Bird Eating Spider

For More information on Australian Tarantulas, check out the Australian Tarantula Association.

 

The Bird Eating Spider is one of Australia's largest spiders belonging to the Trapdoor family. Trapdoor spiders include the Funnel-web, Mouse, Whistling/Bird Eating/Barking, and Curtain-web spiders; they are distinguished by the stocky body, long leg-like palps, and two knee-like lobes to which the fangs join (chelicerae) in front. Most live in burrows with or without trapdoors in the ground, but some live in trees. Trapdoor spiders have powerful chelicerae and four pale patches (the book-lungs) under the abdomen. The correct identification of Trapdoor spiders is often quite complicated.  

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The Bird Eating Spider is more commonly known as the Australian Tarantula as well as the Barking Spider or Whistling Spider. The barking or whistling sound is a warning when the spider is disturbed and is made by rubbing their palps with their fangs. Selenocosmia crassipes is its Latin name, and it is closely related to the Barking Spiders of South America. This spider is truly a giant as its body reaches the length of 55mm. The male is slightly smaller and slimmer than the female but is still large and powerful. The body of the male grows up to 40mm. The colour of the spider is various shades of rusty

Bird Eating Spiders kill their prey by pouncing on it and injecting venom. They eat insects, lizards, frogs occasionally, small birds and other spiders (particularly the Lycosa species). All food is captured in the area near their burrows. As they have no teeth, they rely on digestive juices to dissolve their food. This is quite amazing.

The Bird Eating Spider is a type of Trapdoor Spider and they breed similarly to the Trapdoor. The female lives up to 30 years. She spends most of her life in or close to the silk lined burrow. The male lives in a burrow too but leaves it when an adult for mating. The males do not die after mating and can actually survive to breed for two seasons before dying.

The female lays her eggs and sticks the egg sac in a special part of the burrow. The egg sac is 35mm by 30mm and oval in shape. It is thicker at the center and is very white. It's made of tough silk. The eggs are 2mm in diameter and are translucent. They are a rich yellow colour. The female lays 48 eggs.The female is a devoted mother and carries the egg sac until the young emerge and then cares for them until they leave the burrow.

Bird Eating Spiders kill their prey by pouncing on it and injecting venom. They eat insects, lizards, frogs occasionally, small birds and other spiders (particularly the Lycosa species). All food is captured in the area near their burrows. As they have no teeth, they rely on digestive juices to dissolve their food. This is quite amazing.

The Bird Eating Spider is a type of Trapdoor Spider and they breed similarly to the Trapdoor. The female lives up to 30 years. She spends most of her life in or close to the silk lined burrow. The male lives in a burrow too but leaves it when an adult for mating. The males do not die after mating and can actually survive to breed for two seasons before dying.

The female lays her eggs and sticks the egg sac in a special part of the burrow. The egg sac is 35mm by 30mm and oval in shape. It is thicker at the center and is very white. It's made of tough silk. The eggs are 2mm in diameter and are translucent. They are a rich yellow colour. The female lays 48 eggs.The female is a devoted mother and carries the egg sac until the young emerge and then cares for them until they leave the burrow.

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