This absolutely beautiful spider is an adult female PERUVIAN PINKTOE TARANTULA, sometimes known as the PERUVIAN PURPLE PINKTOE TARANTULA due to its purplish colouration which is best seen in natural light.
Her name is Spinderella, which was the winning name suggestion in my competition to find a name for her which ran throughout Autumn 2015. Spinderella was suggested by Ellie, a Year 5 pupil at Bishopswood Junior School in Hampshire, whom I first met during a visit in November 2015. Well done Ellie, a great suggestion for a beautiful spider!
As you can see from these pictures Spinderella is easily one of the hairiest, fluffiest spiders in my collection! These spiders originate from the warm tropical forests of the north-western Amazon rainforest, most commonly found in the Peruvian Amazon. Like other pinktoe tarantulas they are incredible climbers due to their arboreal (tree-dwelling) way of life and they certainly do have distinctively pink toe tips as you can see here:
As well as this lovely adult female I also have a couple of tiny juveniles (spiderlings) of several other pink toed tarantula species in my collection. As you can see here, babies certainly start life a lot smaller than they end up being as adults! Unusually some species also start life with jet black toes and pale pink/orange coloured legs, whereas as adults they will have pink toes and darker coloured legs – a quite bizarre change!!!
Like all spiders tarantulas have to moult as they grow. Here is Spinderella’s moulted exoskeleton (exvuia) following her most recent moult:
Here is the underside and you can clearly see in the second picture just how large and black & shiny her fangs are!
Here are pictures of the exuvia with the carapace (head area) in place and then removed – you can clearly see the holes through which Spinderella has pulled her new exoskeleton. No matter how many times I witness this process it never ceases to amaze me!