(Salmon Pink Birdeater)
This South American beauty is one of the few tarantulas in the running for the title of “the world’s largest spider,” with adult specimens pushing 10+ inches. (The title of “world’s largest spider” is currently held by the Theraphosa blondi.) If you have ever seen an adult Salmon Pink Birdeater, you are aware of just how stunning these spiders are. Dark colored bodies with salmon colored hairs along the legs. With the large size, however, usually comes a good sized attitude. While there are stories of the occasional “friendly” parahybana, the majority of these guys are definitely hands off.
No common name for this beautiful spider from Ecuador. The tarantula is black overall, with an interesting metallic pinkish/purlple starburst pattern on it’s carapace. The femurs also have a purple tint to them, making this a very striking animal. While not aggressive, this species tends to be very skittish and prone to flick hairs.
(Sri Lankan Ornamental)
This is a very close relative to the P. regalis (mentioned above). Their markings are very similar, as is their habitat and location.
Our P. fasciata recently molted into a mature male, and has been sent off to breed. Let’s all wish him luck as we hope to see a fresh brood of “Ornamental” slings in the hobby in the near future!
These tarantulas, also known as Orange Baboon Tarantulas (OBT), are a stunning orange color with black spots on the abdomen. It is their bad attitude that these tarantulas have come to be known for. In fact, many have changed what OBT stands for, insisting it means “Orange Bitey Thing.”
Our OBT is no exception. I came across this spider in a pet shop that had “inherited” it from their previous manager. Not knowing anything about the spider (other than it had a bad temper), they were glad to see me come to take it away! We got a threat display immediately upon transferring it to its new home. Since then, it seems content to live in a hammock made from its webbing.
(Goliath Bird Eater)
This is one of the crown jewels in any tarantula collection, known by its common name, the goliath bird eater. This species currently holds the world record for the largest spider, reaching almost 12 inches. They are fast, aggressive, and big eaters (as you can well imagine). They will not only eat the same diet of insects that other tarantulas do, but will readily eat mice, lizards, frogs, etc. The T. blondi has some of the most bothersome urticating hairs of all tarantula species, and will not hesitate to flick them when disturbed. Along with its large fangs, this monster-sized spider can also make a hissing noise, using specialized hairs on its chelicera.
Our female is almost eight inches in length, and has so far lived up to the “fast and furious” reputation that this species projects. However, like most tarantulas that are labeled as “aggressive,” they are not attempting (in my opinion) to be “mean”, so to speak. They are simply defending themselves against what they perceive to be possible threats. On her first morning in our house, she had gotten a toe stuck in a notch at the top of her tank (which has been fixed). She allowed me to help her get “unstuck” without trying to bite. She is a beautiful spider that my wife has named “Pepperoni.”