An extremely proficient predator, the Brazilian salmon pink tarantula feeds mainly on insects, amphibians and small reptiles, as well as the occasional small bird (2) (4) (5). In the wild, the Brazilian salmon pink tarantula has been known to prey on the common lancehead (Bothrops atrox), a notoriously aggressive and venomous species of viper (6). Tarantulas are hunting spiders and as such, do not spin webs to catch their prey (5). The Brazilian salmon pink tarantula will lie in wait on the forest floor until a suitable prey item passes by, before striking rapidly and injecting the prey with venom to subdue it (4) (5). The spider will then hold the prey firmly in its jaws and cover it with fluids which help to partially digest the prey, before sucking the digested tissues up into the mouth (5).
The Brazilian salmon pink tarantula is capable of giving a painful bite when provoked. When threatened, the tarantula will raise the front of the body and hold its legs high in the air, before striking down in a powerful motion and attacking with its fangs (5). The Brazilian salmon pink tarantula is also able to release urticating hairs from its abdomen, which it flicks off using its hind legs (2) (5). These hairs are covered in microscopic barbs, which cause irritation to the skin and eyes of the potential predator on contact (2).
During breeding, the male Brazilian salmon pink tarantula spider deposits sperm onto a small patch of silk which it then transfers, using the pedipalps, to the female’s genital opening on the underside of the abdomen. The female will lay as many as 2,000 eggs, which are cocooned into a thick web of silk to form an egg sac (2) (4). The female Brazilian salmon pink tarantula guards the egg sac for several weeks until the spiderlings hatch (4).