Beginner’s Guide To The Theraphosa Stirmi Tarantula

Photo Credit: Thaddeus via Flickr

Photo Credit: Thaddeus via Flickr

Common name: Burgundy Goliath Birdeater

Scientific name: Theraphosa stirmi

Appearance: Burgundy Goliath Birdeater Tarantulas are large, heavy-bodied and are rich burgundy-brown after a molt. They also have distinctive reddish hairs on legs and abdomen post-molt.

Origin: Guyana, Venezuela, Northern Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname

Type: Old World, Terrestrial

Size: Adults can grow to reach 10 to 12 inches. This is a medium to fast-growing species.

Life span: Males live shorter lives than females, between 2 and 5 years. Females can live up to 15+ years.

Attitude: This is an intermediate/advanced tarantula. Burgundy Goliath Birdeaters are docile but can be skittish. They become more docile as they mature.

Photo Credit: Thaddeus via Flickr

Photo Credit: Thaddeus via Flickr

Defensive behavior: A Theraphosa stirmi would rather run or kick urticating hairs than bite, and will readily use these tactics in self-defense.

Bite danger: The venom of a Theraphosa stirmi is reportedly mild – But the fangs can be 1 inch +, making mechanical damage a real concern.

Handling: It is not recommended that you handle a Theraphosa stirmi tarantula.

Diet/Nutrition: Theraphosa stirmi are very aggressive eaters and only refuse food when in pre-molt. They can eat dubia roaches, crickets and the occasional pinky mouse.

Photo Credit: Thaddeus via Flickr

Photo Credit: Thaddeus via Flickr

Housing (see our shop for products!):

  • Enclosure: Adults should be given a large enclosure such as a 20 gallon tank.
  • Substrate: 4 inches of substrate (can use a mixture of peat moss, vermiculite and coconut fiber) 
  • Decor: A vertical barreled cork bark or hide is recommended.
  • Humidity: 70 – 80%
  • Ventilation: Good ventilation is important to prevent mold growth in the enclosure.
  • Lighting: Burgundy Goliath Birdeater don’t need special lighting.
  • Water: A large water dish should always be provided.
  • Temperature: The ideal temperature for a Burgundy Goliath Birdeater is 78° – 80°F. They are comfortable at temperatures slightly above room temperature.
Photo Credit: Thaddeus via Flickr

Photo Credit: Thaddeus via Flickr

Fun facts: The Theraphosa stirmi tarantula, along with the other Theraphosa, are the largest known species of tarantula on the planet.

Cool Theraphosa stirmi websites:

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