Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Theraphosidae

Genus/species: Lasiodora parahybana


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Said to be the third largest spider in the world, this is a large-bodied tarantula with abdomen and legs covered with sensitive, long, and partially pink or salmon-colored hairs. Maximum size: body, 9-10 cm (3.5–4 in); leg span, 20-25 cm (8–10 in).

DISTRIBUTION/ HABITAT: Throughout northeastern Brazil on the tropical forest floor

DIET IN THE WILD: Lie and wait carnivore, eating large crawling insects and other invertebrates, small rodents, lizards, and frogs rarely seen eating birds like newly hatched chicks of ground-dwelling birds. Venom injected by chelicerae that liquefy the kill, which is then sucked in by the mouthparts.
Regardless of its name, the spider is rarely seen eating birds.


REPRODUCTION: The male spins a small area of silk onto which he deposits his sperm. The sperm is then absorbed into the pedipalps, which during mating are inserted into the genital opening of the female, transferring the sperm, which remains viable. After insemination, the male makes a swift retreat as the much smaller males occasionally become a sacrifice to the female’s need to maintain the nutritional viability of a mother-to-be. The female lays up to 2000 fertilized eggs in a thick, silken sac which she guards fiercely. Young spiderlings are born about 3 weeks later. Voracious feeders, they grow quickly.

PREDATORS: Tarantulas have few enemies except the tarantula hawk wasps. Members of this wasp family use their sting to paralyze species specific tarantulas.

REMARKS: Like most tarantulas and some other spiders, if this spider loses one of its legs, it can regrow the lost appendage.
While not highly aggressive and bites are not fatal to humans (most tarantula bites are similar to a bee sting in toxicity), this big bruiser, because of its long fangs, can inflict a serious wound which one researcher defined as “capable of medically significant mechanical damage”! If pursued by a potential foe, the spider rubs its legs against its abdomen, throwing tiny, barbed hairs that become imbedded in the attacker. The barbs can cause significant irritation, especially if lodged in the eyes or nasal passages.

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