happy!