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The Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird-eating Tarantula (Lasiodora parahybana) is a relatively large spider originating from northeastern Brazil, hence its common name. This spider typically grows to a leg span of 20 cm (8 in), although occasionally exceptional specimens can reach leg spans of 25 cm (10 in, with 11.5 inch specimens recorded). Large females can weigh upwards of 100 grams. This tarantula is one of the largest in the world, often cited as the second or third largest (after the Theraphosa blondi). In the wild the Brazilian salmon pink tarantula has even been known to prey on some small snakes.
They are popular as pets in the tarantula keeping hobby today, although not recommended for beginners, as they are fast, large, and will possibly kick urticating bristles if aggravated. Not quick to bite, however, this species is considered somewhat 'handleable' in the hobby, but its fangs (in adults and sub-adults), which often reach up to one full inch, are capable of medically significant mechanical damage.
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These arachnids can be kept quite easily in a terrarium that measures at three times its leg span in length but not too high as a fall can kill this tarantula due to its size. This tarantula loves a humid environment, thriving at relative humidities of between 65–80%. However the keeper should be aware that mold can form at very high humidities, so good ventilation (especially cross ventilation) is crucial.
The terrarium should be furnished with a deep substrate (peat moss or vermiculite are the most popular in the hobby today) and a water dish. Isopods kept live in the substrate help with mold as they've been known to eat it, as well as feeder remains. They should be kept at temperatures of around 25 °C (75 to 85°F). Schultz (1998) states "The largest giant tarantulas (e.g. Lasiodora parahybana, Lasiodora klugi and Theraphosa blondi) require an unexpected amount of food compared to other more conventional tarantulas. One enthusiast feeds his collection three subadult mice a week; these tarantulas are definitely not for the rank amateur, the faint of heart, or a person of limited income." The staple diet in captivity is the (Acheta domestica, Orthopotera Gryllidae) or domestic house crickets; an adult Lasiodora parahybana can consume several in one sitting, this can be supplemented with pinkie mice once or twice a month. Most collectors, however, do not recommend supplementing with mice. Many collectors prefer to feed roaches to their tarantulas, especially those as large as the L. parahybana. They are easily more filling, and nutritious, than a cricket.
These tarantulas are ideal show specimens, as they web little, hide rarely, and will often sit out in the open to be seen. Younger L. parahybana may regularly utilize a burrow, but will become more bold with size.
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- Stanley A. Schultz Marguerite J. Schultz, Tarantula Keeper's Guide (1998),
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series Inc., U.S. Page 127
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