Goliath Bird Eater (King of Spiders) - Largest Tarantula in the World?
The Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula (Theraphosa blondi) is sometimes called “The King of Spiders” and has earned the name because they are the largest tarantula species in the world! Contrary to their given name, these tarantulas don’t normally eat birds. Their size obviously makes them capable of consuming fowls, but usually, the flying animals are not the preferred food of choice. However, they got the name “Birdeater” sometime in the 18th century. An old carving in South America showed a Goliath eating a bird, hence the name “Bird Eating” tarantula. Bird Eaters are one of the few tarantula species that lack tibial spurs, which are usually located on adult males' first pair of legs. Goliath’s have a mostly tan to light brown and golden-hued coloring on the body.
These spiders have definitely earned the name “goliath” due to their massive body size, weight, and leg span, which can reach up to 12 inches in length! They generally reach a maximum weight of 6 oz and an adult can have a body length of up to 4 inches.
The Goliath bird-eating spider loves to dine on insects, mostly roaches and crickets. They will also eat frogs, rodents, lizards, bats, and rats.
Goliath bird-eating spiders typically dwell in swampy or marshy areas in the rainforests of Northern South America - some central countries include Venezuela, northern Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, and Suriname.
While they are known as one of the biggest spiders in the world, these spiders are not generally dangerous to humans. The Goliath bird-eating spider is venomous but it's only deadly to small creatures or prey. The Goliath's venom is not lethal to humans. They may sting you if they feel threatened, but most of the time this tarantula will just make a hissing sound as a warning to humans to keep their distance.
As far as tarantulas go, the Goliath bird-eating spider is one of the least friendly. Behavior and temperament may vary but Goliaths are known to be a little more skittish, nervous, and aggressive if they sense danger or feel threatened being handled. Some animal and reptile owners find enjoyment in having a Goliath, but those owners are more familiar with and are seasoned in working with and handling large arachnids.
This species of tarantula has not been evaluated or classified yet by the IUCN. However, the Goliath bird-eater is extremely threatened in the wild due to deforestation and, habitat destruction.
Check Out the YouTube Video on the Goliath Bird Eating Spider