Theraphosa apophysis (goliath pink foot birdeater), reputedly the world’s largest (longest) tarantula, inhabits burrows in tropical Venezuela. Thrives in slightly humid and cooler enclosures.
In 1991 Andreas Tinter bought an imported specimen labeled Pamphobeteus exsul. He recognized that the spider was not Pamphobeteus, but a new species altogether. Tinter created a new genus and called his discovery Pseudotheraphosa apophysis. In 2001 Rogério Bertani re-examined P. apophysis and placed it in Theraphosa, alongside Theraphosa blondi. Thereaphosa stirmi had yet to be described (2010).
Native to the Republic of Venezuela, Theraphosa apophysis is comparable to T. stirmi and T. blondi in size and temperament. Younger instars have pinked-tipped forelegs, with pink fading in subsequent molts. Other colors appear, most notably burgundy red, carried mainly by leg and abdominal setae, and reddish purple iridescence, most noticeable on femurs. Many consider T. apophysis the most beautiful of the genus. It is the least often Theraphosa available for sale.
In our hands and other’s, T. apophysis shows less drought tolerance than most neotropical terrestrials. The degree is akin to that of T. stirmi or T. blondi. As with all tarantulas, spiderlings are more sensitive than adults. A humidity source to oppose dry room air found in most US homes will put you in good stead with any spiderling. A pinch of substrate held between the fingers should be neither dusty nor wet. Larger specimens can be kept on a substrate gradient, damp at one end, dry at the other. There are many other effective solutions. Ventilation should strike a balance between excessive dampness, which encourages microbial growth, and too rapid equilibration with dry room air. We keep spiderlings through adults at 68-74F. See the entry for T. stirmi for a brief discussion of ideal temperature ranges cited in the literature.
N.b.: (1) The correct pronunciation of ‘apophysis’ is a – pó – phy – sis, accent on the second syllable.
The first photo above shows a spiderling from a previous shipment, the second a young female, recently molted. The third photo shows one of the sac mates available.
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