The Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula (Grammostola pulchripes, formerly Grammostola aureostriata), is named after its attractive golden bands on and around its legs. These tarantulas will burrow deep when young but seem to prefer the terrestrial life when they mature. The Chaco Golden Knee makes a great display tarantula, they are very docile and perfect for any beginner. Care is very similar to the Grammostola rosea, except this species will eat more and grow much faster.
|Tarantula Information (for a more detailed Tarantula care review see Tarantula Care Sheets|
|Regions Found:||Tropical South America|
|Longevity:||Up to 25 years+|
|Venom Potency:||Very painful bite(It rarely bite)|
|Grammostola pulchripes Housing Requirements|
|Tarantula Housing:||Floor space is more important than height, a deep substrate should be provided for burrowing. A good retreat is required.|
|Special Requirements:||No special requirements.|
|Breeding Grammostola pulchripes Tarantulas|
|Egg sac size:||600-800|
|Danger to Male:||Probable sexual cannibalism|
|Grammostola pulchripes Diet|
|Livefood insects such as crickets, locust, butter worms, meal worms, superworms, houseflies and cockroaches.|
|Recommended Pet Supplies for Grammostola pulchripes|
To house a tarantula, it is recommended that they have a clear plastic or glass enclosure with a secure lid that allows for movement of air through the enclosure (e.g. screen top, top with air holes, etc.) that is at least 3 times the full leg span of the tarantula. However, the enclosure shouldn't be so large as to make it difficult for the spider to find its prey or to become injured in a fall. For example, a spiderling with a half inch leg span would do well in a small vial with a plastic cap with holes poked in the top. As it grows, the enclosures would have to be replaced with increasing larger ones until it nears its adult size. An adult Chaco goldenknee can reach sizes of up to 8 inches in leg span, so something the size of a 10 gallon aquarium would probably work well for most adult Chacos. A hide of some kind should be provided. ALWAYS supply a wide shallow water dish for any tarantula with a leg span of 2 inches or larger. Spiderlings smaller than 2 inches should be kept on moist substrate to prevent water loss and dehydration.
You should cover the bottom of the enclosure with enough substrate so that the distance from the top of the cage to the top of the substrate is not more than 1-l.5x the leg span of the spider to prevent injuries if the spider were to fall while climbing. Several types of substrate are used, including shredded coconut fiber, peat moss, potting soil and/or mixtures of all three. Vermiculite is no longer recommended because many tarantulas seem to dislike the texture, its inability to be formed into burrows, as well as the dust/mess generated.
This species is ideal as it is very comfortable living within normal room temperature ranges of between 22-30°C (71.5-86°F). Be sure that the enclosure is not in direct sunlight or too near a large heat source. Due to the "greenhouse effect", the temperature in the enclosure could rise to a dangerous level.
They can be kept in a low-humidity environment of between 60-75%, and this can be achieved by providing a shallow water dish. If you find that the humidity is too low (e.g., you find your tarantula constantly standing in or right next to its water dish, the water dish always seems to be dry, etc.), then covering part of screen top or air holes with plastic wrap or plexiglass can help to hold in more moisture. Some experts and keepers recommend misting the enclosure with water, but this practice has some drawbacks and limitations: 1)tarantulas seem to hate being sprayed with water which causes some to go into a stressed, huddling position and others to become defensive (e.g., baring fangs, kicking urticating hairs), 2)the practice only increases humidity for a short period of time, and 3)the practice can contribute to the growth of fungi in the enclosure.
The diet of a pet tarantula is typically insects such as crickets, locusts (outside the U.S.), mealworms, and cockroaches. A staple diet of crickets is fine, however, it is best to provide a variety of feeders, if possible. Food must usually be fed live, as dead prey may be rejected or go unnoticed. Some keepers will occasionally feed their tarantulas small vertebrates such as pinky mice or anoles lizards. This has become controversial of late. Some have suggested a connection between this practice and molting problems. Others question if this is a necessary or humane source of food.
(Disclaimer: Handling of tarantulas is not encouraged. Unless done with extreme care under the correct circumstances, handling can lead to the injury/death of the tarantula and/or the handler receiving a painful bite. Any animal can bite. If you choose to handle the tarantula, you must be prepared to accept that fact. If you are bitten by a tarantula while you are holding it, it is YOUR fault! The tarantula does not bite a person out of malice, but rather from fear and for defensive purposes. It did not ask to be held. Tarantulas already have an image problem that they don't deserve. Don't make it worse. If you are bitten while handling a tarantula, take responsibility, don't blame a small animal reacting to your actions out of pure instinct.)
Chaco goldenknees are considered one of the most docile tarantulas in the pet trade. They rarely bite or kick urticating hairs. Before attempting to pick up a tarantula, even the most docile one, it is important to assess the current "mood" and behavior of the animal. If it is huddling up in the corner of the cage or runs into its hide when you open the lid, you probably shouldn't attempt to pick it up. If it rears up, bares its fangs, and/or raises its front legs in order to look bigger, then you know its in no mood to be messed with and you should leave it alone. If the spider seems receptive to being handled, you must be very careful while attempting to pick it up. These are very fragile animals and a fall from any but the shortest distances can be fatal. Never hold the spider more than a few inches above the floor. Move slowly and carefully. Never blow or breathe on the tarantula. Be prepared for the spider to do the unexpected (e.g., bolting up your arm and onto your back, taking a flying leap off of your hand). Some will just sit on your hand and not move while others will walk over your hands constantly. After a few minutes or if you sense the tarantula is getting anxious, carefully place your hand back in the enclosure and nudge it gently to make it walk back into its home.
This species is fairly easy to breed and produces a large eggsack of between 600-800, which is why you will find a large amount of these spiderlings in petshops.