Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula (Grammostola pulchripes)
The Chaco Golden Knee tarantula (Grammostola Pulchripe) is a large breed of new world tarantula. It is found commonly in the grasslands of South America in places such as Argentina. It is shadowy brown in colour with impressive golden yellow bands around the knee joints and down the legs Fair coloured hairs distinguishable against the dark base cover the body and legs. With an impressive leg span of up to 8.5 inches it is a gentle giant. The Chaco Golden Knee tarantula has a laid back temperament and generally easy to handle, this making it a good choice for beginners. The female of the species generally keeps this gentle temperament, however the male after reaching maturity has the tendency to turn aggressive.
Rather than a web maker, the Chaco Golden Knee is considered a burrower. An adaptable spider that can survive in the dry spells and also the monsoon seasons.
In its natural habitat the Chaco Golden Knee tarantula would feast on insects smaller than themselves. In captivity they are fed very much the same. Any non toxic insects such as meal worms and crickets. They have a hearty appetite needing fed once or maybe twice a week.
The female of the species can live up to the grand old age of 20 years old and maybe more if well cared for. Thus this needed to be taken into consideration by a potential owner. The male having a much shorter life span of around five years. In their natural habitat is it not known how long their lifespan is.
Like many species of tarantulas the female is far larger than the male. She can be temperamental to her potential suitor and may end up making him a meal. The female which be more tolerable of the males attempts to mate with her after she has moulted. The male will drum with his petapalps to get the attention of the female. If she is read to mate she will allow him to raise her up and inseminate her. If successful he will be able to move away before the female chooses to attack him.
An adult Chaco Golden Knee tarantula can be kept in a shallow tank roughly the size of a shoebox. Small holes for breathing should be made on the top of the sides of the container. Glass would be a preferable top as tarantulas are excellent escape artists.
The Chaco Golden Knee is a keen burrower so for an adult at the very least 5 inches worth of substrate should be provided. Peat moss or an organic form of potting soil is suitable and can be easily obtained from a pet shop. If you provide your tarantula with a larger enclosure they will greatly appreciate somewhere they can hide. This can allow you to get creative. Things such as a hollowed out coconut shell would do that job. Make sure any ornament or shelter you put in your enclosure is secure. Even though your tarantula is large it can easily be hurt by rolling or falling objects.
This species is a slow developer. Though each individual Golden knee is different, the average age of maturity is around five years.
The Chaco Golden Knee is a sturdy tarantula. It does not require any special form of light or heating, room temperature is fine. However in winter months a heater nearby should be used to stop the temperature falling too low. Heating pads should never be used as this could seriously burn and injure the tarantula.
Even though it is a very large tarantula; this species is quite gentle. Female in particular are quite laid back and should be fairly easy to handle.
If mating has been successful the female will lay an egg sac containing up for 500 eggs. It is argued how soon after mating a female will lay her sac. However after 6 weeks the slings (babies) should break free from the sac.