Entre Rios Tarantula (Grammostola iheringi): Care Guide

The Entre Rios Tarantula is a New World Terrestrial species native to South America. It’s a beautiful spider that is considered a happy surprise among experienced hobbyists.

Unlike other members of the Grammostola genus, the ERT is larger, faster, and more aggressive. It also packs a stunning look with bright colors over a velvety black body.

If you’re thinking about getting an Entre Rios Tarantula for your collection, we’ve gathered all the information you need to see if it’s the best fit for you.

Source: Flickr

Entre Rios Tarantula Care Sheet

Name of SpeciesGrammostola iheringi
FamilyTheraphosidae
Common namesEntre Rios Tarantula
Native locationBrazil, Uruguay, Argentina
CategoryNew World
TypeTerrestrial
Leg span9 inches
Growth speedSlow – Medium
Urticating hairsYes, type III and IV
DietInsects, primarily roaches & crickets
SocialSolitary
Temperature70 to 80 °F
Humidity60 to 75%
Life spanFemales: 20 years / Males 6 years
Experience levelIntermediate

Entre Rios Tarantula Overview

The Grammostola iheringi is known among hobbyists as the Entre Rios Tarantula. You may also know her by the name of Argentinian Black Tarantula since one of her locations is Argentina, but she’s mostly found in Brazil, where she gets her name from the township Entre Rios.

She’s a Terrestrial Opportunistic Burrower, which means she’ll use any object she can find to create a burrow under.

An atypical member of the Grammostola genus, the ERT is skittish and defensive, prone to biting and flicking hair. T

herefore, she’s not the best fit for beginners. However, she’s still very popular thanks to her big size, beautiful colors, and voracious feeding response.

Appearance & variations

The ERT is a large tarantula with a heavy build and beautiful colors. She has a black carapace with black legs, contrasting with light bluish setae over the cephalothorax and legs.

However, in her abdomen lies her greatest appeal with bright red setae. As spiderlings, her legs are often dark but translucid. This is a tarantula that keeps her bright colors even between molts, so she’ll be a looker all year round.

Males and females of this species often look the same way, with the males being smaller and sometimes of brighter colors than the females.

The best way to determine whether you have a male or a female is to examine the inside of their molts.

Price

The ERT is a pricey tarantula that’s still difficult to find in the hobby, which drives the prices of getting one up.

You’ll often find a sling for around $100 each. Juveniles are sold for $150, give or take. Adult males are much more expensive, going for around $400; however, the most expensive specimens are adult females, which you’ll find for $750, give or take.

Behavior and Temperament

Most members of the Grammostola genus, such as the Grammostola Pulchripes, are known for their docile temperament. The Entre Rios Tarantula, on the other hand, is the only member of this genus known for being skittish, defensive, and prone to kicking hair.

She’s skittish and shy, so any approach that may make her feel threatened will have her bolting out to a hideout.

Once they become adults, they’re usually less defensive and nervous, so your risk of being attacked or bitten is lower.

However, as juveniles and subadults, these spiders are prone to flicking hair and biting. The venom isn’t considered particularly painful, let alone dangerous, but it’s still a nuisance.

The hairs, however, are very large and will cause discomfort, especially if they end up in sensitive places such as your eyes, nose, or mouth. As such, you should be careful when interacting with this spider.

This tarantula spends a lot of time out in the open, which, combined with their incredible size, makes them excellent display spiders. They also have a tendency to spin webs.

Caring for an Entre Rios Tarantula

Temperature and Humidity

The Entre Rios Tarantula lives in a tropical climate with temperatures ranging between 64°F and 78°F.

In captivity, it’s best to keep them between 70°F and 80°F, with 60%-75% humidity.

Substrate

As opportunistic burrowers, these spiders need enough substrate to burrow. Spiderlings should get at least three inches of substrate to burrow, as this is the stage when they’ll spend more time underground.

Being large as they are, adult ERTs should get at least four inches of substrate in case they want to burrow.

The substrate should be soft and comfortable for their burrows; they also prefer it to be dry, so a mixture of coconut fiber and peat moss will do wonders for these amazing tarantulas.

Tank

Terrestrial tarantulas shouldn’t be kept in tall tanks. They’re too heavy and unfit for climbing, and falls could cause them serious injuries; the ERT isn’t an exception to this rule.

The tank should be longer and wider than tall, with good ventilation and a safety lock on the lid to keep them from bolting out.

As for size, adults should get a tank of at least three to four gallons of volume.

Opportunistic burrowers like the Entre Rios Tarantula also need places to hide, so a piece of bark, fake plants, and other types of decoration will make them feel safer and come out more.

As for their burrow, you need to provide them with a starter burrow. The best way to do this is to place a piece of cork bark or anything else that can serve as a starter burrow partly buried into the substrate. They will make this into their home. It should look something like this.

Watering

As long as you keep a water dish inside the tank and make sure to refill it, these tarantulas will have what they need to stay hydrated.

ERTs don’t need their soil to be overly moist, so it should be enough to spray the substrate once every two or three weeks and let it dry.

Social

The ERT is not a species that is capable of communal living. In the wild, they do not meet with other members of their species unless it’s time to mate. Even then, the males use their tibial hooks to prevent getting eaten!

As such, it’s not recommended to put more than one of these spiders in a single enclosure. They will not get lonely or anything like that, so solitary housing is perfectly fine.

Diet of an Entre Rios Tarantula

The ERT has a very fast and aggressive answer when it comes to feeding. She’s more voracious than most tarantulas, let alone other members of the Grammostola.

You usually don’t have to worry about her refusing a meal; however, don’t offer her food if you see her abdomen turn glossy and bright. This sign means the ERT is about to molt, so she’d refuse the food anyway. Additionally, right after a molt, you should cease feeding her for several days to give her fangs time to harden.

It’s enough to feed slings one flightless fruit fly every two weeks, while juveniles should be fed a baby cricket at roughly the same frequency.

Adults, with their voracious appetites and large size, should get two B. dubia roaches or seven large crickets every week. They can also eat a variety of other insects such as mealworms and superworms. Nevertheless, most owners give them a diet that consists primarily of roaches and crickets.

They grow faster if they receive enough food, but be careful not to overfeed them. Make sure to reduce portions if you see their abdomen getting too plump and round.

Fast Facts about the Grammostola iheringi

  • Hobbyists usually regard Grammostolas as a genus for beginners. The Entre Rios Tarantula, however, is atypical among the Grammostola. She grows faster, moves faster, and is more defensive than the other members of its genus.
  • There have been studies researching the Grammostola iheringi’s venom for possible biotechnological applications. In the future, this may mean there’s a medical application for the Entre Rios Tarantula’s venom.
  • Poachers are still looking for these spiders in their natural habitats to sell them on the black market. This is harmful for their population, so you should only get one from reputable vendors that sell bred specimens.

Final words: Is the Entre Rios Tarantula right for you?

The Entre Rios Tarantula is a great addition to any New World tarantula aficionado’s collection. However, you shouldn’t get one if you’re expecting a typical Grammostola. They’re much more defensive than other members of their genus.

As such, you shouldn’t get a G. Iheringi as a beginner, because they’re not very well suited to first-timers. First-timers are much better off starting with a more docile species like the Arizona Blonde or Antilles Pink Toe.

However, if you’ve got some experience taking care of big spiders then the Entre Rios Tarantula can be a great addition to your collection!

Jesse A.