Theraphosa stirmi (goliath bird eater) spiderlings, captive bred, native to Guyana. When disturbed, this large, voracious feeder flicks hairs, stridulates, or rears up. Recommended for intermediate-level keepers and above.
Theraphosa species were described in the following order: Theraphosa blondi (1804), Theraphosa apophysis (1991), and Theraphosa stirmi (2010).
Interestingly, T. stirmi had been present in the hobby for over a decade before its description, collected in Guyana and mistakenly sold as Theraphosa blondi. In 2008 these Guyana specimens were examined more closely, leading to the 2010 description . Yet even today at least one major wholesaler sells field-collected T. stirmi as T. leblondi (‘leblondi’ is obsolete) and T. apophysis (author’s identification in each case).
According to Rudolf and Weinmann, Theraphosa are found below 1000 m (3300 ft), with T. blondi coming from French-Guiana/Suriname, T. apophysis from Venezuela, and T. stirmi from southeast Guyana. Of these countries, only Guyana is open to tarantula export; thus, field-collected T. stirmi is fairly widely available in semi-adult, subadult, and adult forms.
The extent of overlap in distribution, if any, of these three species is not yet known. Care requirements might ultimately be subtly different, but most treat them similarly.
Theraphosa keepers tend to agree they do best in a humid environment. There is less agreement about temperature however. Many resources recommend temperatures in the neighborhood of 80F. On the other hand, consistent breeders of T. stirmi produce at lower temperatures. Dennis Van Vlierberghe of Theraphosidae.be recommend 18-22C (64-72F) during the day and 18-20C (64-68F) at night. The reasoning is that cooler temperatures exist on shaded forest floors and even cooler temperatures in burrows. The success of other breeders using these parameters for T. blondi supports this temperature window .
In captivity, temperature parameters for maintenance are often less stringent than for breeding, but probably best not to stray too far from these guidelines for optimal health.
 Rudloff, J.-P. & Weinmann, D. (2010). A new giant tarantula from Guyana. Arthropoda Scientia. 1: 21-40.
 Cléton, F., Sigwalt, Y., and Verdez J-M. (2015). Tarantulas, Breeding Experience & Wildlife.
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