A goliath birdeater tops on the wishlist of tarantula lovers due to its impressive size. Also known as the king of spiders, it is the world’s most gigantic spider, with a size reaching up to12 inches and a weight of about 6 ounces. It is a considerably hard pet to keep for beginners. You need to take most care of it with appropriate habitat, food, and handling.
Housing and Petting Goliath Birdeater Tarantulas
The goliath is a giant tarantula with a leg span of up to 12 inches. Hence, it requires more space than most tarantulas. Make sure you go for at least 20 gallons terrarium. You can use either a glass or plastic container with adequate ventilation and a lid on the top. It’s better that you keep your goliath tarantula alone. It does not like much lighting, so better to avoid artificial lights.
A goliath tarantula loves to burrow and can dig holes up to two feet deep. A thick layer of the substrate is a must to give it enough space to bury itself. A mix of topsoil, peat moss, coconut husk, or bark pieces will be perfect for this. It is a shy and nocturnal species and needs a place to retreat. You can create that by using flower pots or artificial logs.
A regular diet of goliath birdeater consists of cockroaches, crickets, larvae, worms, locusts, moths, and large insects. In 2-4 weeks, you can treat your tarantula with frog, lizard, or mice. Even though it will get most of the moisture from the food it eats, you need to provide your tarantula with a shallow water bowl.
Molting happens once or twice a year in tarantulas. So, leave your tarantula alone. Remove all the food or prey from the enclosure during this time. Once the molt is complete, you can remove the exoskeleton. Your tarantula will be ready to feed again in a few days. The frequency of molt reduces as your goliath will age.
These tarantulas come from tropical environments. You need to replicate the same atmosphere in its enclosure. You can do this by maintaining appropriate temperature and humidity levels. Use a thermometer to maintain the temperature between 78 to 82 °F. The humidity should stay at about 80 percent. Regular misting or spraying of water can help you achieve this. It’s better to monitor the humidity level using a hygrometer. Humidity should be ideal when the spider is molting.
A goliath tarantula is not at all friendly. It tends to get aggressive, and the temperament also varies. Whenever it is nervous or angry, it will make a hissing sound by rubbing its leg bristles. The best you stay away from it at that time.
A goliath tarantula’s eyesight is very poor, but it can sense the danger through its vibration-sensitive hairs. It quickly sheds off and flicks its hair whenever it perceives a threat. The urticating hairs can irritate the eyes, nose, or mouth. If you provoke or mishandle it, be ready for a painful bite if. The venom can lead to allergies or inflammation.
The goliath birdeater is a fascinating creature. If you have the proper knowledge, you can no doubt keep it as a pet. For serious tarantula lovers, it is a dream pet. A healthy female goliath can live up to 20 years if cared for well.