A large terrestrial species of tarantula, reaching up to 9 inches in size. The basic colour of these heavy-bodied spiders varies between black and black-gray, with urticating red hairs on the abdomen.
The practice of calling tarantulas "bird-eating" derives from an early 18th century copper engraving that shows one eating a hummingbird. Despite the spider's name, it only rarely preys on birds.
Their diet consists of insects, frogs and mice.