This lovely spider is a SALMON PINK BIRDEATING TARANTULA (Lasiodora parahybana), a very large tarantula species from the Atlantic forest region of north-eastern Brazil.
This is by far the largest spider species in my collection but even though this female (which is named Sally) is quite sizeable already she is nowhere near fully grown, as they can reach a leg span of up to 10 or 11 inches! This makes them one of the largest tarantula species in the world. They hunt on the forest floor and are exceptionally fast moving for a large and heavy spider - large females can weigh in excess of 100g!
In spite of their common name birds do not form a large part of the diet of this species. Whilst they are undeniably capable of overpowering and eating small birds and rodents, their diet is still largely made up of insects and other invertebrates. Sally loves to munch on adult crickets and locusts, with her enormous fangs making quite an impressive crunching sound as she bites through the hard exoskeleton of her prey!
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