Golden Knee Tarantula
Central America-Honduras to Costa Rica
Body length: about 4 inches
Leg span: up to 8 inches
Females up to 25 years in captivity
Wild: insects, occasionally small rodents
Incubation: 1 to 3 months
Clutch size: 200-400 eggs
This spider is mostly brownish-black except for golden stripes on the joints of each leg.
About the Animal: Although much feared by humans, very few tarantulas are actually harmful to humans. Bites, while painful, rarely kill. The Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula is not one of those capable of hurting a human.
Rather than depend on venom/biting for protection, New World Tarantulas (such as the Golden Knee) are covered in bristles which detach easily. When threatened or startled, the spider will use it’s hind legs to collect and fling a cloud of bristles-called urtricating. This bristles while not venomous, can cause severe irritation if they come in contact with mucus membranes or the eyes.
Mating and Reproduction: Chaco Golden Knees mate soon after the male's maturing molt, which usually happens between July and October during the rainy season. Females store the sperm and eggs in her body until the spring. Females make a silk mat, on which she lays 200 to 400 eggs, which she covers with a sticky liquid containing the sperm. Fertilization occurs in minutes. The eggs are wrapped in silk and collected into a ball or egg-sac. Females carry the egg-sac between their fangs. Eggs hatch in 1 to 3 months, though spiderlings remain in the egg-sac for another 3 weeks after hatching. After leaving the egg-sac, spiderlings spend another 2 weeks in their burrow before they disperse.
Amazing Information: Despite the large size, the “Chaco”, even at full size, is docile and slow-moving. These gentle giants are lovely to look at and easy to maintain