Are Rose Hair Tarantulas Friendly?

Rose hairs are considered to be some of the most friendly tarantulas available. 

Rose Hair tarantulas are often recommended as the ideal first tarantula due to their gentle and calm disposition, slow movement, ease of care and long lifespan.

That said, there are a few downsides to keeping rose hair tarantulas. These are:

Slow Growing – Rose hair tarantulas may be friendly and long-lived, but they’re also incredibly slow growing. It can take many years for a rose hair to grow from spiderling to adult. This can be frustrating for anyone purchasing anything other than a large juvenile. 

Expensive to Buy – Once upon a time wild-caught rose hair tarantulas used to be some of the cheapest pet tarantulas on the market. Since Chile has banned their export, however, prices have gone up markedly. This is largely because of how slowly they grow, therefore how long it takes for pairs to reach breeding size. 

If you’re willing to put those to one side, however, then the rose hair can make a very friendly spider. 

Do Rose Hair Tarantulas Kick Hairs?

Rose hairs do indeed have the irritating hairs known as “urticating hairs”. These can be kicked off by the spider if it feels threatened. 

While the rose hair tarantula does not seem as prone to hair kicking as some other species, it can still happen. 

This shouldn’t necessarily put you off purchasing a rose hair tarantula.

Indeed, one of the reasons why rose hairs are so friendly is because they can be confident in having these hairs ready to defend themselves with. Furthermore, these urticating hairs are found on most of the more docile tarantula species, so you’ll find them on most “beginner” tarantulas in the hobby. 

The key isn’t therefore to avoid tarantulas that can kick hairs, but rather to manage around this issue. 

There are a few tips for this. Firstly keep your face well away from the tarantula when it is out of the cage. In essence you want to avoid these hairs going in your eyes, nose or mouth. So keep the spider some distance away.

Secondly, rose hair tarantulas only kick hairs when they feel threatened – so make sure they don’t feel this way. When you’re doing routine tank maintenance, or have got your tarantula out of their cage, move slowly, gently and deliberately. Avoid sudden or jerky movements, and don’t blow on your tarantula. 

Are Rose Hair Tarantulas Friendly?

How Painful is a Rose Hair Bite?

Rose hair tarantulas are some of the friendliest spiders one can buy as a pet. Treated with respect, therefore, the chances of a bite are very slim indeed. 

In fact, I have only ever heard of one person getting bitten by a rose hair tarantula. The tarantula in question was a recent import, and hadn’t been suitably fed. Therefore it seems likely the bite wasn’t aggressive at all, but instead was a tarantula mistaking a finger for something juicy to eat.

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I am told the bite was reasonably pain-free, with a pain level considerably below a bee sting. The person in question certainly didn’t suffer very much at all, and no medical assistance was required. 

Are Rose Hair Tarantulas Good Pets?

Rose hairs can make very good pets for responsible individuals. 

Tarantulas in general are quiet, scent-free, low maintenance pets that only need feeding occasionally. A secure cage with a tight-fitting lid, a warm environment, somewhere to hide away, and a supply of water to drink will cover 90% of their requirements very easily indeed. 

The fact that tarantulas don’t eat very often and don’t require vaccinations means they’re typically quite cheap to look after.

And the fact they don’t need walking, or require regular cleaning, means they take up very little of your free time too. 

While the above benefits apply to all pet tarantulas there are a few unique aspects to the rose hair tarantula that help make them even better pets.

Firstly rose hair tarantulas are so docile that they are easy to manage. A rose hair that climbs out of the cage when you’re topping up their water is not a cause for concern. They can be easily and gently coaxed back in without worry of them dashing off, or displaying any aggression.

Rose hairs are slow moving, which can also help to make them good pets. There are some other species of tarantula that move incredibly quickly, and understandably such species require extra caution. 

As a “plodder” the rose hair is easy to manage when the cage is open.

Rose hairs tend to be quite forgiving of different conditions in captivity. They’re not one of the “fussy” tarantula species that require specialist care. This means a basic set-up can keep them fit and healthy for the long term.

Lastly, rose hair can live for 20 years or more. Being so long-lived means that you won’t have to replace them soon enough. This makes the slightly higher price tag of a rose hair still a bargain when considered in terms of how long the tarantula will live.

Are Rose Hair Tarantulas Good for Beginners?

Rose hairs are the perfect beginner tarantula. They are often listed alongside a number of other popular tarantulas such as Curly Hairs, Mexican Red Knees and Brazilian Blacks as an ideal first tarantula.

All of these species, including the Rose Hair tarantula, have a number of things in common which helps to make them suitable for beginners.

They are all:

Reasonably Sized – The rose hair tarantula will achieve an adult size of around 5-6” when measured diagonally across the extended legs (often known simply as “diagonal legspan” or DLS). While this is a very good size for a spider, it is far from the largest of the tarantulas, which may easily reach twice that size or more. This means that a rose hair tarantula is reasonably easily handled and accommodated, without any giant, highly-priced cage being required.

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Long Lived – A female rose hair tarantula can live for several decades. Indeed it may take 4 years or more for spiderlings to even reach maturity. This means that your investment into a rose hair tarantula is likely to pay dividends for years into the future. Note that as with other tarantula species, however, males tend to be shorter lived. 

Docile Nature – Rose hair tarantulas are very unlikely to bite when treated with respect. While handling is generally frowned upon in the tarantula-keeping hobby as it risks damage to the spider, the rose hair is one of the calmest tarantulas available. They can be gently coaxed onto a flat hand by placing it in front of the spider and then gently stroking the abdomen of the tarantula.  

Slow Moving – One of the things that many people hate about spiders of all sizes is how quickly they move and how unpredictable they can be. Fortunately the rose hair tarantula is more of a “plodder”, moving slowly and deliberately most of the time. While they are capable of moving more swiftly when they feel threatened, if you move slowly and treat your spider with respect then you shouldn’t have any issues with their speed of movement. 

Forgiving About Conditions – Rose hairs are quite easy to accommodate as pets, and are forgiving of less-than-ideal conditions. For example, if a rose hair tarantula gets too cold in the winter months then it will typically just go off it’s food for a while, before starting to eat again in the spring when the weather warms up.

All told, the rose hair tarantula is very friendly, easy to care for, as well as being a truly stunning spider. It therefore makes a perfect beginner spider for the new tarantula enthusiast.

Richard Adams
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