We all know that even a small spider can aggravate a fearful scream; a species of American tarantula takes scare feelings to a whole new level. This species holds the record for being the biggest spider in the world. It is also possible that other species of spiders contain larger legs, but T. blonde is the biggest due to its larger body. Its overall weight can reach 170 grams (6 ounces).
The T. blonde is commonly known as the Goliath birdeater. It is because evidence has been found from the 18th-century that shows that some members of the tarantula family can eat hummingbirds. Due to that reason, the entire genus is now known as “bird eaters.”
Despite the nickname of bird-eater, T. blondi rarely consumes birds, from the notes of Encyclopedia of Life. According to the research of Gustavo Hormiga at George, who is a spider expert from Washington University, the species commonly eat arthropods.
Do you want to know more about this biggest spider species in the world? Read this article to know everything about the Goliath birdeater.
What Is The Biggest Spider In The World?
The Goliath birdeater is the largest spider in the world belonging to Theraphosidae (the tarantula family). These spiders are found in northern South America, and according to their mass and body length up to 5.1 inches (13 cm), they are considered the largest spiders in the world.
If we talk about the leg span of these spiders, they have 12 inches (up to 30 cm) leg span. Most of them can weigh up to 6.2 oz. (175 g). These are some of the few species that do not have tibia spurs. These spurs are commonly present in male adults on the first pair of legs. In color, they are mostly golden-hued and tan to light brown.
Unlike other species of tarantula/spiders, during mating, female spiders do not eat the males. The time duration for a female to mature is 3-6 years. The average lifespan of female spiders is about 15 to 25 years. On the other hand, if we talk about the male spiders, they die soon after getting mature, and their average lifespan is about 3-6 years. In addition, these spiders have hair on their legs, abdomens, and bodies. Generally, females lay eggs 100 to 200, and these eggs take 6–8 weeks to hatch into spiderlings.
Goliath bird eaters falsetto by rubbing their setae on legs and pedipalps in response to any threats. In addition, when endangered, they rub the abdomen with hind legs. As a result, they release hairs that cause severe irritation to the mucous membranes and skin. These urticating hairs are not safe and can be harmful to humans.
Like all tarantulas, these spiders have large enough fangs (0.79–1.57 in or 2–4 cm) to break the human skin. In addition, they have venom in their fangs, and when they are threatened, they bite. However, their venom is not poisonous and is relatively harmless. In addition, the effects of their bite venom are comparable to the wasp’s sting.
And when it comes to humans, these spiders only bite humans when they feel threatened by humans. And these bites sometimes result in envenomation but not always. Envenomation is known as the “dry bite.”
Despite the name, the Goliath birdeater usually feeds on birds in the wild. Their diet consists primarily of other giant worms, arthropods, and amphibians. Still, because of its size and opportunistic raptorial gesture, this species generally kills and consumes a variety of insects and small terrestrial invertebrates. They don’t consume their prey in the open; instead, they drag it back to their burrow and begin the digestion process. They do this by running the inwards of their prey and do to stink it dry. In the wild, T. blondi has been observed feeding on frogs, toads, rodents, lizards, and indeed snakes.
“They’re general bloodsuckers, and if they run into other invertebrates like a small mouse or lizard, they can eat those, too,”
But don’t anticipate this Goliath to use a giant web to snare its prey. T. blondi hunts for its reflections traditionally, using its big fangs to suck and kill.
Distribution and habitat
The biggest spider in the world is native to northern South America in the upland rainforest regions. In addition, it is also found in Suriname, Guyana, northern Brazil, French Guiana, and southern Venezuela.
You can also find this spider in the Amazon rainforest, living in deep caves. The spider is terrestrial and is found commonly in swampy or marshy areas. The spider is a nocturnal species.
The Use Of Goliath Birdeater As Food
The Goliath birdeater, the biggest spider in the world, is also edible. In northeastern South America, it is the part of the local cuisine that is prepared by scorching off the urticating hairs. Then the makers roast it in banana leaves. The flavor of the spider is “shrimp-like.”
Beware the Hair
Although it does not weave a web, T. blondi produces and uses silk. The largest spider lives in caves beneath the timber bottom, which it lines with silk to give them more stability. T. blondi has an armament more useful than venom urticating hairs on its abdomen.
“These are shaped like little spikes if you look at them under the microscope,” Hormiga says, which gives the hairs the capability to bed in the skin.
“These spiders veritably snappily rub their fourth brace of legs on their tummy to release the hairs, which also come airborne. These are veritably itchy.”
The urticating hairs don’t need to be airborne to do their damage. Still, experimenters and possessors of pet spiders need to handle the Goliath bird eater with gloves. The hairs are simply prickly and itchy to large creatures like humans, but they can be fatal to lower mammals like mice. T. blondi ladies lay between 50 and 150 eggs in a mammoth sac that can measure over an inch (30 millimeters) in the periphery. Urticating hairs cover the sac to keep bloodsuckers down.
It takes about two to three times for these hatchlings to develop; they spend significant quantities of time living with their mama in her burrow until they get old enough to fend for themselves. Although ladies can live up to 20 times, males have a lifetime of only 3 to 6 times, frequently dying soon after reaching mating and maturity.
Tastes like Prawns?
Many people in northeastern South America consider this spider as a tasty snack. Rick West, who is a Tarantula expert, once sat down and tried a meal of these spiders. He eats the meal with the local people of Amazonas. He says T. blondi can be unpredictably tasty and moist. Rick West says:
“The white muscle ‘meat’ tastes like smoky prawns, while the gooey abdominal contents are hard-boiled in a rolled leaf and taste gritty and bitter.” “The three-quarter-inch (two-centimeter) fangs are used after the meal as toothpicks to remove the T. blondi exocuticle from between one’s teeth.”
Yes, it’s not common that your meal comes with built-in toothpicks. In addition to its shrimp-like taste, you perhaps won’t see this spider on a restaurant menu as a food item any time soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Goliath birdeater poisonous?
Although it is venomous due to its long fangs, its bite does not kill a person. However, It can hurt quite a bit, and the pain resembles the pain due to a wasp sting. The pain also resembles hammering a nail into your feet or hand.
How much does a Goliath Birdeater cost?
The cost of an adult Goliath Birdeater spider can range from $10 to upwards of $500.
Are goliath bird eaters endangered?
This Spider is one of the world’s biggest and most inspiring spider species. They are present in Suriname, Venezuela, French Guyana, and Brazil. However, they are an endangered and very rare species of spider.
Is the Goliath Birdeater aggressive?
These spiders are nocturnal and live in burrows. Burrows are places that have been unrestrained by other small animals. They only have partners for mating and live in solitary. Goliath Birdeater is an aggressive spider and is defended by stridulation.
How much does a Goliath Birdeater weigh?
The weight of Goliath Birdeater is six ounces. It belongs to the family Tarantula and can grow up to 11 inches.