Tarantulas, like all arachnids and insects, must shed their skin, or molt, to grow. This is because they have an exoskeleton. Since this exoskeleton is hard, the only way these invertebrates can grow is by breaking through their old skin, revealing the pliable new skin underneath. Once the shed is complete, the new and larger skin is then allowed to dry. What I present for you here is a pictorial guide to one of the world’s largest species of tarantulas, the Brazilian Salmon Pink Bird-eating Spider (Lasiodora parahybana), named for the beautiful pink hairs on this massive spider’s abdomen.
After making a bed of silk, the spider turns onto its back to start the molting process.
Though I am no longer an insect collector, I do from time to time put displays together, either for friends or to be used in my insect presentations at schools and libraries (for more information please click HERE). These are just a sampling of some of the things I have done. As additional displays are completed I will add to this blog. To get an idea of scale, I am using Presidential Display Cases that measure 24″ x 18″ x 2.5″.
INSECTS VS. ARACHNIDS
In 2013 I decided to totally revamp my insect presentations featuring all new displays to bring into the classroom. This was the first one that I did, featuring a side-by-side comparison of insects and arachnids. I am very happy with this display even though it is not jam-packed with specimens. It does feature a good assortment though of some of the largest species of both insects and arachnids, including one of the largest scorpion specimens I have ever seen!