Scientific Name: grammostola pulchra
The Brazilian black is one of the most docile of the large tarantulas. For this reason it has become extremely popular as a pet in the USA. In captivity they may live for over 18 years.
This spider is striking in the simplicity of its appearance. The species is covered in short fine hairs giving it the appearance of velvet and is jet black in colour. It is not an aggressive tarantula but is somewhat nervous when approached. They reach a leg span of around 18cm.
Occurring in the grasslands and forests of Brazil and Uruguay the Brazilian black tarantula will often take over the burrows of other species rather than dig its own. These retreats are usually positioned beneath some type of object such as the base of a tree trunk or rock outcrop.
Large insects are the preferred diet, particularly beetles.
Males can be differentiated from females by the presence of tibial spurs on the legs and the enlarged bulbs at the end of the palps, the appendages between the front legs. Mating usually takes place in autumn and the eggs are produced the following spring.
We stopped off here on the spur of the moment on our way to Hunter Valley. I saw the sign on the Pacific Highway and thought we would call in and see what it was like. I really didn't know what to expect, I was imaging a few sheds and it possibly being a bit grim but I couldn't have been more wrong. It was a great experience. So many animals, all in well kept spacious environments. The Kangaroos are so tame as well and are happy to pose with you for photos. We ended up spending 2-3 hours here and were so glad we stopped!