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Introduction

Theraphosa blondi, the Goliath bird-eating spider, is the world’s heaviest spider. The heaviest on record was a captive adult female called Rosi, which topped the scales at 175g.It usually feeds on insects such as crickets and beetles, but it also eats small mammals, frogs and reptiles, injecting venom into its prey with its 20mm fangs.Although formidable to look at, a bite from this species is apparently no worse than a wasp sting.Young Theraphosa blondi spiders take 2–3 years to mature, and female adults can live for up to 20 years. They are often kept as pets.Like other tarantulas, Theraphosa blondi continues to moult into adulthood which enables it to regenerate any limbs that have been lost or damaged.The species was first described in 1804 by Pierre André Latreille, a French arthropodologist.

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