Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula (Grammostola pulchripes)

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Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula
Grammostola pulchripes
Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula (Grammostola pulchripes)
Name Chaco Golden Knee Tarantula
Name Lat. Grammostola pulchripes
Family Tarantulas
Family lat. Theraphosidae
Order Spiders
Order lat. Araneae
Origin South America
Habitat Shrub savanna
Diet Live insects
Humidity 50-60 %
Behavior Nocturnal; peaceful
Keeping Individual
Care Level Easy
Housing Dry terrarium
Breeding Simple
Life Span 5-10 years
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 9 cm
Temperature Day 22-26 °C
Temperature Night 18-20 °C
Housing Size 40 x 30 x 30 cm
US Units
Size 3.5"
Temperature Day 72-79 °F
Temperature Night 64-68 °F
Housing Size 15" x 10" x 10"

Distribution and habitat

The venomous golden-knee tarantulas are crepuscular to nocturnal ground dwellers, living in the fringes of dry forests and grasslands of Paraguay and Argentina in deep  self-dug living tubes or abandoned rodent burrows.


For 1 animal a terrarium with a minimum size of 40 x 30 cm and a minimum height of 30 cm can be recommended as a guideline. The terrarium should be placed in a quiet place without sunlight.

You will need a terrarium structured with cork tubes, roots and stones (hiding places and privacy screens), a solid, 10-15 cm deep substrate of sand-clay-peat mixture, a small, shallow drinking vessel and for decoration artificial or potted plants (e.g. Ficus pumila, Scindapsus aureus). A small part of the substrate, especially the lower layers, should always be kept slightly moist. Once or twice a week the inside of the terrarium should be finely sprayed with water, but not the animals (danger of shock)

Temp. day: 22-26 °C Temp. night: 18-20 °C Humidity: 50-60

The lighting duration should be 8-12 hrs. depending on the season. A conventional light source (e.g. daylight fluorescent tube) is sufficient. Special lamps with high UV content are not necessary.


The food supply should consist of crickets, cockroaches, house crickets, maggots and grasshoppers. The prey animal is injected with a digestive juice with the biting tools (chelicerae), which liquefies the protein components and the prey can be sucked out (extracorporeal digestion). Young animals can be offered food 1-2 times a week, adults only every 1-2 weeks. They should not be overfed under any circumstances, the basic rule being that the abdomen should be no more than 1½ times the size of the cephalothorax. Unaccepted food must be removed after 1-2 days. Refusal of food may indicate a natural phase of starvation or an impending molt. No food animals should be in the terrarium during molting, they could injure the spider

A regular and varied diet promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Reproduction and breeding

The smaller males can be recognized by their bulbs folded in towards the body. The female lays up to 500 eggs in her burrow lined with webs 4-5 months after mating. The eggs are spun into a dense cocoon in which the larvae develop and are guarded by the female. After the third molt, the young leave the burrow and feed on their own. Females can live for 10 years.

Species protection

Make sure to inform yourself about any regulations on keeping or bans on keeping this animal in your state or home municipality (e.g. public order office). Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.


They are peaceful, slow-growing tarantulas. In defense, they hurl irritating hairs with their hind legs against the attacker (bombard). These cause skin irritation and may cause corneal damage in the eyes as well as asthma-like symptoms. Care should also be taken when cleaning the terrarium, as irritant hairs can be stirred up from the substrate (safety goggles). A bite is very painful, the poison corresponds to that of a bee or wasp.

Crushed or held legs can be thrown off at a predetermined breaking point and regenerate completely after 1-2 molts.

The quality of the feed can be upgraded by giving fruit and honey water.

The terrarium must have good ventilation without drafts and meet the species-specific needs. Measuring devices such as thermometers, hygrometers, etc. are necessary. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be placed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves. The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Contamination must be removed regularly.

Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: petdata; Image: petdata

Source: ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Harri Deutsch Verlag