Chaco golden knee (Grammostola pulchripes, formerly known as Grammostola aureostriata) is a terrestrial tarantula that is native to tropical regions of South America.
Characteristics and Behavior
This tarantula is one of the largest, the most docile and the most popular tarantula species. It grows about 8.5 inches, while its entire body is covered with long light-colored hairs. It is distinguished for gold stripes on its legs, in the first place at the knees which is why it is called “golden knee“. Its calm and docile nature makes it a popular spider pet, while its attractive appearance makes it a great display tarantula. It is also a great species for the beginners.
Like other terrestrial tarantulas, Chaco golden knee spends most of the time on the ground but young tarantulas like to burrow deep. It is not poisonous, however, its bite is very painful. So, do not try to touch it if it raises its front legs in a threatening defensive position because it signals that it feels threatened or that it is not in the “mood“.
Chaco golden knee is an opportunistic feeder and will eat whatever it can catch. In captivity, it should be provided a varied diet. The diet is very similar to that of Chilean rose tarantula (Grammostola rosea) but Chaco golden knee needs more food. Give your tarantula live foods such as cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers, moths, meat worms, etc. but do not feed it every day. One time to two times a week is more than enough. It is best to offer food at night because like other tarantulas, Chaco golden knee is nocturnal. All uneaten dead food should be removed in the morning. In addition to offering a varied diet, you should make sure that your pet has an unlimited access to clean water.
Like other terrestrial tarantulas, Chaco golden knee is primarily interested in the length and width rather than height of the enclosure. For that reason you should provide your pet as longest and widest tank as possible (minimum floor space for tarantulas should be at least 2 times their leg span). The height is not important. In fact, it is better if the tank is not too high because tarantulas like to explore their environment and may injure themselves in case if they fall high from the ground.
It is important to keep in mind that Chaco golden knee likes to burrow and for that reason you should provide your pet a deep substrate and some rocks, logs and similar items to provide a retreat as well as to mimic its natural habitat. Chaco golden knee prefers temperatures between 72 °F and 86 °F which is why no additional heating is required. Like other tropical spider species, they like humidity which should be about 70% but you can easily create the right humidity levels by misting with a spray bottle. Other than that, Chaco golden knee does not require any special care which makes it a great pet for the first-time tarantula owners.