Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula
The Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula is a large, hairy, robust spider that doesn’t see well despite its four pairs of eyes! Sensory hairs, though, can detect the slightest of vibrations and from this they gauge motion and attack from behind.
Their very aggressive disposition makes them poor pets, so only the most experienced collectors should keep them.
Capable of noise, hissing sounds to ward off prey can be heard from up to 15 ft. as they rub the bristles of their legs together. Two fangs with poisoned glands bite and inject venom and, whilst not considered lethal to humans, it may leave you feeling rather unwell. More dangerous are the hairs on its abdomen and legs, which can be irritating to skin, and lungs if inhaled.
Native to the tropical forests of South America, this is the largest species of tarantula in the known world. Favouring the marshy, wet swamplands of the rainforest, it burrows deep within the earth and spends most of its life underground, surfacing only at night to eat.
Prey will usually be eaten at leisure, from the safety of the burrow. With no teeth, regurgitated juices must break down the victim’s soft tissue, before the spider can suck it up.
Generally a solitary beast, the Goliath needs to associate with other species for the purposes of breeding. The male spider, however, has to beat a hasty retreat, after the mating process, to avoid being killed – it’s reckoned that up to 50% of males perish in this way!
Similar to other molting species, Goliaths are very vulnerable after a shed and ambulation is poor, making them easy prey to smaller creatures. They can experience difficulties molting too, with juveniles regularly getting stuck or injuring themselves.
Keep your pet in a thirty gallon tank with a locking screen top and fill it with up to 8 inches of appropriate substrate. Large cork bark caves, or half submerged plant pots, make good hideouts.
Temperature and humidity levels are crucial – these tarantulas enjoy a temperature range of 24-28°C (75-82°F) and a humidity level of 80%. Install a thermometer and a hygrometer, so optimum levels can be sustained. Hydrate with a misting bottle every couple of days.
This spider can dine on gut loaded crickets and grasshoppers, available from most specialist stores. To prevent bacteria and mould forming, remove any uneaten food at the end of each day. Water is important and can be placed in a shallow receptacle.
Under no circumstances should a Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula be handled. Move your spider with a scoop to a secure place when cleaning its habitat.
Life expectancy: Females up to 25 years; males, just past maturity, 3-4 years
Size: Up to 25cms
Weight: Comes in at a hefty 2.5 ounces
Colour: Light brown, coffee coloured spider
Temperament: Exceedingly aggressive and liable to attack
Ideal Owners: Should be kept by experienced adults only