SCAM WARNING – BEWARE OF SCAMMERS SELLING THERAPHOSA: The chances of you buying a genuine Theraphosa sling is close to Zero in South Africa, so beware. Theraphosa species are very scarce in South Africa. Breeding Theraphosa species is known to be tricky and very few breeders in South Africa can brag of regular success breeding this species. People are also arrested on a regular basis trying to illegally import new and rare species in to South Africa, including Theraphosa species. However, this just adds to the rarity and demand for them, meaning there are obviously people out there who would like to scam you out of your money. Scammers are advertising Theraphosa blondi, apophysis and stirmi slings for sale via classified website listings at exorbitant prices which people happily pay due to the rarity and demand for these spiders. But when they receive their sling by mail or courier or if even at all, they soon find out that they have been sent Lasiodora parahybana slings (Salmon Pink Bird Eater), which sell for a fraction of the price. Too late, your money is gone… One can find adults for sale from time to time on legitimate online stores and with certain breeders, at this time (Spring 2018) you can find adults for anywhere between R5000 and R8000 depending on the species and the seller. There are no slings available to our knowledge at the moment but will notify all account holders the minute that changes. So register an account on our online store to stay in touch.
Scientific Name: Theraphosa blondi
Common name: Goliath Bird Eater | Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula
A tarantula almost everyone in the world knows about, the Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula. Without a doubt the largest recorded tarantula in the world with legs spans reaching up to 28cm (11inches). Some speak of specimens reaching 30cm but we have yet to see this for ourselves. With it’s dusty brown appearance, it’s not the prettiest tarantula of them all, but it’s sheer size and robust looking body are what everyone is after.
There are three species of Theraphosa. All three species look very similar, but differ in subtle ways.
- Theraphosa Blondi – Goliath Bird Eater
- Theraphosa Stirmi – Burgundy Goliath Bird Eater
- Theraphosa apophysis – Pink Foot Goliath Bird Eater
Theraphosa blondi has setae/hair on the patella and bottom of the femura (legs). It’s carapace stands lower than Theraphosa stirmi due to smaller fangs. Slings will not show “pink” feet/tarsi, all feet/tarsi are brown and palps are dark. Mature males lack tibial spurs/hooks.
This species is generally calm, but skittish and nervous when disturbed, you can expect them to either flick urticating bristles or display a threat pose accompanied by hissing generated by stridulating bristles between their fangs. The urticating bristles of Theraphosa species (Type III) are reported to be some of the worst to come in contact with, causing severe itching and burning, so take care when working with this species as you would not like those bristles getting in your soft tissues or eyes.
Venom is expected to be mild like most new world species, except that due to the sheer size of their fangs, getting a bite from Theraphosa blondi could be likened to being stabbed by a fork and the injury itself will be substantially painful regardless of any venom. Although the species is skittish, it is not known for any severe aggression without cause, so bites are not common.