The Goliath Birdeating Spider (Theraphosa blondi) is truly one of the most impressive invertebrates in the natural world. It is one of the world's largest species of spider and its large size makes it a popular addition in many collections. Unfortunately, it is rarely bred. Most specimens that are available are imported from the wild.
This hairy coffee-colored tarantula is unmistakable. The Goliath Tarantula is very stocky with a broad carapace, thick legs, a large abdomen and a leg span that can be up to 12" (30.5 cm). With such a large frame, it is no wonder that it lives in the ground and not in trees. The Goliath Birdeating Spider is a burrowing tarantula whose extreme size and bulk prevents them from climbing well.
We selected this particular spider for somewhat obvious reasons given its size and general morphology. Regretably, it is not always easy to handle due to its aggressive demeanor and sometimes nervous disposition. A Goliath will emit a hissing sign when it is cornered or feels threatened and may rub bristles from its legs as well. Our specimen is a female sub adult with a leg span of approximately 8 inches.
Care and Feeding
The Goliath is found in Venezuela, Surinam, French Guyana, and Brazil. It is a burrowing spider which requires a large enclosure and deep substrate due its size . Its is an opportunistic and voracious feeder and can be observed at night wandering its territory looking for prey. We opted for a 50 gallon shallow glass aquarium with a screen top for ventilation and a substrate consisting of orchid bark and coco husk. A large shelter will be provided by using stone pavers surrounded by mulch. Proper humidity levels can be maintained through periodic mistings and a shallow water dish will be provided as well.
In the wild, the Goliath will consume almost anything that it can catch but we anticipate a diverse feeding regimen consisting of adult crickets, grasshoppers, Dubia roaches, and only occasional feedings (once or twice a month) of mice. This variety more closely mirrors the diet of this tarantula in nature and should keep it healthy.
On January 19th, 2015 we welcomed the arrival of our female Goliath Bird Eating spider. She is absolutely beautiful and did not waste any time in leaving the confines of her shipping container and making herself at home. We are delighted at the coloration, temperament and overall good health of our latest addition.
We provided her with a dinner of crickets and a thorough misting of her new enclosure.
Needless to say, we were excited about our new addition and captured the moment on video...
Week One-First Feeding
The Goliath suprised us this morning by not only being quite active but also by feeding. She has investigated every aspect of her enclosure and ended the morning with her feeding on a Dubia cockroach. Fortunately, the drama was also caught on video. The Dubia's next of kin have already been notifed.
Our Goliath is resting inside a vine root log after having ingested one large Dubia.
This page was last updated: May 17, 2015
Week Three-Third Feeding on Video
This evening Kelsey and I witnessed something truly remarkable when feeding our Goliath. We introduced two Dubia roaches into her den upon which she immediately started to capture and subdue both of the roaches. Using our IPhone 6 video we were able to take some of the most incredible video of our Goliath. During the entire six minute feeding she was oblvious to our camera being only inches away from her as she methodically devoured her meal. Click on the You Tube link to view this video.
We still can't believe what we witnessed that eventful evening Jan. 28, 2015.
This afternoon we fed our Goliath for the fourth time and took video of the event with little expectation of surpassing the circumstances of the last feeding on 1/28/15. We might have been wrong.
This second video provides incredible detail of the Goliath's fangs repeatedly penetrating the abdomen of the cockroach in such detail not seen before by either of us. Once again, our tarantula is seemingly oblivious to our presence and attacks her dinner with the precision and agility you might expect.
Be forewarned, this video contains graphic images.