A Portrait of the Salmon Pink Birdeater (Lasiodora parahybana)

By Richard N. Adams

ven as tarantulas go, Salmon Pinks are huge. These South American birdeating spiders can easily reach a legspan of 8" or more and are truly impressive beasts. The adult colouration is a base colour of rich chocolate brown with Salmon Pink coloured hairs on the abdomen, legs and the circumference of the carapace. If fed liberally this species can also be incredibly fast growing, achieving

See notes Below

legspans of 4 inches or so in their first year! As docility goes, Salmon Pinks can be regarded as average; generally not handleable, but not notably aggressive either.

ue to their size, adult Salmon Pinks require a decent amount of space, and an 8" x 10" glass tank lined with compost is quite acceptable.  A waterbowl should be provided if possible.  The tank itself should be humid and warmed to a temperature of around 23'C, though in winter these spiders frequently seek out cooler temperatures, and will be seen in the unheated part of the tank. There have been suggestions this conditions the spiders, increasing their chances of successful reproduction and is nothing to worry about.  Youngsters can be kept in small containers; the spiderlings being fine in 2" x 2" tubs made of glass or plastic.  Jamjars can be an excellent home for spiderlings if a few

small holes are made in the lid for ventilation.  Once again the tubs should be lined with compost and kept warm and humid, though no waterbwol is necessary or possible in such small containers.  If in doubt, use a small ball of water-soaked cotton wool which can be drunk from.

almon Pinks should be fed on demand, which for spiderlings can be every day or two; the adults taking once or twice a week. Spiderlings must be fed on very small prey items such as pinhead crickets or fruitflies (Drosophila), increasing the size of prey as the spider grows.  Food items in excess of 1/2 of the spiders body length will be taken easily, and I have seldom had any problems offering even larger. Adults easily consume adult locusts, sometimes several at a time!

his species makes an excellent show animal as it sits out in full view much of the time rather than hiding away like many other species do. At the time of writing, the author is keeping a huge specimen in a naturalistic tank with moss and corkbark, to give a real 'rainforest feel' to the tank.

n short Lasiodora parahybana is a marvellous captive and is very easy to care for.  Their large size, fast growth, stunning colouration and excellent display qualities make them a welcome addition to anyones collection.

icture above - by ELG Member Ronald N. Baxter.

A set of 12 superb postcards of Tarantulas is available from Ron Baxter - To order, phone (UK) 0181 590 3285.