Pet Goliath bird eating spiders are the largest spiders in the world, and despite their intimidating size, are relatively harmless to humans. Belonging to the tarantula family, a pet Goliath bird eating spider, though harmless, is known to be an aggressive and defensive spider. This makes a pet Goliath bird eating spider an inappropriate spider for inexperienced spider owners.

Despite its name, the Goliath bird eating spider rarely eats birds, but it has been known to eat young birds it has chanced upon, hence the name. Your pet Goliath bird eating spider will reach up to a maximum of 12 inches in leg span, if it is female, with males reaching only half the size. Native to the tropical forests of South America, your pet Goliath bird eating spider has some specific temperature and humidity level needs. Temperature will have to be maintained at 78 to 82? F, and humidity levels need to be moderate.

Due to their large size, the ideal container for your pet Goliath bird eating spider would be a 30-gallon terrarium, or any adequately large plastic container with air holes. Since the bird eating spider is a burrowing species, it will not need branches and twigs to climb, neither do they weave webs to trap prey. Instead, you will need a thick layer of substrate, and a lot of dark hiding places. The substrate can be anything from peat moss to Cyprus mulch. Even though their native environment is quite humid, you do not necessarily have to keep humidity levels high in your pet spider habitat, just be sure to spray them with water a couple of times every week.

Regarding their diet, do not be misled by the name, as these spiders do not really survive on birds. Also, since it is commonly known that pet Goliath bird eating spiders eat small mice, they are often fed too much of the same thing. This is unhealthy for your pet spider, and you need to make sure you give it a varied diet, which includes grasshoppers, mealworms and adult crickets, reserving the mice for maybe twice a month.

Like most other tarantulas, Goliath bird eater spiders are also relatively harmless to humans. But due to their large size, which also means large fangs, their bite can cause severe damage and pain. Another feature about your pet Goliath bird eating spider is that it throws urticating hairs at its enemy, which means you. This can cause severe irritation and other damages if it enters the eyes or nose. All these factors, coupled with the spider’s size, make it unadvisable to handle these spiders.

A hardy species, a particular period when you need to leave your pet Goliath bird eating spider alone is during molting. It will lie on its back when the process begins, and eventually shed its old skin. The new skin is soft and sensitive, so do not introduce aggressive or large prey as food during this period. In fact it is best to leave your pet Goliath bird eating spider, completely alone during this period.

Veterinary Surgeon, London at Blue Cross UK | + posts

A London based Veterinary surgeon, Sanja is also an avid writer and pet advocate.