The Chilean Flame tarantula is an incredibly tiny species of spider found in the mountain ranges of Chile. They spend the majority of their time building and living in burrows beneath rocks, logs and leaf litter. They are a quite docile and reportedly curious species, making them popular pets for experienced keepers.
Chilean Flames are named for the distinctive tuft of orange hair on their backs, right where their abdomen meets their carapace. This orange is the only bit of bright color on their bodies— the rest of their hair is a deep brown to help them blend in with their surroundings. This species is very small, lending to its status as a dwarf spider. At most, an individual will only grow to be between 8 and 9 centimeters in size.
Like other spiders, Chilean Flames are extremely fast runners. This is only amplified thanks to their small size. In the wild, when startled or when hunting, they are able to scramble over obstacles, burrow quickly, and even leap at prey. This speed helps them to not only find meals but to avoid becoming a meal themselves. Along with their camouflage, they are a hearty species that does not display a lot of fear.
Spider enthusiasts often refer to their favorite species using their scientific names for ease of identification, but with the Chilean flame, things are a little more complicated. Many spider species are extremely similar, with slight variations in things like size and color that can lead to debates about whether or not a spider is one species or another. This was the case with the Chilean flame, which very recently was categorized as its own species, Homeomma chilensis, rather than Euthlus sp red, which contains possibly a dozen variations of spiders that may or may not each be a unique species. Researchers in Chile have their work cut out for them!
Where are they?
Our Dwarf Chilean Flame tarantula lives in the Children's Animal Center.
Our spider is very small— like her name "Itsy" suggests. Take a close look under the logs and cover of her enclosure to try and spot her.
Homeomma chilensis (previously Euathlus sp red / sp fire
Species Survival Plan
Rocks and scrubland around the Andes Mountains
Insects and other small arthropods
Originally Native To
Dark brown body accented by a bright orange "flame" pattern on their rump.
Females 8 to 12 years