IUCN Status: least concern
All bird eating spiders (the correct name for the big spiders of the America's) enjoy a variety of prey items. Anything they can catch really from grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, moths or even small lizards and mammals! In captivity they are fed a diet of commercially grown crickets, cockroaches or mouse pinks.
Female bird eating spiders can live for 20+ years and do not really mature until they are 3-5 years of age. Males however have a much shorter life maturing at 2 - 3 years of age, often with their first reproductive act being their last! Male spiders when they mature spin a sperm web which they carry and have to insert into the underside of the female in a pocket called the epigyne. A tap dancing ritual and good luck is needed! An egg sac is then eventually produced by the female which on hatching could have 500+ spiderlings!
We use our female Chilean rose bird eating spiders for our daily encounter session. None are actually on exhibit as these are selected for the encounter on a day to day basis. The zoo has bred many of these and reared them to maturity over the years.
These spiders live in the desert and scrub areas of Bolivia, Agentina and Chile.
This is a very docile spider that is one of the most commonly kept pets in the USA & Europe. Like all the bird eating spiders of South America it has utricating hairs that can be flicked off its abdomen into the face of a predator.
Crepucular and nocturnal these spiders emegre from their tunnels at dusk and during the night foraging for prey.