Brazilian Black Tarantula

Children's Zoo

Location

In the Zoo
Size
Male
Female
Height:
Length:
Weight
1-2 pounds
Maturity:
5-6 years
8 years

Geographic Range

The Brazilian black tarantula is found in South America; in Brazil and Uruguay.

Scientific Information

Scientific Name:
Grammostola pulchra
Class:
Arachnid
Order:
Araneae
Family:
Theraphosidae
Genus:
Grammostola

Lifestyle and Lifespan

Diet:
Carnivorous
Activity Time Frame:
Nocturnal
Interactivity:
Social Sexual Dimorphism: yes
Sexual Dimorphism:
Yes
Gestation:
The female incubates the eggs for 3 months
Lifespan in the Wild:
Females, up to 20 years; males, 6-7 years
Lifespan in Captivity:
Females, up to 20 years; males, 6-7 years

Conservation

Status:
Least Concerned
Threats:

Characteristics

The Brazilian black tarantula is glossy black all over its body. The abdomen is bulbous and all eight eyes are clustered at the front.

Species Specifics

The Brazilian black tarantula is in the same genus as the Chilean rose tarantula, but their colorations are very different.

Physical Characteristics

The Brazilian black tarantula is covered in tiny little hairs, though they are not made out of the same things as our hair. These hairs allow them to sense movement nearby, but also can be flicked off their abdomen by their back legs. The hairs are barbed at the end, and can cause major irritation to a predator.

Ecology

Habitat

Open woodlands, pastures and marshy meadows.

Distribution

Not enough information is known on this species to determine home range and population numbers.

Diet

This tarantula will eat large insects, such as crickets, other arthropods, and mice and small lizards.

Ecological Web

Ecological Role: Apart from playing a dynamic role in the food web of their ecosystem via population control of prey species and as a food item for predators, Box Turtles serve as a mechanism for seed dispersal. Many species of aquatic fresh water plants as well as Native Geranium, Black Cherry and Native Grape species are aided in their germination and dispersal process when seeds are passed through the digestive system of Eastern Box Turtles. Predators: badgers, weasels, raccoons, skunks and snakes commonly prey upon adult Box Turtles, while younger turtles are far more susceptible to predation by birds, lizards, and even domestic pigs, cats, and dogs.

Activity and Behavior

Activity Pattern

Like most reptiles, activity is temperature dependent, preferring conditions that are moist, humid, and warm. Ideal temperature is 80-95°F and they are more active during rainy periods and immediately after it has rained. During drought, turtles may spend time in burrows and in excessive heat turtles will seek out shallow pools of water to soak in. In fall months turtles are observed basking in the sunlight for energy. In Northern climates turtles will enter hibernation in late October. In places like Florida, turtles are active year around.

Behavior

One of the main defense postures of tarantulas is to raise their front legs and pedipalps to show their fangs. This is a warning to other animals nearby.

Social Behavior

Tarantulas in general are solitary, and the Brazilian black tarantulas are no exception.

Reproductive Behavior

Mating occurs during the summer, from June through September. The smaller male will approach a female and touch her with his front legs to see if she is receptive. If she is, she will raise her front legs and allow the male to insert his sperm into the female’s seminal receptacle on the underside of her abdomen using his pedipalps.

Offspring

A female Brazilian black tarantula can lay up to 600 eggs at one time.

Conservation

Status

Three-Toed Box Turtles are not considered endangered at the national level in the United States, Canada or Mexico, although several U.S. states, including Michigan, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut, list T. carolina as a species of special concern. It is considered endangered in Maine. IUCN: VulnerableCITES: Appendix II

Historical

Due to a widespread, consistent and persistent decline of the species, the ICUN considers the Box Turtle to be a Vulnerable Species. The decline is associated with anthropogenic causes, or manmade causes centering on urbanization. Agricultural use of pesticides within a shared water shed has negatively impacted young turtle survivability due to malformed eggs. Introduction of synanthopic predator species, (species who live near and benefit mutually from human settlement and urban habitats) such as ravens, coyotes and raccoons, are increasing in numbers as humans continue to urbanize.

Current Threats

Introduced Non-Native, Domestic, and Invasive Species

Our Role

No items found.

How You Can Help

Please be aware of the pets you choose to buy. Never get a pet that has been taken from the wild and never return a pet to the wild. Be aware of pesticide applications so as to not poison native animals that benefit your ecosystem. Finally, be conscious of your trash and waste so as to not attract unwanted animals such as ravens.

Fascinating Facts

These tarantulas have chemical sensors on their body to tell if something is food or liquid.

Brazilian black tarantulas hide out in their burrows, either to wait for food, or because they feel threatened.

Like all tarantulas, the Brazilian black tarantula will molt and shed their exoskeleton. The resulting molt looks just like the tarantula, and may even confuse some humans! However, the molt will be very lightweight and have a break on the carapace where the tarantula exited.

Of all the Gerrhosaururidae lizards (Plated lizards) they are the most armored.

References