Other common names: Birdeater Tarantula, the Birdeater, Brazilian Birdeater
Scientific name: Theraphosa blondi
The Goliath Birdeater Tarantula is native to the rain forest regions of Southeastern Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana, Surinam and northeastern Brazil. They are a deep burrowing species, found commonly in the marsh or swampy areas.
Appearance / health:
The largest recorded species of the Goliath Birdeater was 12 inches. Most specimens grow to 10 inches or more, though they are a slow growing species. Colors range from dark to light brown with faint markings on the legs.
Behavior / temperament:
This species is aggressive and has an unreliable temperament. It will make a hissing sound when annoyed, and is best not handled. House alone or they may fight to the death. Birdeaters can defend themselves by biting or by kicking their barbed hairs towards their enemy. These hairs can be severely irritating to the skin and lungs, and have been reported to feel like shards of fiberglass.
A 20 gallon tank will house one Birdeater. Provide cork bark, tree bark or a flower pot half buried in the substrate, to provide a place to hide.
These Tarantulas need a rainforest-like climate. Humidity should not be lower than 85%. Temperature must be 75-82F. To provide the heat, an under tank heater should be used. A mix of pure soil and sand with lots of peat moss in it can be used and should be 4-8 inches deep. A large shallow water dish may be provided and cleaned frequently. Also, to help keep humidity up, the enclosure should be misted.
Feed 2-3 larger insects per day according to appetite. Feeding depends on age and time since the last molt. They eat invertebrates such as crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers etc but can also be given pinkies and small fuzzy mice once in a while.
Males can be sexed by looking for the mating hooks on the first set of legs. The male will come to the entrance of the female's burrow and try to entice her out. He uses his mating hooks when she comes out and restrains her fangs while he tries to mate with her. Afterwards he has to make a fast getaway or be injured or eaten by the female. Half of the time, the males are killed or maimed while trying to mate. The female will then deposit her eggs in a silken egg sack about 1 inch in diameter, and will protect it in her burrow. She guards it for 6 to 7 weeks, and will take the sack with her when she leaves the burrow. After the babies hatch they stay in the nest until their first molt, and then go out on their own.
distinctive reddish hairs, amazing breeders, biggest living spider, larger tarantulas
specific temperature, high hummidity requirements, strongest urticating hairs, aggressive
captive bred ones, bird eater, loud hissing sound, parasitic pepsis wasps, parasitic wasp
1. Life for Ner’Zhul… the Spider!
Actually, I can’t say that this weird creature was my pet, but I definitely had a great experience having it at my place.
Once an old friend of mine – a great fan of “World of Warcraft”, as some of you’ve already noticed – asked me to put his goliath birdeater tarantula up for a month. At that time he found a temporary job in another city and couldn’t find a house for his pet or take it with him. Of course, I was nervous about that situation – I knew nothing about SUCH spiders and I also was afraid of them. The best solution for me would be to deny the request. The point was that I valued our friendship with Ner’s owner too much… And my friend promised to come twice a week in order to feed the spider, check if there is something wrong about it and to clean the terrarium.
Well, I said “yes”.
From the very beginning Ner’Zhul acted calmly, even aloof but that actually was fine with me - no complaints, just stay in your cage, darling! I started to read about these animals, looked through the pictures of birdeaters and at about 3rd day of Ner’s staying at my place I’ve decided that he looks quite impressive, not repelling. Yes, that pet definitely wasn’t my cup of tea, but I stopped being afraid of him.
Ner’Zhul’s body was massive and hairy, it was brown, with black and white marks on his legs. Eventually I began to think that he was even beautiful. That evening I texted to my friend about such my verdict – he was glad to hear that.)
Every time my friend was coming to visit his precious one, he would bring some special food – some huge cockroaches, crickets, grasshoppers, mealworms and something else. We found a big can and put there the cockroaches which already went crazy. For the first time I couldn’t stick around when my friend was feeding and communicating with the spider so I would go out and wait till he finishes.
In total, I can say that Ner’Zhul was a healthy spider, active enough, as my friend told me, on the other hand it was calm. Of course, it was easy for me to keep him, cause I did nothing – just stared through the terrarium glass.)).
From agblake Oct 1 2015 8:09PM
Big and Bold
These are impressive, massive chunky spiders that range from a rusty red colour to a deep brown - but even with my experience level I find them a little intimidating personality wise. Almost every Goliath I've had experience with has been fairly aggressive, so I have never even attempted to handle them. As you can expect with such a large spider, they have a really big appetite - but they will eat far more than they need. Overfeeding can be pretty bad for a spider, so don't be tempted.
I have seen these take adult mice (defrosted, I've never fed live rodents)!
If you want a really impressive looking display then plant out a 2 or 3 foot enclosure with live plants. With the right lighting for the plants to thrive (UVA), the Goliath will also be a lot more active and will be out on display literally all the time!.
From Athravan Jun 16 2015 2:40AM
Probably a Bad Idea
I realized after I bought the spider how hard this particular variety can be to keep. I knew its probable size as an adult, and the difficulty of handling, but was not aware of their strict humidity requirements, or the possibility of overfeeding. My mistake. However, it is still alive, well, and angry, so I must be doing something right. Overall, a good, if difficult, pet..
From charmscale Sep 20 2015 9:09AM