Sunday, March 12, 2000 1:21 AM:
The Goliath Bird eater:
Classified as Theraphosa leblondi, The largest known
spider in the world. Range in south America, especially rainforest
regions of French Guiana, Guyana and southern brazil. Adult females
length of 100mm or more with a leg span of 175mm. The entire body
is a uniform reddish clay color sometimes black, with stripes
on the leg faintly visible. Hair
on the body, abdomen, and
legs. Tall in stature and seemingly
heavy, and sometimes when fully engorged up to 7 ounces or more.
As far as behavior is concerned any and all interaction
must be done so with extreme caution, they are
highly aggressive and nervous.
This spider readily bites
and does so quickly with extreme
precision. I personally have received several bites and attempts
at biting from an adult female and can testify to the severity
of it, deep and painful sometimes local numbing around the wound.
They also perform an odd defense of flicking
abdominal hairs to irritate a would be predator, merely an
annoyance to some but very allergic reactions have been reported
from this behavior. A loud hissing sound is also heard when disturbing
this spider they use a form of stridulation to create the illusion,
much like a cricket when singing.
Feeding is a chore
from day one with this feisty giant. From the deli cup phase onward
they literally eat anything that moves, daily feedings result
in huge gains in size early on. Captive
raised juveniles favored over wild caught adults due to lack
of availability and general health concerns with the adults. My
personal favorite among the giants in fact the only spider to
share the bedroom with me! Refer to housing and care guidelines
on the preceding page for care requirements and about 10 to anything
regarding feeding or enclosures!