• Lasiodora parahybana Care Sheet

      Subfamily: Theraphosinae
      Genus: Lasiodora
      Species: parahybana
      Common Name: Brazilian Salmon-pink Birdeater
      Explorer: Mello-Leitão
      Year of Discovery: 1917
      Country: Brazil
      Tarantula World: New World







      Their Natural Habitat:
      From the Paraíba region of Brazil (Northeast), these are tropical species that come from seasonally wet, and warm climate, though near the equator. Care needs for temperature and humidity discussed below.

      Temperament:
      Please note that individuals can vary in temperament widely. But while these have had a reputation for being feisty, Lasiodora parahybanas are actually fairly timid creatures who may even bluff (in general). They readily flick urticating hairs. As spiderlings, they tend to stay hidden away in burrows, but as adults, they become more bold, and even inquisitive. My 9” girl NEVER uses her hide anymore, so I eventually removed it from her enclosure. She is ever out in the open. This species also like to wander, and will look for ways to get out of its enclosure, so make sure it is secure. And be aware that they will tear holes open in screen lids with their fangs. I first read about this and have had it happen to me that they will even break their fangs off trying to bite their way out of their tanks. Mine did so a month after a molt, then didn't eat for the next 5 months until she molted again, after which she had a new set of fangs. Lasiodora parahybanas do have stridulating hairs on their mouth, and will stridulate (make a hissing sound generated by rubbing their hairs of their mouth area together) as they walk or if they feel threatened.
      Growth/Size:
      Moderately fast growth. This species has a reputation for being very fast-growing species, but my experience is that they do not grow as fast as Acanthoscurria species. Their growth slows down as they reach maturity. Before the discovery of the Theraphosas (Goliath Birdeaters), the Lp was the largest known species of tarantula, reaching leg spans of up to 11” (mostly from leggy males). Females generally grow to 9-10”, but may have a body mass of 100 grams.
      Experience Level:
      Intermediate. Their urticating hairs and their tendency towards being a little more feisty warrants more experience in keeping these. Other than their attitudes (which arise more from timidity than aggression), these are very hardy and easy spider to keep.

      Handling
      This species has had a reputation for being feisty, but my experience with them is that they are quite timid. I have had mine throw threat poses seconds before she was in hand, suggesting they bluff. But do NOT carelessly disregard warnings they give! Get to know your tarantula. Lasiodora parahybanas will also readily flick hairs. They do become calmer and less flicky with size and age, but handling this species is NOT for beginners. My 9” girl is fine in hand, but I have worked with her since she was a spiderling. Still, she will not settle down and rest in my hand, but stays on her toes. Mine also gets antsy and wanders her enclosure, but will settle down after I get her out to let her walk my hands for a time.
      Temperature:
      I find these are fine with temperatures ranging from 70°- 85°F according to their native climate. I keep mine between 80° and 85°F.



      Humidity:
      65%-75%. These spiders are from Northeastern Brazil, and I read often that their natural habitat is very moist, and as such, they should be kept in very moist conditions. However, myself and other hobbyists describe how their spider will prefer to stay on the dryer side of their enclosure. It is here recommended to dampen one side of their enclosure, let that dry out (to prevent mold), then dampen the other side. Observe which conditions your spider prefers.



      Enclosure:
      As a large terrestrial species, these need a good bit of space. 10-gallon tanks are too small for them. 20-gallon would be better. But as they are heavy spiders, a fall from even ashort distance could be fatal, so keep the distance from the top of the enclosure to the substrate no more than 1.5 times the diagonal leg span of the spider. Lasiodora parahybanas will want to roam and will explore ways to get out of their cage, even using their fangs to tear open holes in screen if they can, and have been known to break their fangs off trying to find a way out of their enclosure (mine did it two years ago), so caution is needed there. If you can avoid giving them some corner or edge they can get their fangs on, you can help prevent injury and escape.



      Substrate:
      Eco Earth (coconut husk). You may make a mix of Vermiculite and Eco Earth (75/25). From my experience, Peat Moss does cultivate molds very easily, and thus would not be recommended for this species. Avoid any Evergreen woods (Cypress, Reptile Bark) inside of the enclosure. Evergreen woods contain natural insecticidal oils that can harm your Tarantula if exposed long enough. Isopods (rolly-polies, or pillbugs) are a good cleaner to keep in the substrate that will help reduce the risk of mold. Molds can also be inhibited by allowing the substrate to dry out completely (just keep the water dish filled).






      Diet:
      Crickets, meal worms, wax worms, superworms, Blaptica dubia or Blatta lateralis roaches. Please do not offer wild caught prey, as it may contain pesticides (and potential parasites) which can harm or kill your Tarantula. Also never feed your tarantula “kingworms” (giant mealworms) as these are mealworms that have been fed juvenile growth hormones to prevent them from maturing so they grow bigger. JGH are a common insecticide and would not be good for your invertebrate tarantula! (I received this from a personal conversation with a cricket/worm breeder near me). Furthermore, online information often recommends feeding Lasiodora parahybanas an occasional baby mouse (i.e. pinky); this is not recommended here on the grounds that the extra calcium can be harmful to their exoskeletons.


      Lasiodora parahybanas are notoriousfor being living disposals. The seem to love to eat. Yet my experience (and that of others here) are that their appetites drop off once they mature. My 8”+ female would go a couple months without eating, and seem to have no appetite at that time. I have worried that crickets were too small for her, but when she is hungry, she will readily grab them up.







      Water:
      Make sure to offer a water bowl, the size should be half the size of the species. Do not use any sponges, cotton balls or paper towel (as these are breeding grounds for bacteria) or water crystals inside of water bowl, just clean water. Small rocks may be added. If possible, mount the bowl higher in the tank rather than sitting it on the floor. Clean the water bowl once a week or when you feel it is necessary. Crickets or roaches may end up dead in the water, in which case you should clean it right away. Spiderlings are too small to have a water bowl, misting one side of the enclosure wall 1-2 times a week, should be plenty enough. Your tarantula may often fill the dish with substrate, or even poop in it, but continue to provide clean water. Also I periodically wet the substrate, allowing that to dry out completely to prevent mold growth.
      Longevity:
      Females may live 12-15 years. Males may live 5-7 years (up to 3 years after maturing).
      Maturity female:
      Females reach maturity around 6-7” (within 2 years).
      Maturity male/ Tibial Apophysis:
      Males may reach maturity in 1.5 years. Yes, they have tibial apophysis.
      Communal Setup:
      No. These are not communal spiders and will attack and eat each other if left in the same enclosure together.

      Color Markings:
      A freshly molted Lasiodora parahybanas has a striking, but subtle beauty. They have a dark grey, almost black base coat, with brighter brown highlight setae (hairs). Their abdomen sports a salmon-pinkish coat of highlight hairs (from which they get their name). These spiders will slowly fade to a dull brown until their next molt.

      Special Note:
      The Lasiodora parahybanas is a very hardy and inexpensive alternative to the more delicate and expensive Theraphosas (Goliath Birdeaters). As they are one of the most prolific reproducing tarantluas in the hobby (with sacs from 1,000-2,500 spiderlings) their supply is rarely lacking in the hobby, so they are one of the most inexpensive species on the market. I bought my 3/4” sling in 2011 for $10. They are hardy (as opposed to the more specific care needs of Theraphosas), and are a great display spider as adults boldly stay out in the open (whereas Tharaphosas tend to stay in their burrows more). If you go by views and posts in our tarantula fan club threads here, you will see the Lasiodora parahybana is hands down, the most popular tarantula species.


      Read more about them on our fan club page: http://www.tarantulasus.com/showthre...-(Lp)-Fan-Club!
      CITES List
      These are not on the CITES II list (as far as I can see), but captive-bred specimens are available.
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