Adult Chilean Rose specimen
|Frodo on arrival
7 cm diameter container
Frodo after 3 moults
Frodo after 5 moults
Cute & 'armless
Mature @ 10.5 cm after 7 moults 2/9/06. You can just make out the
tibial spurs on his front 2 legs
Resplendent mature male colouration in natural sunlight 2/11/06
Feeling all pink & fuzzy 2/11/06
Date of arrival
Size on arrival
Maturation moult size
Date of death
75 - 80 F
65 - 70 %
12-15 cm (5-6 ")
|Frodo is so named because Chilean
Rose tarantulas are quite plain but are tougher than they look with real
strength of character. These spiders are one of the most common
tarantulas kept as pets and although it is reported that some can have
strange personality traits (a bit like me really) they are generally docile and
ideal for beginner keepers like me. They have urticating hairs but hardly ever use them -
hopefully! They reach about average size and are long lived so I am
hoping Frodo is with me for many years. Chilean Rose are burrowers but will adopt
a provided shelter to get some privacy. Spiderlings can drink
moisture straight from the substrate which should be wetted regularly but when
they are larger a jar lid or flower pot base can be used
as a water dish.
Frodo is the most likely to take cover in his house, especially if a cricket or mealworm looks at him funny. This is more of a slow sulk than a frightened bolt away. Maybe it's cos he's still quite small and feels a bit insecure. He is also quick to flee for safety if his pot is disturbed or the lid lifted but soon re-appears to investigate. Definitely falling behind the other 3 in the moulting & growth race as he is now 2 moults behind all of them - can you get counseling for spiders? I will take further piccies of him as he grows and develops, which should take quite a few years as Chile Rose are slow growing.
14/11/03. Frodo arrived by post in a 35mm film container padded with cotton wool inside a cardboard box stuffed with newspaper. This box also contained Merry & Pippin in their own containers. Frodo measured 2 cm so was the biggest hobbit until Samwise arrived 5 days later. He explored his new home in a calm and steady manner and made no attempt to burrow until about 2 weeks later.
27/12/03. Moulted to 2.7 cm.
23/01/04. Moulted to 3.6 cm.
17/03/04. I had my first handling experience of all my hobbits when Frodo came out of his pot all by himself during cleaning and walked about on my hands and up my arm to my elbow. He seemed calm and relaxed and showed no signs of fright or annoyance and seemed quite happy to continue exploring. I managed to steer him back into his pot before he disappeared up my sleeve! Unfortunately I didn't get a picture.
29/03/04. Moulted to 4.1 cm.
25/04/04. Along with the others Frodo moved into a bigger enclosure and now has the 35 mm film container he arrived in as his hidey hole and the lid as a water dish.
31/01/05. Moulted to 5.6 cm.
12/07/05. Moulted to 7.3 cm. Bit of a sneaky one as I wasn't expecting this moult. Maybe he's trying to catch up with the big boys at last. Turned to a more darker grey/brown colour with noticeably thicker legs.
13/08/05. Frodo finally braved the outside world again instead of his customary flight for his house when I lift the lid. Nudged out of his pot he hung on the outside for a while then walked calmly around both my hands & forearms. He then calmly explored my settee & cushions which I think he found quite comfortable (should do - I paid enough for them!) I managed to measure him up and get some good pics at last :)
15/02/06. Moulted to 8.5 cm.
02/09/06. Moulted to 10.5 cm. To my complete surprise 'boxing gloves' pedipalps and tibial spurs appeared meaning Frodo had matured into a male! His carapace turned an iridescent red/pink colour. Although he was noticeably bigger he was still much smaller than I had expected for a fully grown male. Frodo's clock is ticking - he now only has about 12 months to live :(
02/11/06. A couple of weeks before there were signs of what could be the remains of a sperm web in his tank so I took Frodo to the nearby Wingham Animal Park to attempt breeding him with their 3 females. However they were all much bigger than him so I didn't put him in with them as he just wouldn't be strong enough to lift them up and do the business. He would also have been in mortal danger of being mistaken for food and eaten straight away as a light snack! Unfortunately it is very unlikely that a small enough female can be found for him to breed with :( However the visit was not a total loss as I handled the 3 Chile Rose females, an immature Goliath Birdeater, emperor scorpion, preying mantis and helped 3 keepers carry their 15ft+ python to its winter tank!
08/08/07. Frodo has not really eaten much since his maturation moult and this trend continues. However he still seems healthy enough and his behaviour is much as before. Occasionally I see him grooming so he seems fine. The little chap can't have long to go now though - soon he will journey to the Grey Havens and sail into the West!
26/02/08. He went into a moult the previous evening and so I was prepared for him not to make it through the night. Once mature, male tarantulas will not survive another moult if they live long enough to reach it. He made a partial emergence but it was obvious the old chap was really struggling and he died during the process, partially stuck in the moult skin. It was very sad but I consoled myself that he had lived as long as he could have and seemed to be doing OK right to the end.
Approx 1 week later. I dug a hole in the flower bed at top of the garden under a small tree and laid Frodo to rest. There was a stray white domino laying nearby so I used it as a headstone. Farewell brave Hobbit.