Subject: Help
Location: Brazil (Amazon, Manaus, Iguazu, and Rio de Janeiro)
October 10, 2012 12:37 pm
When our family came back from Brazil last year we had an unexpected hitchhiker in my daughter’s suitcase. It was a little spider, roughly about an inch in size. My son persuaded us to let him keep the spider as a pet.
Recently my son sent the following photo of our ”little” spider. We were very nervous until we saw that the photo was only of the spider molt.
I saw the movie Arachnophobia and having this unidentified spider as a pet has always made me nervous.
For the record, the spider is not handled at all.
Any help you could provide would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your help!
Signature: Nervous Dad

Tarantula exuvia

Dear Nervous Dad,
This is the exuvia or cast off exoskeleton of a Tarantula, but we haven’t a clue as to the species.  Tarantulas are quite docile and they rarely bite unless threatened.  The bite is not considered dangerous.  Tarantulas make great pets and they can live in excess of 15 years in captivity.  Luckily you did not get caught at customs because smuggling tarantulas and other exotic creatures is illegal.

Thank you for your quick response and reassuring words.  Let me see if I can get a picture of the spider itself.
Dave Beach

Update from Nervous Dad
Subject: Help (part 2)
Location: Brazil (Amazon, Manaus, Iguazu, and Rio de Janeiro)
October 24, 2012 12:16 pm
Dear Daniel,
You were very helpful in calming my fears and identifying the exuvia of my son’s spider pet. Remember, this is the small spider we found in my daughter’s suitcase when we returned to the USA from Brazil.
I have attached a photo of the spider itself, as promised.
Any help identifying the species would be appreciated…
Thank you in advance for your help!
Signature: Nervous Dad


Hi again Nervous Dad,
We looked at numerous Brazilian Tarantula photos, and this looks closest to the Brazilian Salmon Pink Tarantula,
Lasiodora parahybana, that is pictured on the Eight Legs website.  According to that site:  “The long common name of this species suits its size, as salmon pinks are one of the world’s largest non-marine arthropods (possibly the third largest tarantula species).  Adults may range from 8 to 10 inches in legspan, maybe even bigger.  They are voracious feeders, fast growers, and very bold.”  The attitude is described as:  ” Bold.  They will often sit out in the open.  Some individuals are handy with the urticating hairs, while others are quick to defend themselves via biting.  Though they are not as prone to fang-weilding as some other tarantulas, most will make it clear that they do not want to be handled. I’ve had 8, and all of them flicked hair very readily.”  We would advise handling with caution, but despite the warning, Tarantulas make wonderful, long lived, though not especially cuddly pets.

I think you are right.  We probably picked this spider up at our last stop (Rio — in Eastern Brazil).
Now all i need to worry about are the urticating hairs!
Thank you very much for all your help!
Dave Beach

Location: Brazil

2 Responses to Tarantula exuvia

  1. Poxicator says:

    There are a number of tarantula within the Lasiodora genus and determining the exact species via photography can be difficult. I’d expect to see more of the salmon pink hairs that L. parahybana derives its common name from. It could be L. striatipes.

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