The Chaco golden knee tarantula/Grammostola Pulchripes is a large breed of the new Tarantula world. It is commonly seen in grasslands of South America especially in places like Argentina. It is brown in color with golden yellow stripes around the knee joints and legs where the name was derived (Chaco golden knee).
The Chaco golden knee tarantula is very easy to handle and has a low temperament which makes it a great pet choice for beginners. The females of the species are generally very docile while the male can be aggressive after maturity. Keeping of this species is fairly easy because of their calm, docile and hardy nature which makes them very pleasing as pets for beginners.
Grammostola Pulchripes Lifespan & Size
Adult forms of Chaco golden knee Tarantula have up to 8inches leg span measured diagonally (about 20-22cm body size), which makes them more desirable for beginners. Adult males have longer legs but smaller body sizes than the females.
The female Tarantula lives longer than the male. It is important for pet owners to note that females can live up to 20 years old if given appropriate care while the male of this species have a shorter lifespan of about 4-5years. As a pet owner, if you are getting an adult tarantula, it is advisable to get a female since they live longer and grow larger than the male.
Grammostola Pulchripes Facts & Characteristics
It is important for a tarantula owner to check for the health and temperament of a Tarantula before handling. You can check the back of the abdomen of your tarantula to have an idea of its temperament. Tarantulas that have bald spots on their abdomens are known to be hair flickers.
Another way of checking a tarantula’s temperament is by touching the back of the abdomen or hind legs gently with a soft substance like a paint brush. If the tarantula simply walks away, then it can be handled, if it runs away, then it might be a little nervous. So it is important to be cautious while handling this tarantula. If the tarantula raises its first and second hind legs and fangs, it might be aggressive. This response is known as a threat posture. Such tarantula should not be handled at that moment because they might readily strike. If a tarantula turns to the point where contact is made, such tarantula might be hungry or irritated.
After a temperament test, the best way to handle your tarantula is to place your hand flat on the ground or substrate beside your tarantula and gently touch its hind legs or abdomen to make it climb your hand.
Another way of handling your tarantula is by placing a cup on the substrate and allow the tarantula to walk into it. This method is suitable for aggressive tarantulas.
The third method of handling is done by holding the tarantula second and third legs with the use of your thumb and index fingers. A little pressure is applied to pick up the tarantula. This method is referred to as a “pinch grab” method. The method is not encouraged for beginners.
Tarantulas are very friendly, they rarely bite. A tarantula’s bite can either be a dry bite or wet bite. A dry bite is a bite that comes without venom while a wet bite is a bite that comes with venom. Biting is their last resort. Their means of defense is to run or walk away from a threat, or flick hairs. Their bites will not send an individual to the hospital unless the person is allergic to their venom. Some Irritation and pain can result from their bite which can last for hours or a few days on average. Their venom is insignificant while their bites might hurt a little due to mechanical damage. You should be careful with your tarantula. You should not give it any reason to bite you.
Another way a tarantula can protect itself is by flicking urticating hair or bristles. This can cause minor irritation and itching to the skin. An adhesive tap can be used to remove most of the hair then followed by washing of your skin with medicated soap and water. Occasionally, flicked hair can get logged into your eyes or nose which might get very irritating. It should be washed thoroughly with water or consult your doctor if irritation persists.
Chaco golden knee feeds on smaller invertebrates, mostly arthropods. You can feed your tarantula in captive with crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, roaches and other non-toxic insects that are smaller than them in size. A Chaco golden knee feeds twice a week on average because of their healthy appetite. Do not give wild caught food to them.
A prey should be removed from the tank if the tarantula refuses to eat after hours of putting a prey. This indicates that the tarantula isn’t hungry. Tarantula should not be fed at all during molting process until the process is over. You should not feed your tarantula for a few days to a week after rehousing.
Grammostola Pulchripes Care
Tank & Habitat
Chaco golden knees do not need complex tanks. Due to their sizes, a 10 to 15 gallon size tank is recommended for it to live in with about 5inches of substrate for the tarantula to burrow. Do not put more than one tarantula in a tank. Ensure to have air holes on the walls of the tank. The tank should be big enough for your tarantula to walk around but not too big.
Most tarantula prefer small tanks. Tanks should not be too high because Chaco golden knees are terrestrial animals. The cover of the tank should be made of perforated glass to allow proper ventilation.
In case of larger tanks, a hide made of coconut shells or tree barks should be placed at a corner of the tank. A substrate of about 5 inches should be provided to allow burrowing.
Tarantula requires humidity to keep its lung clean and ease its ability to breathe properly. One side of the tank should be wet and allow the other side to be dry.
Grammostola Pulchripes Breeding
The best time to breed your tarantula is when the female just finished molting, the female will be most fertile during this period. So after molting, wait for few weeks to allow the exoskeleton to harden up before introducing the male of the same species. The female raises up her body off the ground if she accepts to mate. The male tarantula will use the special hooks on his front legs to hang the female fangs to avoid the fangs from coming down on him during insertion.
A female tarantula lays about 100-500 eggs in a silk capsule. It takes about 5-6 weeks for hatching to take place.
Mating is not seasonal, it can occur at any time of the year. You must be careful when breeding your tarantula. If the female is not in the mood, she might end up killing the male in the process.
Chaco golden knee tarantula is the fastest growing among the genus Grammostola. Getting a Chaco golden knee as a pet can be fascinating, considering what tiny creatures they are with little brains yet they process information and come up with interesting behavior.