Scientific Name: Selenocosmia crassipes (Phlogius crassipes)
Common names: Queensland Whistling Tarantula | Queensland Barking Tarantula
In South Africa, we also call this species the legal OBT (Pterinochilus murinus – Orange Baboon Tarantula) due to it’s speed and attitude. If you want something fast and furious… this is not a bad option. It’s as sleek as a super car and just as fast. These guys will bolt out, grab a prey item and vanish again in the blink of an eye.
As usual, everything in Australia wants to kill you and is leaner, meaner and tougher than anything in Africa. Selenocosmia/Phlogius crassipes, the Queensland Whistling/Barking Spider is a perfect example of that theory. With Males living almost twice as long as most usual Old World species, and Females living up to 3 times longer than regular Old World species, reaching a lifespan of up to 30 years (like most New World species). Not only this, they’re lightning fast, grow huge and they possess striker bristles on their chelicerae/fangs, which are responsible for the hissing sound that gives this tarantulas it’s fame and names.
This tarantula is suspected to have a medically significant venom, although it’s still uncertain just how potent it is in humans. However bite reports involving full grown large dogs like Alsatians and Doberman’s, show that in some cases the dog was stone dead within 30 minutes of a bite. It’s suspected that the male possesses more potent venom than the females as this is usually the species running about looking for a mate when a hapless dog should happen to find it and investigate.
We read somewhere on the internet that someone has spotted one of these dragging a 2.5 pound fish up from the beach and eating vertebrate prey like rats and even chicken sized birds.. As always we take these rumors with a pinch of salt, but then again… Australian stuff is pretty bad-ass, so who knows?