Chilean Rose Spider Grammastola
spiders, ticks, and mites are all members of the arachnid class.
All spiders and scorpions are poisonous, but for humans a bite or
sting is only like a bee sting. They need their poison to kill their
prey and partly digest it.
and Central America straddling the Equator and the Tropics are home
to vast numbers of species of invertebrates. Spiders are a key component
finding abundant food in the myriads of insects, smaller spiders
and even small birds and mammals. Tarantulas and bird-eating spiders
are the most glamorous versions, beloved of enthusiasts in the country
who like to collect them. They can live a relatively long time,
up to sixteen years in some cases, and are easy to maintain and
keep in good conditions.
Chilean Rose is a fairly docile, tolerant spider which quickly becomes
tame, with gentle, understanding handling. The hairs which cover
the animal's body are nictating, and used as a defence. Microscopic
examination has shown several species to be surrounded by a cloud
of such hairs which can cause intense irritation to the skin and
eyes of a predator, so sensible care should be taken when handling.
many year these nictating hairs were a principle component of joke-shop
itching powder, though today artificial alternatives are available.
Although we tend to regard spiders as being of no direct use to
us, this is not the case for native residents of the tropical rainforests
and other tropical areas. Larger spiders tend to live in traditional
areas, which are easily wiped out by over collecting for the pet
trade. Native peoples used these spiders as a useful source of protein
in emergencies, when food was scarce.
Venom Aids Heart Attack Victims
in the Journal of General Physiology has revealed that the
poison of a tarantula spider may help save the lives of heart attack
and brain tumour sufferers.
There are more than 30,000 species of spiders and the report's author,
Professor Frederick Sachs, is studying the popular and readily
available Chile Rose.
All spiders bite, though the amount of poison in the bite varies
from virtually none in the UK species, to seriously toxic in some
Australian Black Widow types.
The Chile Rose is well known to pet keepers as a particularly
docile tarantula, despite possessing relatively abundant amounts of
Such spiders live an amazingly long time – 15 to 20 years. With kind
handling, they become used to their owners and virtually never bite.
Even when they do, they usually give you notice that they are having
Sachs has found that a component in the venom of the Chile
Rose is the chemical which blocks a part of the body's cells
which govern muscle contraction.
When you suffer a heart attack, an often fatal form of rapid heart
muscle contraction called ventricular fibrillation can occur. This
chemical can block this, and might turn out to be a life-saver in
due course, though obviously much research still needs to be done.
zoo has 4 juveniles, one adult, several of whom have bred here.
The Mexican Red-knee flicks urticating hairs when annoyed, which
in the eyes causes an awful inflammation, on the skin a bad rash!
African Baboon spiders - Ceratogyrus darling
also keep Imperial scorpions. Unlike tarantulas, they cannot climb
up on glass.
Scorpions, spiders, ticks, and mites are all members of the arachnid
class. All spiders and scorpions are poisonous, but for humans a bite
or sting is only like a bee sting. They need their poison to kill
their prey and partly digest it.
mid-May 1999, Gila answered a routine call to visit a fruiterer
to collect a spider which had emerged from a bag of Chilean onions.
As all experienced zoo people know, just because a bag says the
contents come from Chile, this does not mean the spider climbed
aboard in Chile! It could be, and usually is, a British house spider
which sidled in after the bag was opened, only to emerge again to
the consternation of the natives. On this occasion, we were pleasantly
surprised to find that Gila had indeed added a large and very hairy
juvenile Chilean rose tarantula to her collection of over thirty
can also find Pink-Toed Tarantula Avicularia avicularia on
display at the Zoopark.
will cheerfully accept as many spiders as possible for our Millennium
Bug Sanctuary. They are easy to look after, are interesting
personalities, and can live until they are 16 years old.
Do you know the
difference between a spider and a fly?