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Theraphosa blondi

  • Live collection
Photo: Insectarium de Montréal, René Limoges

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Description

These are the largest known tarantulas. They can weigh over 120 g and their legspan can exceed 25 cm, with bodies more than 10 cm long.

Unlike other members of the Theraphosidae family, these tarantulas have a rounded cephalothorax (joined head and thorax). The colour of their bodies and legs varies from medium to dark brown, with red hairs.

Country of origin

Guyana
French name
Mygale de Leblond
Scientific name
Theraphosa blondi
English name
Goliath birdeater tarantula
Class
Arachnida
Order
Theraphosidae
Family
Araneidae
Living environment

Diet

They are nocturnal, and hunt live prey (insects and other invertebrates).

Habitat

They live in burrows and prefer moist areas near water.

Geographic distribution

They live in the tropical rainforests of French Guyana, Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela.

Ecological role

They help maintain the balance of nature in their habitat.

Special behaviour

When they feel threatened, they whistle loudly to intimidate their enemies. If this is not enough, they can throw a cloud of urticating hairs and make a noise by striking their abdomens with their legs.

Interesting facts

Status

The species seems to be common in its range.

Interesting facts and curiosities

These tarantulas’ English name comes from the fact that they have been known to eat young birds.

The French name is in honour of Jean-Baptiste Leblond, a naturalist who discovered the species while exploring large parts of South America.

At the Insectarium

In captivity they are fed crickets.

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