Burgundy Goliath Birdeater Tarantula (Theraphosa stirmi)

New World, Theraphosa No Comments »

Known as one of the largest species of tarantulas in the world, this tarantula comes straight from Guyana. Adults have a leg span anywhere between 9 to 11 inches in length. Mature (ultimate) males  lack mating spurs (tibial apophyses), they have pink tarsi (feet) as spiderlings and juveniles. As Adults their patella (knee) will also be bald or have next to no/small hairs. These tarantulas are heavy bodied and posses a distinct burgandy/brown post molt color with reddish bristle-like looking legs and abdomen.

 

tstirmi

 

Habitat:

The Burgundy Goliath Birdeater Tarantula are big terrestrials. The Burgundy Goliath Birdeater Tarantula will need an enclosure that is more wide then it is tall. They are fast growers and as adults should be kept in a 15-20 gallon tank giving it ample space to move. The Burgandy Goliath Birdeater requires some humidity (we recommend 75 to 80% humidity) with a temperature of 80 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit to emulate its environment in the wild. Your substrate is key. We recommend damp coconut fiber but vermiculite can also do well, both with weekly water spraying. In addition to humidity your tarantula will require ample ventilation. Prevent stagnant air as this can do harm and even kill your tarantula. A bark hide is recommended as a startup hide, your tarantula will probably end up burrowing underneath it and make its own home. An overflowing water dish should always be present with clean water. Pesticide-free plants and moss can be added but not required.

 

Feeding:

The Burgandy Goliath Birdeater is a voracious eater to keep up with its fast growth. Any variety of gut-loaded crickets, roaches, locusts, mealworms, superworms can be a healthy and great meal for your tarantula. As full adults you might be able to also feed your tarantula small lizards and mice though we would recommend this be a rare snack for your tarantula to prevent any calcium buildup in your tarantula. As always any prey not consumed within 24 hours should be immediately removed from the enclosure to prevent harm/stress to your tarantula.

 

Attitude:

The Burgandy Goliath Birdeater is known for having one of the most irritating urticating hairs of all tarantulas. As slings and juveniles they tend to be very skittish but become more laid back as adults. Though they can be aggressive they rarely show a threat pose. We do not recommend handling this species to their sheer size and inch long fangs which can definitely cause some harm though their venom is not lethal to humans.

 

Goliath Birdeater (Theraphosa Blondi)

New World, Theraphosa 10 Comments »

The Goliath Birdeater also known as the T.blondi Is one of the largest species of tarantulas in the world. The females are massively built and are husky in size reaching lengths of 10 to 12 inches while males reach an average length of 9 inches. As with most species of tarantulas the males have smaller bodies and longer legs as compared to the females. Males usually live between 4 to 6 years while females can live well over 20 years. The T.blondi has been frequently publicized as being the world’s largest tarantula (as per the Guinness Book of World Records), however there are in fact two other species who grow larger than the T.blondi, the Pinkfoot Goliath tarantula (Theraphosa apophysis) and the Brazilian Salmon tarantula (Lasiodora parahybana). Regardless of all of that The Goliath Birdeater still remains one of the most known tarantulas out there with many hobbyists having them as the center of attention for their collection. This however is a tarantula for the more expert of spider connoisseurs.

goliath female2.jpg

 

Habitat:

In the wild the Goliath Birdeater are found in the tropical rain forests on slopes and hillsides throughout the regions of Northern South America. In captivity as pets they require really big enclosures for their massive sizes. As a full grown adult they should be in no less then a 20 gallon tank that is more wide then it is tall. They are poor climbers due to their massive size and weight. It is key to not have them in a tall enclosure because of this. A fall higher then a few inches might result in serious injuries or death to your Goliath Birdeater. This species is also known for burrowing so be sure to add plenty of substrate in your enclosure. We would recommend about 4 to 5 inches of it, with a hide for it to go under as well. They come from very humid wet environments in the wild and we recommend you damp your substrate enough so that it can burrow and have the substrate hold. As well as having a corner in your enclosure wet to give it the adequate humidity it needs. Make sure to always have a water bowl always full in the event that it needs to hydrate. You can spray the enclosure once a week if you see the humidity dropping. You have to clean the tank often due to the environment you will have your tarantula in. It can easily become a haven of fungus and other bacteria. The enclosure should also maintain a temperature of about 77 to 85 degrees with moderate humidity at all times.

 

Feeding:

Though being called a Goliath Birdeater, the T.blondi rarely actually eats birds in the wild. In the wild it’s diet consists primarily of rodents, small lizards and insects. Due to their size they do require an immense amount of food compared to other species of tarantulas. You will see that you perhaps have to feed a grown adult a great amount of large insects a few times a week. Though many people feed them partially grown mice we recommend you not make this the primary food source for your T.blondi. Reason being that it might get an overly high amount of calcium which might end up making it harder to shed its exoskeleton during the molting process. A steady but mixed diet should also consist of large crickets and large roaches. Though it might take more insects then a mouse to keep your tarantula satisfied it will surely help its diet. It is important to remove all traces of leftover food and spitballs (food boluses) after feeding to prevent any type of dangerously unsanitary conditions due to the food spoiling because of the warm humid environment.

 

Attitude:

The Goliath Birdeater can be extremely aggressive. It has one of the most irritating/harmful urticating hairs of all spiders. That is at times their number one form of defense. These can get lodged in your skin, eyes or even inhaled which can result in serious injuries. When threatened they also stridulate (produce sound) by rubbing their pedipalps which are covered in small bristles together as a sign to back off. It is recommended to not handle these animals due to their sheer size. A full grown t.blondi would require both your hands and even so that still might not be enough to fully grab the animal. The smallest of moves can cause the tarantula to jump out of your hands and fall which will surely result in its death.  Another reason to not handle them is their immense fangs that can pack a powerful bite. Though their venom is not potent enough to harm humans their enormous fangs can surely cause medical harm. People who do handle t.blondis have been doing so since their tarantula was a spiderling and the tarantula has gotten used to being picked up. If that is not the case with you, simply let your tarantula be.

 

This is by far a collector species with it mostly only being kept as pets by experienced hobbyists. Handling should only be done due to maintenance, enclosure cleaning or mating attempts. Should you handle your tarantula, do so with utmost care and do it from the time they are still slings so they get used to being handled. Following these simple steps should be enough to help you with your own t.blondi. As always feel free to comment if you have any experience with this beautiful pet or simply have a question.