Tarantula Breeding and Rearing

Butterfly Pavilion leads the breeding program of Chilean rose hair tarantulas to maintain a sustainable population of vulnerable arthropods.

Butterfly Pavilion leads the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Safety Web for Arthropod Reproduction and Management (SWARM) program in the maintenance of sustainable populations for the Chilean rose hair tarantulas, Grammostola rosea (Rosie). This strategy will ensure that species under human care will not disappear from North American zoo collections and reduce collection of wild tarantulas. 

SWARM is a program sanctioned by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group (TITAG). This program focuses on keeping vulnerable arthropods (invertebrates like insects, spiders and crustaceans) in zoo collections by breeding and refraining from wild collection. If you have ever been to Butterfly Pavilion, you have probably had an up close experience with one of our most important ambassador animals: Rosie the tarantula and she is the focus of the SWARM that Butterfly Pavilion holds. Our large collection of Rosie tarantulas (also called the Chilean rose hair, Grammostola rosea) allows us to communicate with other zoos about breeding, husbandry, welfare and conservation of this important species. 

Butterfly Pavilion believes that an up close interaction with animals such as Rosie can provide an invaluable experience to all of our guests, which helps them understand more about the importance of invertebrates to humans and the world at large. This is why we continue to work on keeping these magnificent animals in zoos and protect their habitats around the world.