Animal Rentals Blog


May 7, 2015 by Animal Rentals

    You can call me icky. You can call me scary. You can call me creepy. Just don’t call me itsy-bitsy spider. Those who follow Animal Rentals and Mindy’s Menagerie know me as CUDDLES the CHILEAN ROSE TARANTULA, but that is just my stage name.  To others I am called a Chilean fire tarantula, the Chilean red-haired tarantula and for you language geeks (Grammostola rosea).

   If you have met a pet tarantula it was probably one of my relatives. We are the pet lovers’ spider because of our small size and relatively gentle temperament. We are patient and rarely want to fight. But if you mishandle, tease or push us too far, we are on you    like a pack of “wild spider monkeys”. Here is a helpful hint you can use. If you ever observe a tarantula raise its front legs and shows its fangs its warning you that this is not the spider you want to mess with that day. Their bite won’t kill you (it’s kind of like a bee sting) but you’ll wish you had remembered my helpful hint.

Because of my gentle nature, I am the victim for many of the practical jokes Mindy the monkey and her cohorts love to play. I’ve gone to sleep at night only to awaken and find four of my legs tied together. On Halloween everyone dressed up like a spider, sprayed me with cans of silly string and said they were “spinning webs”. Someone in the exotic petting zoo repeatedly signs me up to participate in 5 and 10 K runs all over the city. And because I’m a girl, you’ll see the name “Cuddles” on numerous dating sites. I know it’s all in good fun but sometimes it gets me so frustrated I can’t sleep and pace back and forth in my tank. And having four pairs of legs, that’s a lot of pacing. It’s no wonder I’m always tired.

I was hatched in 1989 making me one of the older members of Mindy’s menagerie. I am also one of the more popular especially with the kids. I love watching their eyes widen when they see me for the first time. They slowly inch their way towards my table and for a few minutes do nothing but stare at me. I hear the whispers. Is it real? Does it bite? And at every show there is someone who, to my horror, begins to hum “Itsy Bitsy Spider” under their breath. The best part of our demonstration comes when one of the handlers places me on someone’s palm. I can feel them tremble and sense their fear. This is my cue to move slowly along their hand and up the arm eventually coming to rest on their head. Once assured that no harm will befall them the fear turns to laughter. Cell phone cameras click and soon photos and selfies make their way to friends and relatives. I am a social media sensation!

I do not have a mate and actually prefer to be single. If I chose to start a family my partner would not be around much once the young arrived. Males of our species only live 3 to 7 years while females can live up to 20 years. Talk about “girl power”.

The nice thing about being a Chilean Rose tarantula is we girls rarely have weight issues. In fact we are notorious for going on extreme fasts which can last for a few weeks. But when we eat, we eat well. Crickets, grasshoppers, moths, beetles, cockroaches (a reason why my habitat was recently moved far away from the Madagascar hissing cockroaches), meal worms and small lizards make up the bulk of our diet. At Animal Rentals my handlers offer ”gut loaded” insects which give me all the nourishment and nutrition necessary.

LIKES: Clean sand in my terrarium, fresh water, nourishing food and being part of a“hands-on”experience with Animal Rental friends.

DISLIKES: Tapping on my terrarium, people who are afraid of me and that horrible, horrible song, “Itsy, Bitsy Spider”.



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