The Goliath Birdeater

Coming from Africa as I do, I am used to huge spiders. We tend to get rain spiders (a huntsman spider native to Africa) and baboon spiders (a type of tarantula native to Africa). Both can give you a nasty bite but the venom is no worse than a bee sting.

Rain spider in my kitchen

I don’t mind small spiders but I am terrified of big ones, probably because I was badly bitten when I was young. Ironically, it is the smaller ones who are the most poisonous.

Two that strike fear into me are the Camel Spider and the Goliath Birdeater. I have written about Camel Spiders here.

From Wikipedia:

The Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) is a spider belonging to the tarantula family Theraphosidae. It is the largest spider in the world. By leg-span, it is second to the giant huntsman spider, but it is the largest by mass.

These spiders can have a leg span of up to 28 cm (11 in) and can weigh over 170 g (6.0 oz).[5]Birdeaters are one of the few tarantula species that lack tibial spurs, located on the first pair of legs of most adult males.

Like all tarantulas, T. blondi have fangs large enough to break the skin of a human (1.9–3.8 cm or 0.75–1.50 in). They carry venom in their fangs and have been known to bite when threatened, but the venom is relatively harmless and its effects are comparable to those of a wasp‘s sting. Tarantulas generally bite humans only in self-defense, and these bites do not always result in envenomation (known as a “dry bite“).


Goliath birdeater












Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

5 thoughts

  1. Very cool. Where I live we have the western black widow, and the brown recluse. Both venoms are horrible. If you come to the western US, don’t forget to tap your shoes upside down before you put them on!

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